Quality of Life in Boston>Question Details

T, Other/Just Looking in Pennsylvania

Adult, child-less couple (early 40's but young at heart) considering job relocation to Wyeth in Andover.

Asked by T, Pennsylvania Wed Aug 20, 2008

Our
ideal location would be an easy commute, shopping conveniences, walkable downtown with a restaurant/bar or two as well as access to transportation into Boston for the action. Close proximity to a hike & bike trail and a park for our dog is important. We would be moving from Philadelphia burbs. We would like to get away from the burb lifestyle but affordability & commuting would be an issue in Boston. We would welcome a happy medium. Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!

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My wife and I are around the same age, and we had many of the same considerations when we moved out of Boston. There is a very short list of towns I would even consider based upon your criteria.

The town we live in--Winchester--is a painfully obvious choice given your criteria. It's six miles North of Boston (or a twelve-minute train ride), a beautiful town, and boasts the Middlesex Fells--a 2,000 acre park and nature preserve with hiking, mountain biking, etc. It is also the most dog-friendly town you could ever hope to find.

Winchester is bordered by both 93 and 95, so access to Andover (reverse commuting) would be a snap. Condos are relatively affordable--houses much less so. It's a "family" town--and nobody would move there for the nightlife--but it's a ridiculously easy drive into Boston for dinner, shows, etc (it usually takes us under 10 minutes). It also offers that walkable downtown of which you speak with one exceptionally good restaurant (Catch) and several decent ones.

Most people will tell you that Winchester is great--if you have a family (it has the best school system in the state--which is a nice safeguard aginst depreciation). I would argue just the opposite. We recently had our first child and are now looking to move out further so we can get a bigger house/yardfor the money. Most of the near suburbs of Boston are a little dense for small children.

Affordability isn't really the Boston area's strong suit (and Winchester is certainly no exception)--but would you ever consider a condo? Even the nicer towns are manageable if you don't need a big house to accommodate a family.

40's and child-free in the Andover area? No thanks. Lexington and Arlington are nice towns, but nowhere near as accessible to either Andover or Boston. Davis Square, Somerville and Charlestown both have a lot of cultural offerings, but are a little too young/busy/dirty/noisy for most 40-somethings.

Feel free to drop me a line if you need some other suggestions--each town around here definitely has it's own distinct "flavor" and I would hate for you guys to choose the wrong one. I'm at jwthomas5@hotmail.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 23, 2008
Actually, you've just described Andover! Living in town would make for a super easy commute, and Andover has a wonderful downtown with shopping & restaurants. The Harold Parker State Forest (3,000 acres) has 35 miles of logging roads and trails, and is in Andover, North Andover, Middleton and North Reading. There are several ponds, but no motor boats are allowed, making for peaceful hiking, biking, etc.

A great way to get to know a community is through its newspaper--here is a link to Andover's hometown newspaper: http://www.andovertownsman.com/

There is public transportation to Boston via the T http://(www.mbta.com) and getting to the seacoast is an easy trip as well. Overall, Andover is one of the most sought-after communities on the north shore, and while prices are somewhat higher than some of the nearby cities and towns to the south (especially if further from, and without public transport into Boston) Andover remains a popular destination.

There is everything from upscale condo developments to stately 200 year old homes, and everything in between, including rentals if that's what you are interested in.

If I can help with your search, please feel free to give me a call or send an email.

Valerie Cloutier
603-965-5197
http://www.SNHhome.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Andover would be a perfect choice for a relocation to Wyeth. It has everything you just described.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
The Somerset (416 Commonwealth Ave) is a great full service building that is walkable to everything and dog friendly.

He is a google map with a bunch of dog friendly places:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
WIlmington has a brand new train station in the center of town AND another one in north end of town. Great community with everything you could possibly need!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
Here are some other beautiful towns/neighborhoods worth serious consideration that meet your criteria:

Waltham:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…


Concord:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…

Lexington:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…


Marblehead:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…

Swampscott:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…

Arlington:
http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…

Another interesting place to consider would be jamaica plain near the Pond. They have very pretty trails plus it is about 10/15 minutes to downtown.

http://www.territoryre.com/idx/search.html?search=true&s…

I grew up in Philadelphia, my entire family still resides there, wonderful place. You will enjoy Massachusetts a lot ... gorgeous new england feel plus close to the Cape which is amazing all year round, and close to NH and ME which offers awesome summer activities as well as winter activities.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.territoryre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
My most recent clinets have just moved here from Oregon and Maryland, they choose to rent for a year before buying, this gives you a chance to test certain areas.

Wakefield, MA could be a good fit with a lake to walk around, a commuter rail to Boston and 95 and 93 just down the street!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Hi T,
I am a Realtor in Essex County and would be happy to assist you in any way. The key is going to be what price range your budget falls in. Andover is a very nice town but is on the higher side of the pricing scale. There are many communities with more of a city feel and still on the commuter line to Boston. If you go to my website you can use the community research page to get a better feel for price ranges and will have access to the Official City/Town websites for all communities in Essex County including Andover. If I can answer any other questions you can feel free to contact me through my Trulia profile or my website. Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
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