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Best family towns?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 13, 2013 07:00 AM

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Another day, another seemingly random "best" places to live list.

Bloomberg Businessweek just put out its annual list of 51 small towns to raise a family, with Littleton carrying the flag for the Bay State.

Who knew the editors of the business mag got around so much?

The relatively affluent suburb out on I-495 draws praise from the magazine "as an arts friendly town" with high school scores, and, for Massachusetts, relatively reasonable housing costs (23.1 percent) of median income.

Now I am not so sure about affordable, at least for new families trying to buy into town. The median home price in town was up more than 25 percent in January, to $425,000, according to The Warren Group, the Boston-based real estate publisher and data firm. That's compared to the statewide median price of $277,750.

Most of these lists are pretty vapid - to Businessweek's credit they eliminated high-wealth towns where the median income was above $115,000, though most of the towns featured are comfortable middle-class enclaves.

Still, the write-ups on Jamestown, a small island town near Newport, and Williston, in Vermont, come with silly references to the locals still carrying on the quaint tradition of annual town meetings.

As anyone who has ever lived in Massachusetts or any other New England state and bothered to pick up the local paper, lots of communities still have annual town meetings and they are not necessarily so quaint!

I have no beef with Littleton - seems like a fine town to raise a family in. But so are many other towns across Massachusetts - my hometown of Natick has great schools, similar housing prices and a downtown arts center that draws top performers.

We can do better than this. What's your choice for the best towns to raise a family in Greater Boston? Feel free to weigh in on the comment board, or simply email me at Make your best case.

I will blog about the choices and referee any spats!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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