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Finding the best places to live in Boston

Posted by Leslie Mann on Sun, Jul 3, 2011 @ 07:36 PM

Wellesley High School

People from around the world are drawn to the Boston area for its vibrant economy and world-class health care. Also high on peoples' wish lists for places to live in the Boston suburbs include:

* Top rated public schools

* A reasonable commute to Boston

* Attractive, family-friendly neighborhoods

However, home prices in those communities can be pretty steep so it's often a tradeoff between commute time, home size, and other amenities. Today, I thought it would be handy to put together a quick reference guide to those relocating to the Boston suburbs.

This little chart shows the 30 communities listed in Boston Magazine's ranking of Best Public Schools in Massachusetts. Then to give you an idea of area home prices, I picked a sample home from each town for comparison sake. For the chart, I selected a 2,500 square foot colonial-style home in a neighborhood setting in each town & listed the price of that home. (If these prices are giving you an anxiety attack, don't fear. There are less expensive homes in many of these communities. These are just a sampling of a certain size & style of home.) I then listed the community's approximate distance to Boston.

Town Public High School Approximate distance from Boston Public transit nearby? Sample home price
Weston Weston High School 28 minutes yes, Waltham $799,900
Dover/Sherborn Dover-Sherborn High School 41 minutes yes, Natick $739,000
Lexington Lexington High School 28 minutes yes $859,000
Wellesley Wellesley Senior High School 30 minutes yes $788,000
Concord/Carlisle Concord-Carlisle High School 34 minutes yes $769,000
Bedford Bedford High School 30 minutes yes $623,000
Brookline Brookline High School 16 minutes yes $859,000
Wayland Wayland High School 34 minutes no* $599,000
Newton Newton North High School 22 minutes yes $749,000
Newton Newton South High School 22 minutes yes $749,000
Westwood Westwood High School 35 minutes yes $599,000
Hamilton/Wenham Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School 48 minutes yes $659,000
Manchester/Essex Manchester Essex Regional High School 46 minutes yes $730,000
Sharon Sharon High School 36 minutes yes $525,000
Harvard Bromfield High School  54 minutes no** $629,000
Cambridge Cambridge Rindge & Latin School 10 minutes yes $749,000
Cohasset Cohasset High School 48 minutes yes $599,000
Westborough Westborough High School 47 minutes yes $479,000
Needham Needham High School 33 minutes yes $699,000
Lincoln/Sudbury Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School 31 minutes yes, Lincoln $609,000
Holliston Holliston High School 52 minutes no $429,000
Boston Boston Latin School n/a yes $879,000
Marblehead Marblehead High School 42 minutes yes $549,900
Hopkinton Hopkinton High School 45 minutes yes, Southboro $479,900
Winchester Winchester High School 19 minutes yes $649,000
Acton/Boxborough Acton-Boxborough Regional High School 42 minutes yes, Acton $539,000
Andover Andover High School 35 minutes yes $549,900
Northborough/Southborough Algonquin Regional High School 51 minutes yes, Southboro $410,000
Belmont Belmont High School 21 minutes yes $729,000
Duxbury Duxbury High School 48 minutes no*** $534,900
*Closest station is in Lincoln        
**Closest station is in Ayer        
***Closest station is in Plymouth      


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