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Old 08-10-2006, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Red Sox Nation
675 posts, read 2,594,985 times
Reputation: 458

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Hi. When my husband first moved to MA from Southern CA we lived in Waltham. The positives of that town are: quick access to Boston, lots of great places to eat on Moody street, close proximity to employment centers (especially the Tech field), colleges and universities nearby etc.. For us though, we found it to be a bit crowded, roads congested, and parking can be a hassle. It just depends what you are used to. I hear the schools aren't so great either. Housing can be very high, given the location. We paid $1700/month for a 2 bedroom apartment without a garage or laundry. Waltham is diverse. Lots of people from Europe, India (especially) and Asia. Comming from SoCal, we really liked that. It felt like home. I would suggest the town we live in, Southborough. The schools are fantastic. It is a small town, but we have all the shopping and restraunts you could need in nearby Framingham, Natick or Westborough. Southborough is right off the mass pike, whick is a straight shot into downtown Boston. We also have a commuter rail. The downside is again the cost of homes. We paid $700k here, but got a beautiful 2800 sq ft colonial with a finished basement, on a quiet, neighborhoody street, with a big beautiful backyard for the kids. Safe and quiet, but not out in the middle of nowhere. Not so diverse here though.
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:54 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,597 times
Reputation: 11
Default Massachusetts Best Kept Secret

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixieshmoo
Can anyone tell me what would be the pro's and con's (in their opinion) of relocating from NJ to Mass??? Also, where or what are the better towns with better school systems and what areas offer that plus good job opportunities. We would not want to be directly in Boston however.

Thank you
If you wnat to know what great town to look into, I personally live in Plymouth. I think it's New England's best kept secret! It is on the coast, is one town from Cape Cod (5 minutes to canal), only 40 minutes to Boston, has a commuter rail to the city, has lovely beaches, lots of state forest, and the most lakes/ponds in Massachusetts. It is very "Coastal New England" with tourist attractions such as the Mayflower Ship, Plimoth Plantation, and "The Rock" (that's disappointing, though). Yet it is not a run-down beach community. It is clean, nice and the tourists are not a bother. "Townies" go to the waterfront all the time to get ice cream with their families and listen to live music or just walk the waterfront because it's so beautiful and peaceful.

You can buy any type of house you ever wished for: Antiques, Farmhouses, Colonials, Ranches, Capes, Bungalows, converted Cottages, etc. You can ge ocean front, lake front, pond front or in the woods near the state forest. There are even some nice condo complexes. The schools are great (a little crowded) but have excellent sports programs, lots of parent volunteers, new parks. Many folks are working class - even a lot of stay-at-home moms. Some are wealthier (those in waterfront properties). But most are average families working hard and teaching their kids good morals.

It is getting costly, but not any more than most towns in Mass. Many families have been selling and moving South. That's because we can cash out our equity and buy a house for nearly half the cost. So we have been tempted to move to North Carolina for this very reason. We found a larger house, more land, half the mortgage and a great job for my husband. But we love Plymouth so much it has been very difficult to make the final decision.

So if you decide to come to Mass, look into our best secret - it's is the most beautiful town in New England!

Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 6,150,573 times
Reputation: 990
Thanks for the responses...I'm still weighing all the options here...very stressful and confusing!
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:13 PM
 
38 posts, read 117,330 times
Reputation: 30
Hey Pixie.
My wife and I moved from Mass 5 years ago. Cashed out and moved to Atlanta. That was our 5th move. Our 6th will be back to Beantown! Soon, we hope.

I see that home prices are not really a concern for you. Most posters seem to be pointing you to their own towns or west of Boston. My wife is from the North Shore and I'm from the South Shore and as I said, we don't live there now, so perhaps we'll be unbiased.

I don't know why you would move to the heart of New England and not live on or near the shore towns (unless its to save $$$ as west is generally cheaper). I'm not knocking the towns sprawling out from the MA turnpike, just wondering what they can offer over the shores. Also, the towns mentioned before.... like Newton, Needham, Weston, Waltham (the N's & the W's) aren't really suburbs, per se. IMHO, they are fringe towns just outside the Boston limits. If easy access to Boston's ammenities are what you're looking for and $$ is no object, the N's & W's are for you. However, seems like that is not what you're looking for. So lets examine the shores.

The South Shore is arguably the highest priced suburbs with the most difficult commute to Boston. However, that can also be a positive, as it is a barrier to entry and changes the dynamics of the area. You have easy access to Cape Cod and lots of towns that have great beaches. My recommendation (recalling you said $$ wasnt a factor) is Hingam, Cohasset, Scituate, Plymouth, & Duxbury. I grew up in Weymouth, but its more blue collar. All those towns are small shore towns with great schools and their own unique charm. Can't go wrong and there's certainly nothing anywhere near there that would resemble Camden (I used to work in Philly, so I know what u mean).

The North Shore offers a better commute and slightly less expensive areas. You also have easy access to Maine & NH the further north you move. My wife is from Lynn..... forget about that. LOL... But small great towns on or near the coast are: Marblehead, Lynnfield, Middleton, Manchester-By-The-Sea, Andover, and Newburyport. They're not all are oceanside towns but all have their own charm and unique "downtown" areas. Middleton is up and coming, but not quite there as a downtown area yet. Schools are all great.

Good luck. You can't go wrong moving to Mass. If you love the water.....then you should definitely stay on the shore. As for why everyone else is leaving Mass? I think the poster SMARTY did a good job summing it up. From the realtors I've dealt with up there, they indicate that most ppl are moving to the southeast....NC, FL, GA, etc... retirees or others looking to cash out (they missed the boat!). That described us 5 years ago and now couldn't be a better time to move back. As a realtor, I'm sure you know, that the downturn in Boston suburbs is due to excess inventory and rapidly falling prices from stubborn or unrealistic sellers. All that adds up to is good new for you and I.

See you there. Cheers!
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Charlotte,NC, US, North America, Earth, Alpha Quadrant,Milky Way Galaxy
3,771 posts, read 7,240,360 times
Reputation: 2118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
Hey Pixie.
My wife and I moved from Mass 5 years ago. Cashed out and moved to Atlanta. That was our 5th move. Our 6th will be back to Beantown! Soon, we hope.

I see that home prices are not really a concern for you. Most posters seem to be pointing you to their own towns or west of Boston. My wife is from the North Shore and I'm from the South Shore and as I said, we don't live there now, so perhaps we'll be unbiased.

I don't know why you would move to the heart of New England and not live on or near the shore towns (unless its to save $$$ as west is generally cheaper). I'm not knocking the towns sprawling out from the MA turnpike, just wondering what they can offer over the shores. Also, the towns mentioned before.... like Newton, Needham, Weston, Waltham (the N's & the W's) aren't really suburbs, per se. IMHO, they are fringe towns just outside the Boston limits. If easy access to Boston's ammenities are what you're looking for and $$ is no object, the N's & W's are for you. However, seems like that is not what you're looking for. So lets examine the shores.

The South Shore is arguably the highest priced suburbs with the most difficult commute to Boston. However, that can also be a positive, as it is a barrier to entry and changes the dynamics of the area. You have easy access to Cape Cod and lots of towns that have great beaches. My recommendation (recalling you said $$ wasnt a factor) is Hingam, Cohasset, Scituate, Plymouth, & Duxbury. I grew up in Weymouth, but its more blue collar. All those towns are small shore towns with great schools and their own unique charm. Can't go wrong and there's certainly nothing anywhere near there that would resemble Camden (I used to work in Philly, so I know what u mean).

The North Shore offers a better commute and slightly less expensive areas. You also have easy access to Maine & NH the further north you move. My wife is from Lynn..... forget about that. LOL... But small great towns on or near the coast are: Marblehead, Lynnfield, Middleton, Manchester-By-The-Sea, Andover, and Newburyport. They're not all are oceanside towns but all have their own charm and unique "downtown" areas. Middleton is up and coming, but not quite there as a downtown area yet. Schools are all great.

Good luck. You can't go wrong moving to Mass. If you love the water.....then you should definitely stay on the shore. As for why everyone else is leaving Mass? I think the poster SMARTY did a good job summing it up. From the realtors I've dealt with up there, they indicate that most ppl are moving to the southeast....NC, FL, GA, etc... retirees or others looking to cash out (they missed the boat!). That described us 5 years ago and now couldn't be a better time to move back. As a realtor, I'm sure you know, that the downturn in Boston suburbs is due to excess inventory and rapidly falling prices from stubborn or unrealistic sellers. All that adds up to is good new for you and I.

See you there. Cheers!
This is very much true- you'll find some deals these days in RE, although depending on where you come from it may still be considered high. I still think RE will go lower, we haven't seen the bottom yet...
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:56 PM
 
1,330 posts, read 4,925,955 times
Reputation: 504
Check out the general Amherst/Northampton area. You have Springfield and Hartford for your big city needs, and a ton of recreational dining and cultural amenities. Great schools in Hadley, Belchertown, Ware. Check out some of my posts here about there area- I have a ton of info from my years there posted in the last couple months. Very appealing and soo much nicer than most of what I have seen in Jersey! Generally cheaper too, especially utilities and taxes. I HATE when people call MA TAXACHUSETTES. Aside from NM, they have been the lowest taxed state I have lived in.

Cons? No cons if you go up to MA. Unless you pick round Boston, you are going to leave that sardine in a can feeling and high prices behind and have crisp, clean air and pretty scenery!
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,907 times
Reputation: 12
North of Boston is great too. You can feel like you are in another owrld of trees and suburbs and families. I am in North Andover, a quick 30 min to the city and it is beautiful. More affordable than the Weston, Wellsley, Newton area. I fyou are considering, we have a large home for sale in a culdesac area. Details if desired. We are looking to downsize, and move only 1/10th of a mile away because we LOVE this town and area! Beaches are 35 min away, mountains are 1-2 hours...it goes on and on!
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:08 AM
 
30 posts, read 126,597 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by winnie View Post
Check out the general Amherst/Northampton area. You have Springfield and Hartford for your big city needs, and a ton of recreational dining and cultural amenities. Great schools in Hadley, Belchertown, Ware. Check out some of my posts here about there area- I have a ton of info from my years there posted in the last couple months. Very appealing and soo much nicer than most of what I have seen in Jersey! Generally cheaper too, especially utilities and taxes. I HATE when people call MA TAXACHUSETTES. Aside from NM, they have been the lowest taxed state I have lived in.

Cons? No cons if you go up to MA. Unless you pick round Boston, you are going to leave that sardine in a can feeling and high prices behind and have crisp, clean air and pretty scenery!
NJ should have a nickname for the HIGHEST Taxes and Cost Of Living Overall.
MA is CHEAP (not the cheapest) in comparison to NJ with nicer people overall in my opinion as I'm currently in Northern NJ looking to leave too.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,976 times
Reputation: 10
Pixie,

If you're really interested in a more "urban" feel, I am not sure if many of the towns in the suburbs would be your cup of tea. As I mentioned before, I am from Northern NJ and after living in Mass for years now, I still don't find Wellesley, Wayland, or Weston appealing towns to live in. Don't get me wrong, the towns are positively gorgeous and have beautiful homes and Wellesley's downtown is very quaint, but if you're looking for something more urban, these places won't do it for you.

Waltham is very diverse as another poster commented. Main and Moody Streets are the two central streets of "downtown" Waltham, and that's where all of the restaurants and bars are, movie theatre (which veers towards more "arty" movies) alongside ethnic food shops and your basic services (dry cleaning, etc). Boston University's digital imaging center also occupies a storefront along Moody Street as of this past summer. In addition to the bustling Main and Moody, Waltham is also really residential. There are some very lovely and historic homes (Piety Corner is one of them), but they are now downtown, but not far from it, however. Then there is a whole section of Waltham much further from the downtown where there are numerous office parks. There is a lot to choose from. The only downside is that prices in Waltham are starting to climb, due to the close proximity to Boston. I have never found parking to be a problem in Waltham-- in three blocks of Moody Street there are about 4 municipal lots to park in, which is great when you want to come in for dinner on a weekend. Every year the artists that make their home in some of the old industrial buildings also have an artists' studio tour, which is a great opportunity to check out some more unusual forms of expression.

Another town to check out is Arlington. Prices won't be cheap, but it does have more of that urban vibe you mentioned. Like Waltham, it is close to Cambridge and has a little stretch of restaurants and shops. ...And of course, Cambridge is another potential place to look. I would also check out Newton (pricey, though), Lexington, Watertown (both of these are very pricey, but cute downtowns), and maybe even South Boston (very neighborhood feel, and can be very traditional in some respects, but also very charming). Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:51 PM
 
12 posts, read 71,709 times
Reputation: 15
As someone who has lived in both NJ & MA I'm surprised no one has mentioned this --- you'll pay less for car insurance in MA!!
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