Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

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

    Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    We just got the word that our family will be relocating to your lovely city. Looking for information on schools, housing, etc. I have a child starting Kindergarten in the Fall. The job is in Cambridge and not interested in long commute. We are very much city dwellers - prefer to walk/public transport. Any insights from moms would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    Hi there!  I'm afraid I'm not going to be a huge help because we live out in the burbs/sticks BUT I know there is a thread somewhere on here that was started by a mom who was relocating to Boston.  Even better is that I specifically remember her saying that her DH was going to work at MIT in Cambridge and the suggestions for her were really specific (I thought).

    I'm trying to find the thread but the BDC search bar is pretty much worthless.  I'll keep looking and post the link if I find it. 

    The moms and dads on these forums are super helpful, I hope someone else with more valuble information can hook you up with the city living scoop.  Smile  Good luck with your move!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    If you can afford to live in Cambridge I'd advise it. It's expensive, but the elementary schools are, in general, better than Boston's. I've heard good things in particular about the Baldwin School. http://www.cpsd.us/bal/

    I've also heard that the whole K-8 structure in Cambridge is getting revamped and schools will be split into elementary and middle in a couple of years, FYI.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I second lemon.  If you can afford it (and prefer or at least can tolerate a very liberal bent to life) Cambridge would be convenient and all the other things lemon said.

    GL!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    But if you do have a car, make sure you get a place with a driveway!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    A few more details might help, for example are you looking to buy or rent? Do you want to be in a house or is an apartment/condo more your style? Do you need someplace that allows pets (cats and/or dogs)? Do you need all one level, or are stairs not an issue? How many bedrooms will you need? Is the public transit/walking a preference or a need? (do you have a car? - Because parking can be an issue in some areas, but is less of an issue in others.

    I work in Cambridge, but I live in Quincy. It's just south of the city, but still on the Red Line, so it's ususally a simple commute. I really like it, we have a house with a small yard, but my DD is 2, so we won't be using the school system for a few more years. My husband works in Waltham, so his commute is longer, and he has to drive, but we only need one car, because I can take the T.

    I know I didn't provide a lot of info, but maybe you can answer a few of the questions, and we can come up with more detailed suggestions.
    HTH
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    FOUND IT!!! 

    http://www.boston.com/community/forums.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3a982ab641-9368-4d63-9123-280cf0ac364aForum%3a41ef5f16-e634-4f31-b052-eab905b86d8bDiscussion%3a082abf71-728a-411d-8bbc-6ff914bc4b93
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I'm not a parent, but I'd recommend looking at Belmont.  Depending on where you live in Belmont, it can either be very suburban or more on the urban side.  I live right over the Cambridge border in Belmont in the urban part, myself, and take the bus to work in Harvard Square each day.  It's a 10-minute bus ride when there is no traffic.  In rush hour it can be 15-20, but that's not bad.

    Some of the advantages to Belmont include better value for real estate, more yard space (on average) than Cambridge, and more parking availability.  Also, the public schools are excellent, from what I've heard. 

    Good luck!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I did almost the opposite of the move you are doing now.  If you can afford to live w/in the District, you can afford to live in the Cambridge/Arlington area.  The HR office at your or your DH's new work location should be able to set you up w/ a realtor and deal w/ long distance move questions.  If you do have pets, you will have an easier time finding housing in the Boston area that allows them as opposed to the DC/VA area.  I was astounded that it was so hard to find pet friendly rentals down here. 

    The Cambridge, Arlington and Brookline schools are your best bet in that area, unless you want to send them to private school.  GL!

    ETA: You'll want to run the commute before commiting to a living location. If it helps, the traffic patterns in Boston are NOTHING like they are in the DC/VA area.  You can go up to 15-20 miles outside of the city in MA and still be able to get to work w/o sitting in traffic for hours, esp if you are on a commuter rail [the commuter rail is not the subway]. Don't get me wrong; the commute will still be painful by car, but not as painful as it is in DC.  Also, the T is NOTHING like the Metro. Even w/ it's problems, the Metro blows the T out of the water. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    Welcome to the neighborhood. Personally speaking the schools are not the greatest in Cambridge, but I hear they are getting better.  My son goes to a Catholic school in Cambridge, because I did not like the schools.  I grew up in Cambridge and at that time the schools were some of the best around. 

    I think you should look at Arlington or Belmont.  They are very close to Cambridge and have great school systems.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I've only visited DC, so I can't speak to the Metro as far as reliable transportation, but as a daily T commuter, please note the "usually" in my previous post. The T is the oldest subway system in the US, and it sometimes shows. The recent snows have caused so many delays on both the T and commuter rail, it is ridiculous. It's been over 100 years people, lets figure out a way to keep the signals from freezing every time it snows!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I think that Arlington charges for kindergarten -- at least for full-day -- and has no buses. The parents I've known in Arlington have been pretty frustrated with the schools there. Winter, can we have your slot in Cambridge? We'll take the Baldwin or that crazy Montessori kindergarten.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from merilisa. Show merilisa's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    I would think Arlington (on the T line if you can) or Belmont, or a private school in Cambridge.  My friends in Arlington and Belmont are happy with the schools there.  My friends in Cambridge send their kids to private school as a rule.  Newton also has excellent schools but is even more expensive, less walk-able, and not very city centric.   
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonviaDC. Show BostonviaDC's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    Thanks so much for the information. Here are some more details. My husband will be moving first with us to follow in June (after school lets out). We will be renting a place and will need two bedrooms and room for an office (third bedroom/den).

    I am most interested in any info about schools - public, private, Catholic, charter, etc. We are very sad that we are giving up the school our son currently attends, he speaks German fluently -? (Have looked into the German school of Boston)

    We are used to living in smaller (more expensive) spaces to escape time spent in a car. We spend most of our time out of the house at parks and museums; having restaurants/bars and general shopping within walking distance is higher priority than square footage.  Hoping to remain only having one car. 

    But also trying to stay away from an "elite" setting (if that makes sense). I have never been to Cambridge (unfortunately) so just working to get information on what to expect and the breakdown of neighborhoods.

    Thanks so much everyone!! 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    To replicate what you have in DC in Boston, you are going to have to stay in more 'elite' areas ['elite' in DC is not same as 'elite' in the Boston area- if you take the school 'eliteness' out of the equation - basically it means you want convenience and quality and you are only going to realistically find this in walking distance in certain areas].  Talk to your realtor/investigate on line the following communities: Cambridge, Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, parts of Newton, Back Bay, Beacon Hill and possibly Charlestown.  Once you get out into the surrounding areas, you are talking long commutes on the T or will need 2 cars.  

    As for schools, if you aren't adverse to it or the cost, look into private schools.  Then you can choose a town/city that most appeals to you.  

    You will get more bang for your buck in Boston than you do in DC.  I can't believe what we pay for housing down here. I could pay a mortgage on a 3 bedroom house in Cambridge or luxury condo Back Bay and have money left over compared to what we pay for a townhouse down here.  If we had had more than a week to do our househunting, we probably would not have taken what we did, but our commute can't be beat! 

    ETA: Since you are looking in June, it's worth mentioning. Yes, you will need A/C in Boston. However, in many places it's not going to be central air. Very expensive places have window units. This is normal and not the sign of a 'low end' neighborhood.  Our A/C does not work very well upstairs - it was 90 degrees + upstairs - and we put in window units. You'd have thought that we had cars up on blocks or were sacrificing animals in the front yard. The neighbors went ballistic.  It is totally normal in New England to have window units. So don't run away if you see them when you pull up to look at places.  Good luck!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    BostonDiva, if you send me a private message I can give you the name of my son's Catholic School in Cambridge.  Though there is only one Catholic elementary school in Cambridge, so it would be easy to find.  It's a very good school.  My son started in K1 (4 years old) and is now in Fourth grade.

    Lemon, you don't really have a choice in Cambridge you go where it's closer to your house, unless they changed it in the last 5 years.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    My friend with kids at the Baldwin started them there when the family was in East Cambridge and kept them when they moved to North Cambridge, neither of which are near that school, so who knows how that works.

    If you're willing to drop some serious bucks, everyone says that the Cambridge Friends School is super awesome.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    My son goes to a Catholic school, cheaper then the Friends school and very good.

    We recently bought a house in a suburb so next year he may be starting public school.  We'll see how that's going to go. It is a very good school system, but the school isn't as small as where he is now.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    Is the Friends school Quaker?  (Quakers are the only "Friends" with a capital F I know about.)
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Relocating - grateful for any assistance.

    BostonviaDC,
    I lived in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown before moving to the burbs. We liked it a lot there, but had no school children at the time. But good friends of ours live in Belmont. The school system in Belmont is excellent. Their 3 daughters all went to Belmont public schools all the way through high school and graduated from top colleges; Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and UPenn. The commute btw. Belmont and Cambridge is not long with public transportation.
    My niece and nephew started in Cambridge public schools, but transferred later to a private school. If you have a very focused child, he or she may do ok in a Cambridge school, but otherwise I would not recommend anyone to send their children to a public school there. HTH
    - Pingo
     

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