What's the best area for a young couple?

Asked by ng, 02446 Thu Dec 20, 2007

We would be working at Longwood Medical and Charlestown MGH and would like to have easy transportation into the city and work (around 30-40mins travel time max!). We would like to spend around $400K for a 2 bed, 1000 sft condo/multi-family home. We don't have kids, so schools don't matter, but we are really looking for a nice, safe neighborhood where we wouldn't have trouble selling in 5 years' time and that has a nice neighborhood vibe (we really loved Coolidge Corner in Brookline, for example). We looked at JP but didn't feel too safe there and really loved Brookline, but would like other ideas to look at. I know that West Cambridge/Cambridge Highlands are also on our list of places to search for homes, but again, we would like to expand the search a little more. How are Watertown, Belmont, Arlington, Somerville, West Roxbury in relation to the places we like? Anyone have any favorites or other ideas? Thanks so much for all the help!!

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Anthony Fire…, , 02116
Mon Jan 14, 2008
You might also consider Brighton. Brighton is conveniently located just north of Brookline and has great housing stock at affordable prices. You can get into town very easily via the MBTA Greenline. You should be able to procure a two bedroom with parking (if not two spots) for that price.

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.
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Fri Mar 14, 2008
I was going to suggest Watertown and Arlington ... These are great areas if you are looking for a little more for your money but nice proximity to the city. Only problem with Arlington is the PT system is not great, you will either have to drive or bus. That said Arlington is a very popular spot for young couples.

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.

Good luck!!
Web Reference:  http://www.territoryre.com
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Tue Mar 11, 2008
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Mary, Both Buyer And Seller,
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Here's a vote for Winchester..catch the train into North Station from downtown Winchester..hike in the Fells reserve, tool around Lexington, ride the bike path from Lexington to the Charles river.
Have a look, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester,_Massachusetts
Best of luck
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Wendy Bornst…, Agent, Needham Heights, MA
Mon Mar 3, 2008
We have had the similiar situation since my husband started his medical training in the Longwood area prekids and now our first is off to college. We started in an apartment in Newton as the commute was easy and there is a great quality of life for families. We then moved out to Dover which is more rural /suburban and have loved this area to raise a family. Have been here now since the end of a Longwood Residency and love it. If you want more information please feel free to contact me.
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Eastie Agent, , East Boston, MA
Sat Feb 23, 2008
Based on your desired price range and work locations it would seem that East Cambridge, Inman Sq. or Union Sq. areas would be your best bet. Allston/Brighton might be good too. All are areas where you can still find a decent 2bed for $400K and are going to be high appreciations areas in 5 years (the green line is coming to Union Sq soon!). I also like those areas for your commute - green line to Longwood and drive or bus to Charlestown MGH.

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.
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Melvin A Vie…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2008
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.
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Zelda Kohn, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Fri Feb 8, 2008
If you want to match all 4 criterias, I'm hearing, i.e. 30-40 min travel time (via easy public transportation), safe neighbourhood, steady home values and feeling good about being there - you'd be most comfortable in Brookline. True there are other cities and town that are good for a young couple, yet from what I hear you'd be happier in Brookline where 'T' is the mode of transportation. Watertown has mostly busses, Belmont, in general, is a quieter town rather that city, Arlington varies, West Roxbury is a choice for those who do not have kids in school and like to be in Newton or Brookline, commute varies. Many people, I know ,who work in Longwood Medical prefer to be in Brookline for all the reasons you have. $400K is not a big budget, yet in todays market you can find it or I can find it for you :). Best of luck!
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Ryan Wanger, , 80304
Thu Feb 7, 2008
You really might like the Davis/Porter Square area on the Somerville/Cambridge line. Prices for what you are looking for can sometimes be in the mid $400's, but keep your eyes open and you'll be able to find something a bit cheaper. Davis especially has good nightlife, although a little less of a city feel than Coolidge Corner.
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Mary Crane, Agent, Dover, MA
Mon Jan 14, 2008
Washington Square in Brookline and West Roxbury are the two places I would recommend you look!
Both areas are hip, offer public transportation and plenty to do. Good Luck!!!
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Jonathan Bow…, Agent, Stoughton, MA
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Here is a short list: South Boston and Charlestown. No need to look further. Good luck, Jon
Web Reference:  http://www.bowenboston.com
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Cary Bowman, , 01950
Fri Jan 4, 2008
Hi There,
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.

Cary Bowman
Homes & Land Magazine
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Irena, , Newton, MA
Sat Dec 22, 2007
Well if you are still looking…..
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.
Good luck
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Veronique Me…, Agent, Boston, MA
Thu Dec 20, 2007
Bonsoir Nader!
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!
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Rob Worthing…, , 02445
Thu Dec 20, 2007
If you ask me you already know where you want to be. Brookline!!! I live and work in Brookline and it is such a great community. You might pay a bit more for a 2 bed condo but buying into Brookline is a more secure investment than some of the neighboring towns. People are always looking to move into Brookline, many coming to do exactly what brings you here. I am a full service buyers agent in Brookline if you ever want to talk about the market in more detail feel free to contact me.
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John Savigna…, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Thu Dec 20, 2007
If you would onsider a suburban community Hopkinton is wonderful. Its where the Boston marathon starts and is 26 miles to Boston, 30 minutes by commuter rail & 40 minutes by car. check out this condo at http://www.19forestlane.com
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Mike Calef, , 02127
Thu Dec 20, 2007
As a real estate agent and a recent buyer I did a lot of the research that you are doing now. Charlestown and Cambridge are great areas, but pricey. I work in the city and on the south shore for the most part, so we decided on South Boston. The area is great, and growing VERY fast for resale purposes, plus you can get a ton more for the money. If you are looking, it is worth a look. Hope that helps
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Mike Calef, , 02127
Thu Dec 20, 2007
As a real estate agent and also a recent buyer in Boston I did a ton of research. My wife and I loved the Charlestown area, and pretty much anywhere in Cambridge is good, but we settled on South Boston. We couldn't be happier. You get much more for the money than the other areas, the area is growing REALLY fast for resale down the road, and our neighbors have lived there for years so everyone knows everyone else. I would definitly throw it in the mix if you are keeping it in the city. Another area that is beautiful but difficult to live in is the North End. The culture is top notch, but driving around the area can be really tough. Hope that helps.
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