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COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT

Avon

A double rainbow appeared over the Avon Baptist Church after a recent storm. Avon is about 17 miles south of Boston. A double rainbow appeared over the Avon Baptist Church after a recent storm. Avon is about 17 miles south of Boston. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
November 2, 2008
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THE GOODS Once part of Stoughton, this town broke away in 1888 and slumbered until the 1950s when an industrial park was built to take advantage of the proximity of new Route 24. The industrial park has thrived and the residential portion of the town has grown up along with it, benefiting from having among the lowest tax rates in the state. At about 5 square miles, Avon is also among the smallest communities, home to just about 4,000 people. Yet, it has more than its share of big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart, Jordan's Furniture, and what amounts to the driveway for the Ikea store visible from Route 24. Commuter rail access is not too far away in Brockton or Holbrook/Randolph. Highway access is easy with two exits on Route 24. Elementary and middle school students ranked solidly in the middle of about 300 schools, according to Globe analysis of the 2007 MCAS results.

THE PROS Housing stock is varied with no single style dominating. Some New England farmhouses and 100-plus-year-old Colonials are available, as well as high-end newer construction featuring homes with modern-day amenities. The town seems to have grown in an ad hoc way so you can find a Colonial next to a ranch next to a cottage next to a split-level. But many are priced smartly. Buyers can get a lot of home for the money here.

THE CONS This is one of those "don't blink, you'll miss it" towns. If it weren't for the road signs at town borders, it's likely most people would not even realize they were in Avon. The town has no recognizable center, just a smattering of storefronts and small restaurants along Route 28. Condo choices are minimal. Performance by some high schoolers on the MCAS ranked pretty low.

JOHN R. ELLEMENT

Median home price: Single family,$286,400
Residential tax rate: $9.77
Average tax bill: $3,149,single-family
Choice location: D.W. Field Park is a 750-acre oasis Avon shares with Brockton that includes forests, waterways, paths, and golf links
Cocktail party nugget: Town seal features William Shakespeare, the bard of Avon, England
SOURCES: Warren Group, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Town of Avon

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