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Old 03-17-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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Hi all,
We're commuting to three different places (North Station, Norwood (exit 13 on 95) and Providence RI for work.
We're in an apartment now but would definitely buy a house/condo if feasible before April 30th (when the tax credit expires).
We need to move from here within the next month or two, so another apartment is also an option.
Any recommendations on north shore towns? Toppsfield looks like there is no T or way to get to North Station. Swampscott and Salem might work, with an hour and a half drive to Providence.
Acton or Concord look like they might be doable, too, with the commuter rail to NS and 95S to Norwood and Providence.

West of the city, the Waltham/Weston area is also commutable to NS.
Something rural with farms would be nice but we still need to get to work at a reasonable time.
Any advice is much appreciated.
Thanks.

Last edited by ericaapple; 03-17-2010 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Two of the three destinations are south of the city, and the third is in the city. Why would you look northward? I'm going to assume that the North Station commuter would prefer the 'T and that possibly the 'T will also work for Providence. That being the case, I'd look for a town on the Stoughton/Providence commuter rail line. True, the train won't take you directly to North Station, but a transfer to the Orange Line at Back Bay isn't too bad an issue. Drive to Norwood, take the 'T to Boston, and take the 'T or drive to Providence. Maybe Weston?
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Default 3-way commute

Hi,
Thanks for the response.
The Providence/North Station people share a car so that's why we were looking for a place north or west of the city because the commuter rail goes directly into north station and the Providence person can drive.

You're right about the possible switch at Back Bay to the Orange line, but that person is always running late and 2 trains will probably make it worse.
Plus, condos north of the city are significantly cheaper than those west of the city (just based on my limited research).
It seems like what you suffer in the commute, you make up for in a nicer, less expensive place to live. Am I wrong?
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Boston
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You may be right about rent, I am not to up on suburban rents. My main thought regarding commute is what is the quickest/easiest. I consider that above housing cost, but obviously, you can find something cheaper if you are willing to travel further. If you are correct about rent, then your idea might work, but I have to feel for the person driving to Providence from up north. That's a long drive!
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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I'll add my voice to those suggesting that a commute from north of Boston would leave something to be desired. Forget the times shown on the map websites. Traffic in much of the Boston area is heavy enough that the driving times during commuting hours will usually be much onger than the time estimates the map websites provide. From north of Boston it might very well be a two-hour commute one-way to Providence during rush hours. Depending on exactly where the person lived and where in Providence the workplace was, the drive could be even longer.

If you work either north or south of Boston, it's usually best to avoid living on the opposite side of the city. You want to avoid having to commute either through or around Boston. Commuting between western suburbs and either northern or southern suburbs often is not the best arrangement, but this varies depending on the towns involved.

Another factor related to living in the western suburbs is the cost of housing. There are a few more modestly priced towns, but generally the western 'burbs are the most affluent, and expensive, section of the Boston metro area. You pointed out that the Weston/Waltham vicinity would be convenient for a commute to North Station. The location may be convenient, but Weston is the wealthiest, most expensive town in the Boston area. Your posts seem to indicate that housing costs are an issue, and that you want the least expensive decent housing you can find. You are very unlikely to find this in Weston.

Waltham, on the other hand, might have some more reasonable rents, at least by western suburb standards. Maybe. Waltham has had a bit of an influx of young professionals in recent years, which may have driven up the housing costs somewhat. I can't say for sure because I haven't seen any info on Waltham rents recently. It's a town worth looking into if you want at least the possibility of relatively low rents west of Boston.

Another town in the western 'burbs you might consider is Framingham. I usually discourage people from considering F'ham. It's a generic large suburban town with zilch in the way of character, unless your idea of character is chain restaurants, malls, and feeder roads. F'ham also seems to have a very cliquish group of longtime residents who can be unfriendly toward new arrivals. Despite these drawbacks, F'ham might be worth considering IF for some reason you're set on living west of Boston despite working south of the city, and you just want the cheapest rents possible.

If you were to consider F'ham, I would suggest avoiding rental properties owned by small-time local landlords. My observation has been that some of these landlords mistreat their tenants, knowing that they will be protected from legal consequences by the local-yokel network. The big faceless corporation is your friend when renting in Framingham.

However, I would think that the question of whether yuppies have driven up the rents in Waltham or your landlord will put it to you in Framingham should be moot. Since all three of you will be working either in Boston or south of Boston, it would make the most sense to live south of Boston. Exactly where depends on the details of your commute, who is taking public transit and who is driving to which destination, your rental budget, and the kind of town you'd prefer to live in as far as the town's general character (suburban, urban, rural, etc.) is concerned.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
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The commute from the North Shore or western suburbs would be hell on the person commuting to Providence, especially if driving. Not only will s/he be dealing with suburban Boston traffic, but then Providence's rush hour, which can be equally as bad.
I made the commute from Canton to Boston/Cambridge for several years on the commuter rail and it wasn't bad at all. Canton/Stoughton to Providence won't be too bad either.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Carver
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Just from reading your commute destinations...first Cathy is def. correct about the commute to Providence if living north or west suburbs of Boston. That would just be miserable on a regular basis.

I was thinking something on the South Shore as well. Not too far down. Marshfield and above. Maybe a little west of the coast...Stoughton, Easton, Sharon areas between Route 95 & Route 24.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Boston
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I just noticed I recommended Weston, but I meant Westwood.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Totally agree with everyone. DO NOT LIVE NORTH OF BOSTON. You have to live south of Boston or the commute will be terrible.

The person going to North Station should take the train from the south and switch the Orange Line at Back Bay. It's a little nuts to expect someone else to drive through or around Boston all the way to Providence, and someone else to do the same to Norwood, because one person can't make the train on time. Running late will be just as much of a problem with a commuter train running into North Station; the transfer to the Orange Line really doesn't add much to the problem. The North Station person just has to learn to make it to the train on time. Figure out what train will get her/him to work on time, and endeavor to make the commuter train at the same time every day.

Westwood would be good location-wise, but it's pretty woodsy and without much to do. Of course, you were looking for rural and farms. Canton is more of a town, with a Main Street with shops. Both are an easy commute to Boston and Norwood, and not too bad to Providence either.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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"Westwood would be good location-wise, but it's pretty woodsy and without much to do"
::Westwood::

Yes westwood station has been delayed but it is getting state aid
SJC removes Canton's effort to block Westwood Station project - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe
Canton has shops...which explains why they tried to slow the development of westwood station.

You also have a Amtrak station that can take you as far south as dc
Route 128 (MBTA station) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Every town has some things to do but it might not always be something important to others.
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