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Community Snapshot

Weston

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June 3, 2008

THE GOODS: Weston conjures up images of green: first money and then open space. Some of the wealthiest people in the state live in this town. You can see it in the gorgeously renovated historic Colonials, the small winding tree-lined roads, and the tight little sports cars. Its location on a high plateau provides remarkable views. Weston has more than 60 miles of green space for horseback riding, hiking and golfing. The old Farmer's Corner, as it was first known after breaking off from Watertown, is a place where property stays in the same family through generations. One of the oldest buildings – the Josiah Smith Tavern from 1757 – has been restored and will become a restaurant with Weston's first modern-day liquor license after residents recently voted to end its status as a dry town.

PROS: The school district is a sharp, well-supported leader in the state. Residents are generous, having organized a volunteer and fundraising effort to build a new community center in the Pearlington, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The majority of homes in Weston are magnificent. Most of the antiques are center-entrance Colonials renovated to period but also including state-of-the-art amenities. New construction are exclusive homes, many with home theaters, perched on large lots set back off the road and carved out of wooded areas.

CONS: First-time home buyers can enjoy the scenery, realistically should keep driving – unless you're one of the families who live in the town's six units of affordable housing. There's not much in the way of local commerce, and residents who want a drink still have to drive out of town since the tavern isn't set to open until 2013.

FRANCI RICHARDSON ELLEMENT

Median home price: Single family homes $1,412,500
Residential tax rate: $10.67
Average tax bill: $14,537
Choice location: The Weston Ski Track on the Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course offers scenic views and cross country schussing along the Charles River. And golf in the summer.
Cocktail party nugget: The Weston Observatory, which studies earthquakes and other geophysical activity, doesn't own a telescope.
SOURCES: The Warren Group, town of Weston, Mass. Department of Revenue, Weston Observatory

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