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Old 07-28-2006, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 6,141,431 times
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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
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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I moved to Mass from NJ almost five years ago. In general, I don't think there's a lot of difference between the two states, but there are some minor differences. Homes are just as costly here in Massachusetts as they are in NJ--perhaps slightly less so, but on the average, there isn't much of a difference.

One of the things that I noticed right away moving to Mass from NJ was that Mass was less densely populated. As someone who grew up in Northern NJ, I can honestly say that I don't get that same feeling of being packed in like a can of sardines. That's not to say that living in parts of Boston, Brighton, or Allston don't sometimes *feel* like that, though (Brighton and Allston are heavily populated with students, and there are tons of rentals in this area).

Depending on where you would like to move to in Massachusetts, I think it is a little easier to find decent public schools outside Boston proper than in NJ. Education is certainly emphasized here, since there are so many colleges and universities. Like in New Jersey, you will find upscale areas--in Boston of course, but also in places like Weston, Wayland, and Wellesley, among others, but you will also find places that are still somewhat affordable outside of the city such as Arlington and Waltham (both are within 10 miles of Boston).

If you're planning on living in Boston proper, be prepared to spend a lot on rent or a mortgage. Desirable areas of Boston are Back Bay (where all of the high-end shopping is), Beacon Hill (historic and cute boutiques), South End, and some up-and-coming areas (Ladder District). You may also want to check out Cambridge, which is also very pricey, but you can always get a roommate if you're not bringing a family when you relocate.

Winters can be rough, although the last couple of years have been pretty mild, but that goes without saying! It's always about 10 degrees cooler in MA than in NJ.

If you have more specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them!
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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Funny you should mention Northern NJ and a sardine can in the same sentence!! I'm a born and raised North Jerseyan and I feel on the verge of road-rage just going from my house to shoprite!!!! I also LOVE looking out my window and directly into my neighbors just to see them washing dishes and looking back at me!

I'm not quite sure what other specific questions I have right now...we originally were h*ll-bent on moving to Maine and that idea has been put on the back burner. I don't think I'm ready to leave Jersey just yet, I figured the grammar school/middle school transition or high school transition might be good to wait for since kids all end up meeting new people anyway. It's an awkward time even if you're in a town you're used to so hopefully I'm right. However, things may change, we could decide to move next year or never. I do know that at least right now, Maine might be too far of a move and maybe even too much of a culture shock for us. Massachusetts is sort of a middle ground.

I do know however that I wouldn't want to live in Boston. Maybe close enough for a decent commute (depending on the definition of "commute" compared to NJ)...possibly as close/far as a city such as Waltham.

Our main concerns are typical...good/stable job opportunity, great school systems, safe neighborhoods, decent price of homes. I'm not concerned so much about prices of homes considering it is already very expensive here whether renting or buying. In addition, if we had a higher goal, we could always work harder if need be (I'm a realtor, my husband's a contractor, it's all about how much we put into it)...first and foremost are safety/school/jobs all equally important.

I have no preference on towns, as I would research any recommended areas and their surrounding towns (considering I don't know much about Mass.) other than I do not want to be near the "not so good cities". For lack of a better example, I do not want to be on the outskirts of a city that is similar to Newark or Camden...I'd like to be as far from that as possible.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated...thanks!
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:19 AM
 
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Default living near boston

You could look at Norwood, towns in the south shore area, and even Plymouth. The South Shore is real nice.

judy
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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What an interesting question! NJ to me is so big compare to MA. Northern and Southern Jersey is so different. I wonder if we can really generalize.

If you are interested in statistics (for the different towns/cities in MA), check out Bostonmagazine.com They have a "best place to live" article/ranking. Just remember they usually correlate to housing prices. Also, how a school system scores does not translate to how your kid will score. Rich town/parents also hire tuitors at $100/hr. It does not reflect in any statistics.

As to job opportunities, MA is so small you can drive through the state in an hour (the longest part in 2-3 hrs unless you stuck in traffic). You are practically in another country (Montreal Canada) in 5 hours. This is not Texas, CA or NY. Many actually live in NH and drive to Boston for work due to cheaper housing.

Welcome to MA. We need more people as we are the only state in US that has more people leaving than coming in last year.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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I'm rather shocked that you consider NJ to be larger than MA!! Maybe population-wise...that I can see, we definitely are an extremely populated state considering how small we are in comparison to most other states in our country.

As for generalizing, maybe it is hard to do so simply because of what you said... north and south Jersey are so different. There are parts of south Jersey I could never live in, however, but I don't think it's because of the size of the town or the population, it's more because of where it's placed on the map. We have many highways here, but not every town is so easily accessible. Those towns are what we call "the boonies", they're not quite all "on the map".

Where I live now is a small town outside of a major NJ city and very close to NYC, it was a great place to grow up, however, being so close to these cities, everyone had the same idea...let's move right outside of such and such city and we'll just drive in for work. Well, now my "small town" as well as many others are overcrowded. Don't want that either.

I guess what I'm looking for is a decent sized town/city that has that small town feel...does that make sense?

You are also correct about the education, it's how well the child does (or how well we monitor their education). I'm pretty happy with my childrens' school system now (just not the town or state LOL) and I've been blessed with intelligent children, but I would want to find a school system that is AT LEAST equal to where they are now.

I will definitely check out that website, thanks so much.

Can I just ask why you say there are more people leaving than coming? What is causing that?
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
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Northern Jersey is very similar to the Boston Suburb. As previous post says, Boston is a smaller NYC. LOL.

If you can afford to live just outside the NYC, you can affford the "W" towns. Weston and Wellesley. Many people missed are the "N" towns Newton, Needham, Natick. However, they are much bigger towns. Oh. If you have a kid that goes to college in the next 6-8 years, they are the unlucky ones. US census show highest birth rate in those year after the baby boomer years. With more kids going to college, it translate to more competition. If an SAT score of 1200 gets you in this college last year, it may not get you in the same college next few years.

As to more people moved out of MA. It is just another statistic I saw in the retirement magazine. In my mind, the lack of jobs, expensive cost of living and weather drives people away to states like AZ, TX and NV (SW region). Company eliminated many jobs due to mergers (BofA took Fleet/Bank of Boston; Adidas took Reebok; PG took Gillette ; Macy took Filene.) and oversea competition on high tech side. Company also do not like to stay in MA due to high cost (like salary, snow removal, insurance, utility) and high taxes. Expenses is moving up much faster than income. For Cost of living. Cost of housing is the number one complaint. More than that, my real estate tax bill trippled in the past 10 years (house value only doubled). On top of that I still have to pay sports fee, club fees for my kids. You can easily add another $300-1000 per year per child depending on the number of sports and clubs he or she join. You even have to pay for school bus. Just check out how many tolls and other fees you have to pay coming to Boston. Heating oil went up from $1 to $2.50-$3. An average home uses 800-1500 gallons a year. A thousand here, a thousan there, it adds up fast. Last of all, I do know too many people enjoy the cold icy winter. It is not just cold but it is icy! We probably have same amount of snow as MN. Boston temp goes up during the day to melt the snow and re-freezes when the sun goes down at 3pm. It is extremely icy. People can deal with snow not ice (most places do not have underground walkways). Even skiers complain about always needing to ski on ice instead of snow. LOL.
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:24 AM
 
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here is the link for our towns web site. http://www.town.sturbridge.ma.us/Public_Documents/index
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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What can be told about Waltham and other cities similar to it? How are the schools, neighborhoods? If anyone has lived in or been to NJ, what towns in NJ could a city like Waltham be compared to? What is the population, is it more like a city or a town (or a city with that small town feel)? What types of ethnicities are in that area or surrounding...is it diverse or no?
I think that something like Waltham may be the type of place I'm looking to live, not sure. Thanks!

BTW, Scottinmass, I looked up Sturbridge, and from what I could see, it looked very quaint and rather pretty, but I'm not sure if it's for us...it may be too quiet (we city folk... LOL). Actually, I want to be away from the "city-like life" but not too far out of the city (did I say that already in another post...I think I did). Although, if a place like Sturbridge offers plenty of recreation and extracurricluar/sports activities, I might reconsider what I just said.
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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I'm a college student whose family moved from NJ (Madison) to MA when my father had a job transfer to Cambridge about four years ago. If you want to be at a reasonable distance but not really close in to the city, our town, Stow, might be perfect. It takes around 35 minutes to get into Boston, more with traffic.

There's a lot of new construction in town because we are one of the outer suburbs starting to be developed more. As far as schools go, I graduated a couple of years ago from the HS here, Nashoba Regional, which is shared with two nearby towns, and was accepted to several good universities.

There's still a pretty rural atmosphere around here but there's a small shopping center and from my house it's about five minutes to the main strip in Sudbury so there's convenience, too.
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