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Old 02-12-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,670 posts, read 3,426,799 times
Reputation: 17049

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We currently live in Townsend but are looking to move to a much less rural area in eastern Mass. What we are looking for is a town/city that is affordable, has decent schools and an ok public transportation system.
Let me clarify these requirements.
1)affordable to me would be something in the $1400 range for 2+ bedrooms.
2)decent schools would be a school system where I can feel safe and confident that my 5 year old with aspergers would get the help he needs.
3)after living out here in the country any public transportion would be great.

Some of the towns we think, but are not sure, might work for us are Arlington, Belmont maybe a Melrose or Wakefield. My husband works mainly in the Boston/Cambridge area but not always. It would be nice if he spent less time commuting.
Also we have looked at Shrewsbury. It is out of the loop since I wanted to move back to eastern Mass but it does seem to have everything else I wanted.
We used to live in Lowell. I did like living there and feel it gets a bad rap for what it is really like. But and it is a big one I am not sure I would feel comfortable sending a child with aspergers to school there.
Any help, suggestions or advice would be so wonderful. I am driving myself crazy trying to figure this out!
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:58 AM
 
1,039 posts, read 3,441,271 times
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I would look around Waverley Square in Belmont. On your budget, you would have to diligently search to find a unit in a double/triple decker, but you would have access to one of the best school districts, commuter rail that will get your husband to Porter, and a bus that goes to Harvard. You would have to deal with the "wrong side of the tracks" syndrome that's so prominent in Belmont, but who gives a crap. I would just smile and think to myself, "Thanks for funding a huge chunk of my child's education!"
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,670 posts, read 3,426,799 times
Reputation: 17049
Thanks. We are hoping for an apartment maybe in a two family but as long as it's a safe and kid friendly area it will work.
And you're right I honestly don't care about others attitude as long as my son gets what he needs.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:37 PM
 
87 posts, read 212,703 times
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Although the “wrong side” of the tracks does not affect constant influx of population into the area. Since you need specific services you should probably go here http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bseac/ and join the group. Ask your questions regarding the transition and you might get some good advice on which school is a better fit for your child.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:46 PM
 
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Dunno about the special ed services anywhere, but I think OP could find something suitable in Arlington- well located for getting into and out of town, great public transport, safe area, family friendly.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,670 posts, read 3,426,799 times
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Thanks. Arlington is first on my list right now. If anyone has any experience with services for children on the autistic spectrum in their school system I would love to hear about it.
We can up our rent budget a little, maybe to 1600ish, but would prefer not to. It's crazy what rent is. My husband makes in the low 90s and we have a hard time. I can't imagine how others manage.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Beverly, Mass
940 posts, read 1,926,926 times
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Not sure about special education in Melrose, but Oak Grove Village apartments are right next to Oak Grove T station, and come with a pool and lots of amenities.

As far as schools, my son went to the Hoover school, which is considered the best in Melrose, rated 9 on Greatschools. Don't let the old building fool you. Since it's old and has small capacity, there are only two classes per grade, so it makes for a small community feel, and all the staff knew my son by name. One class in each grade had two teachers for small group instruction. Principal was very involved to the point of greeting each student outside with an umbrella on a rainy day, and walking them to the entrance, and coordinated drop-off traffic each morning. Of course, there were lots of events and celebrations. Plus, there was a school garden, which students use for educational reasons, and also for cafeteria food. Melrose doesn't have school buses, because it's such a small town, so almost everyone can walk to school, but there was a morning program for $3 a day at the school library, and after-school program.

For those with pre-school age kids, there is a separate pre-school building, and a free family network with playgroups and classes for kids.

Plus, Mount Hood golf course has the best sledding hill around packed with kids in the winter and a frozen pond for hockey players (not this winter, though), and a community clubhouse where they have winter family events with hot chocolate and entertainment.

The commons playground is the biggest in town, and is full with used ride-on toys, scooters and bikes, and was my kids favorite.

If you are looking for nature and trails, there is Saugus Breakheart Reseration and Middlesex Fells Reservation with boating available, and Stoneham Zoo right next to it.

In the summer playgrounds are staffed with recreation staff and sports equipment.

I am pretty sure you would love Melrose, it's a great town, and beats most towns for commute options, not to mention a great downtown with restaurants, stores and coffee shops.

The only downside is older walkable town with sidewalks means smaller lots and older houses with smaller bedrooms and little closet space, which means not a lot of room for my growing boys to play football.

Last edited by konfetka; 02-17-2012 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,670 posts, read 3,426,799 times
Reputation: 17049
Thanks. Melrose does sound nice. It's good to hear first hand reports, you just can't get a true feel from reading stats online.
Something you mention reminded me that being a walkable city is very important to me. I do not drive.
My husband is dead set against apartment complexes. I have seen some 2 families in Melrose in our budget though.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Beverly, Mass
940 posts, read 1,926,926 times
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Good luck with Melrose!

Some other thoughts, Main st. shuts down to traffic a few times a year for community events, like Victorian festival, Downtown trick-or-treat and Memorial day parade, which are a lot of fun for kids.

That's the difference with Wakefield, which is more suburban, but you can still go there for the lake.
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