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Old 10-14-2015, 01:56 PM
 
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My husband is taking a new job in Framingham next summer and--after years in cities (small and large)--we're ready to settle in the 'burbs. I grew up in Carlisle, which was lovely, and am looking for something similar in terms of the people (down-to-earth, educated) but with a little more social life (restaurants, newcomers groups, etc). I know--tall order--this is more of a Disney town I'm building in my mind. If it helps, we're in our mid-thirties, both professionals, no kids (but planning on soon).

Specifically, would like a town:
-no more than 30 minutes from Framingham (job--he will be on call) AND no more than 30-40 from Carlisle (family)
-with good restaurant choices (non-chain preferred) and grocery stores if possible
-good schools (don't have to be top five, though, also don't want pressure-cooker atmosphere)
-close-knit community of down-to-earth, educated professionals (I know--impossible to find as a monolith) who are socially active (e.g., book clubs, dads nights out, that type of thing)
-with a somewhat bucolic/suburban feel, preferably with a New England-y walkable town center (aesthetically, I love Wellesley--has that nature/convenience balance--but worried about the snob/pressure factor that I hear about--happy to be told I'm wrong)
-older/interesting housing stock in $700-800K range (don't want big--prefer quality of home over size; love Capes especially)

Ideas include Sudbury, Wayland, and Concord. Any input on those towns, especially in terms of the community?

Any other ideas? Again, would prefer not to go much south or west Framingham, which I basically think leaves Acton (which I don't love--too spread out for my taste), Bolton and Harvard (too quiet, I think)--any others I'm missing?

Thanks so much!

Last edited by ladyinma; 10-14-2015 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Personally, I think Sudbury checks all the boxes for you and you can get a nice house in your budget there. I think you're going to find that Wayland will not have enough shopping/restaurants for your taste and Concord to Framingham is a bit of an awkward commute.

Towns that you haven't mentioned but might want to consider . . .

Needham - kind of like a small Wellesley with more of a "small town" feel to it
Westwood - no town center but thanks to University Station there is now plenty of shops/restaurants within town borders
South Natick - specifically in the south part of town you'll find larger lots and the more Carlisle-like feel you want

Some of these towns may add a few minutes to your drive back to Carlisle but honestly unless your parents are driving to your house daily to provide child care for you I wouldn't place too much of a premium on those few minutes. It's more important that you find a town and house that are a good fit for you.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:32 PM
 
Location: 42°22'55.2"N 71°24'46.8"W
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I think West Concord checks all of your boxes except the commute. It might be 30 min to Framingham on a perfect low-traffic morning, but he should probably budget for ~40 min most days depending on where he's going. It already takes me 25-30 min to get to Rt-9 Natick (at Rt-27) in the morning from Sudbury. If he can compromise on that, then West Concord is probably your best bet.

If he really needs it to be no more than 30 min then Sudbury/Wayland are your best bets. Neither has the dining scene or developed town centers that Concord, but Sudbury seems to have more local establishments and Wayland has more big box stores. Your money will go further in Sudbury since it's further out from Boston/Cambridge. I wouldn't consider the schools to be pressure cooker. For example we don't teach to the test like most towns do (that probably explains our poor MCAS scores relative to our peer towns). I think the snob factor depends on which crowd you run with. There are plenty of snobs in town who grew up in Weston, Belmont, Wellesley, but moved to Sudbury because they couldn't afford to move back to their home town I've also met a surprisingly large number of townies since I moved here. Your social circle is what you make of it - you just need to find the right people.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:05 PM
 
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Thanks--great advice, both. Should have explained he'll be right on 495, closer to Marlboro/Southboro line, so West Concord could work well, as could most of these other options if we pushed to 40 minutes (which I think is doable, depending on his call schedule). Have been hearing such great things about Needham recently (with the commensurate price increases). Will look into it and other towns listed--thanks.

Great info on LS/the Sudbury schools. I went to CCHS and the philosophy was similar (no teaching to test); was very happy with education I received. And funny about Sudbury and the "W" town-born folk. Agreed that any town is ultimately what you make of it. Just want something to work with, if that makes sense. Sounds like these towns have that, though.

And good advice, Mike, on choosing the best town over a town close to parents. I guess I worry most about the next stage of life (for them) and being close enough--but 30-40 minutes (or so) should be fine.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
Thanks--great advice, both. Should have explained he'll be right on 495, closer to Marlboro/Southboro line, so West Concord could work well, as could most of these other options if we pushed to 40 minutes (which I think is doable, depending on his call schedule). Have been hearing such great things about Needham recently (with the commensurate price increases). Will look into it and other towns listed--thanks.
If large lots are your thing then you're not going to love Needham. This being said, I've always felt the more dense housing creates a more social environment. I really like living in Needham personally but not every town is going to appeal to everyone. Natick has a lot to offer as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
And funny about Sudbury and the "W" town-born folk. Agreed that any town is ultimately what you make of it. Just want something to work with, if that makes sense. Sounds like these towns have that, though.
These are all pretty affluent towns. You're bound to come across some percentage of obnoxious folks no matter what town they grew up in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
And good advice, Mike, on choosing the best town over a town close to parents. I guess I worry most about the next stage of life (for them) and being close enough--but 30-40 minutes (or so) should be fine.
The way I look at it . . . you're commuting 5 days a week (maybe more depending on the job). You probably go visit your parents once a week.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:18 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
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If his job is off 495 in the Southboro/Marlboro area (not Framingham), then there are a whole host of communities that you could choose from and still be 30 minutes to work and 30-40 minutes from Carlisle. Honestly, every town from Westborough to Littleton could be in play.

Where do you have to commute to?
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-no more than 30 minutes from Framingham (job--he will be on call) AND no more than 30-40 from Carlisle (family)
Sudbury, closest to destination and more ways to get here to there


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-with good restaurant choices (non-chain preferred) and grocery stores if possible
For restaurants, Concord, especially Center

Non-chain grocers, Concord has Crosby's with everything you'd need. Verrill farm for produce, fun family events and gourmet goodies is in Concord, not far from parts of Wayland. And there is an independent organic grocery store in West Concord, Debra's. Debra's also has many store events. Donelan's is a small local grocery chain located both in Lincoln Center, close to Concord and Wayland, and in Cochituate center Wayland. The Wayland location is smaller. The Lincoln location is bigger and more updated. Donelan's carries many independent lines of products, such as gluten free bakery that the big box grocers do not.

Major grocery stores, Sudbury wins, with 2 major ones, nearly across the street from one another, a Shaw's and a Roche Brothers (Sudbury Farms). There is also a shiny new Stop & Shop in the new Wayland development, a few miles down the same road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-good schools (don't have to be top five, though, also don't want pressure-cooker atmosphere)
All three


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-close-knit community of down-to-earth, educated professionals (I know--impossible to find as a monolith) who are socially active (e.g., book clubs, dads nights out, that type of thing)
I find Concord a bit pedantic to qualify as down-to-earth.

Sudbury or Wayland, depending on what you prefer. Sudbury is more of a mix of corporate and entrepreneurial. Wayland is more arty and eco-conscious and small town.

Sudbury may have more active social clubs and community groups than the other 2.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-with a somewhat bucolic/suburban feel, preferably with a New England-y walkable town center (aesthetically, I love Wellesley--has that nature/convenience balance--but worried about the snob/pressure factor that I hear about--happy to be told I'm wrong)
Concord, especially the center


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyinma View Post
-older/interesting housing stock in $700-800K range (don't want big--prefer quality of home over size; love Capes especially)
All three have beautiful neighborhoods.

Wayland and West Concord have more Cape style homes and cottages. West Concord also has a lot of plain farm turn-of-the century houses mixed in with Victorians.

Some of the most beautiful streets I've been through are in Sudbury. More elegant historic style homes, on streets like Old Lancaster Road and most of the streets north of Route 20.

I'd give the nod to Sudbury on this one too.


More similar to Carlisle
Bonus point, Wayland, same small town feel and look


I think you could be happy in any of these towns depending on what your top priorities are.

Last edited by 495neighbor; 10-16-2015 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:36 PM
 
32 posts, read 111,010 times
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Thanks much, all. A lot of helpful thoughts in these posts to chew on. I'll like be working from home, to answer the question posed, which helps.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:12 PM
 
3,808 posts, read 3,137,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
I find Concord a bit pedantic to qualify as down-to-earth.
Quoted for relevance. Really ... nail-on-head

I prefer Sudbury myself, largely because it has more diverse/interesting housing stock
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:31 PM
 
32 posts, read 111,010 times
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I prefer Sudbury myself, largely because it has more diverse/interesting housing stock

Interesting! So far I've found Sudbury currently available housing stock to be somewhat sterile--lots of newer development and 70s (not a fan of ranches or split-levels)/80s neighborhoods where all the houses are only slight variations on each other. Concord's homes seem more interesting to me (range of older homes, lots of housing diversity even within neighborhoods--though depends on what area of Concord) but kind of untouchable, price-wise. . .

Last edited by ladyinma; 10-16-2015 at 04:04 PM..
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