relocation to natick area

Old Jul 11th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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relocation to natick area

My 25 yr old son just interviewed with Natick Labs. Coming from college town in NC, he had a bit of sticker shock at rental prices. In what other towns should he be looking for housing, prefers houses over apartments. Would like area with coffee shops, restaurants, etc.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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In general, looking at locations east from Natick towards Boston, prices will increase. That's not to say that he won't find something reasonable, the choices may be fewer. Framingham, just west of Natick, has a lot of apartment complexes but you say that's not what he wants. House rentals for the most part will be expensive especially paying to heat them in the winter.

What is he looking for in addition to restaurants--does he want easy access to Boston? how long a commute does he want? and what would be his general budget?

Wellesley is a nice town and it has a college with the usual shops that go along with that. It's adjacent to Natick.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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My friends in the area rent apartments in Ashland, Marlborough, Acton. I'd also suggest Maynard, which has a nice walkable downtown area with a number of ethnic restaurants, a couple pubs, etc.

Even if he prefers to live in a house, IMO he should probably start with an apartment - get used to the cost of living in the northeast and the character of the different towns before committing to a house...
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 07:54 AM
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No reason a 25 yr old can't start in an apt and 'graduate' to something larger. Has he been looking at Craigslist to get an idea what the housing situation is as far as rent price, how big of a space he gets for his target price, what condition, etc.? That's a great place to start.

Does your son want to be 'close enough' to those shops and restaurants where he drives 10-15 min from a 'suburb' or does he want to walk to them from his front door? The further from Boston, the more 'sleepy' the town will look other than having typical shopping and strip malls. The city-like places that are easy for commuting to Natick are Newton, part of Waltham, and perhaps Brookline.

If he can tolerate a town with suburban character, Natick itself is decent. The right parts of Framingham should also be fine. These have a lower price tag compared to the above towns.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 07:55 AM
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ashland, framingham, natick, wayland, holliston, medway, millis are potential towns..

the further west or south the cheaper generally...

i live east towards boston and it can be very expensive, BUT there is also that just perfect affordable place..

waltham is another place or watertown..

houses are quite expensive for rental... try rentals on busy streets... i saw one yesterday on rte 9 in wellesley... drive around and look for signs..

lots of landlords do not like people under 30..
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 08:03 AM
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He's probably going to need a roommate if he wants a house rental. This is just an expensive area to live. Maybe he can find something small in his price range, but I think it won't be easy. He should really consider apartments. maybe an apartment in a house would work out? rather than one of the big complexes? There are some nice duplexes, or 3-family houses that have appartments. Or maybe a townhouse type condo rental (though, these can be ridiculously expensive too). It really depends on what he wants, how much he can spend, and all those other factors.

Marlborough and Hudson might be a little cheaper than Natick, nothing wrong with them at all, they are just a little more working class. Also, a fair number of recent college grads who work out here in the 'burbs, but want to be closer to Boston rent in Waltham. He might find something less expensive there.

All of these towns are going to have restaurants and coffee shops and bars and movie theaters. These are pretty dense suburbs. But he's young, and I'm assuming single...he's going to want to be going into Boston for nightlife. This is why Waltham might make sense.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Framingham should be cheaper, as is Waltham. I'd recommend he stays EAST of Natick so he'll be in reverse traffic for his commute...
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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It's a much tougher housing market than he even realizes yet. I'd try Waltham and Watertown, and keep an eye out for something within an easy walk of public transportation because there will be lots of times he doesn't want to drive especially if he has to pay for parking in Boston. Also, remember that those walks to the train will be FREEZING COLD during many months of the year.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Actually I think I'd suggest looking at the roommate ads and sublet ads for the first six months at least while he looks around, gets used to what his commute will be like, etc
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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The suggestion of looking for a rental in a two or three family house is a good one. That's what we did until we bought a house. We usually had our own floor, so it was quiet, and we were in nice neighborhoods. The price was often cheaper than an apartment building, and we felt it was much more livable.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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yk, while you are obviously correct that a westbound commute is likely to be easier than an eastbound one, I don't think he should let that influence his decision unduly. Commuting into Natick isn't going to be too horrible no matter what he chooses. Its not like commuting around Burlington. If he finds a place in Framingham, Marlboro, even Westboro, he'll be fine.

bluepie, please do come back and ask if your son has specific questions. My DH and I have lived and worked in these western burbs for a long time now, and I can probably help with specific traffic patterns, or some info about neighborhoods.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for all your great responses, I am just trying to get info for him so he can make a good decision regarding job opportunity. There were several craigslistings for house sharing, that might be the way to go. Or just renting a room for a month or so, and look when he's already there.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Yes, definitely recommend renting a room for a month or two or shared house and then he will get a better feel for the area and can discuss this with his new colleagues.

West of Natick will be cheaper and probably sleepier but he will be close enough that his commute shouldn't be too bad.

Framingham might be his best bet..close to Natick, cheaper and with plenty of young people.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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An alternative opinion:

All of the towns that have been mentioned are largely family-oriented places, with lots of soccer-mom-vans and sidewalks that fold up and close at 9pm every night (10pm on weekends).

If I were 25 (which, alas, I most definitely am not), I would much prefer living in a place like Cambridge or Allston (a neighborhood of Boston), where there's a far higher percentage of young singles than in Natick or Marlboro or Waltham. There are a gazillion more rental and roommate options in Cambridge or Allston, and it's an easy ride on the Turnpike from Cambridge/Allston to Natick.
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Frankly, for someone early in their career a house of their own just isn;t realistic unless parents are wiling to heavily subsidize him. I would look for a room in a share until he can get a view of the neighborhoods, what they're like and how much he really has to spend -once he sees what his take home pay will be. (I have no idea of the income taxes in NC - but suspect they will be a lot lower than MA.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Though I gave suggestions of nearby towns, I agree with DonTopaz. I would think your son would enjoy his time in Massachusetts if he lived in Boston or in one of the neighborhoods.

The commute out to Natick is easy on the Mass. Pike, and even on Rt. 9 it isn't bad because it's mostly a reverse commute.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Yes, I also agree with Don that a Boston neighborhood would be better. It might be more expensive but your son would meet far more people of his own age and have far more things to do at night/ weekends.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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If your son is single, then I definitely agree with DonTopaz that he would be happier living in Boston or a close Boston neighborhood. The towns that other people mentioned are definitely family-oriented. I work in Framingham but live West of Framingham in a small town, which a single 25-year old would be bored living in. I work with younger people who commute from Newton, Somerville, Jamaica Plain, Waltham, etc. The commute to Natick would be fine on the Mass Pike. Cambridge is great, but pricier. My daughter, who used to live in Cambridge, now lives in Somerville, which is much more affordable. (You get more for your money.) She has a car & has no problem with parking on her street. She used to live in Allston, too, which is affordable. Watertown is another option,too.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Thanks again for all the different points of view, especially regarding areas with more young adults. I would like him to enjoy his time there.
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