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Old Yesterday, 10:08 PM
 
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My fiance and are currently in the process of buying a home under 550k. We are looking for 3+ bedrooms in hopes of starting a family in the next couple of years.

He works in Boston and I work about 10 mins northwest of Boston. We are constantly having the commute vs best bang for your buck conversation. It seems that anything within a 30 minute commute is either tiny or a major fixer upper. I would prefer not to commute more than 45 minutes but am starting to realize that this may be hard to do.

I'm curious to know if anyone has commuted from the eastern part of Central Massachusetts ( ex. Lancaster, Westminster etc) into the Boston area and how it was. Because of COVID we can't get an accurate idea of how the commute will be.

Any help or advice would be so greatly appreciated.
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Old Today, 06:37 AM
 
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10 minutes from Boston is what... Alewife?

All I can tell you is that 495 alone would be well over an hour to either job pre-virus. You might be able to get something in Acton or Maynard but even that would be like at least an hour to either job.
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Old Today, 07:34 AM
 
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I live in Sterling, abutting the Lancaster line near rt.62/Clinton.

My 'best case' commuting time prior to Covid-19 was 50-55 minutes if I left the house at 4-4:30am and 90+ minutes if I left in the 3:30-4pm window. Closer to 60-70 minutes if I left post-peak around 7-7:30pm. I would not recommend it for daily commuting, though people do do it to avoid the high COL 495/95 towns, including my neighbor.

Northwest of Boston, depending on location, is considerably easier from Lancaster as only route 3 south is truly problematic.

My commuting is very limited based on client needs, so the location works as I'm only heading into Boston/Cambridge for the occasional mid-day client meeting or Logan. No way I would sign up for a daily commute from Lancaster, never mind Westminster which is a good 15-25 minutes further west. Nope, nope, nope.
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Old Today, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Hoboken, NJ
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My father commutes from Northborough to Kendall Square and has for years. He leaves really early in the morning and it takes him 40 minutes or so. But going home around 4p it can take an hour and half (and on Fridays in the summer, even more). In fact, I believe it takes him 30+ minutes just to get from Kendall to the pike entrance on the other side of Cambridge.

But, he's noted that right now while the roads certainly have traffic, there are no slowdowns/stops and the traffic is moving fast. Who knows what it will look like post-Covid, or when that may be.
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Old Today, 08:18 AM
 
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I lived in Littleton for 27 years, right by 495/2.
My day shift had to be in Belmont (Cambridge line) by 7a. If I left at 6:15, I did fine. Anything later, increasing traffic. I never took the Purple Line train in but think it would have been okay. Did not drive into Boston itself. Littleton is certainly northwest and is a very fine and attractive town, excellent for family life.

Anything that isn't brand-new and very big seems to sell very quickly. There is new construction at $550k- I think it's a condo-like development and the houses are very nice and well done.

https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...0_M47105-67266 Not a condo development. There had been a tear down former cottage there and smaller new houses go up on such lots. Great location near the lake and the elementary school and all. I am not a realtor, just obsessed with housing where I used to live.

Last edited by brightdoglover; Today at 09:12 AM..
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Old Today, 08:43 AM
 
Location: The Moon
1,454 posts, read 1,166,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I lived in Littleton for 27 years, right by 495/2.
My day shift had to be in Belmont (Cambridge line) by 7a. If I left at 6:15, I did fine. Anything later, increasing traffic. I never took the Purple Line train in but think it would have been okay. Did not drive into Boston itself. Littleton is certainly northwest and is a very fine and attractive town, excellent for family life.

Anything that isn't brand-new and very big seems to sell very quickly. There is new construction at $550k- I think it's a condo-like development and the houses are very nice and well done.
I work shifts very close to 2/495. Before covid hit my night shift commute had become untenable, and I was only going to the extreme western edge of Somerville. Leaving work at 06:30am and commuting in for 6:30pm would take an hour if everything was perfect. Bumper to bumper traffic crawling along until you hit 128, and Alewife traffic backing up for a half mile or more. I can't imagine taking the red line like so many people apparently did as that added even more time to get in/out of the garage.

In other words for OP, I wouldn't consider even Littleton unless traffic subsides permanently or there is some kind of flexible arrangement.
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Old Today, 09:13 AM
 
15,907 posts, read 28,257,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang239 View Post
...

In other words for OP, I wouldn't consider even Littleton unless traffic subsides permanently or there is some kind of flexible arrangement.

I guess things have gotten a lot thicker since I left three years ago. Thank you for updating my observations.
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Old Today, 09:29 AM
 
13,669 posts, read 10,333,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I guess things have gotten a lot thicker since I left three years ago. Thank you for updating my observations.

I left in 2014 and things had definitely gotten worse since then. If I return, keeping a minimal distance from work is going to be a #1 priority.
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Old Today, 09:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I guess things have gotten a lot thicker since I left three years ago. Thank you for updating my observations.
It has. Around 2012-15 traffic started to ramp badly as employers began concentrating within areas like the Seaport and Kendall and the existing employers recovered from their 2008-09 contraction.

The last few times I've gone into the Seaport Design Center, pre Covid, it took me between 120 and 145 minutes from Sterling if I left after 5:30am. Leaving prior to 5am, I could be in under 60 minutes ... for design reviews I took to leaving at 4-4:30am and then sleeping in my car because the commute was brutal otherwise. Kendall Sq is quite a bit easier, whether I drive in or take a hybrid approach via the Littleton>Porter train or Alewife.
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Old Today, 10:16 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,332 posts, read 6,001,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang239 View Post

In other words for OP, I wouldn't consider even Littleton unless traffic subsides permanently or there is some kind of flexible arrangement.

I'm not sure I agree with this. I have colleagues who live in Littleton, Maynard and Clinton and they take the commuter rail from Littleton/Route 495 or South Acton and switch to the Red Line at Porter. This seems like a very workable commute.
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