(Closed) Bees in Boston/Northern MA – please help!

posted 6 years ago in Boston
Post # 3
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@iammcdibble:  Absolutely do not live in Lawrence-high crime.

Your response will vary greatly on what you can afford-what will your dual income be? Andover is very nice, near Lawrence, and very expensive.

Lowell is close by, and used to be high-crime, but it’s trying to turn around. They’ve converted a lot of mills along the Merrimack river into very nice loft apartments, downtown has an arena for concerts, and in the summer there is a Lowell Summer Series of outdoor concerts. There is a lot to do in the area.The downtown has bars and a good variety of restaurants.

Tyngsboro and Chelmsford are also nice, but more suburban.

Post # 4
Member
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I echo that you shouldn’t live in Lawrence. Not a safe city. 

Are you looking for a job? My recommendation will change based on where you work too.

I was born and raised in Somerville, MA. It’s right outside of Boston, but about 35 minutes from Lawrence.  The commute wouldn’t be terrible since you’d be going against traffic.  It’s great because it’s so easy to get into Boston, and there’s a lot of things to do in Somerville/Cambridge without going to Boston too. It’s connected to all the trains and buses, which is super convenient.  The downside is that it is expensive.

Lowell, Haverhill, Wilmington, Woburn, and Reading are closer to Lawrence and on the commuter rail, so if you get a job closer to Boston it would be easy to commute on the train if you didn’t want to drive. They are nice suburbs of Boston.

Just keep in mind that the closer you get to Boston, the more expensive things will be.

Post # 5
Member
14657 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would look around the Woburn/Burlington area.  That will provide a quick commute up to Lawrence, and just 20 minutes drive right into Boston down 93 (unless you work in Boston, but then like BostonBee said, you will have the commuter rail option).  I would not suggest living much further north to be closer to work since you’ll be farther from the city and it’ll be a lot easier to be lazy and not go out to do anything – I live about 50-60 minutes from Boson and never just go into the city for no reason anymore like I used to when I was only 15-20 minutes away.

 

Post # 7
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

$2,500 will afford you a lot, in a lot of cities. I think my friends live in a 2BR in Medford, 10 minute drive to Boston for just shy of $2k.I would never live in their place though, it’s small, all the houses are extremely close together, and most units don’t have parking (have fun in the winter when there are street bans!)

Even though you’d be going against traffic, would you rather have a 25 mile commute 5 days a week, but live closer to Boston, or have a 5 mile commute each day, with a 25 minute drive to Boston on the weekends?

Save your money, mileage, and time, and live closer to Lawrence than to Boston, there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding cities as well. I’d stay along 93 and above 95, Wilmington and N Reading.

Post # 8
Member
14657 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Where are you originally from?  How long do you plan on living in the area?

If you’re not going to be here for long, with that budget I’d actually recommend trying your hand at living right in the North End.  When my husband first moved to MA he decided to live near work in Lowell.  It was boring and he hated having to commute into the city to go out.  So after a year there, he moved into the North End.  He was working in Andover, and the drive was an easy 20-25 minutes against traffic.  Lawrence would be a bit further, but not painfully so imo.  Living in MA is easily 30-60 minute commute for just about anyone.  He lived there for 2 years and I stayed there often.  The experience was just amazing.  It was so wonderful to be able to just step out and be in the middle of the festivals always going on in the North end, be right near downtown and Quincy Market.  The only issue is parking, it’d be resident street parking which can be a pain, but there’s a reverse commute parking lot that is only $100 a month  (as opposed to a regular monthly parking spot that would be upwards of $400).

Post # 9
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Definitely do not live in Lawrence.  There are a few towns that border Lawrence that are nice, such as Andover or North Andover (they are 2 separate towns).  Both definitely have a more “suburban” feel – you won’t get major night life in either one except for some restaurants.  Andover is the nicer of the two and as such is more expensive.  However, since they are slightly further away from Boston, you may find a cheaper, nicer place in these towns than you will as you get closer to Boston.  I actually live in North Andover. 

Some good halfway point towns between Lawrence and Boston would be Woburn, Wilmington, Reading, North Reading, Burlington.  The commute to Lawrence would be easy because you are going against traffic, but you are a little closer to the city than you would be in Andover/North Andover. 

Post # 10
Member
1651 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

heck, you can live for $2500/mo in Boston proper! I highly recommend Burlington as there’s a lot of shopping nearby, and I’m a fan of Somerville.

Post # 11
Member
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

OK – So I live in Lawrence and I LOVE it and I’ve NEVER felt unsafe. Yes, there are very bad sections of Lawrence, but there are also very bad sections of Boston. You wouldn’t tell someone not to live in Boston just because of Mission Hill… 

Anyways, I live in Lawrence and love it. I live practically on the North Andover line, which is South Lawrence and the “good part of the city” we barely ever go into downtown Lawrence – Whole Foods in Andover is a 5 minute drive awaay. We live in a luxury loft building that utilizes one of the old Mill buildings along the river – Monarch Lofts. It is FABULOUS! Not only are the spaces HUGE for the money, you also get free parking, in unit laundry, pet friendly and the commuter rail is literally right across the street (I take it every day into Boston). For MUCH less than your $2,500 budget you’ll get at least 1,500 square feet of spectacular living space with floor to ceiling windows. In Boston you’d get about 800 square feet. 

PM me if you want to ask me more!!!! If you move there then you’ll get a discount with my reference!!!!

Post # 12
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@iammcdibble:  I’ve done the Boston to Andover/Lawerence commute before. It’s not traffic but it is a long ride to get home to Boston. I wouldn’t trade living in Boston for anything. I love being able to walk places, walk to work, have the city life.

 

A good mid-way point is Burlington, Woburn, Melrose etc. Basically anything on 93 that puts you in the middle of Boston and Lawerence.

Best of luck!

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