U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 11-01-2011, 01:22 PM
 
21 posts, read 42,255 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hi everyone,

We are currently renting in Bedford. Previous to Bedford, we lived in Porter Sq. Cambridge (pre-children). We are in our late 20's with one toddler and another child on the way. We don't quite love the rural-suburban lifestyle of Bedford. As much as we miss Cambridge, we don't feel completely confident in moving to the city with young kids. We are considering a middle ground, and have had an eye on Arlington for a while. We've also always liked the idea of Newton, but aren't as familiar with it as we are with Arlington. It seems there are a lot of families in both communities. Does anyone live in either of these cities who could give me an insider's perspective on living there with young kids? Also, any thoughts on raising kids in an urban-suburban environment versus the outer suburbs?

Final note: Our move to another community will be as renters. Where ever we move next won't necessarily be permanent, and we will have the opportunity to try it on for size before settling. Also, our kids are not school aged, so there is not immediate pressure to be in the right neighborhood for the right schools. That said, we're hoping this will be our last trial run before settling for the long haul, so we are trying to make the wisest choice in where we move.

Thank you for reading! I look forward to hearing from you and learning from your experiences.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-01-2011, 04:26 PM
 
8,136 posts, read 9,123,755 times
Reputation: 8571
Arlington is a fine city. Does have distinct neighborhoods. The south is mostly 2-3 family and older. Over near Winchester are finer/more expensive homes. The Heights is nice also. All different. The Heights is a nice neighborhood with easy access to Route 2.

There are many Newtons. And all vary somewhat. : Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner, Newton Highlands, Newton Lower Falls, Newton Upper Falls. All sorts of different choices there.

All are quite nice. I would seek the price of home. Condition of home. Taxes. Access to public transportation. And of course, time/distance to place of employment.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,825,527 times
Reputation: 1499
I grew up in Arlington and live (rent) in Newton now. The rental markets are pretty similar-a lot of 2- and 3-family houses and rents are less than you might expect given Newton's rep as a high-end town. We live in Newtonville, which is very nice but not ultra-wealthy. My wife and I went for a walk this afternoon and saw kids riding bikes and walking. We were talking about how it's very safe here but, unlike outer suburbs, sufficiently dense to walk around. To us it's a very attractive combination. We are close to the commuter train-15 mins to Back Bay. Other neighborhoods are on the Green line-more frequent trains but slower to town. Even so I think the trip to Boston is quicker on the Green line than via bus and subway from Arlington.

I wouldn't mind going back to Arlington but to my mind Newton (a much larger town) has more going on. It's more of a suburban city, Arlington is a decent-sized town. Arlington has changed a lot since I was a kid though. More restaurants, more professionals.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: New England
972 posts, read 1,193,973 times
Reputation: 1715
One point in Arlington's favor is that it's right next to Cambridge. If you live near Mass Ave you have frequent bus service direct to Harvard Square.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-04-2011, 12:39 PM
 
64 posts, read 151,427 times
Reputation: 47
newton is the best of both worlds, and it's on the T. 30 min and you're in boston! Of course, I grew up in Newton, so...

If you want to avoid a truly suburban lifestyle, I would avoid deep West Newton, Auburndale, and Newton Lower and Upper Falls. Those are away from the T, and tend to be a bit more suburban-like. That being said, most spots in Newton are still about a 5-10 min drive to whatever the local village center.

Newton Center, especially north of Comm ave, Waban tend to be wealthier. West Newton, Newtonville, Newton Highlands tend to be more middle ground, and Nonantum and Newton Corner (dubbed "the lake," which I still don't get b/c there is no lake there) are a lot less swanky. Different populations, more townie. A rough way to divide it up is: Newton North High School area (less swanky), and Newton South High School area (really swanky.)

Affordable rental markets might be found in Newtonville (by the high school), and certainly in Nonantum and Newton Corner. West Newton too, probably. Those places are away from the T.

I wish I lived in Newton, that is all i've got to say....
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-06-2011, 02:52 PM
 
404 posts, read 777,198 times
Reputation: 465
Newton is huge so it is hard to generalize other than it has good schools and lots of public transportation options no matter where you are within it. It is twice the size of Arlington and has 7x more stuff going on, but Arlington has proximity to Cambridge going for it so it can balance out socially. Arlington has only bus lines no trains or subways so commuting in snow is a challenge unless you live within walking distance to Alewife.

Newton's schools are significantly better (top 10 2010 SATs) but tending toward overcrowding so I hear alot of discontented murmurs through the mom grapevine about Newton. On the other hand I have heard from multiple Arlington sources that they don't think the Arlington schools (top 40) are all that they are cracked up to be (underfunding)- so who knows. I think that people just expect the schools to be some sort of amazing for their $500k house (rightly so) and when they realize that it is just a regular old elementary school they get vocal quickly. And of course $500k is a fixer upper in either of those places.

Newton (they may have changed this by now) did have 5-day kindergarten that ran 2 full days and 3 half days that made for a weird week (maybe after care was available for $$?). Busses are $310 per kid if you live more than a mile from school, no bus closer than that. Parks and rec has tons of stuff going on during the summer, I think last summer's camp catalog alone was huge.

Arlington full day kindy is $3k, half day is free, no busses for elementary. Parks and rec has some stuff for kids.

One thing I looked at recently are the district reports that they put out each year, they include a list of where the graduates are going to college. Arlington (http://www.arlington.k12.ma.us/news/College_Acceptance_and_Matriculation_-_Class_of_2011.pdf - broken link) (can't find Newton)
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,392,307 times
Reputation: 189
My cousin just graduated from Newton South last year, so I did get to see a flier showing where all the kids were going to college. As you'd expect, there were a lot of great schools, including a number of kids going to the Ivies. One thing I found interesting was that only one kid was going straight to work! (A handful were undecided or taking gap years.) Goes to show that Newton is an extremely college-focused district.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-11-2011, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,825,527 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by lz1982 View Post
My cousin just graduated from Newton South last year, so I did get to see a flier showing where all the kids were going to college. As you'd expect, there were a lot of great schools, including a number of kids going to the Ivies. One thing I found interesting was that only one kid was going straight to work! (A handful were undecided or taking gap years.) Goes to show that Newton is an extremely college-focused district.
Newton is a college-focused district but I suspect it would be a bit different at Newton North. Virtually all of the blue collar areas in the city feed into North.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top