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Old 07-12-2018, 01:15 PM
 
15,900 posts, read 11,734,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
Harvard and Bolton barely satisfy OPs requirements these days - you've got to spend $550k+ for anything resembling an 'estate' or having acreage. I'd add Lancaster and Sterling to that list given the schools are shared with Bolton and Princeton (in order) and OP's money goes a bit further, though I strong prefer Sterling (resident bias) as the town has a stronger commercial tax base and generally nicer housing stock.
None of those towns really have Main Streets, and lots tend to be large with little cohesiveness to the neighborhoods. But that's what confuses me about the OP, if you want a tighter kid friendly neighborhood you are generally looking at older and smaller lots (1/2 acre or less).
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:15 PM
 
5,806 posts, read 14,725,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
I try not to cast harsh judgements on an area, for one I have found that the true locals around there tend to be nice reasonable people for the most part (whatever way they might vote). Most of the attitude seems to come from the newer transplants, those who have been wooed by the area's political reputation or are involved in the local academia community. As to the latter, even a slight left but independent minded person is likely to feel uneasy around them. It truly is "Berkeley East".
You're right. There is a distinction between the natives to the area and the transplants. The far-left politics can tend to be an overwhelming presence, though, especially if you don't fully lean that way. As you point out, even your basic starry-eyed, idealistic young liberal might meet with hostility there, since the in-your-face far-left radicals are a rather loud and overbearing presence.

Of course the only reason to even bring this up is that the OP mentioned political preferences. Given what she said those are, I'm pretty sure that the Northampton-Amherst area would be a poor fit.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:26 PM
 
5,806 posts, read 14,725,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
Harvard and Bolton barely satisfy OPs requirements these days - you've got to spend $550k+ for anything resembling an 'estate' or having acreage. I'd add Lancaster and Sterling to that list given the schools are shared with Bolton and Princeton (in order) and OP's money goes a bit further, though I strong prefer Sterling (resident bias) as the town has a stronger commercial tax base and generally nicer housing stock.

None of those towns really have Main Streets, and lots tend to be large with little cohesiveness to the neighborhoods. But that's what confuses me about the OP, if you want a tighter kid friendly neighborhood you are generally looking at older and smaller lots (1/2 acre or less).
Massnative, I agree that < 1/2 acre might fit the classic picture of a real neighborhood feel, but it depends. I grew up in a neighborhood where the lots ran mostly about 3/4, with a few lots here and there of an acre-plus. That area was a neighborhood where kids hung out with other kids. Despite the relatively large lots, though, the area was set up as a real neighborhood, with one yard immediately abutting the next yard, then right into the next yard and so forth. No scattered lots with strips of woodland between them.

The point that towns like Harvard and Bolton come up short in the main streets department does bring up a difficulty in meeting the OP's needs. It seems that a lot of towns out in far Metro West, or Worcester County, have the large lots but not much in the way of a town center. Of course there's Concord, which has two decent commercial districts, but Concord is likely to be well outside the OP's budget.

That's another reason that it's helpful the way people have been suggesting towns outside of Greater Boston, and even in the northern New England states.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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Hey, we have 2 acres and our neighborhood is set up like a regular one. There's just fewer houses on the street.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:46 PM
 
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OK. I was just pointing out my knowledge of the Lancaster, Sterling, Bolton, Harvard area. They are pretty towns, and I actually consider them great places to raise kids. But if what you want is a street full of kids playing, I think that would be hard to find there. It's outer suburbia, with housewives shuttling their kids from activity to activity for the most part.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:14 AM
 
20,350 posts, read 11,915,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
Where will you work?

With a budget of only $425K you will be very limited in any areas in Eastern MA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
You might consider somewhere like Marion or Mattapoisett. Good schools, near the beach, reasonably affordable. It's not actually on the Cape, so you avoid some of the traffic and tourism problems (but not all). You may need to stretch your purchase budget a bit, but taxes will be lower so that might be possible.

Or west of there on the FarmCoast which is more rural. There's not much inventory at the moment but $425K will buy a house in South Dartmouth and Westport but it won't have much land in the semi-rural areas at that price point. Little Compton, RI, too. Tiverton. As soon as you can't commute to the high paying Boston jobs, prices drop as long as you're not competing with affluent vacation home buyers. Providence is commutable but doesn't have nearly the job market. Marion and Mattapoisett have superb elementary elementary schools but the regional middle and high schools are more socioeconomically mixed so you don't get the same ratings.



I've worked a lot that part of Long Island and have done the ferry a number of times so I know the area pretty well. You're never going to confuse any of that with Port Jefferson. You don't have the ginormous density of 5%ers to allow for vibrant coastal villages with all kinds of restaurant options. With nothing but the vacation home owners and the local professionals you'd find anywhere, you get a hand-full of those kinds of dining options, not 50 like in Port Jeff. Retail in the North Dartmouth Mall Hell is decidedly downmarket from western Suffolk County on the sound. There isn't that kind of affluence where the local cities are pretty much the 3rd world.


If you live remote from the high paying job market, you have to bring your job with you or have one of those jobs that pay well where you can do it anywhere.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:34 AM
 
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As GeoffD pointed out, if you wanted to stay near the water in MA, and near the cape but not in a really touristy area the Little Compton area in RI is beautiful, but rather rural as pointed out, Barrington fits the bill but budget may be iffy. With the exception of Fall River and New Bedford most of the south coast rt 195 area and North up to Lakeville, Freetown, Berkley fits the bill as small town feel, affordability, but you are giving up a walkable down town in most cases, and schools which are considered more on the "average" side. "Down Town" in most of these towns is a small stretch that is walk able, but not something you will spend hours walking around. With the exception of the bigger less desirable city's I feel this area has mostly a moderate political view. You certainly won't be run out of town because you aren't a liberal.

I grew up on the Southcoast of MA, and still enjoy living here. Providence is a hop skip and jump away, The cape is an easy 25-30 min drive to the bridge, and Boston can be reached in about an hour depending on traffic in my case. I also went to school on LI and still stay in touch with some roommates and visit every so often. There are very similar feels between W. Suffolk County (outside of Port Jefferson) and a lot of Bristol County MA/RI, IMO anyway.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:02 AM
 
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Uh... to be frank frankly I don't lean liberal or to the right. I've toured MIT and been to Amherst and Northampton dozens of times. I've never felt uncomfortable politically. It isn't a SF in your face argument. No one forced me to sign a petition or buy anything.

At the end of the day people want a place to live and work. I don't find these places that far to the left. What might changed is what used to be considered to the left has been generalized and frankly not that big of a deal. People are openly gay these days it isn't 1987. Marijuana isn't considered that big of a deal either. If anything these have become more of a selling commodity and have faded as a difference. Andrew Sullivan had an interesting article way back in '05 on this
https://newrepublic.com/article/6111...nd-gay-culture
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:37 AM
 
15,900 posts, read 11,734,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
Uh... to be frank frankly I don't lean liberal or to the right. I've toured MIT and been to Amherst and Northampton dozens of times. I've never felt uncomfortable politically. It isn't a SF in your face argument. No one forced me to sign a petition or buy anything.

At the end of the day people want a place to live and work. I don't find these places that far to the left. What might changed is what used to be considered to the left has been generalized and frankly not that big of a deal. People are openly gay these days it isn't 1987. Marijuana isn't considered that big of a deal either. If anything these have become more of a selling commodity and have faded as a difference. Andrew Sullivan had an interesting article way back in '05 on this
https://newrepublic.com/article/6111...nd-gay-culture

The thing is...if one chooses to fly a Gay Pride or BLM flag anywhere in the Happy Valley, I do not think they will run into any trouble. But let's be honest for a moment here...if one were to do the same with a MAGA or Don't Tread on Me flag, do you really think they would be met with same level open arms in their neighborhood?



I'm totally in favor of (civil) freedom of expression of any kind, but the hypocrisy coming from some of the left has hit new extremes IMHO.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:10 PM
 
1,044 posts, read 979,679 times
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I live in Northampton and I'm on the Left, but I like to think we'd be open to MAGA hats or Don't Tread flags, as part of the basic freedom values most of us hold. I know I would.
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