Massachusetts Real Estate - Where to Live?

Massachusetts Real Estate Area Map

Click an area on the map of the state of Massachusetts to view more information about the Real Estate in that area.

Choosing where to live in Massachusetts

For people moving into Massachusetts from out of the area, selecting even the general area of the state to begin looking in can sometimes be an intimidating one. Many of them are commuting into Boston itself, and when sitting in their home a thousand miles away looking at a map, they aren’t really able to discern any difference between the different areas. I put this information together for you as a guideline, based in part by my personal observations of the region, as well as the commentary and experiences of some of the hundreds of people whom I’ve helped relocate in and out of our area. Hopefully some of these insights will help you clarify where to begin your search.

Commuting into Boston Massachusetts – a beginners guide…..

Determining where in the Greater Boston area you wish to live is simple, once you establish a few simple requirements.

How much will you spend on your home
How large of a home will you need, on how much land, and of what age.
How long of a commute are you willing to do on a daily basis
What things are important to you in a town (Schools, Status, Recreation, Shopping)

First… one can commute into Boston from the North, Northwest, West, Southwest, or South (those with a large houseboat can also commute from the East)

Here are some of the pros and con’s of each, along with some representative communities:

Commute from the North.
Towns like Swampscott, Boxford, Rowley, Andover, Reading (The North Shore)

Pro’s – Some very lovely towns along this spoke of the wheel. Many of these communities have excellent schools as well. Some, like Marblehead and Swampscott are right near the water, which is a big plus for ocean lovers.

Con’s – These towns can be extremely Expensive for the incoming homebuyer. Many of the areas, are predominantly older homes in established neighborhoods.

Also, commuting in from the North can be sometimes be tough due to traffic. These areas are nice for people commuting into Cambridge, but for people commuting into Boston itself, getting over the River in the morning can add another 20 minutes to the already long commute.

Commuting from the North-West. Town like Concord, Acton, Sudbury, Wayland, Boxboro.

Pro’s - Again, just a gorgeous area with lovely homes and excellent school system data from our standardized tests. For people who like a more rural feel and more spread out communities these towns work really well.

Con’s – Once more, these towns can be brutally expensive. In some of them, prices in the $350-$450,000 range are needed just to buy a building lot. Also, the commute along Route 2 in the morning can be nothing short of brutal, and this is exacerbated by having to cross the river into Boston, once you finally reach Cambridge.

Commuting in from the West. Towns like Natick, Framingham, Southboro, Westboro, Hopkinton, Shrewsbury, Grafton - otherwise known as Metro-West and Eastern Worcester County.

Pro’s - In my opinion, this general direction clearly represents a great choice for the Boston commuter.

Commuting in along the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90) provides the path of least traffic during the morning rush hour period. Whether commuting to Boston or Cambridge, there are exits off the Pike, which dump you into either area. Commuter Rail service is also available. This section of the state is currently undergoing the most growth, leading to a predominance of New Construction and Young Resale homes, new schools being built in many towns.

Con’s – None really, except that once one has decided on commuting in from the West, one needs to them evaluate which of the towns to move to.

Commuting in from the Southwest. Towns like Sharon, the Bridgwaters, Franklin.

Pro’s – Commuter rail service runs from the Franklin area into South Station.
Some of the towns in this region are reasonably priced, while others remain pricey.
Con’s – Commuting by car into Boston from the Southwest can sometimes be an arduous process. The Route 24 and Route 1 highways can be tough in the morning. Additionally, one often winds up merging near the Route 128 loop, which is famous for it’s morning traffic.

Commuting in from the South. Towns like Hingham, Cohasset, and Norwell – the "South Shore."

Pro’s – One of the most historic areas of the state. Main streets lined with 200-year-old homes, often built by whalers give some of these towns a museum-like feel. All are in reasonable proximity to the coast, as well as easy access to Cape Cod.

Con’s – Not the best spot if you prefer "newer" communities to actually. Commuting into Boston by car can be nothing short of Brutal, as traffic coming in from the South is often bumper to bumper for mile after mile after mile along Route 3 or Route 93. Newer homes in towns like Duxbury and Cohasset tend to be extremely pricey, when compared to other regions of the state, although the Bridgwaters can be affordable.

Living in Boston itself. Areas like Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End etc...

Pro's - Nothing can quite compare to life downtown, depending on your lifestyle. Walking hand-in-hand down gaslighted streets. Dining on Newbury Street followed by the Boston Pops. Definitely an interesting and dynamic life for those who love the city.

Con's City life is expensive. For the cost of a 4000sf home in the burbs, you get a 2BR condo in Back Bay. For the price of a 1800sf home in the burbs, you get a parking space in Back Bay. Money talks!