I use to live up on Strathmore Road and my wife and I had access to Newton, Brighton Center, Cleveland Circle, Chestnut Hill, Newton Center, The Fenway, Kenmore Square, Back Bay and South End. Yes, in some cases we did have to drive but they were short drives.
From a market perspective, expect to pay from $320 to $375 per foot. The higher range usually has parking. If the unit is priced in the $400/ft range, it had better be in an elevator, luxury building with all the fixin's.
I hope you find this helpful.
Here are a few nice Single families:
545 Summer , Arlington, MA 02474
15 Golden Ave, Arlington, MA 02476-7029
69 Lowell Ave., Watertown, MA 02472
Here are a few nice Condo options:
28 Cypress Street - Unit 1, Watertown, MA 02472
12 Lowell Street Place - Unit 2, Arlington, MA 02474
56 Hemlock Street - Unit 56, Arlington, MA 02474
42 Russell Pl - Unit 42, Arlington, MA 02474-4801
Coolidge Corner in Brookline is fantastic (especially because they just opened a Panera ... sorry, love panera) but you will sacrifice some square footage. However, the value in Coolidge is very stable - great place to invest - and worth sacrificing a couple square feet.
2 nice options:
1450-1454 Beacon Street - Unit 842, Brookline, MA 02446
90 Naples Rd - Unit 2, Brookline, MA 02446-5751
Another place that is fantastic is the South End. Very metropolitan, close to newbury street, and i think this area has some of the best restaurants and boutiques. Fun neighborhood for a young couple however like coolidge corner you may sacrifice some square feet for the good location.
here are a 2:
94 Worcester St - Unit 3, South End 02118-3916
543 Massachusetts Ave - Unit 3, South End 02118-1401
Ever consider Porter Square in cambridge? Great location and lots of fun restaurants, etc. East Cambridge is an interesting option as well, not as much to do but interesting place to consider investing.
Have a look, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester,_Massachusetts
Best of luck
South Boston is going to decline and public transportation to your workplaces is bad. Watertown is great and in your price range, but it is all bus transportation. Other areas mentioned seem too expensive (West Cambridge, Brookline, etc.) or too difficult for both commutes. Davis Sq could be good for price, but a long and difficult commute far out on the Red Line. Winter Hill and other areas of Somerville will not appreciate as much as Davis & Union Sq and the areas through which the new Green line will go. West Roxbury is a bit far for a Charlestown commute and doesn't offer the special character that you found in Brookline.
What you really need is some one to drive you around so that you can get a feel of each area. This is why you must interview a couple of agents make sure they know something about each of those area you like. Then pick one that you feel comfortable with then let he or she take you around.
I live and work in the Merrimack Valley and North Shore area, and I think you would find it perfect. The area offers an easy commute, as it is surrounded by 3 major Boston commuter routes, and just about every town has a commuter rail station. It's a lovely area with quintessential and SAFE New England neighborhoods. It's a quick drive to the beaches, to Boston, and to skiing, and best of all it's AFFORDABLE!
I publish a Homes & Land Magazine for that area, we have a few thousand listings on our web site that you may want to check out. http://www.HomesAndLandMA.com. Or I would be happy to mail you a copy of the next issue, just let me know! Best of luck with your search.
Homes & Land Magazine
There are some very nice units in Watertown. Coolidge ave. condominiums are the most famous ones for the river and skyline views, you also have some Beautiful lofts on Pleasant street, some nice town homes at the Lexington and Grant street and in Arsenal Ct. all for under $400K. Also you might even buy a nice single home cape style for under $400K.
Generally Watertown is a very nice area, convenient to everything, commute by train or car. There is the mall as well as plenty of other shops, decent restaurants, plenty of specialty stores etc.
Belmont generally is more expansive and does not have many condos for sale now. Mitt Romney lives there.
Being from Montreal, I don't know if you speak French but I do and sometimes, it can be helpful to communicate in your native language!
Definitely, Cambridge or Watertown on the river! Brookline is nice of course but overpriced and there is nobody in the streets in the evening!!
If you need any help, I would be happy to talk to you and show you places! Feel free to contact me!
A bientot peut-etre!