Thinking about moving to Boston :) — The Bump
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Thinking about moving to Boston :)

Hey Bumpies.

A little intro: My SO and I are both 21, and expecting our first son in just a few short weeks! He is originally from Northern CA, and I am from Southern Ca. We both now live (temporarily, hopefully) in Southern CA. I just completed my final semester of school in July, and have been taking a pause on the job hunt as of late. Seeing as though I was 5ish months pregnant when I graduated college, I hadn't been having any luck with a job hunt.

I am now currently trying to pursue my career in travel, tourism & hospitality. We both really love Boston, and wanted to ask fellow parents and/or parents-to-be:

  1. What is the cost of living in your neighborhood? (median income, housing costs, etc.)
  2. What are the demographics like in your neighborhood?
  3. (in your opinion) Where are the safest neighborhoods for a family?
  4. Have you made the move from out of state? From where? What was it like?
 Thanks for all your help, ladies!
V|V TSP V|V

Re: Thinking about moving to Boston :)


  • What is the cost of living in your neighborhood? (median income, housing costs, etc.)

    It's high. I'm in metrowest suburbs. Median Price for a SFH is 1.2M in my town. The next town over has some rentals, they run about 2.5k/month for 2 bedroom apts. DC centers in my area range from $450-$550/wk.

    What are the demographics like in your neighborhood?

    My neighborhood is fairly Caucasian. Age is very varied - everything from newly weds to retirees.

    (in your opinion) Where are the safest neighborhoods for a family?

    In the city or the suburbs? City-wise, I'd say there are some areas of JP that are amazing, Brookline is great, East Boston is supposed to be "up and coming" and is very reasonably priced.


    Have you made the move from out of state? From where? What was it like?

    We moved from the midwest and it was a shock. Rent on a condo was way higher than our mortgage on a SFH that was about twice the size. COL is so high that even though H is making double what he was in the midwest, the standard of living is same, if not lower. Traffic is congested and people are terrible drivers. If you life in the city, you'll have to pay for a parking space; if you're in the suburbs, chances are you'll have surface lot (non-garage) parking, which really sucks in the winter. Oh, and there's a hurricane coming and we're expecting huge amounts of flooding. Gee, I really love New England... ugh.

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    1. What is the cost of living in your neighborhood? (median income, housing costs, etc.)  I live in the burbs, along the 495 loop.  Anything inside the 95 loop is expensive.  Our neighborhood is friendly and family living, however my husband (and I used to) works in Boston and the commute is killer.  If you're working in the hospitality industry, it's best you work closer to Boston depending on the hours.
    2. What are the demographics like in your neighborhood? My town is varied.  lots of old Italian immigrants.  Lots of families.  People move out to the burbs to have family since everything closer to town is wicked expensive.  Daycare in Boston will run you about $500-600 for a center daycare. 
    3. (in your opinion) Where are the safest neighborhoods for a family? If we're looking at Boston area, there are many neighborhoods that are safe, but you've got to move into the right part of the neighborhood.  I used to live in Cambridge.  Cambridge, Brookline, upscale parts of downtown, Somerville.  There are nice parts of Dorchester and JP that are up and coming.  A little further out, Milton is a great town to raise a family and isn't a bad commute at all into town.  You'd probably have good parking.  Anything in town, i wouldn't even bother with a car.  If you need to get out of town, you can sign up for a Zipcar.
    4. Have you made the move from out of state? From where? What was it like? I'm originally from Texas, but i came up here as a student.  I'm left leaning politically, but MA is a whole other monster.  If you're coming from California, however, you may think we're too conservative!  :)  The seasons are nice and we have bad winters sometimes, and sometimes good winters.  The really cold days usually only last for a couple weeks in Jan/Feb.  It is depressing to have a gray overcast from Nov - Apr though.  As soon as the sun comes out, you'll notice everyone outside catching rays.  It's funny. 
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  • I moved to the Boston Area from the Bay area about 2 yrs ago. Now live in a suburb SW of Boston. Homes in my town cost $500-900K+. Thre is almost no diversity of ethnicity or sexual orientation to be found. Daycare is ~$400+/wk for an infant. I found the move from CA to be total cuture shock (note I have made cross country moves befpre and ahve lived in WI and CO as well... this move the by far the hardest). It has taken almost 2 years to make friends and I find people to generally be pretty chilly (until you get to know them, which takes forever since most people aren't very open up front). I ahve also found people here to be rather formal and uptight (at least initially). The traffic and communtes are far more maddening than that in CA. Overall, it is an expensive place to live that is hard to adjust to if you didn't grow up here. That being said, once you are settled (and okay with feeling broke forever), it can be beautiful and you are very close to lots of outdoor things to do, whihc is nice. Best of luck!

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  • Congrats on your upcoming baby and finishing school!  I've lived in Southern CA before as well, but am from MA originally.  So while I've moved here from out of state, I was from here to begin with!

     

    1. What is the cost of living in your neighborhood? (median income, housing costs, etc.)
    I'm not sure what the cost of living for most people is, but I live in the Davis Square area of Somerville.  We rent, and most rents for decent places in our neighborhood is around $2k to $2300 for a 2-3 BR in good condition.  Our place has a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, off street parking, and 2 bedrooms and is around 1100 sq ft.  We are walking distance to the T which makes our neighborhood desirable and likely adds to the cost.  The apartment we live in is the first floor of a two family house, and if we wanted to buy it (our landlord owns it as a condo -- it's very common here that people will own a floor of a multi-family house as a condo and have a small condo association with the owner(s) of the other floor(s)), the price would be around $400k - $425k.   
     
    1. What are the demographics like in your neighborhood?
     
    Mostly white, young families or single folks.  Some Asian or African American, MA is not nearly as diverse as California.  
    1. (in your opinion) Where are the safest neighborhoods for a family? 
     
    Like I said, I live in Somerville, and I think the Porter Square and Davis Square areas are good for families.  There are also parts of Cambridge especially around the Porter Square area of Cambridge (that square is pretty much on the city line) and Harvard Square as well as North Cambridge that are good.  Areas that are immediately near Alewife are not as desirable.  As for other parts of Boston, Brookline is good, as someone else mentioned, and parts of Brighton near Brookline.  Parts of South Boston or Charlestown are ok as well, I know some people who live over there but I'm not sure exactly what parts.  I do know that in Charlestown, areas immediately near Sullivan Square are not super desirable, nor areas of South Boston towards the Andrews/JFK T stop. If you're looking at Boston proper, and have money to spend, then Back Bay or Beacon Hill are to die for, but crazy expensive.    
    1. Have you made the move from out of state? From where? What was it like?
     
    Like I said, I'm from MA, so yes, I've moved from out of state, but it was moving back home for me.  The rental market can be tighter here than in So Cal.  It's more like what I"ve heard about San Fran.  It's not like you have to show up with a list of references in hand, but it's just hard to find a place.  Landlords here list with several realtors and there aren't very many that list by themselves.  So that means you end up paying a "finders fee" to the realtors that costs a month's rent.  I've had the most success with craigslist but even that is frustrating to use.  You might find that it's easier to move into a short term rental for a month or two while you look to either rent or buy.  
     
    Good luck!! 

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