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Old 10-03-2019, 11:49 AM
 
10 posts, read 7,723 times
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Hi all,


My family and I (me, husband, 4 year old) are relocating back to MA from NC in the next few months. We previously lived (before child) in JP in Boston, and my husband grew up in Lexington, so we know MA somewhat. That said, my new job will be in Worcester, and his likely in Cambridge, so we're navigating new living areas based on giving ourselves both reasonable commutes (me driving, him train). We've therefore settled on Maynard as a good possibility for us. We also like that there is a walk-able downtown (that seems easy to get to from most parts of town), that is has bike trails and access to outdoor areas/the woods, and that housing prices seem reasonable. Due to current job and family obligations, we have basically only been able to visit Maynard in person for a day, so most of my knowledge is from GoogleMaps or other random web searching.



I'm therefore curious about people's experiences there. In particular, as 'outsiders' coming in without ties to the town itself, are people pretty accepting? Will we be able to make friends? What about community activities? We're in a small but vibrant town in NC now, and we like that there are places where people are out-and-about a lot, sitting around outside doing work or socializing, etc. It seems like Maynard is a nice small town, but does this kind of community exist there?



Also, are there areas of town we should/shouldn't be looking for our house search? Anything we should be aware of in terms of neighborhoods?



Basically, if anyone has any recent knowledge of Maynard that could help reassure us that this is a good fit, that would be great!


Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:23 PM
 
32 posts, read 26,182 times
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We live in West Concord, on the Maynard border, so we spend alot of time in the Maynard town center. From our perspective it's certainly an up and coming town. Great little movieplex (Fine Arts Theatre), a new ramen shop called Smack Noodle, and new restaurants and stores in the works. Amazing access to outdoors, such as Assabet River Refuge and Gardner Hill Conservation Area in Stow. Easy to get to either Rte 2 or 495.

I think historically Maynard was more a blue-collar town but I think that may be changing in the future, esp. if the schools improve. Right now Concord and Acton have such high-caliber school systems that it invariably casts a shadow on a town like Maynard.

Last edited by Volitans; 10-03-2019 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:28 PM
 
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Thanks, Volitans, that all sounds pretty great, and I appreciate you taking the time to reply! We have heard that about the school systems, although based on many metrics the Acton and Maynard systems look pretty similar (per student expenditures, teacher salaries and retention rates; granted Maynard has a slightly higher percentage of teachers that 'need improvement'), even though I know the MCAS scores are quite different. That said, we've also spoken to a few people in the Acton schools that said many of the kids in the Acton-Boxborough HS are stressed and feel high pressure, and 1) I don't know if we want such a competitive environment for our child and 2) we can always move later if we do decide the opportunities are better elsewhere since my daughter is still so young. (I also wonder whether -- in other contexts outside of the fantastic school districts available in MA -- Maynard schools would be considered a really good district...?)
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:04 PM
 
15,466 posts, read 27,640,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaynardCurious View Post
... (I also wonder whether -- in other contexts outside of the fantastic school districts available in MA -- Maynard schools would be considered a really good district...?)
I think that's a good point.
I lived in Littleton for many years (no kids) and thought that Littleton schools were underrated because we were next to Acton and Westford. My neighbors had kids in Littleton schools and they did very well and yes, I did hear about the stressors in the Acton-Boxborough system.

I had a co-worker who had one kid and lived in Maynard (years ago). He decided to move to Westford rather than pay for private school from Maynard. He found the Westford system very pressured and the kids extremely materialistic (high-end cars for 16th birthday, etc.).
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:40 PM
 
10 posts, read 7,723 times
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Thanks for those thoughts and insights, brightdoglover. Good to hear that my impression may not be entirely off-base!
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:55 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,271 posts, read 5,809,700 times
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I work in Lexington and many of my younger colleagues are settling in Maynard due to it's up and coming nature, its quaint downtown and its convenient location.

My only knock on the town is the high property tax rate, over $21 per thousand. You may actually be able to afford a home in neighboring Sudbury, for example, with its somewhat lower tax rate, at a similar monthly payment.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:11 PM
 
614 posts, read 249,800 times
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Maynard is pretty dumpy, that and the schools is why it's cheaper than the surrounding areas. That being said, I don't see a great alternative, with the job locations mentioned. Maybe South Acton if you want schools although parts of that are kind of dumpy too.

In any case the commute to Cambridge is going to suck. Assuming it's near Kendall it's going to be 50+ even with the Express because you have to transfer from Porter to the Red Line.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:51 AM
 
10 posts, read 7,723 times
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gf2020 -- yes, that is a pretty high tax rate in Maynard. Although it didn't seem to me that Sudbury was that much lower? and the houses are generally more expensive... But I will put it on the list to consider it, since you're right we might be able to find a similar monthly payment. Only issue is that it doesn't seem like there is much of a downtown area in Sudbury? Nice to hear you know at least some people settling in Maynard -- the more people moving there, the better off it will get, right?!



yesmaybe -- what do you mean by 'dumpy'? Just that it isn't as 'precious' as Concord seems to be, or is there something in particular you're talking about? I'm honestly trying to get a sense of what makes you say that (people, restaurants, houses??) Good to know that - even if you don't like Maynard - you also see it as the logical choice based on job locations...



But you are right that the commute to Cambridge/Kendall will suck, although we were hoping that with at least some of it on the train he could get some work done at least...? I agree, though, it would be better if he could find something near Worcester and then we could live in Shrewsbury or something, but the move will still overall get us back to MA, which is closer to friends and family, so we're hoping the uptick in commute times won't completely drain our spirits!
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
7,562 posts, read 3,069,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaynardCurious View Post
gf2020 -- yes, that is a pretty high tax rate in Maynard. Although it didn't seem to me that Sudbury was that much lower? and the houses are generally more expensive... But I will put it on the list to consider it, since you're right we might be able to find a similar monthly payment. Only issue is that it doesn't seem like there is much of a downtown area in Sudbury? Nice to hear you know at least some people settling in Maynard -- the more people moving there, the better off it will get, right?!



yesmaybe -- what do you mean by 'dumpy'? Just that it isn't as 'precious' as Concord seems to be, or is there something in particular you're talking about? I'm honestly trying to get a sense of what makes you say that (people, restaurants, houses??) Good to know that - even if you don't like Maynard - you also see it as the logical choice based on job locations...



But you are right that the commute to Cambridge/Kendall will suck, although we were hoping that with at least some of it on the train he could get some work done at least...? I agree, though, it would be better if he could find something near Worcester and then we could live in Shrewsbury or something, but the move will still overall get us back to MA, which is closer to friends and family, so we're hoping the uptick in commute times won't completely drain our spirits!
A quick Google Maps street view revealed to me a poorly maintained park, some shabby multifamily housing, dull and dingy looking retail, poor landscaping both of public and private space. I saw a boarded up home on an otherwise occupied street and some old mills too. Some shirtless old greasy looking dudes chilling on the porch downtown. The outer parts of town looked like generic MA metrowest suburbia though. Some large homes but the lots didnt look too big. There were also some plain ranches and capes. I also saw a few cute/decent stores and freshly painted and paved roads.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4311...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4324...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4298...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4376...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4394...7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4364...7i13312!8i6656

Having never been to Maynard its definitely dumpier looking than what I would have imagined. i cant believe people pay what the pay for towns like this in MA...

Last edited by BostonBornMassMade; 10-04-2019 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:43 AM
 
32 posts, read 26,182 times
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Maynard is not upscale and probably never will be. There are lots of used car dealerships and run-down looking body shops.
It's overshadowed by elite surrounding towns. But relative to those towns it's cheaper to live in and has a legit town center (something Sudbury, Wayland, and Acton don't have). I think there is upside moving there if they clean up and improve certain things. It sorta reminds me of Lowell a generation ago, and now Lowell is majorly on the upswing (from what I've been told).

We live equidistant from Concord Center to Maynard Center and find the latter to have more useful shops. Concord Center is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it can get quite touristy. And Maynard Center has SMACK NOODLE, which is a massive boon for ramen fiends like my family!
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