I saw your post and it caught my eye because I am a licensed realtor who owns in Maynard.
In my opinion, Maynard is a fantastic place to live! It is a perfect combination of a small town feel with a cute, hip downtown. Maynard is a close knit town and the town does fun things like parades, October fest, farmer's market, etc. I also have a child in the Maynard school system and I havent had anything to complain about!
I think Maynard is filled with adorable homes, mostly not the size you would find in Concord, Sudbury and Acton. Concord is a sought-after town because of its name, history and reputation of having large homes, and being very easy to get into Boston. Acton has great schools and large homes as well as successful businesses. Sudbury is the same.
Maynard was once a small Mill town but since those days, the Mill in Maynard is now home to hundreds of companies, most computer and tech companies, including Monster.com headquarters. These businesses are very successful and have really done a lot for Maynard. If you walk or drive through Maynard's downtown around lunch time, you will see a ton of people from those companies wandering through the town to visit the great selection of restaurants, shops and boutiques.
So to answer your question, Maynard is a fabulous place to live and its great to have Acton, Concord, Stow, Sudbury, Hudson within a short distance to it because everything is around you that you will need. Maynard's smaller homes and lots, as well as the small town feel is what makes it affordable, which is not a bad thing. Maynard is a great place for first time home buyers as well as any stage in home ownership. I personally have seen the Maynard real estate market doing very well because I think people are realizing all that it has to offer.
If you would like more information, please contact me. I would be happy to speak with you!!
The main reason for lower prices in Maynard has to do with the size of the houses and size of the lots. Maynard is a small town with a population of just over 10,000. The total area of the town is only about 5 square miles, of which only 3.5 miles are buildable so the houses tend to be smaller than in the surrounding towns; the lots sizes are definately smaller - some on as little as 4,000 square feet of land - a half-acre lot is considered large, so the town is more densely populated.
Also, the housing stock tends to be older - lots of early 1900 homes in the downtown area near what was originally the Maynard Mill which was Digital Equipment headquarters in the 70s and 80s and now home to Clock Tower Place which has approximately 80 companies including Monster.com and Curt Schilling's game company. Certainly there are newer homes further from the downtown area, but again, not of the size you'll find in the surrounding towns. The housing is more diverse and includes single family, multi-family, and some apartments, whereas the surrounding towns tend to be mostly single family homes of acre, acre-plus lots - a suburban environment.
Maynard has some great things - restaurants, a movie theater, art studios, small shops in the downtown, a new library, an old-fashioned ice cream stand, hiking trails, a golf course, band concerts, sidewalks, streetlights, a new police station, town water and sewer. And although there are not major highways going through it, it is very centrally located; accessible to many places via route 117 and route 2, 62 and 27. And you can enjoy the surrounding towns - Concord, Acton, Stow, and Sudbury.
Hope that answers your question.