Northbridge is made up of 3 main sections actually - Whitinsville, Rochdale, and Linwood. The main downtown of Northbridge is in Whitinsville, Linwood is close to the Uxbridge line, and Rochdale is the northern section of Northbridge. This is important as your mailing address and zip code could actually be different, and make a difference as to what post office you will need to go to as well.
I have lived in Whitinsville (near the Whitins Community Ctr) since 2002 after moving here from Vermont and originally coming from western MA, also in a smaller town. I enjoy this community and all it has to offer. Yes, with the economic downturn, this town is hurting with financial stress, but what town isn't at this point in time? The public school system is decent - my 2 nephews are in the school system and I am sending my daughter to its public preschool next week. The Whitins Community Center and Rochdale Youth Center do a lot for the kids in this town, and provide family programs, gym memberships, and even free swim times at the Community Center pool. The Whitinsville Public Library had some financial struggle last year with cut hours and staff, but has built itself back up again and provides nice programs for both adults and kids throughout the year.
You'll enjoy the Thursday night summer concert series from July - August, plus the 4th of July fireworks display from the middle high school field where they open up the field to everyone starting at 6pm to enjoy themselves before the fireworks go off at 9pm. I live in the neighborhood just behind the Unibank and it is a safe neighborhood, one where I left my car unlocked one night and had nothing stolen from it the next day. One where I can leave my daughter's bike out in the front yard and have it still be there the next morning.
Now you'll hear about "The Village" I'm sure as well, which is a section of old mill housing where it is said that many low income people might reside, but today, many of those multifamily homes are being bought and turned into individual condos for first time home buyers, as well as for those who rented them.
Plus being in the Blackstone Valley with all of its nature trails, Purgatory Chasm, and different lakes and water slides to enjoy...it is a nice area (in my humble opinion) for me to be raising my daughter and reminds me very much of my own hometown in western MA.
And lastly, I am a realtor in Northbridge and work for Prudential Prime Properties, so I can tell you that home values in the Blackstone Valley have declined with the many foreclosures on the market, just like in many places in the US. But things are moving in the market and we don't have as much inventory as we used to, especially with the first time home buyer's tax credit - things in the $250,000 range or less are now starting to receive multiple offers if priced right to begin with, which is a positive thing. The more foreclosures we can get off the books, the better! And what a better time to buy a home, live in it and make improvements to it over time to start building equity until the market does come back in full swing (which I think will happen in a few years). So I wish you well if you choose a home here in Northbridge, or even if you choose another town. Hopefully I gave you enough food for thought to make that decision.
Prudential Prime Properties