Hi, Im looking for some general info about Whitinsville, MA (Northbridge) and the town outlook.

Asked by Egp4, Northbridge, MA Mon Aug 31, 2009

Ive read all the stats and it appears that Northbridge is an average town, not great but not horrible either. Im considering putting an offer on a house there and want to ensure the town is what is considered an up and coming town as opposed to an area that could possibly decline. Any insight on this area and where it may be headed?

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Pshelley, Home Buyer, Murrells Inlet, SC
Mon Aug 26, 2013
Given the convenient location, the reasonable taxes, the safety, and the relative friendliness of the residents, Northbridge is a decent value. My 30+ years of work have mainly been connected to education. How much a child gets out of a school system predominately depends upon native intelligence, parental attention, and an acceptable (not exceptional) school system. The reason the more expensive towns tend to have better school system ratings is because the residents of the town tend to have better professional and educational backgrounds. It follows suit that the school's scores will reflect this in the children of these people.

Having lived in Northbridge for 13 years and Massachusetts/RI my whole life, I believe the community is slowly becoming "nicer". Part of this is the western suburb creep and a growing desire for value for the money. My belief is that this will continue and the school scores will rise accordingly.
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Bill McCormi…, Agent, Upton, MA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
The general question you ask applies to any property. Define what you most would bet on for a driver to improving "outlook" of a community. If it is school scores, look there. If it you value commute, the location is great - between Boston, Worcester and Providence,,, a lot of choices in 45 minutes or less. Of course $ per square foot will be less further west of Boston, so decide what is right for you. Like Curley said in City Slickers about the one thing that is important in life. Billy Crystal asked what it was and Curly says " You gotta figure it out". The more info and time on the streets you can acquire, the more comforable you will get with your search process.
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Dale, , Northbridge, MA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
We have lived there for 13 years. I see it as a stable community with new upper middle end housing going up often, though not so much at the moment. We live in a newer subdivision on a quiet street and like it very much. I actually do think Whitinsville is great, including the Rockdale area, too. There is a lot of older housing dating back even to mill times, but it is not run down. The town is clean, relatively crime free and thriving from what I know of it. Good luck.
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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Oct 25, 2012
Hi, you can visit http://www.HomeFair.com and click on the city reports section for in-depth crime stats and complete area demographics. They also have a great side by side zip code comparison feature.


Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
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Bill McCormi…, Agent, Upton, MA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
There are good values in Northbrdige. It is a great MetroWest cummuter option.
You can be as close as 15 minutes to the Mass Pike at the 495 intersection.
THe PRovidence opportunities for work and recreation add a lot to this location in central MAss.
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Dale, , Northbridge, MA
Sat Sep 12, 2009
We've lived in Northbridge (Rockdale area in Greystone subdivision) for almost 11 years now. We moved here from the Midwest and we were looking for a quiet area that wasn't urban. I'm sure there are a few areas in Northbridge along the main streets that are busy, but for the most part we are very happy with our choice. I can't comment on the schools, our kids were out of the house by the time we moved here. I have never heard anyone complain about them. I do know that our taxes are very reasonable, especially compared to other towns in the "metro west". I know co-workers in Westboro who pay three times what we do per year for a similar home. We were worried property taxes would skyrockect when the new high school was built but that hasn't happened at all. Town services including roads, snow removal, police patrols, etc., are first rate. We like it here and plan to stay several more years.
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Angela Dolber, Agent, Whitinsville, MA
Fri Sep 4, 2009
No problem. It is true - a lot can change in the school systems even year to year. I just took my daughter to her open house for the Northbridge Elementary School Preschool program and the teacher told me their curriculum changed just last year where they are going now to a Pre-K reading program in the Preschool, so focusing more on letters and reading skills, as well as doing social centers of art, math, reading, writing, and music. Plus, there are only 10 kids in her class and there is 1 teacher and 2 Assistants, so I'm happy with the personal attention she'll probably be getting as well. :o)

Hope all goes well with your search!

Angela
Web Reference:  http://www.thedolberteam.com
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Egp4, Home Buyer, Northbridge, MA
Thu Sep 3, 2009
Thanks Angela! You've been very helpful.

Yes, I did check out the school stats and wasn't very impressed. However, everyone I've spoken to with kids in the schools system have nothing but good things to say so I suppose you can't always rely on test scores. Then again, I don't have kids yet so I suppose a lot can change in 5-6 years once any kids I may have are school age. Hopefully for the better! :)

Again, thanks so much for your insight. Best of luck!
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Angela Dolber, Agent, Whitinsville, MA
Tue Sep 1, 2009
To answer your question and concerns as to the school system and surrounding towns school choice options. I know there is school choice between Northbridge and Uxbridge currently. There might be school choice between schools in Sutton and Douglas as well since they are right next door as well. We have both public and private schools in Northbridge (Whitinsville Christian School is a very good school in town for example) and you also have schools like Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Tech and the Nipmuc Regional HS as well for Mendon and Upton that you might have school choice for. I would check out some of the surrounding town schools for this information. Saying whether a school system is good or bad is tough to fully answer unless you do your homework and go to school websites like http://www.greatschools.net or to the MA Dept of Education websites to see reviews of the schools, test scores, etc.

Douglas, Sutton, Mendon, Upton, and Grafton all seem to have good rated school systems, as well as Bellingham if you want to go closer to the Franklin area. Cumberland, RI also has a good rated school system and is close to the MA border (I am licensed in RI as well and show properties there because people like the school system). Most of these towns have similarly priced properties depending on what you are looking for, although Douglas would probably be the lowest in price ranges out of the towns I just mentioned since it is more rural, and the farther west you go, the better the value of homes you get for the price you want. (as you're finding out! :o)

As to "unsafe", I wouldn't put Northbridge in that category at all, but if that is a concern, talk to the Police Station and see what they say. I take my relocating clients on a town tour for a day and show them different towns and properties so they can see for themselves where they are and what the towns are like. Take a Saturday and spend the day in a few towns so you get a feel for what they are like on a weekend. Go through different neighborhoods during the day and evening so you know what goes on near the homes you have some interest in buying.

We have a great rural tourist area here in the Blackstone Valley, so I feel that this is an up and coming area in itself, and if you like the rural feel of a small town, but still have Worcester and Providence, RI within 30 minutes, plus 45 minutes to Boston with the MA pike, I think it's a great location to raise a family as I said previously. Since it is more of a rural town, I would imagine many people who live here commute elsewhere for work since it is a good commuting location. I have traveled as far out west to Palmer and Springfield, as south into RI as Warwick, and as east to Attleboro areas and up to Marlborough/Northborough areas to show properties, so it's great to be able to learn about new towns and get people's opinions about school systems, town politics, town events, etc. along the way.

Again, if I can help you in any way, feel free to contact me through my email or on my cell. Buying a home is one of the most important assets you can have in your life (outside of your family that is :o) so it is good to make an educated choice that fits your needs - then you can turn this asset into a wonderful "home" for you and your family.

Angela
Web Reference:  http://www.thedolberteam.com
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Egp4, Home Buyer, Northbridge, MA
Tue Sep 1, 2009
Angela,

I can't thank you enough for the feedback you provided!!! I have to say that is the most thorough response I've received about the town so far!

We do really LOVE the house we found. It is located in a newer development in Whitinsville not far from the town center. I've heard mixed feelings about the town (schools aren't good, people don't feel safe there. resale would be difficult etc...). That coupled with the mediocre town stats had me worried that this may not be a good investment for us long term. I'm from the Norfolk County area originally and have been very lucky to have lived in great towns with excellent school systems. Therefore, I was a little weary of considering a town I did not know much about and doesn't have the rankings comparable to some of the towns out this way. We had targeted our search to Norfolk, Franklin, Wrentham etc..but after months of searching and being discouraged with how little house you get for your money we started to open our minds a little.

Your feedback helps to put my mind at ease. We are recently married, first time home buyers with no children...but they are certainly in the near future. Do you find many people send their kids to the surrounding town's schools (schol choice)? You mentioned the schools were decent, but would you consider it a desirable schools system? Again, all I really have to go on is the town data which seems mediocre at best.

I want to ensure we are making the right decsion and aren't purchasing a home in a town that in a few years we feel we need to sell due to quality of life, bad school systems, unsafe area etc....It sounds as though Northbridge may be what some call "up and coming." Do you think that is a true statement?

I GREATLY appreciate your insight and feedback. You don't know how helpful this is!!!!! :)
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Angela Dolber, Agent, Whitinsville, MA
Mon Aug 31, 2009
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.

Angela Dolber
Prudential Prime Properties
508-826-8553
angela@pruprimehomes.com
Web Reference:  http://www.thedolberteam.com
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