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Old 11-04-2007, 10:08 PM
 
32 posts, read 154,491 times
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I'm relocating to Hanscom AFB next year and I haven't decided whether my family and I will stay on base or buy. I've seen some homes with enough space for my family (wife, twins, and possible mother-in-law) in Pepperell, MA, but I'm not certain where it's located in relation to Hanscom, can anyone help me out with commute details from Pepperell to Hanscom? Also, please let me know if there are some other cities that are relatively close to the base that I should consder. Thanks
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:46 AM
 
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Pepperell is quite a haul from Hanscom. It's about30+ miles, and assuming you work normal business-type hours, you'll be in rush hour traffic with the rest of the mob (I go the other way from night shifts, and see everyone stacked up on Rt.2).
There are plenty of lovely towns near and beyond Hanscom, it's a question of price. Of course, the schools are generally less well regarded in the less expensive towns. (None are considered affordable unless you're coming from California or some other pricy place).
It's impossible to recommend a town without knowing your budget and what kind of housing you'd want. Maybe it would make sense, if available, to live on base until you get a better sense of the area and what you want. Home prices are getting soft, although they will never be "cheap," I just mean there's no rush. Good luck- Hanscom is in a very pretty area.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:24 AM
 
Location: In my mind
630 posts, read 2,068,677 times
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I currently work their and live in Bedford. I moved from CA so I didn't have sticker shock when looking for a place to live. It's my understanding that Bedford, Lexington, Carlisle and Concord are expensive, but to me they are not and the schools in these areas are stated to be good. So like the previous poster stated, cost is relative to were you are coming from. Where you live will depend upon your budget.

Best Wishes to you and your family on your relocation !!
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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Thanks Brightdoglover and MagicTouch. I'm coming from Alabama and as you can imagine--real estate is a lot cheaper here. I'm in the market for a relatively new (built no earlier than 2000) 4 bedroom/2.5 bath single family home with an attached garage and basement (finished would be nice) for around $400K. Is this a pipedream? Also, I've heard a number of folks who work on base live in Nausha, New Hampshire, any idea how far that is from the base? Also, I've heard, Chelmsford, Tewsbury, Billerica are nice areas--any thoughts on these places? I don't have a problem with a commute (I'll have to practice driving in the snow)--my first assignment was near Los Angeles and my assignment before this was Wash D.C. But, while I have adjusted to the commute, I didn't purchase homes in those areas so I never gave a lot of thought to home prices and what I've seen online for MA are some pretty heafty home prices. Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:09 AM
 
Location: In my mind
630 posts, read 2,068,677 times
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The homes for the most part are older homes, this is New England. I can't really give you any information on the housing prices except to say that they are cheaper than CA, but to most here they are expensive. A lot of people buy in Nausha, New Hamshire because it is cheaper and the drive (my understanding) is about 45 min. (this of course depends upon weather) depending upon the time of day. The areas you mentioned are nice areas, but again I don't know about home prices. I do know that Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle and Burlington are all nice places as well and have good schools. I have noticed that a lot of Military personnel live in my apartment complex in Bedford, MA. So you can live on base or rent off base in an area you think you might want to live to get a better feeling for the area.

I wish you and your family the best on your relocation to MA !!!

My son is in the AF and he and his family are relocating from Misawa Japan to Shaw AFB in SC. So I understand the relocation and the effort is takes.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:56 AM
 
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Chelmsford, Billerica, Bedford, Westford - all are easy commutes to Hanscom. My first choice would be Bedford, because it's a very nice town, has excellent schools, and the shortest commute. You will be able to find a house under 400,000 in Bedford - but don't expect a fancy new home. The further out you go, you will get more house for the money. I think you'll like Bedford a lot.

Billerica is also a good choice, with a good assortment of housing in your price range and an easy commute. The commute from Nashua is long and can be a headache, but the housing prices are lower in N.H. Best of luck!
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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I agree.... for $400K and new constructions, you will have to look in NH.

In any case, just do a advance search on realtor.com. You can find out how many houses are available base on your criteria.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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I agree that you would most likely find the house in your budget in southern New Hampshire. But so has everyone else on the planet- you can practically walk from Nashua into Massachusetts on the car roofs coming down from NH for normal business hours. Also, NH has quite high real estate taxes- it's really their only tax. I'd say Nashua is about 25 miles north as the crow flies, but you'll be moving from one jammed highway to another.
Chelmsford is a very nice town. I think you could get the house you describe there for $400K. There is also a nice old town center, historic houses, and so on. I believe the schools are well considered, more so than Tewksbury, and far more than Billerica. Billerica has some rough edges- nothing you'd consider similar to real city crime, but lower incomes and not such well regarded schools. At least that's what I hear- I don't have kids.
Hey, if you'd consider Chelmsford, consider Littleton. Great town, lots of kid-oriented things (I should know- I live here without kids). Schools are excellent, there's a lot of conservation land, working farms and stables, and it's about15 miles on Rt. 2 to Hanscom. A lot of the old farm town feeling, and people tend to grow up here and stay here. The town itself is almost 300 years old. It feels, to me, like prosperous blue collar, although of course there are many college graduates. Not snotty at all, and there are two beautiful lakes with public beaches. There are large straight-front colonials that are new, well over $500K, but I think you could find a less-large but still good-sized recent house in your budget.
Also consider looking at Acton- you can't beat it for a straight shot to Hanscom and great great schools. Not sure if you could find your house there, though.
I tend to look more west on Rt. 2 than north towards Billerica and all. I think it's less developed, more conservation land and farms saved. And who wouldn't get a thrill driving past Walden Pond every day, as you will if you live west on Rt.2?
Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Cary, North Carolina
88 posts, read 370,269 times
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An advantage to staying on base is that your kids can go to Bedford schools, which are very good.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:15 PM
 
32 posts, read 154,491 times
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Thanks everyone for your comments/suggestions. I've been on realtor.com and some other websites checking out homes, and there's definitely a range to choose from. Quick question---where is Worcester, Fitchburg, and Shirley MA in relation to Hanscom? There are a number of houses that fit my preferences (and price range) located in these towns---just not sure how far away they are from Hanscom. Also, if they are an hour away on a good day, what does that mean for traffic and bad weather---2 or 2.5 hrs?

Thanks
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