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Old 11-13-2007, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Metrowest
6 posts, read 54,081 times
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Hi,

We are looking to buy in Westborough, Southborough or Hopkinton in the next few months. Any strong opinions in which of these towns you recommend? We want a big neighborhood and reasonably priced house - not new construction/mcmansion. All seem to have great school systems and I have a few initial thoughts, below, and would like more info from those of you with first hand knowledge....thanks for any and all advice!

Westborough: Cute town center, good addition with Roche Bros plaza, like the Western side of town, maybe a large rental community? More houses in the "reasonable" range (though older) than the other two towns.

Hopkinton: Seems very community focused, good schools, cute town center, maybe not too many big neighborhoods that aren't new construction though we've seen a few we like.

Southborough: Not too familiar with town center, good schools...not sure how many family friendly neighborhoods there are that aren't new construction?
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:09 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,489,328 times
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If you don't mind my asking, what price range are you looking at? I've lived in all three and can recommend some good neighborhoods but it varies a lot by price.

Also, where will you be working? If you have to get through downtown Westboro, just a word of caution that the traffic at the center can get heavily congested in the morning and it's only going to get worse when that new development goes in. There's definately a larger rental community in Westboro. Two nice complexes are Avalon and Windsor Ridge, with Avalon being newer.

My favorite of the three is Southboro but that's just me. (The town center is very small. If you blinked, you missed it. It's very pretty though - two prestigious private schools, a golf course, community center, library, and two churches. Then one block down is a convenience store, coffee shop, dry cleaners, TWO barber shops (don't ask me why!), a florist, and a pizza place.

There are tons of McMansions in Hopkinton but also some nice neighborhoods as well.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Metrowest
6 posts, read 54,081 times
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Thanks for the quick reply! Ideally under 510k. I know this isn't that easy in these towns, but we're willing to do some cosmetic work, just want good space with "good bones". My husband takes the commuter rail into the city and I need to head East on Rt. 9/Pike Eastbound.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:29 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,489,328 times
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Sure thing, glad to share some local knowledge! :-)

Here's my two cents on neighborhoods to check out:

Southboro:
Flagg Rd and streets off of it are very pretty (Red Gate Lane, Blackthorne, etc). Bantry is also a nice neighborhood, though there is some highway noise if you’re down at the far end of the street. You can find some homes in the 400s and 500s there.

Westboro:
On the west side, check out Old Colony Dr, Westminster Dr, and the streets off of Wheeler Road (Armstrong Rd, Denfield, etc). Also, Kay St is pretty. These are in the high 300s to high 400s+

For larger homes, Wayside Road is very pretty. The homes were built about 20+ years ago though so some of them might be a little dated looking inside. Usually priced in the 500s.

On the east side of town, you can find reasonably priced homes on Lyons St/Crestview Dr/Hillcrest Rd. However, parts of Crestview have highway noise. Prices in the 300s or low 400s.

Also on the east side of town, there’s a nice neighborhood off of Flanders Road (streets are Nottingham, Longmeadow, and Hundreds Rd). Homes in the high 400s to high 500s.

Hopkinton:
Charlesview Estates is my favorite neighborhood in Hopkinton. Pretty tree lined streets with attractive homes that don’t all look cookie cutter. Walking distance to schools and EMC Park. Homes there are mostly in the 500s.

I’d stay away from the Lake Maspenock area. The Lake Whitehall area is very pretty, although it's mostly larger, more expensive homes. (The latter is a nice place to hike or kayak but probably too weedy to swim in.)

In terms of commuter rail access, if you live on the east side of Westboro it's way easier to get to the Southboro Commuter Rail station than it is to get to the Westboro station. (From Rt 30 in Westboro, head up Flanders Rd. At the end, take a right to continue on Flanders Rd and eventually you'll get to the Southboro train station).

Please feel free to PM me if you have other questions. :-)
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:44 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,489,328 times
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Re: which town is best, I think it depends a lot on what you're looking for. I personally like a small town feel but good access to everything and really enjoyed that about Southboro and liked the fact that the town seems to care about preserving open space to some extent, whereas that doesn't always seem to be such a priority for Hopkinton or Westboro. That perhaps is an overgeneralization but I felt like Westboro got overbuilt and now Hopkinton is too. They both still have really nice aspects to them though. I love some of the neighborhoods in Westboro but don't prefer a town where most of the stores and restaurants are chains. In Hopkinton there are still some nice little mom and pop establishments downtown. Hitchins Hardware is the tiniest little place but I still go there over Home Depot and remarkably almost always find what I need. Hopkinton Gourmet is run by a super nice guy who always remembers my name and asks about my work when I come in the door. The grocery store is family owned. It doesn't have the best produce but it has a decent variety of other things, including beer & wine. In terms of getting to the commuter rail, you can easily hop on the Southboro or Ashland train, it just depends on where in town you live. If you live past Rt 495 (toward the Milford/Upton side of Hopkinton) getting to the station might be more hassle than it's worth. I did this briefly but by the time I got through downtown I'd already spent a good 20+ minutes in the car.

In short, all three have good schools & plenty of nice neighborhoods. I think Southboro has more of a bucolic feel coupled with great highway and train access. However, not much shopping right in town. Westboro has plenty of big box stores and nice homes but feels a bit crowded sometimes. Hopkinton is growing like crazy but still retains some of its nice feel. All three have lots of community activities and sports, things for kids to do, newcomers clubs, etc.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Metrowest
6 posts, read 54,081 times
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scarletfire - THANK YOU for all the great information! I was laughing at your recommendations because you pinpointed many of the neighborhoods we have been looking at. Charlesview Estates in Hopkinton is our favorite and are waiting for some new houses to come on, hopefully this winter or early spring. We saw one on Old Colony in Westborough last week and I loved the neighborhood and the close proximity to town, but we didn't love the layout of the house/some space issues. And we've been meaning to go see one on Bantry Rd in Southborough, just have been busy. Anyway, great suggestions and I appreciate all the thoughts you've provided. Have a great night!
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:20 PM
 
967 posts, read 4,489,328 times
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Thanks Eagles08. That's so funny! Nice to see I'm not the only one who likes neighborhoods that aren't cookie cutter! I have friends who've lived in Charlesview Estates for years. It's such a pretty area and definately worth waiting for the right house there. The good ones tend to get snapped up pretty quickly in that neighborhood, even in this market. Three of them sold this summer, each one in less than two weeks.

Actually, there was one nice house in that neighborhood that was on the market but didn't sell. They had an unusual decor issue and I think it turned people off. It was too bad. It's a pretty house except for having a somewhat dated white kitchen but sometimes I think it's hard for people to look past that. I don't know if they're putting it back on the market or not. Maybe they took it off til the market picks up.

I know the house you mean on Old Colony. I don't like the layout of that house either. It's a bit unusual inside compared with some of the others in that neighborhood. I love that area.

Anyhow, have fun exploring!
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 9,959,264 times
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Wait.... Are we talking about towns or neighborhoods?

It sounded like you put more weight on neighborhood than town. Nothing wrong with that. In life, we often have to pick and choose. Why can't we have the cake and eat it too?

Just curious as to what is important to you.
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:44 PM
 
22 posts, read 109,127 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletfire View Post
Sure thing, glad to share some local knowledge! :-)

Here's my two cents on neighborhoods to check out:

Southboro:
Flagg Rd and streets off of it are very pretty (Red Gate Lane, Blackthorne, etc). Bantry is also a nice neighborhood, though there is some highway noise if you’re down at the far end of the street. You can find some homes in the 400s and 500s there.

Westboro:
On the west side, check out Old Colony Dr, Westminster Dr, and the streets off of Wheeler Road (Armstrong Rd, Denfield, etc). Also, Kay St is pretty. These are in the high 300s to high 400s+

For larger homes, Wayside Road is very pretty. The homes were built about 20+ years ago though so some of them might be a little dated looking inside. Usually priced in the 500s.

On the east side of town, you can find reasonably priced homes on Lyons St/Crestview Dr/Hillcrest Rd. However, parts of Crestview have highway noise. Prices in the 300s or low 400s.

Also on the east side of town, there’s a nice neighborhood off of Flanders Road (streets are Nottingham, Longmeadow, and Hundreds Rd). Homes in the high 400s to high 500s.

Hopkinton:
Charlesview Estates is my favorite neighborhood in Hopkinton. Pretty tree lined streets with attractive homes that don’t all look cookie cutter. Walking distance to schools and EMC Park. Homes there are mostly in the 500s.

I’d stay away from the Lake Maspenock area. The Lake Whitehall area is very pretty, although it's mostly larger, more expensive homes. (The latter is a nice place to hike or kayak but probably too weedy to swim in.)

In terms of commuter rail access, if you live on the east side of Westboro it's way easier to get to the Southboro Commuter Rail station than it is to get to the Westboro station. (From Rt 30 in Westboro, head up Flanders Rd. At the end, take a right to continue on Flanders Rd and eventually you'll get to the Southboro train station).

Please feel free to PM me if you have other questions. :-)
Just curious why you would suggest staying away from Lake Maspenock area? I have friends in the area and I love visiting them there.
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