Might be moving to Boston, need advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Schermerhorn, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    on where to live.
    It depends on if I get the job or not (interview is Friday of next week) but I'm trying to plan ahead.
    The job is in Worcester, but I'm a big city boy so I'd prefer to live as close to Boston as possible. Probably not in the city itself for now, I don't want my commute and rent to be more out of control than I know they'll be as it is.
    So I was looking at cities like Framingham and Natick, fairly close to Boston, but also close to I-90 to get out to Worcester. I have a book on relocating to Boston, but it's pretty basic. Framingham is labeled as being a bunch of shopping malls, Natick apparently has a bunch of yuppie apartment complexes. I need more info than that. I'd prefer a city in the burbs that, uh, doesn't feel too much like, uh, the burbs [​IMG] Any ideas?
     
  2. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I'm moving out and my roommate needs to replace me. That's karma for ya, I guess.

    I've been living in Brighton which is only a couple of miles from Boston and pretty much considered part of the city. I like because it's so close yet not right in the middle of everything, so it's quiet enough. Cambridge can be a great place to live but it's expensive; same for Newton.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Worcester is a pretty big city. I liken it to the "Newark of Massachusetts" with Boston being New York. Some good party spots in Worcester, not very big on the fine arts or culture, for that you'll have to go "in town" which is local speak for Boston. Distance from Worcester to Boston is about 1 hour on the Pike, depending on the time of day. Anywhere around the 495-128 belt the rents are high, due to the tech jobs available.

    Rents skyrocket as you get closer to Boston i.e $3000/month for a rathole in Allston (exaggerating, but not much). Real Estate is equally high, expect to spend $350,000 average for a house in the burbs, higher (much) depending on location. There are some real buys "out in the sticks" like Leominster, Hudson or Grafton but as a city kid, you won't like it. You might try one of the 'boroughs (Marl, West, North) they are close to Worcester and are on the Boston side of the Pike. They are typical suburbs, like you'd see outside Boston, where I'm from originally.

    As for Framingham and Natick, they will be premium for rents or Real Estate because allot of people think like you - close to Boston and close to work. Not quite as high as in the city, though. Also, it is still a considerable commute from Natick to Worcester, especially on the Pike at 8AM and you cannot call yourself a "driver" until you have driven on Mass roads in heavy traffic. (No flames please, anyone who has driven in Massachusetts will agree with me, I promise!) So if you are faint of heart on the road, look to lessen your commute, it will eliminate a lot of stress and anxiety.

    Jeff - Born in Dorchester, raised in Weymouth, lived all over and always missed the ole Town wherever I went.
     
  4. Greg_P

    Greg_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Mark,

    I used to live in Framingham from 89-96. Generally speaking they are a ton of apartments in both Natick and Framingham. Framingham does have alot of commercial property as well. Which is where all the shopping/restaurants are which is what you probably had previously read about. When I lived there one club you see live rock music at, and a ton of comedy clubs, a few dance clubs. I think alot of those may be gone now, I could check if you like. Otherwise, Framingham is probably only about a 30-35 min drive into Boston at night depeneding how fast you drive. Not sure of the drive to Worcester, but I'd guess 35-45 min. If you want any further details or have more questions feel free to send me an email.

    Greg
     
  5. DeanR

    DeanR Second Unit

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    Mark, I hope you have a fat bank account. Compared with Minny living in the Boston area will suck money out of your wallet. I love Boston but you really need to make some decent money to enjoy it here. I am trying to buy a home currently and 350K is the minimum you have to spend for a decent starter home. You can get a decent townhouse for 250K in an average town. Good Luck.
     
  6. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    Dean, I'm aware of the costs. My salary will be pretty good (well unless they try to lowball me). I'll be able to manage.
     
  7. Thomas Reagan

    Thomas Reagan Stunt Coordinator

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    You might want to check out newer homes in Marlboro (on the Sudbury line) or Southboro. Nice areas and close to I290 and/or the Mass Pike (and 495 if needed for those trips to the Cape). Pretty easy access to Boston from there as well.

    Thos. (who wishes he could afford one of those nice houses)
     
  8. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Worcester is a good 45-60 minute drive from Boston, worse during rush hours because the Pike gets completely clogged (especially this time of year).
    Framingham is nice, lots of high tech companies.
    I totally agree that the cost of living in Boston is astronomical... however if you look around, you can find some pretty decent deals. Places like Beacon Hill, Back Bay, North End, Cambridge, Allston, Brighton, etc... are going to cost you an arm and a leg, and in my opinion, are definitely not worth it. Not that those places aren't nice places to live, but for half the price, you can live 1 mile away.
    Instead, try places like South Boston, Malden, Somerville, and the South End. These places were once considered to be less than desirable, but have completly changed in the past 5-10 years. I love living in South Boston (Southie), plus we have unmetered street parking here (try to find that in the above places). South Boston is only 1/2 mile from downtown Boston.
    Stay away from Dorchseter, Mattapan, and Roxbury. Rent might be alot cheaper there, but these aren't very safe.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that it is very difficult to find an apartment without going through a real-estate company. Most landlords only deal with real-estate companies. It works just like house searching. Real-estate fees are usually 1 months rent. So, in order to get into an apartment, you usually have to have: first month rent, last months rent, real estate fee, and secutiry deposit... usually comes out to 4 months rent.
    There are many positive and negative aspects to living in Boston and the Boston area. There are tons of things to do, very good public transportation, great sports, and TONS of colleges (which means college girls [​IMG])
    But, with that being said, you also have: horribly high taxes, lack of parking spaces, streets and roads that are in worse than horrible shape, horrible traffic, and a very high cost of living. Oh, did I mention the Big Dig yet [​IMG]
    If you have any specific questions let me know, I'd be glad to help you out. I moved to Boston only 2 years ago, so I can give you some pointers and some things to do and to avoid (that would have helped me out a ton when I moved).
     
  9. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Second Unit

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    Mark Good luck on the Job and a place to Live. Boston can be Pretty Steep. You never know you just Might fall into the deal of the century.
     
  10. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I live in northwest Framingham, which is quite different from the Framingham most people know. It's quite rural in nature and I live about a mile away from a couple of farms. Yes, that's right fellow Mass residents, farms in Framingham.

    Central and south Framingham is a retail and commercial mecca. Every store you could possibly ask for, movie theaters, a new Imax theater, restaurants galore, etc. It's probably as close to a city as you'll get between Boston and Worcester.

    I live in an ideal place for me because I have a very quiet neighborhood with a good amount of land and woods but I'm about a 7 minute drive to all the malls and the Pike.

    You might be getting a good salary but you will be shocked at how little you get for a $2500/month apartment close to Boston. It's not worth it IMO. I pay less a month for my mortgage.

    The Framingham/Natick area is a good compromise for travel and city. You'll be reverse-commuting going from Framingham/Natick to Worcester so it won't be a traffic problem in terms of commute time.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    Thanks guys, keep the replies coming. On another forum people are trying to convince me to live in Worcester, which I'm now considering as well. It all depends on the feel I get for the cities when I'm out there. And oh yeah still need the job offer [​IMG]
    Jim_C/others: is the "reverse commute" from the Framingham end of town out to the Worcester area really that much better than the other way around?
     
  12. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  13. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Second Unit

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    All the Guys from the area we should Get together when Mark Moves and take him out for a beer to welcome him to Mass. Just a thought
     
  14. Don_Houle

    Don_Houle Stunt Coordinator

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    This is absolutely true. I moved to New Jersey in 1994. At the time, housing outside of the Boston and west of 128 was relatively cheap - MUCH less exensive than NJ. Most of my friends and family still live in MA. Over the past few years, when I come back to visit, I am shocked at how high real estate prices have risen!

    I lived in the Worcester area for the first 23 years of my life. Worcester and it's surrounding areas are, in general, pretty nice. There are some towns around the city that are really beautiful - Shrewsbury, Holden, etc. Worcester has a nice new train station and a decent commuter rail to Boston if you want to avoid traffice on the Mass Pike.

    The downtown part of the city is not very nice. It's in some serious need of updating and there's nothing to bring people into that part of town other than some office buildings. During weekend days, it's like a ghost town! But at night there are a few places to hang out (as a teenager, we used to join the crowds that cruise up and down Main Street, looking for something to do!).

    Something I've noticed the last couple of times I've been in town is the huge number of new ethnic (especially Italian) restaurants on and around Shrewsbury St (Rt 9). That part of the city is really changing.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Looking for a cheap place to live around Boston? There's a huge abandoned building in Danvers that you could probably have for cheap, and its right off of I-95! You even get a free lungful of asbestos, along with reported hauntings and the like [​IMG]
    (folks from the Boston area will know what I'm talking about)
     
  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Hey, anyone who's seen Session 9 will know what you're talking about...

    (Unless I'm way the heck off the mark and clearly showing that I don't watch the news)

    To take this oblique tangent a little further, I once had a friend ask if there really was a "Wonderland" stop on the T.
     
  17. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>Jim_C/others: is the "reverse commute" from the Framingham end of town out to the Worcester area really that much better than the other way around?
     
  18. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, Session 9 does it...
    Everyone who comes to visit me in Boston asks the same thing about Wonderland... but what do expect from a subway line that also has stops named "Wood Island" and "Orient Heights" [​IMG]
    Another thing to keep in mind about Boston is how the people up here refer to names of major roads. You'll never hear someone refer to I-95 as "I-95" unless it is far outside of the city... it's always referred to as "128". 128 is I-95 (for most of the way) and it is also Route 3 (got that, 128, I-95 and Route 3 are all the same). Route 3 becomes Route 1, which becomes I-93, which becomes route 3 once again. You can be travelling South on I-93, and North on Route 1 at the same time. Confused yet? Wait till you have to take Storrow Drive [​IMG]
    Oh, and BTW: here is what you can expect to see the entire way along I-93 when in the city
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>Another thing to keep in mind about Boston is how the people up here refer to names of major roads. You'll never hear someone refer to I-95 as "I-95" unless it is far outside of the city... it's always referred to as "128". 128 is I-95 (for most of the way) and it is also Route 3 (got that, 128, I-95 and Route 3 are all the same). Route 3 becomes Route 1, which becomes I-93, which becomes route 3 once again. You can be travelling South on I-93, and North on Route 1 at the same time. Confused yet? Wait till you have to take Storrow Drive
     
  20. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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