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Old 05-16-2008, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 11,028,615 times
Reputation: 3022

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Hello everyone,

I might be relocating to Boston. I live within walking/biking distance (5 miles or less) of the ocean, and I'd like to keep doing so. I hate driving and would love to be able to take the rail lines in to work (North or South station is fine). I was wondering if anyone could share information on coastal towns North and South of Boston? I can't really take more than a 15 minute (one way) commute in a car, but I can probably live with up to an hour commute on a train. Marblehead certainly looks nice, but it is pretty far.

Specifically, if you care to share any information (about specific towns) on the following, I'd be grateful:

1. Affordable? I'm looking to buy a "starter home" in the range of 350K or lower. 2br/1ba is okay. 3br/2ba is ideal.

2. Temperature? How cold does it get along the coast in the winter? How cold does the ocean get? Does it snow near the coast?

3. Surfing? Any good breaks near the town? You can just say "yes" or "no", I'm not asking anyone to name spots or give me directions. I can find them on my own.

4. Windy? Do you get diurnal winds (offshore in the morning, onshore in the afternoon) or does the wind usually blow West-to-East (offshore) with the prevailing winds at that lattitude? Is it often windy near the coast or do you have lots of calm days?

5. Downtown? What's the downtown of the town you know about like? Are there morning/farmer's/fisherman's markets? Is there any nightlife

6. Schools? How are the schools in the area?

7. Beaches? In general, are dogs allowed on Mass. beaches? I know a lot of the coast is cliffs. Are there any beaches or parks near the town?

8. Friendly? Open? Are neighbors in the town friendly to new couples moving in with "different" backgrounds? We're not radicals, but we're a little different than some people (extremely thrifty, unique tastes, etc.)

9. What major cities are "nearby" for weekend/short trips? Can you get to NYC by rail for a weekend? Driving?

10. Skiing? Is there any skiing in Mass.? Probably, right? How far away are the mountains from the boston/suburbs area?

11. What else should I know?

Boston (and surrounding areas) really looks great. I'm pretty excited to hear more about it. Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,630 posts, read 10,422,866 times
Reputation: 3898
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Hello everyone,

I might be relocating to Boston. I live within walking/biking distance (5 miles or less) of the ocean, and I'd like to keep doing so. I hate driving and would love to be able to take the rail lines in to work (North or South station is fine). I was wondering if anyone could share information on coastal towns North and South of Boston? I can't really take more than a 15 minute (one way) commute in a car, but I can probably live with up to an hour commute on a train. Marblehead certainly looks nice, but it is pretty far.

Specifically, if you care to share any information (about specific towns) on the following, I'd be grateful:

1. Affordable? I'm looking to buy a "starter home" in the range of 350K or lower. 2br/1ba is okay. 3br/2ba is ideal.

2. Temperature? How cold does it get along the coast in the winter? How cold does the ocean get? Does it snow near the coast?

3. Surfing? Any good breaks near the town? You can just say "yes" or "no", I'm not asking anyone to name spots or give me directions. I can find them on my own.

4. Windy? Do you get diurnal winds (offshore in the morning, onshore in the afternoon) or does the wind usually blow West-to-East (offshore) with the prevailing winds at that lattitude? Is it often windy near the coast or do you have lots of calm days?

5. Downtown? What's the downtown of the town you know about like? Are there morning/farmer's/fisherman's markets? Is there any nightlife

6. Schools? How are the schools in the area?

7. Beaches? In general, are dogs allowed on Mass. beaches? I know a lot of the coast is cliffs. Are there any beaches or parks near the town?

8. Friendly? Open? Are neighbors in the town friendly to new couples moving in with "different" backgrounds? We're not radicals, but we're a little different than some people (extremely thrifty, unique tastes, etc.)

9. What major cities are "nearby" for weekend/short trips? Can you get to NYC by rail for a weekend? Driving?

10. Skiing? Is there any skiing in Mass.? Probably, right? How far away are the mountains from the boston/suburbs area?

11. What else should I know?

Boston (and surrounding areas) really looks great. I'm pretty excited to hear more about it. Thanks!
Marblehead is for zillionaires.
1. Boston is generally not affordable but yes, there are listing for 350.
2. Really cold. Wind chill to 50 below zero no joke. Some years no snow, others well over 100 inches.
3. I've never seen much for waves here. Pacific is better than Atlantic.
4. Very Windy here.
5. Downtown Boston rocks. Salem is cute too.
6. Varies town to town.
7. Most beaches no dogs after April 1 until I think Nov 1.
8. New Englanders are not hostile, but not particularly open either.
9. yes, NYC for $15 by bus. Montreal, PVD, Philly, not too far.
10. Plenty of skiiing. 50 - 200 miles.
11. Boston is pretty expensive, very interesting, nice summers, cold winters.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,428 posts, read 6,480,393 times
Reputation: 1721
Default sorry

Sorry dude but your not being realistic? You can either try to get a condo in or around boston for the price you asked for. Or suffer the hour or hour 1/2 long commute from affordible town by the ocean.

Good luck
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:44 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
26,634 posts, read 28,419,191 times
Reputation: 50424
You might find something for your price, a condo or maybe even a small house.

Yes, we get snow along the coast but not as much as they get further inland and it doesn't get as cold either. It is STILL cold though. Minus 10? minus 20? This would be overnight. You can have days when it's 1 or 3, silly cold like that.

I don't think it's any more windy here than most places. I don't know what direction the breezes come from.

Gloucester has a farmers market and is getting more of an upscale downtown -- it has the fishing backdrop although the fishing business is failing now, Ipswich has a little downtown, Newburyport has a big downtown, Manchester doesn't have much but it's beautiful and has nice parks.

The beaches are gorgeous and there aren't any cliffs that I know of. (but then there are lots of things that I don't know of.) You don't get huge waves here, some waters are really calm and warm; others get waves that can knock you over but they're not big huge surfing waves.

You can only walk dogs on the beach during the winter although there may be beaches that you can walk a dog on year round. There are loads and loads of parks and trails that you can walk a dog in.

Beverly is a good place to visit and they have a good little dog-walking beach and parks. Salem has parks too. Gloucester has a popular dog walking boulevard where you walk your dog on pavement right next to the ocean and you can take your dog right down to the water.

People are friendly. winters are cold, summers are hot and humid. Prices are high. You will never run out of things to do around here--but if you ever do want to get away there's Maine and Cape Cod. Skiing in New Hampshire, not that far. (what else could anyone need?)
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 11,028,615 times
Reputation: 3022
Thanks for all the responses! A condo or townhouse would be okay, of course, depending on the circumstances (location). And who knows? I might be underestimating my buying power, just in order to err on the safe side. I did see some (online, so who knows whether they're reality) 2+1 and 3+2's within a few miles of the ocean for the price range I'm looking for.

Thanks for the info on dog walking and the beaches.

I've only read about NE surfing, never paddled out north of Virginia Beach, but I've heard it can get good from winter storms (though brain-freezingly cold).

Glad to hear that Boston is a fun city! Thanks for the names of those other towns, I'll check them out!
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 4,093,784 times
Reputation: 902
Most of the beaches have cliffs? You may be confusing MA with ME

Seriously, check out the South Shore towns. Plymouth is affordable and on the commuter rail line. You can still buy a house there close to the ocean between 200-300,000. It has beaches, a huge state park and neighbors Cape Cod. It's not a bright lights big city kinda place, but interesting and unusual.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,643 posts, read 13,889,979 times
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Hi Sponger
In_newengland has some good info. Newburyport would put you closest to one of the few good surfing areas in New England, Hampton's North Beach. 12 months a year we see the surfers out on their boards (and we think to ourselves that they are CRAZY!!) I mean, how much can a wetsuit really help, and besides, it doesn't cover their heads!

Newburyport has a commuter rail into North Station, also has a great walkable downtown, Maudslay State Park along the Merrimack River for hikes, bikes, dog walks, etc.

Maybe it's easier if I address each of your questions as you've written them:

1) You CAN buy a starter home in that range once you get well North of Boston. The closer you go, the higher the price tag...

2) Cold, yes, we've got that both air and water temps. The highest ocean water temps are in July/August, and *might* hit the mid 70's. I don't want to talk about winter ocean temperatures During the coldest winter months, the coastal areas might be 5-10 degrees warmer than inland, and the warming (!!) influence of the ocean tends to keep snowfall much lower on the coast. Head inland just 10-15 miles and the snowfall amounts will *usually* increase dramatically. (the reverse is true on hazy hot and humid days of summer. The coast is 5-10 degrees cooler than inland, maybe more)

3) No surfing near Boston that I'm aware of. Head north (see above) You'll start seeing some long rolling waves once you head north of Plum Island and up. I have no experience with beaches south of Gloucester, so can't help you there... Check out the Cinnamon Rainbows website for webcam, surf report, water temps, etc: Cinnamon Rainbows online * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

4) varies...

5. I'm thinking Newburyport/Amesbury for you. Both have great downtowns. Newburyport more upscale, Amesbury heading in that direction. Both have farmers markets, and many farm stands during growing season. Nightlife is not comparable to being in/near Boston, but lots of fun. If you like blues, downstairs at The Grog is a good time.

6. Schools are having some growing pains in Newburyport. IMO part of the problem is that the schools are having a hard time to keep up with the expectations of the newer Newburyport residents. Until just a few decades ago, NBPT was a mix of blue collar & professional. Now it's been "discovered" (some are calling it the "new" Nantucket, with real estate prices to match. With more sailboats than fishing boats in the river these days, they could be right...)

7. Dogs are allowed on most public beaches October to April.

8. New Englanders have always been considered a shade "cool" to outsiders, and it takes a bit to warm up to new people. Many folks are resistant to change, and resent newcomers who arrive and set out to change how things are done. (New Hampshire folks especially resent Massachusetts people who move north and bring their Massachusetts ideas and ways of life with them...) See this thread for thrifty (//www.city-data.com/forum/new-h...e-grocery.html)

9. It's about 6 hours drive to NYC, or you can take the Acela Express (3-4 hours)

10. Wachusett Mountain in central Mass, or for variety you would head to NH's white mountains. LOTS of skiing up there, 2+ hours from Boston: SkiNH :: Ski New Hampshire :: Downhill Ski Resorts

To close, I think in_newengland covered it nicely: "People are friendly. winters are cold, summers are hot and humid. Prices are high. You will never run out of things to do around here--but if you ever do want to get away there's Maine and Cape Cod. Skiing in New Hampshire, not that far. (what else could anyone need?) "

Last edited by Valerie C; 05-19-2008 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:42 PM
 
2 posts, read 27,684 times
Reputation: 16
Default What about Hull/Nantasket beach?

1. Affordable? I'm looking to buy a "starter home" in the range of 350K or lower. 2br/1ba is okay. 3br/2ba is ideal. You would have plenty of options in your price range in Hull, condo or single family.

2. Temperature? How cold does it get along the coast in the winter? How cold does the ocean get? Does it snow near the coast? I don't know what the water temp is like in the winter, but I've seen surfers in wetsuits in the water in January.

3. Surfing? Any good breaks near the town? You can just say "yes" or "no", I'm not asking anyone to name spots or give me directions. I can find them on my own. I don't surf, but my surfer friends tell me that Nantasket beach has some of the best surfing in MA. You could definitely live within walking distance of the surfing area

4. Windy? Do you get diurnal winds (offshore in the morning, onshore in the afternoon) or does the wind usually blow West-to-East (offshore) with the prevailing winds at that lattitude? Is it often windy near the coast or do you have lots of calm days? I'd say we have a mix of windy and not windy days. I'm not sure about the specifics.

5. Downtown? What's the downtown of the town you know about like? Are there morning/farmer's/fisherman's markets? Is there any nightlife We have Not a huge downtown, but we have amazing restaurants and some bars that overlook the beach.

6. Schools? How are the schools in the area? Elementary and Middle schools are pretty good, but friends who graduated from the high school weren't that impressed, but they did well enough going there that they went to Boston University.

7. Beaches? In general, are dogs allowed on Mass. beaches? I know a lot of the coast is cliffs. Are there any beaches or parks near the town? Hull is a peninsula, so we have awesome because the length of the town. The other side of town is the bay. Dogs aren't technically allowed on the beach in the summer, but they don't really enforce that law.

8. Friendly? Open? Are neighbors in the town friendly to new couples moving in with "different" backgrounds? We're not radicals, but we're a little different than some people (extremely thrifty, unique tastes, etc.) So far I've found people to be really friendly. I'd say it's a very welcoming town.

9. What major cities are "nearby" for weekend/short trips? Can you get to NYC by rail for a weekend? Driving? I've taken my car and the train to NYC with no problem. People also take short trips to the cape, VT, NH, and maine.

10. Skiing? Is there any skiing in Mass.? Probably, right? How far away are the mountains from the boston/suburbs area? There are a couple of ok places in MA, but if you go two or three hours you can go to some really good places in VT or NH.

11. What else should I know? Hull gives you some really awesome commuting options. You can take the new commuter rail, which is about 45 minutes or an hour, or you can take the commuter boat, which is only 20 minutes! The people who take the boat are super friendly and it's the most relaxing and scenic way to get into boston! Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 11,028,615 times
Reputation: 3022
Wow! Thanks for all the great responses! I'm going to check out the towns mentioned now. I'll write more later. Reps to those who responded!
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,457 posts, read 10,216,373 times
Reputation: 2450
Definately check out Beverly. There should be something in your price range there. It's on the commuter rail, and there was talk (at least 5+ years ago) of extending the "Blue Line" up there - any news on that?
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