I think that Chelmsford is a nice area, but in real estate location is very literal and specific. In other words, you can have a "bad" location in a nice area. For example, lets say your house is right next to the commuter rail and your walls shake every morning when the trains go bye. That's not a very desirable location. Busy roads are less desirable than side streets and dead ends. A home right next to the highway where you can hear highway noise is less desirable than one away from the highway with less noise. Land with wetlands on it is not as desirable as land without wetlands, and so on. A lot of it is common sense.
Many home buyers consider quality of schools when deciding on a city to live in. This is important even if you don't have kids in school because when you resell chances are your buyers will consider the schools. Chelmsford has highly ranked schools. Here is a link to view the ratings on greatschools.com
Here are some other stats about Chelmsford including crime rates:
My suggestion is for you to drive around the neighborhoods you are considering and see what YOU think about them. Would you be comfortable living there? If not, then others may have the same reservations. Everyone has different tastes though.
I think that just about any neighborhood can be a good place to buy and sell though if you pay the right price. When I work with home buyers I prepare home value reports before my clients make offers so they have a comfort level in their offers. I also prepare historical data on home prices in the area so my clients can look at price trends.
Well, good luck. I hope this reply was helpful.... more