OT- the house hunt

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Commuting definitely doesn't just affect people who work in Boston.  If you have to go up and down 95/128 to get from home to work, that can be a HUGE headache too.  I've done that, and I'm very glad I don't anymore! 

    However, I think maybe we need to define what "far out" means.  For me, we pretty much considered anything inside 495.  I consider stuff along the 128 belt to be "close" to the city.  Generally I found that stuff inside 128 was way out of our price range.  But of course, all these things are subjective and just the way I define it.  And of course, it all depends on where you work/spend your time!

    This is what I did when we bought a house.  I copied a google map and drew a 10 mile and 25 mile diameter circle around my work and my FIs work.  This gave me an idea of what towns were reasonable distances for both of us.  We researched the towns that met that distance plus other criteria that were important to us and it really helped us consider other towns that we hadn't really thought about before. 

    Also, don't discount that you might find back roads to improve your commute.  The direct way to get from home to work for me involves going South on 128 during peak traffic hours.  However, I found back roads that have no traffic on them, and my commute is even better than I was expecting when we moved!  A few weeks of experimenting with different routes was all it took.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from twinklie12. Show twinklie12's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Trex - you had a similar method to me.  FI and I wanted to live within 5 minutes of a highway to make all commutes seem shorter/easier.  We also wouldn't commute more than 30 minutes to work, and we wanted to be close to where our parents live.  We're lucky in that our parents live in the same town, and we work in the same town.  Both are in the 'burbs.  So we were able to afford a bit more house since our lives don't revolve around the city basically at all.  I fully realize that some people work in the city etc., so they're always going to have to juggle commute and house from town to town. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    For me, anything farther than a 30-40 minute commute by car in traffic is too far, unless you have access to public transportation.  So way the heck out there for me, would probably be w/in range for most normal people.  :-)
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Cos, good point about changing jobs.  Not only do people change jobs, but statistically speaking people change whole careers every 7 years...at least that was the stat last I knew a number of years ago.

    ALF, I'm with you.  I commuted 50 minutes to work a few years, and the first year it was OK.  After that, I was miserable with it.  I started carpooling, and that helped, but not for long.  I wouldn't go further than 40 minutes, now, either...if I worked.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    The commuting is really what is driving our decision on a town.  DH has to go downtown, so even towns on the commuter rail that goes to North Station instead of South Station are not as good of an option..adds another 1/2 hr to his commute either by switching trains, or by walking.   We have narrowed it down to towns where we can afford a shoebox :( .    My parents commuted from the South Shore into boston for years and commuted 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hours each way each day.  I think that is nuts!  Even my reverse commute now going from boston to metro west gets to me sometimes and it is only about 1/2 hr.  I don't have much patience for traffic!  Not sure what we're going to do! 
    Anyone know anything about Reading?
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    I grew up in Reading!  I think it is a *fabulous* town and I was very sad when my parents sold their house.  :(  We looked there, but it is pricey.  Also, if you are commuting downtown, DON'T DRIVE.  I commuted from Reading down 93 into Cambridge for a few years, and I hated it.  The morning commute is bumper to bumper from 128 all the way into the city every day, it was at least 1 hr and very frustrating.  I was *so* happy when my company moved to the Belmont side of Cambridge.  However, commuting down 128 from there is also a pain since it is also bumper to bumper from Reading down to Waltham or further every morning (did that commute in college). So I guess Reading is tough place to commute from, but a great community.  And not so bad if you can take the commuter rail, although the Reading line goes to N. Station, which you already said isn't that great.  So I guess I'm not sure why you are considering Reading if the commute time is important.  The commute is actually the main reason I stopped looking there.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Just wanted to say that I think it is super reasonable to choose short commutes over large houses.  I would so much rather have another 1-2 hours PER DAY to spend with my husband than have a larger apartment/house.  We're both busy, and I feel like it is really important to make the most of the time that we have.  I think this would doubly true if we had kids.  Sure kids need stuff and they take up more space, but time with their parents is probably hugely more valuable to their development than a few extra square feet.

    And, I don't really know anything about Reading--sorry ajuly!

    I am learning more about the Boston suburbs from these boards though.  Didn't grow up in the area, and even though I've lived here for 10 years, I haven't really ventured much outside of Boston, Cambridge, and the edge of Somerville.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

         You really have to decide on trade offs.  We have moved from  Boston suburbs-  N Andover by the state forest, to Lakefront Lake Winnipesaukee,  now N NH above Franconia Notch.  The biggest tradeoff- many things are further away,  and we must plan occasional trips to go by this or that - 

    Meanwhile, a 15 mile trip without any commuter traffic is 20 minutes.
     A 20 mile commute is 28 minutes, or less if on the interstate.  To  us, 1 NYC and one Boston Commuter, that matters
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from wendy98. Show wendy98's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Twinkle I have to agree with you there is life outside of the city! :)  I normally don't get into it here but it does rub me the wrong way occasionally.  But then again it is kind of a typical situation where people tend to think there is "no life" or "no reason" not to live in X place, where X place is where the speaker is coming from.

    I understand some people like the hustle and bustle of the city but it is so not me, the closest I came to that was college and living in Waltham.  Now I like the peace and quite of my smallish town.  It doens't add much to my commute but then again haven't worked in Boston for 10 years, and I don't miss it.  For every day life I have everything within reach with less densely packed people and if I get a wild hair I can make my way into Boston for some entertainment.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    wendy - I'm with you.  I love the suburbs and would never even consider living in the city.  That's me though, everyone has their own preferences, reasons, and priories. :0)
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    I've lived in the heart of a big city, the suburbs, and, now, out in the country.  Home is where the heart is for me.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from NorthernLghts. Show NorthernLghts's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    That's actually out where I live cici, I take the train out of Westboro every morning into S.Station. and the past 5 months or so, i have to say the train has been really reliable and i haven't had problems finding parking at 7 in the morning. Plus, i really enjoy living out in this area of the state.  
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    My FI are in the process of the "house hunt" and I hate it.

    We are looking at Watertown, Arlington and Brookline (that's a stretch).

    Arlington is awesome. The school system is great and they have houses that are not insanely priced. They aren't huge houses, and most were built in the 70's and 80's. Some have been renovated, some have not. But you have to consider the area you are in.

    Watertown, we could buy a great newer house, but the school system is only good up until the middle school. But if you think about it, you don't have to worry about that for years. There are some awesome townhouses in Watertown.

    Brookline is expensive, but we are still looking at older homes there. And the school system is fantastic
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    I'ts not a question of 'having to live in the city/in the hustle and bustle'. If your job is in the city, it makes sense to live in or close to it unless you don't mind a long commute.  I hate driving.  I love small towns [grew up in one] and outdoor activities. I'd love to live in a place like Lake Winni, but if a city is the only real place where I can get or have a decent job in my field, I'm not going to spend the bulk of my free time commuting to and from my job so that I can spend maybe 1 day per week enjoying my home and the surrounding small town/woods.  It's the same as living in Boston b/c you like city life but then commuting to a town like Douglas or Ayer for work.  I'd prefer to live in the middle of nowhere, but it's just not going to happen any time soon.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

          Some of the decision,  you make with career choice.  In real life, litigation  law (as opposed to wills and property disputes)  is a field most often practiced in population centers.

          With the exception of the northern middle of the country,  where you can drive 10 minutes from a city and be out in the boonies, little traffic,  ALF's furry orange self lives near work or has a long traffic filled commute.  Somehow,  I do not see the Navy  sending your DH  to Cheyenne Wyoming any time soon.  The Eastern and Western seaboard  are congested areas.    If I were you I would focus my prayers on DH never getting sent anywhere near Houston  or Long Beach.  Anywhere else,  choice of home near work makes sense.
        I too hate spending life on the road,  unless it is a pretty and deserted one.   I know people who spend 3 hours getting to and from work every day.  I just could not do it, not for anything.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    I was wondering about Reading, even though it is on the N.Station line, because we could actually afford to live there. 2,000-3,000 sq ft house compared to 900-1100 in Arlington area.   Thanks for the info about the commute,  I was thinking that 128 Traffic would be HORRIBLE, and you were right.  I google mapped back roads and there are ways to avoid the highway, it said it was a 16 minute commute this is of course without traffic.  
      After talking with DH he said that he would consider houses on the N.S.line, because some of the lines go to Malden where he could get on the orange line and go to S.Station.  
        I am kinda an instant gratification (bought my wedding gown at the first shop I went to) person so this house hunt thing is driving me up a wall.  I should really be looking on the bright side of things and be happy to have a home at all.  Goal for 2010, be more optimistic and be appreciative of what I have! Smile
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    I'm w/Alf. I hate driving. Part of the reason DH and I have no interest in ever moving out of the city is because we prefer walking or public transportation than driving. I like that I can walk to the grocery store, work, CVS, restaurants. To find that in the suburbs you have to live by a strip-mall, which is not for me.
    DH & I just started a svaings plan so we can look into buying in a year or two. We'll probably go for the Brighton/Brookline area.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    AJuly, I can totally relate to you!  Your story sounds so similar to mine.  When my DH and I finally decided to move out of our small Boston condo to a house with some land and neighbors we couldn't constantly hear, we looked almost exclusively at Newton for one year.  The reason for this was that I felt it wouldn't be as traumatic a move in terms of social activities and commuting to work since they have the green line.  Also, I liked that it was an established town with good schools. 

    But we never found exactly what we wanted at a price we wanted to pay (smaller homes with no land), and so after that year of looking (and one failed offer) we relented and looked further out into commuter rail territory.  We looked exclusively at towns that were within a 3 mile drive from commuter rail lines that go to Back Bay station since I work in the Pru tower (DH WFH).  I don't need to tell you we got so much more for our money looking further out.  There are very nice towns with excellent schools further out too.  We finally bought a house in a town that is within a 3 mile drive to the W. Natick T stop which is on the Framingham/Worcester line.  I highly recommend that line in particular if South Station or Back Bay works for you bacuse they have express trains.  I take trains that run directly from W. Natick to Back Bay express!  About a 25 min ride!  And driving into Boston on a weekend is about 30-40 min! 

    Personally, I was looking for a larger home because you can never be sure you will be able to move and upgrade.  My parents bought a starter home in 1982 and are still there.  We bought a fixer upper and did a lot of the work ourselves - I have become an expert painter and wall paper stripper :)  We definitely went for the "worst house on the best block" scenerio.  Mind you, the house is an antique with good bones though, just needed TLC. 

    Good luck in your expanded search, I'm sure you will find what you're looking for!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trigirl627. Show Trigirl627's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Hyde Park is the biggest real estate secret going if you want a starter home. We have a 3 bed, 3 bath house with a 5 minute walk to the commuter rail. DH's train gets to South Station in under 15 minutes. We also have a big yard and live a few houses from Menino. It's cheap enough that you can afford private school for the kids. Property taxes are pretty much slashed in half from the owner-occupied tax rebate, too.  I didn't even know where it was until I moved here, sandwiched between Dedham, Milton and West Roxbury!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Pink, Brighton has some great one families...if that is what you're looking for. A lot in Oak Sq. I love Brighton.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Oak Square is a good place to buy! We're not sure yet if we want a house or a condo. We almost bought a condo in Brighton on comm ave after we got engaged, but then DH started considering a career change, so we backed out.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Thanks for the insight Trouble, nice to hear that you went through the same thing we are and are happy in the end. :)   We have been looking into the Natick area as well...we started with just towns near boston, now we are branching out!

    Pink- we're selling a Condo in Brighton, want to move? :) Just kidding. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Trex, I am really puzzled as why you say Reading is a tough place to commute to/from.
    Our office is right on Main Street in Reading and just a stonecast from the commuter train. In the rush hour, they go every 10 - 15 minutes. I know, b/c I have sat there plenty at the rail road crossing.
    Whoever we interview loves it. Imagine I don't have to drive? We also have plenty of busses going to Oak Gove Station to catch the T, where ever you want to go.
    Reading is one of the better towns, if you want to commute IMO.
    So, July - do not be afraid to live/work in Reading.
    However, Trex is right - if you have to DRIVE to Boston, it will be a real PITA - unless you have flexible hours. Leave before 6:30 am or after 9:30 am. Come back home before 4:30 pm or wait until after 7pm.
    The traffic is one of the reasons we moved our office from Boston to Reading.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from twinklie12. Show twinklie12's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    Wendy and Princess - so nice to hear from you gals who can appreciate the burbs!  To each their own.  I personally love driving (ie to the grocery store - walking with all my groceries, no thanks) and being able to park everywhere for free, that's why I'd never last in the city!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: OT- the house hunt

    It's funny how different Boston is from other cities. I lived in the second largest city in NY (which, really, isn't saying much) and now, living here, I think the best thing about it was that you could go anywhere in 10 minutes (you had to have a car, but it was a given that everyone did) and find copious free parking. 

    Choosing a town\city to live in seems like a very personal decision, and it's hard to advise on because people have their own reasons for liking or hating an area. Drive around towns you think you want to live in, wikipedia info about them, check stats that are important to you. 

    (DH thinks I'm crazy because I have no desire to live in Belmont. Sure, it's an affluent area and people are clambering for the crazy expensive homes, but it's like crossing Mordor to ever get into the city. If I ever have to take the 73 again I might scoop out my eyes with a spoon.) 
     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share