I have been living in Reading for two years and I love it. Whenever I have any kind of problem, I call the town and they take care of it. The town officials are friendly, responsive, and responsible.
Good luck in your home search!
since the weather id getting better you can also take a walk in both areas.
Boardwalk real estate
main st. Reading, MA
I have helped home owners buy in both communities and they are all happy with their choices. You can buy more house in Wakefield for the same money you would spend in Reading. Reading is known to be a better school system from the standpoint of MCAS scores.
Both town are of a similar commutability and are so close to each other have the same access to Boston, beaches, etc.....
A good buyers agent can help make a list of whats important to you and pick the community that is right for you. Again the answer is so subjective.
This is a great site about data/info about every town out there-
There is also a great school ranking/ comments site I could give you on that end.
I'm going to say the Reading has a feel of being slightly less "urban"- but not so much. I think it really is similar.
If I can be of any help, with potential financing or anything else, please let me know. Thanks, and good luck,