Which Boston suburb to settle?

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nptit
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Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

Hi, Bogleheads fellows,
We are considering moving to Boston suburb. We are a family of 4, considering having 3rd kid. Here are the criteria we are looking in priority order:
  • Good public schools
  • Safe
  • Good road condition in winter as someone who never lived in city with snow
  • Good diversity
  • Easy access to tennis and swimming as these my hobbies
Edit:
add one more criteria
  • Easy access to outdoor activities, such as parks, playground, lake
DW and I can work from anywhere in the US, commute is not important to us. We consider a house under 1.5M. Where to buy? We find Hopkinton and westborough drawing our interests.
Last edited by nptit on Thu Jan 25, 2024 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
positive
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by positive »

nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm Hi, Bogleheads fellows,
We are considering moving to Boston suburb. We are a family of 4, considering having 3rd kid. Here are the criteria we are looking in priority order:
  • Good public schools
  • Safe
  • Good road condition in winter as someone who never lived in city with snow
  • Good diversity
  • Easy access to tennis and swimming as these my hobbies
DW and I can work from anywhere in the US, commute is not important to us. We consider a house under 1.5M. Where to buy? We find Hopkinton and westborough drawing our interests.
The other towns that you could consider are Lexington, Belmont, Arlington & Wellesley that meet your criteria. You will sure get a house under 1.5M,but may not be new construction though.
2pedals
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by 2pedals »

I would recommend generally, northwest towns bounded by I-95, Route 3. I-495 and mass pike. Not sure about the roads and snow though.
Barefoot
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Barefoot »

Good road condition in winter and Boston don't belong in the same sentence. We used to live in Sudbury.
rule of law guy
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by rule of law guy »

Andover.
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wellboy99
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by wellboy99 »

rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
Topic Author
nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

positive wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:46 pm
nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm Hi, Bogleheads fellows,
We are considering moving to Boston suburb. We are a family of 4, considering having 3rd kid. Here are the criteria we are looking in priority order:
  • Good public schools
  • Safe
  • Good road condition in winter as someone who never lived in city with snow
  • Good diversity
  • Easy access to tennis and swimming as these my hobbies
DW and I can work from anywhere in the US, commute is not important to us. We consider a house under 1.5M. Where to buy? We find Hopkinton and westborough drawing our interests.
The other towns that you could consider are Lexington, Belmont, Arlington & Wellesley that meet your criteria. You will sure get a house under 1.5M,but may not be new construction though.
Thanks for the reply, will definitely look into the places you mentioned here
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nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

wellboy99 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:49 pm
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
Good to know
rule of law guy
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by rule of law guy »

wellboy99 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:49 pm
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
I am an alum. day student is a good deal, not that it is cheap
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ahc19081
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by ahc19081 »

I am not sure what you consider in scope for the concept of "diversity," but I'll just say that most of the towns you have been considering and that have been recommended . . . do not come to mind. :D

(Needham High School graduate here)
GreendaleCC
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by GreendaleCC »

I loved living in Brookline, but I don’t know whether that counts as suburban enough for you. I’m not sure how home prices are looking there these days.
elle
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by elle »

Where do you work and how do you plan to get there. I lived out by westborough/hopkinton and getting into the city can be unpleasant.
GreendaleCC
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by GreendaleCC »

elle wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:43 pm Where do you work and how do you plan to get there. I lived out by westborough/hopkinton and getting into the city can be unpleasant.
This is the most important question.
Last edited by GreendaleCC on Mon Jan 22, 2024 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I've lived in Hopkinton for 32 years, a mile from the Westborough line. If you have specific questions, feel free to act. We did just vote in the new school to replace Elmwood for $158.4M so I think I heard our taxes are going up on average a grand.
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22twain
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by 22twain »

elle wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:43 pm Where do you work and how do you plan to get there.
They apparently work remotely.
nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm DW and I can work from anywhere in the US, commute is not important to us.
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mrlan
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by mrlan »

The further away you get from the city the more likely it is you will need a car to do anything. Some of these towns between 128 and 495 are just not built for pedestrians and there is little or no public transportation. Places like Southborough, Weston, and Sudbury, which have solid public schools but I would never live in myself. This matters when the kids want to see friends or want to strike out on their own by taking bikes or the subway to do things. Often it falls on the parents or they are stuck at home until they can drive.

Historically many of these places are not diverse at all, though things are changing a bit particularly for towns with good school systems that attract foreign-born parents who look at SAT and MCAS scores before settling down.

I would pick a place that's more dense, has a real town center close by, and maybe even connected by subway. Arlington, Medford, Milton spring to mind. Lexington and Wellesley don't have subway connections, but they do have walkable parts of town and the schools are very good. Check out Needham.

Snow: There are basic standards for clearing the roads of snow and most towns stay on top of it. You get used to it as a driver. Buy a car made for snow, get good snow tires, and take it easy the first few winters.

Tennis and swimming: Determine which places have a decent YMCA nearby with a pool and courts. Or: Country clubs with pools. Some places have lakes with public beaches. Note outdoor swimming is basically June to September.
Last edited by mrlan on Tue Jan 23, 2024 5:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
thedaybeforetoday
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
+1
or North Andover.
Just know that if you move north of the city, Friday afternoons during ski season on 495 north anytime after 3pm is a crap shoot.

Also, as others may have mentioned: Newton, Acton/Boxborough (not sure how far out you want to be), Wellesley, Needham...

OP: Thanks for the chuckle about the roads around Boston.
If you mentioned that b/c you have a low riding vehicle, trade it in and get something with decent clearance and all wheel drive or better.
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simplesimon
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by simplesimon »

nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm We find Hopkinton and westborough drawing our interests.
What about these two towns do you like other than what you listed? Then maybe we can help narrow it down for you.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by CaptainT »

Why are you moving to Boston? You can live and work anywhere. There are good schools with tennis and pools all over the USA. If job location doesn't matter Why there? Why not a lower cost less snowy location? If affects where in Boston
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by exodusNH »

nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm Hi, Bogleheads fellows,
We are considering moving to Boston suburb. We are a family of 4, considering having 3rd kid. Here are the criteria we are looking in priority order:
  • Good public schools
  • Safe
  • Good road condition in winter as someone who never lived in city with snow
  • Good diversity
  • Easy access to tennis and swimming as these my hobbies
DW and I can work from anywhere in the US, commute is not important to us. We consider a house under 1.5M. Where to buy? We find Hopkinton and westborough drawing our interests.
Roads in New England are going to be bad during a storm and fine a day after. You will run into localized ice conditions that are unpredictable. Get snow tires. It has been shown that snow tires make a bigger difference than all/four wheel drive. Don't drive like an idiot.

If you can live anywhere, why a Boston suburb?

With three children and two work-from-home parents, I'm not sure $1.5M is going to get you enough house. The real estate market is still really tight around here.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by YeahBuddy »

Most public schools in Mass are very good, comparatively speaking.
Most suburbs are very safe (short list of towns I would not live in)
Most roads are going to be snowy during the storms, but are treated and cleared within hours.
Right now all roads are just salty

With this in mind, it sounds like you're looking for the best of the best. Two issues with that is $1.5M won't buy you a single family house there and secondly, those areas tend not to be too diverse. As for tennis and swimming, I'm not sure what you're looking for here, but most areas have outdoor tennis courts and clubs you can join that have pools.

Lexington is nice, but I see currently only 1 single family property at your price point.

I would look at Hamilton Wenham, Milton, Danvers, North Reading, Hingham, Topsfield, Belmont, Southborough, Medway, Reading, Groton, Boxford, Middleton, etc. Best of luck in your search!
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Sunshine21
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Sunshine21 »

Hopkinton and Westborough are excellent choices for what you are looking for. Westborough has a nice tennis club and there’s also great pickleball around if you get into that.
Real estate is competitive for family neighborhoods and will go fast. You could expand also towards Grafton/Northborough/Southboro/Upton. Schools are all solid, Hopkinton likely being top district. Not as much diversity as you’d find closer to a city.
Also please check tax rates in each town, they vary and these towns are growing so tax rates are rising.
Your budget should be fine.
Regarding snow, on snow days people stay-in, the roads are cleared by afternoon, if you aren’t commuting you are more than fine.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by muffins14 »

Sudbury?
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by ancientmariner »

Boston hasn't had terribly much snow in recent years. However, a more impactful issue IMO is that it's dark by 5pm a significant portion of the year, in addition to being cold. If you are used to more southerly latitudes, I'd recommend a nice long visit in the winter before making the decision.
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DoctorX
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by DoctorX »

We have lived for a number of years in Newton and love it. Good schools, walkable parts, on the T. Could definitely be more diverse (but lots of people born outside the US). Not sure about tennis and swimming, though

Brookline is also great, but more expensive.

If I could work 100% for home I would consider Dover or Sherborne which are almost rural (I like biking) but the commute would be tough

I hate the day it snows, but after that roads are pretty much cleared
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Some info on diversity and new housing. Only a few years ago, Weston Nurseries was in dire financial trouble and went to sell a couple hundred acres of their property. South of Rt 135, condos or apartments were built. North, McMansions were built. We know from stories from when my son delivered pizzas that these have a good percentage of new immigrants from India. In town, we have what used to be EMC, now part of Dell and the company is chock full of engineers (I used to work there). I would not say that Hopkinton or Westborough are very diverse. Going east, Framingham, 2 towns over (well, now a newly voted city...used to be the biggest town in the US) has a huge Brazilian population. Going farther west (about 15 miles) is Worcester, which is the second biggest city in New England is far more diverse with all groups represented. You'd have to look at schools and decide for yourself. I will say that the Worcester Technical High School is excellent. Worcester only has bus transport for mass transit within the city. There is a commuter rail terminal to get to Boston. I'll add that suburban commuter rail terminals are in Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Ashland and Framingham. More going east, of course.

Hopkinton is the farthest west in Middlesex county with the county courthouse in Cambridge. We've had a town ordinance forbidding franchised food facilities but businesses can plead for the ability to open and we do now have 3 Dunkin Donuts (one on the Mass Turnpike) and a Starbucks in town. Westborough has a ton of businesses along Rt 9 that goes east/west. Westborough is in Worcester county with the courthouse in Worcester.

Both Hopkinton and Westborough are on Rt 495 that goes north and south. The closest Massachusetts turnpike (rt 90) interchange that goes east and west is in the town of Hopkinton but only accessible from Rt 495. You can see it from the bridge under construction on Fruit Street (one lane open).

Both Hopkinton and Westborough are what I'd call upper middle class towns. I used to kid that when girls turned 16 here, parents would buy them a new Range Rover Sport. That's no longer true as they've moved to Jeep Wrangler Unlimiteds for some reason. But yes, it's quite common to bring a kid to a play date and walk them in through the garage past the new Ferrari.

Both towns have a lot of woods and there are 3 bigger lakes in Hopkinton. Hopkinton State Park which is run by the state and has swimming and rental human powered boats, Whitehall that's a state park and allows motor boats up to 12 mph, and fishing but no swimming and Maspenock, called North Pond just south in Milford where you can take a motor boat to higher speeds but the bottom is full of big, prop breaking rocks and there's a town resident swimming/boat ramp called Sandy Beach.

What Hopkinton is mainly know for in the outside world is that we're the starting point of the Boston Marathon. Tens of thousands of people come into town, see what's here, then run away once a year.
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AlohaBill
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by AlohaBill »

Melrose gets my vote.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by AlohaBill »

Melrose gets my vote.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nimo956 »

How far out do you consider a suburb? Anything on the commuter line? You could look at Sharon, MA. They have great schools and a top tennis team (at least when I played them in highs school).

As others have mentioned, most of the public schools in MA are good. Other pricey areas include Brookline, Newton, Wellsley, Lexington, Belmont, Needham, Concord, Winchester, etc.
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nimo956
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nimo956 »

How far out do you consider a suburb? Anything on the commuter line? You could look at Sharon, MA. They have great schools and a top tennis team (at least when I played them in high school).

As others have mentioned, most of the public schools in MA are good. Other pricey areas include Brookline, Newton, Wellsley, Lexington, Belmont, Needham, Natick, Concord, Winchester, etc.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Valuethinker »

nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:58 pm
wellboy99 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:49 pm
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
Good to know
We have long term friends who live there (former neighbours in a foreign country). Their children attended local public schools, even though they themselves had been privately educated for high school back home.

It is a beautiful town. There is a direct train line into Boston (at least we took a train and they picked us up near there).

Phillips Academy is one of the best private schools in the USA, I believe. It's the kind of place that has its own, excellent, art gallery. Possibly "Dead Poet's Society" was based on Phillips? My friend would have been an able teacher of mathematics and computer science at a place like that (and hockey!) but I imagine most of the teachers have masters or even Phds.

Tuition would be serious. I imagine something like $50k pa per pupil? Thinking in comparison to top schools in Britain (Eton, Harrow, Westminster, Winchester).

I can tell you that being merely upper middle class at that sort of private school is a bit of a shock. Compared to kids whose fathers have private jets (private planes in my day, and private lakes). Often you would be attending on some kind of merit scholarship -- music or athletics, typically. (We had a scholarship for the sons of Anglican priests).
Last edited by Valuethinker on Tue Jan 23, 2024 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Valuethinker »

nimo956 wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 9:52 am How far out do you consider a suburb? Anything on the commuter line? You could look at Sharon, MA. They have great schools and a top tennis team (at least when I played them in high school).

As others have mentioned, most of the public schools in MA are good. Other pricey areas include Brookline, Newton, Wellsley, Lexington, Belmont, Needham, Natick, Concord, Winchester, etc.
I had friends who lived in Brookline.

Can you really buy a house in Brookline for sort of $1.5m? It struck me as way more affluent than that (adjusting housing prices for 20 years of change). Also is it the sort of place where most kids attend private schools (my friend's children did, when they lived there)?
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Darth Xanadu »

nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 7:24 pm Hi, Bogleheads fellows,
We are considering moving to Boston suburb. We are a family of 4, considering having 3rd kid. Here are the criteria we are looking in priority order:
  • Good public schools
  • Safe
  • Good road condition in winter as someone who never lived in city with snow
  • Good diversity
  • Easy access to tennis and swimming as these my hobbies
nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:58 pm
wellboy99 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:49 pm
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
Good to know

I moved to Andover a couple years ago, we are also a family of 4. So far we are very happy with our choice. We also don't commute for work so that makes it easy to live a bit further out from the city. Still, it's only about 20 miles away and if we take the kids to the museum or whatever on a weekend morning it's pretty quick.

Public Schools: I have limited experience as my oldest is in kindergarten but I have no complaints so far. Andover public schools are generally regarded as being pretty good (maybe top quartile for the state). (And, yes Phillips is super expensive, I think like $80k / year if you board).

Safety: As far as I can tell, this is a very safe town. Of course, I'm coming from a big city so it can all be relative. FWIW, Andover was listed as one of the safest small towns in this report last year https://www.masslive.com/news/2023/03/3 ... residents.

Road conditions: Of course, conditions are bad in the winter here. But the town does a reasonably good job getting the plows out overnight and throughout the day.

Diversity: I'm assuming you are referring to ethnicity / race. I wouldn't say it's particularly diverse here, but again I'm coming from a big city. Although interestingly enough, my kid's kindergarten class is less than one-third white.

Tennis and Swimming: There's a handful of outdoor courts around town and nearby. The YMCA in North Andover has a couple of indoor pools. There's a fitness center a couple of towns over that we belong to that has some nice outdoor pools for the summer that the kids love. And a bunch of tennis and pickleball courts (both indoor and outdoor including some clay surfaces). For outdoor swimming there's a pond with a beach and recreation area which requires that you buy a summer pass.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by mainebeach »

The Boston area has a terrific QOL excluding weather. Highly educated population, great schools and safe neighborhoods. I have 2 daughters living in Brookline and they love it. I grew up in Concord and it has great schools both public and private. The Newton/Wellesley area is wonderful with a walkable downtown. Further out there is Sudbury, Acton/Boxborough. More north along the coast you have towns like Newburyport on the water. Nothing like going to Maine or the Cape on the weekends in the summer too. But the area is quite expensive.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by SmileyFace »

YMCAs tend to be okay but if you really like swimming and tennis you will want to see what local clubs exist in the areas you are considering.
Case in point: another town to consider is Franklin and its surrounding towns (Norfolk, Wretham, Medway, Millis, etc). I have heard the Adirondack Club is great for swimming and tennis:
https://www.adirondackclub.com/

Compared to Hopkinton -which is just a little up 495 - you are closer to south shore beeches, Cape Cod, Providence- and yet still on a commuter rail to Boston.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nisiprius »

Winter driving in the Northeast is bad. You can't escape that. I used to have a forty-mile commute each way, involving stretches of routes 128 and 495. The "normal" time was about fifty minutes. In winter, two hours was not unusual. And occasional three- and four-hour commutes happened.

If you live within walking distance of commuter rail, it is less stressful--but the trains do get held up or cancelled at time.

A subtle problem that isn't often mentioned is that conditions in the Northeast are unfriendly to painted lines. The lane markings fade with time and don't get repainted often enough, and become invisible under even a light dusting of snow. That can get interesting, particularly if there's a single lane-width of recently-plowed road and it doesn't line up with the lane markings. I am mildly curious to know what so-called "self-driving" Teslas do when that happens.

If you check some weather maps, you'll see that the amount of snow varies quite a lot by location. Probably related to distance from the ocean, but also shaped by local topography. Local weather reports often distinguish between "outside 495" and "inside 495." (Communities outside 495 get clobbered).
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nimo956 »

Valuethinker wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 10:12 am
nptit wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:58 pm
wellboy99 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:49 pm
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
Their public school is decent but Phillips Academy really stands out.
Good to know
We have long term friends who live there (former neighbours in a foreign country). Their children attended local public schools, even though they themselves had been privately educated for high school back home.

It is a beautiful town. There is a direct train line into Boston (at least we took a train and they picked us up near there).

Phillips Academy is one of the best private schools in the USA, I believe. It's the kind of place that has its own, excellent, art gallery. Possibly "Dead Poet's Society" was based on Phillips? My friend would have been an able teacher of mathematics and computer science at a place like that (and hockey!) but I imagine most of the teachers have masters or even Phds.

Tuition would be serious. I imagine something like $50k pa per pupil? Thinking in comparison to top schools in Britain (Eton, Harrow, Westminster, Winchester).

I can tell you that being merely upper middle class at that sort of private school is a bit of a shock. Compared to kids whose fathers have private jets (private planes in my day, and private lakes). Often you would be attending on some kind of merit scholarship -- music or athletics, typically. (We had a scholarship for the sons of Anglican priests).
This is all true. I will just add that if you do end up living closer to the city there is also Roxbury Latin (for boys) and Winsor (for girls). These are two of the best private schools in the country, alongside Phillips Andover/Exeter. I believe that John Bogle has even spoken at Roxbury Latin before.
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by rob »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 10:43 am A subtle problem that isn't often mentioned is that conditions in the Northeast are unfriendly to painted lines. The lane markings fade with time and don't get repainted often enough, and become invisible under even a light dusting of snow. That can get interesting, particularly if there's a single lane-width of recently-plowed road and it doesn't line up with the lane markings. I am mildly curious to know what so-called "self-driving" Teslas do when that happens.
Cannot speak to self driving teslas... but the new "salt" strips they are using on the roads here is occasionally driving the mazda lane detection system nutso. It thinks that the salt stripes are lines and just continually triggers the wheel shaking etc.

OP: On your list lots of these areas match those apart from the diversity and possibly the price.
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teamDE
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by teamDE »

I think you guys might be overestimating what $1.5mil gets you in many of the mentioned towns these days.

I think an important question is how important is access to the city of Boston and/or Cambridge? Surrounding towns are very nice, but if you're moving here for "Boston" you need to realize you need to essentially be on the T to easily access it regularly.

I'd vote Melrose, also. It's a really nice town with progressive leadership, good schools, cute little downtown that is growing, on the Orange line, on the commuter rail, close to 93, and you'll do quite well with $1.5 million there.

Arlington is nice and still "in it".

My wife is from Hopkinton and we have family in Milton and theyre nice towns, but quite a snoozefest to be honest. :-D A lot of the even nicer towns are more homogeneous and sleepy.

Regarding road conditions, it's really a non issue. If you live anywhere civilized, the plows will be out before the snow even sticks. Since you don't have to commute for work, simply don't leave the house if conditions are bad. Snow really isn't a big deal, especially inside 128. Its snowier out west.
Rocky Mtn Man
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Rocky Mtn Man »

CaptainT wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 6:15 am Why are you moving to Boston? You can live and work anywhere. There are good schools with tennis and pools all over the USA. If job location doesn't matter Why there? Why not a lower cost less snowy location? If affects where in Boston
Agree. The winters in Boston are dark and cold. Sunset on December 8th was 4:11pm.
bluebolt
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by bluebolt »

teamDE wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 4:24 pm I think you guys might be overestimating what $1.5mil gets you in many of the mentioned towns these days.
$1.5MM will get you a modest condo in Brookline, not a SFH.
It will get you an older and/or smaller home in Wellesley, Needham, Newton, Belmont, Lexington and similar suburbs. Probably not big enough for a family of 5.
Generally, the closer you get to 495, the more it will buy you.
wellboy99
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by wellboy99 »

bluebolt wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 5:01 pm
teamDE wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 4:24 pm I think you guys might be overestimating what $1.5mil gets you in many of the mentioned towns these days.
$1.5MM will get you a modest condo in Brookline, not a SFH.
It will get you an older and/or smaller home in Wellesley, Needham, Newton, Belmont, Lexington and similar suburbs. Probably not big enough for a family of 5.
Generally, the closer you get to 495, the more it will buy you.
Agree, 1.5 mil really won't get you far around the mentioned towns.
Dkells4
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by Dkells4 »

Newburyport hits all your variables except diversity.
heywhoathere
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by heywhoathere »

How close to Boston do you want to be? I personally wouldn't consider Hopkinton or Westborough to be proper "Boston suburbs". Any town that close to the 495 belt might as well be the boonies if you're talking about the Greater Boston area.

If you want to be closer to the city, $1.5M will probably get you a house just outside of the I-95 belt. Burlington, Bedford, Reading, Concord, Needham, etc. Anyone mentioning towns or cities inside the I-95 belt probably hasn't looked at real estate prices recently :shock:

Can't speak to public schools as I don't have children.
There's like 3 towns/cities in MA that are "unsafe" (I put "unsafe" in quotes since people who've lived in actual unsafe parts of the US would laugh at you if you called anywhere in MA unsafe) and they're not places you'd intentionally move to.
The roads in MA are crap everywhere, but they are well plowed and salted in the winter. Unless you go out driving in a blizzard or in freezing rain you'll be fine.
MA as a whole is not particularly diverse, unfortunately. In general the closer you get to Boston the more diverse it gets.
trustquestioner
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by trustquestioner »

Phillips Academy is $83k a year LOL
chw
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by chw »

What is your criteria for home size? At 1.5M you certainly can live in some of the closer in suburbs to Boston (Newton, Wellesley, Lexington, Belmont. etc), but generally homes will be smaller and older than homes out towards Rt 495. Also the suburbs between rt128 and rt 495 tend to be less diverse. Some towns in the area just outside of Boston participate in the Metco program which brings students from lower income Boston communities to schools in some of the wealthier less diverse nearby suburbs.

Plenty of living options south west and north of Boston- each has its advantages. I worked in the Framingham area for many years, and they had several tennis and swimming clubs in the area, while in close proximity to Boston via the MA turnpike.
Topic Author
nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

ahc19081 wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:18 pm I am not sure what you consider in scope for the concept of "diversity," but I'll just say that most of the towns you have been considering and that have been recommended . . . do not come to mind. :D

(Needham High School graduate here)
We are a family of mix, white and asian, we want our kids can fit into the environment
Last edited by nptit on Sat Jan 27, 2024 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

elle wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:43 pm Where do you work and how do you plan to get there. I lived out by westborough/hopkinton and getting into the city can be unpleasant.
We are working from home, might go to airport to travel for work once every 2-3 months. So commute is not a concern for us
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nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

mrlan wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 5:12 am The further away you get from the city the more likely it is you will need a car to do anything. Some of these towns between 128 and 495 are just not built for pedestrians and there is little or no public transportation. Places like Southborough, Weston, and Sudbury, which have solid public schools but I would never live in myself. This matters when the kids want to see friends or want to strike out on their own by taking bikes or the subway to do things. Often it falls on the parents or they are stuck at home until they can drive.

Historically many of these places are not diverse at all, though things are changing a bit particularly for towns with good school systems that attract foreign-born parents who look at SAT and MCAS scores before settling down.

I would pick a place that's more dense, has a real town center close by, and maybe even connected by subway. Arlington, Medford, Milton spring to mind. Lexington and Wellesley don't have subway connections, but they do have walkable parts of town and the schools are very good. Check out Needham.

Snow: There are basic standards for clearing the roads of snow and most towns stay on top of it. You get used to it as a driver. Buy a car made for snow, get good snow tires, and take it easy the first few winters.

Tennis and swimming: Determine which places have a decent YMCA nearby with a pool and courts. Or: Country clubs with pools. Some places have lakes with public beaches. Note outdoor swimming is basically June to September.
Thank you for spending time to provide the context above, I’ll look into the places you mentioned above
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nptit
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Re: Which Boston suburb to settle?

Post by nptit »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 5:16 am
rule of law guy wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 8:44 pm Andover.
+1
or North Andover.
Just know that if you move north of the city, Friday afternoons during ski season on 495 north anytime after 3pm is a crap shoot.

Also, as others may have mentioned: Newton, Acton/Boxborough (not sure how far out you want to be), Wellesley, Needham...

OP: Thanks for the chuckle about the roads around Boston.
If you mentioned that b/c you have a low riding vehicle, trade it in and get something with decent clearance and all wheel drive or better.
We actually didn’t mean the road condition of Boston, we meant we are beginner driver on snow road. We haven’t really had any experience driving on snow
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