THE GOODS: With no major highway running through town, Sudbury has the feeling of an insular community, a bucolic gem where horses dot the landscape and the stoplight at the center of town goes on blink about 11 p.m. Here, you'll find century-old stone walls and all the hallmarks of a quaint New England town. Sudbury Center, at the junction of Route 27 and Concord Road, is still dominated by Town Hall, the Grange, and the First Parish of Sudbury. But you won't find a movie theater or public transportation. Still, at the right time of day, you can get from Sudbury into downtown Boston in about half an hour. The public schools are among the best in the state. Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the meandering Sudbury River offer outdoor recreational in peaceful settings. There may be no nightlife to speak of, but the town has several upscale boutiques, coffee shops, and family-friendly restaurants. Culinary hotspots offer Mexican, Chinese, and Italian fare.
PROS: Despite its olde New England appearance, Sudbury has a robust offering of younger, expansive contemporaries in its housing stock. The truly expensive include fully-kitted custom new construction or handsome antiques set amid fields. The real estate slowdown has pushed prices down for turn-key 4-bedroom Colonials by substantial amounts. And there are mid-priced homes to be found, too, mostly plainer, smaller Colonials or ranches. Many properties have around an acre of land or more.
CONS: With no garbage pickup, residents must take their trash to the local dump or hire private haulers. And even in a wealthy town such as this, tight municipal finances had led to budget cuts after residents rejected tax hikes for the first time in memory. Traffic congestion is often a problem along Route 20, or Boston Post Road, the main artery in and out of town.
BRENDA J. BUOTE