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Old 11-16-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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Hi

I need advice - We are moving Moving to Boston - Husband to work in Waltham, MA and I will work in the city need advice on burbs to live. We have two kids below 5 years. Here are my thoughts to live in

1. Wayland, MA - my commute to train station would be west natick or Lincoln
2. Sudsbury, MA same as above
3. Acton, MA - will take train to North Station and change to south Station

Cannot afford Lexington, Concord etc. Don't want to live in the NorthShore or South. Need advice on what is the commute like to Waltam for the following especially Acton to Waltham any thoughts.

Thanks
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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I can't really speak to what living in Arlington is like, but Wayland and Sudbury are really nice towns. The thing about Wayland and Sudbury is that they're highly suburban bordering on rural (at least for these parts). The real downside is that many of the locations in these two towns provide a less than ideal commute. The main roads in/out of these towns are small and quite congested during rush hour. Also, as you already pointed out, there is no public transportation option in either town.

Have you looked at Natick at all? What kind of budget are you looking to stay within?
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
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What's your budget and what size house/condo are you hoping to get with that budget? Considering the towns you've mentioned I think that you're looking for a low-density suburban place with good schools, but if you're willing to consider slightly higher density Arlington would be good from a commute standpoint. Belmont is an option, too, although prices are similar to Lexington/Concord so that may not be an option. Watertown is a possibility, Waltham itself is too, depending on how picky you are about school rankings.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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You can also take the train from Acton to Waltham (about a 30-minute ride) and to North Station (in about an hour I believe, but it would put you at North Station instead of South).

Wayland & Sudbury also have a lot to offer, including very highly ranked public schools, lots of open space, oodles of activities for kids & families, generous-sized home lots, plus plenty of shops & restaurants.

If you live in North Wayland, you can take the Lincoln train into North Station but then you'd have the same issue with switching stations. You could live in Wayland and take the train from Natick directly into South Station. I have a client who bought a home in Wayland and takes the train at Natick Center. It works out well, except that he needs to get dropped off at the train or walk because you can't park at the Natick station unless you live in town, which they didn't want to do because they weren't keen on the schools. I guess everything is a tradeoff! There are some areas of Wayland where you could probably easily get to the West Natick station, which you can park at as a nonresident, but the parking fills up pretty fast there so you'd want to get there fairly early.

You could pick a town like Southborough, which has highly rated schools (though it less going on in terms of shopping & restaurants than Sudbury or Wayland) & train service to South Station, but then your husband would be driving the Mass Pike to Rt 128 to get to Waltham and even though it's not a super long drive, it gets quite congested at rush hour. Someone else on the forum may be able to chime in with a better Southborough>Waltham routing though. I used to drive the Mass Pike to Rt 128 route & hated getting stuck at the tolls getting onto 128.

Enough of my rambling. I hope that's somewhat helpful! :-)
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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All three towns you have mentioned are good, but commute is not. I would say that all three towns are much better suited for someone who is commuting to Cambridge or Waltham, and not to Boston. To get to Boston from any of the three you will need well over hour, and in the winter and with delays (that are more common than people think) you can easily spend two hours commuting. That is not fun commute. Also if you need to switch the trains--not fun, you will lose lot of time. On top of this, there are fees to park at train stations (most of them). You will be better off living close to train without needing to drive miles and then discover that lot is full!
In my humble opinion you are better off looking closer in: Newton, Winchester, Watertown, Arlington, Waltham and possibly Reading which has an easy commute into the city and not so bad commute to Waltham (if rush hours can be avoided). If not, than stay in Natick, Southborough, Westborough, so you can park as a resident (there will be still fees associated--check mbta.com). Good luck!

Last edited by kingeorge; 11-17-2012 at 06:24 AM.. Reason: prose
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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Forgot to mention Burlington which could be interesting, easier to Waltham but not too bad for Boston as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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I'd second the vote for Newton if it's in your budget because you get a super easy commute & one of the top rated school systems in the state. You'd have a smaller home lot but it might be a good tradeoff. It really depends what type of community you prefer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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One thing South Acton has that is relatively unknown is the 7:08am (and 4:40pm outbound) super express train that takes 40 minutes to North Station. There is also the Yankee Line commuter bus that takes you from East Acton to Copley (via Concord Depot) in 45 minutes.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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What you "save" on the house you will be spending on cars, gas, insurance and commute. None of these things will be cheaper in the near future.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: New England
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Actually if your kids are under 5, you really don't need to be fussy about schools for several years. You might as well choose a place that suits you for other reasons and be willing to move in the future. I'd consider an inner suburb like Waltham or Watertown, or maybe the cheap side of Belmont (if there is one, ha ha) or Newton if you can swing it (but why pay for that fabulously expensive high school when your kids are a decade from using it?) Somewhere that offers easy commuting for both of you. Remember the time you spend getting to work and home again is time you'll never be paid for.
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