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Old 06-04-2019, 11:26 AM
 
601 posts, read 346,375 times
Reputation: 218

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Is it just me or in general is Burlington more desirable than Acton nowadays? Was this true 20-30 years ago or is this a recent phenomenon?

Acton
pros:
  • school

cons:
  • further from boston & 128.
  • limited shopping and restaurants
  • terrible tax rate. One of the worst in MA.


Burlington

pros:
  • one of the BEST tax rates in MA
  • closer to boston
  • excellent proximity 128
  • lots of shopping & food options
cons:
  • school isn't top tier like Acton but still solid
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:24 PM
 
479 posts, read 230,460 times
Reputation: 569
Chances are your kid won't join MS-13 in either school district.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:38 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,321 posts, read 5,971,993 times
Reputation: 3109
It really depends on what you are after. I have colleagues who live in both communities. Depending on your commute, Burlington may or may not be desirable. A lot of people in Acton take the commuter rail, getting off at the Red Line at Porter to go in to Cambridge or go all the way in to North Station. Burlington does not have a similar rail option.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Woburn, MA / W. Hartford, CT
2,940 posts, read 2,971,668 times
Reputation: 1700
This is obviously reflecting personal preferences, but Acton just seems too rural and "in the boonies" for me. If you're not interested in feeling like you're part of the Boston ecosystem (dining / events in Cambridge, Somerville, Boston) then Acton is probably fine.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:54 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
Reputation: 2764
It's funny, I thought there was a recent thread regarding the current desirability of Acton.. Can't find it via a quick search.

Anyways, for new home buyers, I do think Burlington is more of a consideration. To your point, that was absolutely not true 20 years ago. Acton's major growth in the 70's shows, as does Burlington's. But with the rapid development of commercial space, and the proximity on 95/to the city, new money is floating into Burlington at a faster clip. The housing stock and the demographics have changed at an accelerated rate, while Acton is kind of 'steady as she goes'. There are some neighborhoods in Acton, and some commercial areas, that look more like the woods in NH than they do Metro West. But, Acton is still ultra high income, and I'm not sure that will change.. The market is far slower, and I expect that to be the case until current/new home buyers need more room and want top schools, but can't afford the $1.2M 3500 sq/ft house. It's not a new story on CD, but definitely holds true.

More than anything, this isn't a vs. scenario. Folks who want an Acton are also looking in Carlisle and Sudbury. Folks who want a Burlington are looking in Reading and Wakefield. The simple truth is that more folks are now looking for the latter look and feel, not the former.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:59 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
Reputation: 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by panchilly View Post
Is it just me or in general is Burlington more desirable than Acton nowadays? Was this true 20-30 years ago or is this a recent phenomenon?

Acton
pros:
  • school

cons:
  • further from boston & 128.
  • limited shopping and restaurants
  • terrible tax rate. One of the worst in MA.


Burlington

pros:
  • one of the BEST tax rates in MA
  • closer to boston
  • excellent proximity 128
  • lots of shopping & food options
cons:
  • school isn't top tier like Acton but still solid
I would say it's realistically more like this:

Acton
pros:
  • schools
  • ppsqft
  • space/yard
  • outdoor activity
  • train

cons:
  • further from boston & 128.
  • limited shopping and restaurants
  • terrible tax rate. One of the worst in MA.


Burlington

pros:
  • one of the BEST tax rates in MA
  • closer to boston
  • excellent proximity 128
  • lots of shopping & food options
cons:
  • school isn't top tier like Acton but still solid
  • neighborhoods are not as aesthetically pleasing
  • ppsqft is exceedingly expensive
  • no train
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:29 PM
 
65 posts, read 36,431 times
Reputation: 129
I mean, they are completely different. Why are you comparing them? People that look to buy in Acton probably also look in places like Hopkinton, Sudbury, and Westford. Burlington buyers probably look at Reading/Dedham/Waltham.


Acton is beautiful and has a more rural feel. Burlington is closer to the city and has more in common with Waltham/Woburn. Personally, I'd rather live in Acton, but I have kids and don't need to commute to the city.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Techified Blue (Collar)-Rooted Bastion-by-the-Sea
647 posts, read 1,671,279 times
Reputation: 577
Quote:
Originally Posted by htfdcolt View Post
This is obviously reflecting personal preferences, but Acton just seems too rural and "in the boonies" for me. If you're not interested in feeling like you're part of the Boston ecosystem (dining / events in Cambridge, Somerville, Boston) then Acton is probably fine.
No way is Acton rural - it is a suburban, professional and generally well-off suburban town with excellent schools.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:12 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
Reputation: 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkone View Post
No way is Acton rural - it is a suburban, professional and generally well-off suburban town with excellent schools.
Acton is pretty rural, as are many affluent suburbs along route 2.

Concord is professional and super well off.. Still very rural in most areas. Carlisle too.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:36 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,930 posts, read 2,528,840 times
Reputation: 6007
Quote:
Originally Posted by htfdcolt View Post
This is obviously reflecting personal preferences, but Acton just seems too rural and "in the boonies" for me. If you're not interested in feeling like you're part of the Boston ecosystem (dining / events in Cambridge, Somerville, Boston) then Acton is probably fine.
This. When we first looked into moving to the Boston area, Acton went on and off our list pretty quickly. The prices for what you could get were attractive. But it was just too far away from Boston. Since we moved, we haven't had much opportunity to go to Acton, but at one point we did, and at least in the small portion we saw, it was more rural feeling than I was expecting and not as nice. Again, we didn't see lots of it, but what we saw didn't impress me.

If, for some strange reason, I had to choose between those two towns and only those two towns, I'd probably pick Burlington.
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