Best Places to Live 2009

Good schools. Low crime. Ample leisure-time amenities. They’re all things
that make for a desired community—but it’s funny how an economic crisis moves the base line. For this year’s roll call of superlative addresses, we focused on a far more basic indicator: namely, how well a town’s home values are holding up. In these lucky burgs, there’s been less a real estate crash than a soft landing. And a favored few even got through the past year with their bubbles intact.

WITH: The smart buys for those still shopping, brokers who are still
closing deals, and local banks still writing loans.

 

 

It could be worse.
Boston magazine’s methodology and the sources behind the data.

Ten Recession-Proof Towns
Ten towns and neighborhoods where home prices are taking a pass on this whole meltdown thing.

Ten Spots Holding Steady
In today’s economy, holding steady is no small victory. And when the market finally recovers, these spots are primed to take off first.

Top Burgs for Bargain Hunters
If you’ve got the financial security—not to mention the stomach—here’s where to look for real steals.

    *   I. The Quaint Queue
To get the Norman Rockwell look without the markup, scout these discounted charmers.

    *   II. The Convenience- and-Culture Club
Enjoy big-city perks without spending big-city bucks.

*   III. The Square-Footage Squad

If you’ve dreamed of more breathing room—or simply a view that’s not of your neighbor—you’ll find it here.

Five Case Studies
We analyzed the current values for specific single-family homes or condos in Cambridge, Wellesley, Allston, Scituate, and the North Shore.

Masters of the House
The region’s busiest real estate agents give us their read on the market (and a few words of wisdom, too). VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW!

Yes, You Really Can Still Get $$$

With national banks doing the bailout shuffle, the best chance for loans lies closer to home.

Local Lenders
A sampling of area banks’ lending activity.

How to Hunker Down
Your starter home is looking like a stay-put home. (Or the empty nest is no longer yielding golden eggs.) Our tips for making do, constructively.

How’s the Market Been Treating Your Town?
A look at changes over time in median single-family home and condo prices for 155 cities, towns, and neighborhoods in and around Boston.

Map
How the real estate market treated Greater Boston and surrounding towns last year, based on changes in median single-family home prices. Check your town!

ADVERTISMENT

  • Julianne

    I just wanted to let you know that i was very disappointed in this article as a proud home owner in Southborough, ma i believe we were the only town in the "red" on your map not to get a paragraph written about our town. Southborough continues to always be one of the highest end towns year after year in your annual real estate issue. Southborough generally is in the top 20 highest median priced home towns and in the top 10 highest income per household,yet THERE NEVER SEEMS TO BE ANY RECOGNITION FOR WHAT A SUPERIOR TOWN AND COMMUNITY SOUTHBOROUGH IS. Not to mention some of the finest public schools and two of the countries most elite private schools. It would be nice to not be thought of as some "hick" town out by worcester. MORE ARTICLES SHOULD BE WRITTEN ABOUT SOUTHBOROUGH.(instead of feeling like WHERE'S THAT)

  • Julianne
  • Jerry

    Thank you for including Easton,ma in your list of Best places to live 2009. I grew up in West Roxbury,which is also on the list this year. These places are great communities with the only difference being that I now enjoy that colonial on 2 acres instead of a 5000sf lot. Easton was also #48 on Money magazine's 2007 best towns to live in.

  • natalie

    This list is spot on. Not so sure about Southborough though. I was a Southborough resident for 6 years and I now live in Hingham. Trust me, there is a major difference. You know your stuff Katherine. Thanks!

  • Phil

    I have to give credit to the Boston Magazine for its view of Melrose in this issue and in past years. In 2002 I analyzed several towns for price/value and chose a beautiful Victorian as my residence. Years later I still believe I made the right decision. Having grown up in Winchester, I found Melrose to be the only close runner up in comparison for a town like atmosphere with quality community and well built homes. Overall, Melrose is known to be more of a secret gem. Once discovered I have been amazed by how much people really love it. From sophistication to conviniences, Melrose truelly is unique and more than deserves this recognition. In years to come its appeal will probably become more known for its quality of life.

  • Trina

    I live in Hopkinton, but use to live in Soutborough. I think Southborough is a great town but the reason it has become less attractive to young home buyers is because the downtown area has little to offer. I think the young residents should form a downtown revitalization committee like Hopkiton has and take matters into your own hands! Breathe some new life into this fabulous town and put it back on the map!!

  • L
  • anonymous

    I lived in Hingham for 30 years. It education is adequate and the social structure is challenging for the most part for youbg children. It is a community which does not embrace difference or tolerance. Families mistreat neighbors and schools ignore bullying.

  • D.G.

    Its true, Hingham is extremely racist. Brutal place to raise a child.

  • doc

    “it education”? Haha. Hingham is NOT a brutal place to raise a child or any more racist than ANY OTHER place in the northeast. Let’s face it…whitebread towns are a little racist. Hingham’s a beautiful town, with a ton to offer. Want racism? Go down south.

  • Bug

    I’m lived in the South for several decades, where it is commonplace to have all kinds of different races, religions, and sexual orientations within a single town or even a neighborhood within a town. In contrast, everyone here knows what towns have what “kinds” of people in Boston. I’m continually amazed at how racially segregated most parts of Boston Metro are, and moreover, how so many Bostonians view ourselves (yes I’m permanently here) as open-minded and liberal. I guess it dates back to the blinders Boston operated with during the cod trade, which was, by the way, a completely racist-driven enterprise to feed slaves …

  • Anonymous
  • Del

    Hey where is that i heave never heard of that place before, Utica should be on there before southborough.

  • Del

    Hey where is that i heave never heard of that place before, Utica should be on there before southborough.

  • Windy

    Lady, Please — Stop your whining. Southborough isn’t the only town that didn’t make the list. Geesh.

  • DM

    This town is one of the most racist towns in the U.S. The police sits at an angle to see if people of color are passing by to pull them over- day or night. It is amazing how a typical “local” belief is that the South,and not Boston/Metro, is racist. When I visit other areas, I am constantly trying to defend this place. My only excuse is that there are a few decent open-minded white people in Massachusetts. It seems that everyone thinks that Massachusetts is a terrible place for a person of color to live.

  • DM

    Georgetown, who? Georgetown,SOUTH AFRICA–during the sixties?

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with the remarks about Georgetown being a racist town..at least the police display this. I see alot of people of color on the side of the road with the “blues” flashing. It’s a shame that we are living in modern times, and the police are still in the 1800’s abusing their authoritative positions as men of law. Yes, there are a few open-minded white people living in Massachusetts. Hoping all their minds will open soon!

  • Daniel

    As someone who lives near Southborough, I agree that it is a pretty nice town. I am posting this comment only to assure other readers that NOT everyone in Southborough is a snobby, shallow, vacuous, status-seeking idiot like Julianne. I known several people there who seem to care about things that actually matter, instead of pathetically worrying if others view theirs as a “hick town out by Worcester”. GOOD GRIEF!

  • jane

    Its actually pretty sad, my dad went too look at houses in southborough and was treated like crap, likely because he is dark skinned. Little did they know we don’t fit their stereotypical black person image….the jerk could have made decent commission

  • Anonymous

    Dover-Sherborn is actually rated 2nd in Massachusetts, and 6th in the North East. Its a great place to grow up, and it has a great education. (39% of kids that attended these shcools went to IV leuge.) Amazing, huh? Southborough, however has been known for racism, and you know it, so stop denying it!!!!!!! Rock on Dover!!

  • Sandy
  • Mary

    A little late at responding and quite offended at the comments made. I grew up in Georgetown and while there was a lack of racial diversity, I never knew someone more likely to get pulled over in Georgetown than any other town. Their impartial target, if any, seemed to always be teens from town that they could recognize the cars of. As far as the residents, I never saw racism in town… it was once I moved out of town that I saw it first hand.

  • Randy

    Replace the mattress or box spring only. A lot of mattress retailers lead consumers to believe that you have to buy a full bed set. That is not true. If your mattress is in good shape but you find there is little core support, then you may only need to replace the box spring. If the mattress itself is sagging badly, then you could replace just the mattress portion. Either way, replacing just part of your bed set can reduce the overall expenses of having a mattress you can be happy with.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6417043
    Serta iComfort