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Old 06-12-2018, 11:34 PM
 
295 posts, read 265,612 times
Reputation: 260

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Original poster asked

Relocating from Chicago to Boston in the coming months. Will be working downtown in the Back Bay area and want a location that has a train commute option (which appears to limit me to west and southwest suburbs if I want a straightforward commute) .

Poster did not mention specifically she/he was looking for a 2 mil home but just said the budget was so.

So Sharon makes some sense since it’s got the schools and the express train to Back bay the poster asked for but would probably not be a good fit due to the lack of selection of million dollar homes. The housing stock there is probably more for people who want to spend 400-800k. Newton would probably be the better option since it meets all three criteria, assuming the 2 million was even a criteria in the first place. I still like Westwood as well. plenty of million dollar homes there.

The “Makes no sense” towns should probably be reserved for the others posts recommending Lynnfield, Concord, Lexington, Andover, etc. At least for Lynnfield and Lexington, NO train access at all and other places that would be a 1+ Hour commute each way. Definitely not straightforward commutes.

Last edited by Steephill2; 06-13-2018 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:53 PM
 
Location: New England
2,190 posts, read 1,755,920 times
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The OP wrote if you could pick any suburb. Because of that people just spat out their favorite towns, and didn't nessicarly take into account the OPs situation.

Really it all depends on what the OP wants. For some people the ideal place to live would be a rural feeling place like Dover. For some the ideal is a place like Brookline. Everyone has different needs/wants, there isin't really a suburb that's the best. Just ones that are good for different people.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:54 AM
 
188 posts, read 229,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
The OP wrote if you could pick any suburb. Because of that people just spat out their favorite towns, and didn't nessicarly take into account the OPs situation.

Really it all depends on what the OP wants. For some people the ideal place to live would be a rural feeling place like Dover. For some the ideal is a place like Brookline. Everyone has different needs/wants, there isin't really a suburb that's the best. Just ones that are good for different people.
I think this is exactly right. The title of the thread was "If you could choose any suburb, which one..."
I also agree that there is no really such a thing like "the best suburb".
I also just wanted to make sure that people out of state realize that not everybody here dream about having a house in Newton or Brookline... or Newton or Brookline is what everybody would do if they had $2M for a house.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:17 AM
 
3,713 posts, read 2,230,278 times
Reputation: 3151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steephill2 View Post
Original poster asked

Relocating from Chicago to Boston in the coming months. Will be working downtown in the Back Bay area and want a location that has a train commute option (which appears to limit me to west and southwest suburbs if I want a straightforward commute) .

Poster did not mention specifically she/he was looking for a 2 mil home but just said the budget was so.

So Sharon makes some sense since
No it doesn't. They're coming from Hinsdale. Unless they disliked that feel, which would be surprising considering they purchased a home there, Sharon is going to be a bit of a culture shock. Though the proximity to the city is similar, Sharon is far more rural-suburban. Hinsdale, as it relates to Mass, is much more of an affluent inner ring suburb in feel, with integrated suburbs, walkable downtown, parks and schools within the neighborhoods.

Winchester would probably be the most similar in size, look, and feel. Belmont too, though Waverly is much more urban than Hinsdale. Newton is significantly bigger, but individual villages will mirror a community like Hinsdale. If Lexington was an easier commute/commuter rail, that would also be a very nice comparison to Hinsdale.

So, if the OP wants a huge change- more house, more land, less neighbors, less walkability- then Sharon could be a reasonable option. Otherwise, they have a good list from other suggestions on this thread: Newton, Winchester, Belmont, Needham, Wellesley.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:19 AM
 
295 posts, read 265,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
No it doesn't. They're coming from Hinsdale. Unless they disliked that feel, which would be surprising considering they purchased a home there, Sharon is going to be a bit of a culture shock. Though the proximity to the city is similar, Sharon is far more rural-suburban. Hinsdale, as it relates to Mass, is much more of an affluent inner ring suburb in feel, with integrated suburbs, walkable downtown, parks and schools within the neighborhoods.

Winchester would probably be the most similar in size, look, and feel. Belmont too, though Waverly is much more urban than Hinsdale. Newton is significantly bigger, but individual villages will mirror a community like Hinsdale. If Lexington was an easier commute/commuter rail, that would also be a very nice comparison to Hinsdale.

So, if the OP wants a huge change- more house, more land, less neighbors, less walkability- then Sharon could be a reasonable option. Otherwise, they have a good list from other suggestions on this thread: Newton, Winchester, Belmont, Needham, Wellesley.
If the original poster said “I want a place exactly like wherever I am from and nothing else matters” as the first thing in original post then you would be right. I just went by the original post and the concerns expressed there, especially in regards easy train(not subway) access to back bay since that was the first thing mentioned. Anytime someone mentions things first, probably pretty important to them.

I do admit I did not read through all the posts here so there might have been a followup stating such, but I assume if it was important it would have been mentioned initially. I also do not believe Sharons a good fit either but in this state its tough to get all the things you want in terms of the perfect house/price/commute, etc. $2 m gets you a lot less in Boston area vs Chicago.

Last edited by Steephill2; 06-13-2018 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:20 AM
 
295 posts, read 265,612 times
Reputation: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS-GR View Post
I think this is exactly right. The title of the thread was "If you could choose any suburb, which one..."
I also agree that there is no really such a thing like "the best suburb".
I also just wanted to make sure that people out of state realize that not everybody here dream about having a house in Newton or Brookline... or Newton or Brookline is what everybody would do if they had $2M for a house.
When I first read the subject line, I thought it was a generic question too, but after reading the post, it sounded like the original poster wanted advice on certain suburbs because she/he provided criteria.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:37 AM
 
3,713 posts, read 2,230,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steephill2 View Post
$2 m gets you a lot less in Boston area vs Chicago.
The barrier of entry is certainly higher in Greater Boston.

But in the upscale western/north shore suburbs of Chicago, the prices are very similar. The cost in, say Winchester, won't be vastly different than the prices the OP is used to seeing in Hinsdale.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
7,440 posts, read 11,581,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I've found it depends more on who did the work. If it's somebody they've inspected hundreds of times and it always meets code, the inspection is a 5 minute social call where they don't actually inspect anything. If it's somebody from out of town they don't know, they're fussy. If it's a DIY and they don't know the owner, they're really strict. Basic human nature.
There is certainly that factor. I would say there's also a bit of an "old boys network" to it as well. If the inspector went to high school with the contractor you can bet their work is going to get a cursory look and likely some things will not get caught that should have been.

There's also the other side of that coin. If a building inspector doesn't like you, you can bet they're going to be tougher on you. I've spoken to some contractors that do flips and some of the inspectors have required that they do things that go above and beyond the code like replace an older HVAC system that functions perfectly or use a larger joist on a deck than the code requires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steephill2 View Post
Original poster asked

Relocating from Chicago to Boston in the coming months. Will be working downtown in the Back Bay area and want a location that has a train commute option (which appears to limit me to west and southwest suburbs if I want a straightforward commute) .

Poster did not mention specifically she/he was looking for a 2 mil home but just said the budget was so.

So Sharon makes some sense since it’s got the schools and the express train to Back bay the poster asked for but would probably not be a good fit due to the lack of selection of million dollar homes. The housing stock there is probably more for people who want to spend 400-800k. Newton would probably be the better option since it meets all three criteria, assuming the 2 million was even a criteria in the first place. I still like Westwood as well. plenty of million dollar homes there.

The “Makes no sense” towns should probably be reserved for the others posts recommending Lynnfield, Concord, Lexington, Andover, etc. At least for Lynnfield and Lexington, NO train access at all and other places that would be a 1+ Hour commute each way. Definitely not straightforward commutes.
Granted, the original post lacked detail. However, there were some minor clues in there. For example, it would have been great to know what kind of a house the OP had in mind. Would they be happy in a 2,000 sq ft cape or do they want a 6,000 sq ft brand new colonial? They mentioned they would prefer newer which leads me to believe they would probably like a house of at least 2500 to 3000 sq ft. and a colonial. They also mention they currently have a 1/3 acre lot but would go smaller. This would lead me to believe they don't place a priority on the larger lots a town like Sharon would offer. They also said commute is important. Sharon obviously has a great train stop. However, it only has 1 and driving into Boston is not a great option from there.

So, Sharon makes some sense. However, if you look at the original post closely I would guess the town would not be at the top of the list even though it is a lovely place to live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
The barrier of entry is certainly higher in Greater Boston.

But in the upscale western/north shore suburbs of Chicago, the prices are very similar. The cost in, say Winchester, won't be vastly different than the prices the OP is used to seeing in Hinsdale.
I've had some clients in recent years move here from the North Shore of Chicago. Mostly from Highland Park and it seemed to me that prices are somewhat lower there. The price gap is not the same as you would see in Dallas for example. However, a house in Highland Park would likely be several hundred thousand cheaper than a comparable house in Needham and even cheaper than a comparable house in Wellesley or Newton or Brookline.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:54 AM
 
3,713 posts, read 2,230,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePRU View Post
I've had some clients in recent years move here from the North Shore of Chicago. Mostly from Highland Park and it seemed to me that prices are somewhat lower there. The price gap is not the same as you would see in Dallas for example. However, a house in Highland Park would likely be several hundred thousand cheaper than a comparable house in Needham and even cheaper than a comparable house in Wellesley or Newton or Brookline.
We moved here from the north shore of Chicago. There are a lot lot lot more towns there, which dilutes the comparison.

Highland Park is a great example of lower barrier of entry. Yes, you'll see some homes >$2M, but you can also find plenty of homes <$600k. That said, Highland Park would be much more similar to Marblehead or Andover. Maybe even Newburyport. Certainly not Needham.

Needham would be Hinsdale. Again, Hinsdale will be a bit lower for barrier of entry, but the cost becomes more similar as you move up sq.ft. Glenview would be similar to Andover. Northbrook would be similar to Reading or Lynnfield. Winnetka would be similar to Manchester or Cohasset.

So, because the OP is moving from Hinsdale, I don't expect them to see huge sticker shock. What will be a tad shocking? The shape of the house for the same price point.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:55 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,984 posts, read 2,758,004 times
Reputation: 6121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
The OP wrote if you could pick any suburb. Because of that people just spat out their favorite towns, and didn't nessicarly take into account the OPs situation.

Really it all depends on what the OP wants. For some people the ideal place to live would be a rural feeling place like Dover. For some the ideal is a place like Brookline. Everyone has different needs/wants, there isin't really a suburb that's the best. Just ones that are good for different people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS-GR View Post
I think this is exactly right. The title of the thread was "If you could choose any suburb, which one..."
I also agree that there is no really such a thing like "the best suburb".
I also just wanted to make sure that people out of state realize that not everybody here dream about having a house in Newton or Brookline... or Newton or Brookline is what everybody would do if they had $2M for a house.
But the post was "which would you pick" and then gave certain parameters of OP's situation. I took that to mean which one would I pick if those factors were also present for me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steephill2 View Post
. $2 m gets you a lot less in Boston area vs Chicago.
Not as much less as you might think. Also, property taxes are higher in Illinois.
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