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  1. #1
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    Where to Live? Moving to Mass/Cape Cod

    After living in Northern California for 13 years, I am considering moving my family and I back to my native Mass. (I grew up in Boston and Dedham). Since I work from home (technical writer), I have some flexibity about where I live.

    So my question is this: if you could pick a place to live that is family friendly (parks, good schools) that is close to great Mass riding, where would you go? The South Shore/Cape Cod appeal to me, but I am open to suggestions. Your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    cape cod is really nice if you can afford it... check out falmouth, thats where I grew up and theres some good (sandy) riding around there

  3. #3
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    The Northshore is where you wanna be, load up the truck and move to Beverly.

    Actually there are many great towns up here in the North shore, I currently live in Ipswich, It can't be beat. Great town, schools, beach and some of the best riding nearby. Lynn Woods to name one and plenty more.

    Also your just 20 to 30 miles from Boston. It also puts you closer to the ski areas in winter.

    Welcome back and good luck with your move.

  4. #4
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    I concur

    North of Boston is where you want to be. Still close to Boston but not too close. Plenty of great riding as mentioned.
    Voltron

  5. #5
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    i vote for the cape

    can't beat the cape for year-round activities. the water is warmer-better swimming, sailing, wind-surfing etc, lot less snow so you can ride MTB pretty much all winter (2 of the best single track areas in all of MA, IMHO-Otis&Trail of tears) and good road riding all year round. homes are expensive, but so is the northshore. it's also less crowded/congested compared to some of the northshore towns.

  6. #6
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    Both sound good

    Quote Originally Posted by bhsavery
    cape cod is really nice if you can afford it... check out falmouth, thats where I grew up and theres some good (sandy) riding around there
    Falmouth definitely has some appeal, as that is where I spent my summers as a kid. But the Northshore has terrfic riding too. Ah... what to do.

    I wonder how much it would cost me to rent a house in either of these locations?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry
    . it's also less crowded/congested compared to some of the northshore towns.

    The Cape is nice. My Dad lives in Dennis which is quite beautiful, in a zillion dollar home. But too say that the towns are not crowded is just plain crazy. It seems that everyone in their grandma goes to the cape all summer long. It takes me an hour to drive from one town to the next sometimes, I do all I can to avoid the area during nice weather months.

    Otis and T O T are nice riding areas, but hardly the best in MA.
    Voltron

  8. #8
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    I would absolutly aim for north shore

    Quote Originally Posted by memine
    Falmouth definitely has some appeal, as that is where I spent my summers as a kid. But the Northshore has terrfic riding too. Ah... what to do.

    I wonder how much it would cost me to rent a house in either of these locations?
    as others have said, Lynn Woods is the best riding in MA and maybe in New England. You are also very close to the Fells and only an hour (or less) to Vietnam. The towns are beautiful and there are plenty of great homes if you have the coin. Being on th north side of Boston gives you easy access to Maine, NH and VT for mountains and beach.

  9. #9
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    I love this! another North vs. South conflict. Just like in the first one the North is best.

    As far as real estate values go in the northshore, it can vary quite a bit from town to town.
    One town can be quite affordable and the town next door can be out of site. Not sure about how values vary on the cape.

    If you do your homework I'm sure you'll pick the best place for your family whether it be North or South.

    Scott

  10. #10
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    Sharon

    You mentioned kids....you have to look at Sharon if you can afford it. One of the best school systems in the nation. Not to mention low crime and clean. You've got some great riding at Wompy and Foxboro too.

  11. #11
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    gotta second the riding at foxboro

    Quote Originally Posted by bob24250
    You mentioned kids....you have to look at Sharon if you can afford it. One of the best school systems in the nation. Not to mention low crime and clean. You've got some great riding at Wompy and Foxboro too.

    I don't know anything about the town of Sharon but riding at Foxboro is fantastic. Just stay out of there on Sunday Patriots home games.

  12. #12
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    For me Not the Cape

    I grew up on the Cape and am glad I don't live there any more, but do like to visit occaisonally. The issue for me is the Cape is way over developed and houses are still going up, traffic issues in the summer, houses are expensive and it is a long drive to go skiing. Winters on the Cape are quiet, really quiet, perhaps too quiet and it is a haul getting to Boston or Providence to do more at night than watch TV, drink or wife swap. Back in the day the Cape had an extremely high incidence of alcoholism, drug abuse and wife swapping. But, lots of people retire on the Cape and property values keep going up.

    Just my two cents.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talisman
    I grew up on the Cape and am glad I don't live there any more, but do like to visit occaisonally. The issue for me is the Cape is way over developed and houses are still going up, traffic issues in the summer, houses are expensive and it is a long drive to go skiing. Winters on the Cape are quiet, really quiet, perhaps too quiet and it is a haul getting to Boston or Providence to do more at night than watch TV, drink or wife swap. Back in the day the Cape had an extremely high incidence of alcoholism, drug abuse and wife swapping. But, lots of people retire on the Cape and property values keep going up.

    Just my two cents.
    Agreed...

    I just moved from the Cape to Upstate NY a few months ago. Though the Cape does have some really fun riding (I must admit that I miss Otis - one of the most roller-coaster like places I have ever ridden), I always felt a little isolated from the rest of the world out there, and the traffic in the summer is VERY frustrating. I lived on the Cape for several years but am happy to be back in NY, where there are some real hills ;^). The riding on the Cape is fun, but there are no extended climbs at either Trail of Tears or Otis (some would consider this a good thing, of course). BTW, I noticed that no one mentioned Vietnam, now owned by NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association), which is up in Milford - about half way between Providence and Boston - and an incredible place to ride (plus it's owned by mountainbikers!).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talisman
    I grew up on the Cape and am glad I don't live there any more, but do like to visit occaisonally. The issue for me is the Cape is way over developed and houses are still going up, traffic issues in the summer, houses are expensive and it is a long drive to go skiing. Winters on the Cape are quiet, really quiet, perhaps too quiet and it is a haul getting to Boston or Providence to do more at night than watch TV, drink or wife swap. Back in the day the Cape had an extremely high incidence of alcoholism, drug abuse and wife swapping. But, lots of people retire on the Cape and property values keep going up.

    Just my two cents.
    Hey don't knock wife swapping...

    Dibs on Talisman's!

  15. #15
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    If you work out of your home then you may want to check out western Mass. Anywhere west of Sturbridge. Your talking 1/2 the cost or more for homes, etc. 1 -2 hour drive to Boston depending on where you live. More convenient access to the Berkshires, VT, NH. There has been a noticeable trend in people from Greater Boston moving out this way.

  16. #16
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    I live north of Boston and love it. Great trails in every direction, and some great ones being under 10 miles from my front door. ...Do some research on the school systems. That should be a big concern (depending on your kids ages). Local schools and the quality of the neighborhood is going to have a big influence on the quality of your kids lives. ex. Raise your kids in malden or chelsea and you might end up with punks. (note: I grew up in malden :- )

    I've lived in western mass for a while and there's some good trails out there and the cost of housing is great. At some point I'm going to move back out there.. but my personal bias is the north shore.

    My pops lives in s. mass (in mattapoisett) and the cost there is horrible. You'd pay through the nose. But a few cities over in New Bedford I saw a few mini-mansions that were going for <$300K.

    Just do your homework. You'll find what you're looking for.. good luck!
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  17. #17
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    Western Mass

    Western Mass has some appeal too, as my brother lives in Chicopee (sp?) and has some cousins that adore our girls. What sort of riding is there near Amherst?

  18. #18
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    All Around Great Area

    Quote Originally Posted by memine
    Western Mass has some appeal too, as my brother lives in Chicopee (sp?) and has some cousins that adore our girls. What sort of riding is there near Amherst?
    Close to Chicopee there is great riding, communities, and outstanding access to Boston, NYC, and VT/NH. The area is central to New England by I-91 and I-90. For riding check out the Holyoke Range, NEMBA has does amazing work there. There is also a few local state parks that are ok but very convenient (Robinson in Agawam and Chicopee State Park). Within 1 - 3 hours of typically easy driving up 91 you can be at Killington VT, Mount Snow, and the rest. You can have a beautiful house in Belchertown, Granby, Ludlow, Hadley, Amherst etc for what you would pay for a 30 year old cape in Eastern Mass. My wife and I are currently building and look at the realstate mags from there and are constantly amazed. I would also highlight the lower population density and overall lower congestion. There are lots of positive aspects to this area. One last thing for now, Bradley International Airport is 30 minutes away (from Chicopee) in Connecticut which I know beats fighting 93 and the other routes into Logan.

  19. #19
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by kjfp
    Close to Chicopee there is great riding, communities, and outstanding access to Boston, NYC, and VT/NH.
    Excellent, thank you for the information. What would a 2K SQF house run me out there?

  20. #20
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    Central/Western Mass

    Give this area some thought, especially if you work out of your home. I live in Brimfield, just west of Sturbridge, For those in the Boston area, its that area west of 495. let me put the real estate into perspective, my husband and I bought a 2000 sq ft 3 yr old A frame log home on almost 6 secluded acres for under 200K. I commute to Boston to work, 3 days a week which takes about 1 hr. The pike is handy, if you hit the traffic right, headed east is pretty easy. Those days of long miles, and traffic are worth coming home a house/yard that is quiet, secluded and doesnt cost me a ton of money...great riding out here! I can head West toward Amherst/Berkshires to ride, central Mass has Hodges, Leominster, Ive ridden the Northshore etc too. Give it some thought, you will save some money, and its peaceful. I dont have kids, so cant comment much on the school systems Good luck!!
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  21. #21
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    Weymouth

    Weymouth is the hub of the universe and the pinnacle of western civilization. The south shore rules and the north shore fools.

  22. #22
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    Check out Williamstown. Vibrant college community, great restaurants, and AWESOME mtb'ing within 30 minutes -- Taconic Range, Greylock, Brodie / Berkshire, and hundreds of little trails in DEM land. When the trails get too snowpacked, you get out your snowshoes, x-c skis, or stick on your road bike.

    I love Williamstown and would do anything to be able to move back... one of the biggest mistakes I ever made was leaving.

    Cheers,

    -Andrew

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by memine
    After living in Northern California for 13 years, I am considering moving my family and I back to my native Mass. (I grew up in Boston and Dedham). Since I work from home (technical writer), I have some flexibity about where I live.

    So my question is this: if you could pick a place to live that is family friendly (parks, good schools) that is close to great Mass riding, where would you go? The South Shore/Cape Cod appeal to me, but I am open to suggestions. Your thoughts?
    Well I just read all of these posts. Interesting! First of all, I grew up in Western Mass (Longmeadow), and then in lived in NorCal for a while and then, like you, felt the urge to move back to Mass. I now live in Falmouth, on Cape Cod and really like it.
    Overall, if you mtn bike, stay in Norcal and just buy plane tickets back to Mass frequently...

    Western Mass: Nice place to grow up, depending on the town. That's true in Eastern Mass (or Norcal)... if you have kids you want to be in a nice town with good schools, and it's gonna cost ya. Longmeadow and Holyoke are very different places. Probably very different housing costs. It's nice to be pretty close to the mtns, I did ski team in high school. But you are isolated. Springfield is pretty lame, so if you want culture (or a plane ticket to Cal.), you are looking at a big trip. NYC is about the same distance as Boston.

    Cape Cod: MUCH warmer in the winter. You can ride almost all year round because we dont get as much snow. All the Bostonians come down to ride Otis in the springtime because it drains well and doesnt get muddy. The cape has become somewhat overrun and is different than 10 years ago. Property values are nuts, and the summer can be crazy. It seems overdeveloped, only because it has finally caught up with other parts of Mass. The riding is great, and the windsurfing is actually pretty good.
    Drawbacks include that fact that going skiing is a haul. 1.5 hours to Boston, and then the trip begins. We just go to Colorado or Europe! Because we don't go anywhere in the summer, it's too nice at home.
    Wife swapping rules. Especially while drunk.

    If you can really work anywhere, consider this: move to the Cape. Fall is divine, winter is short, spring can suck or be great. Then rent out your house for a ton of money in the summer and take your kids someplace cool, like Colorado or Canada or Vermont. My parents live on the cape and do this. It's an awesome lifestyle.

    In any case, this question really hits home for me. I often miss Norcal (San Rafael), but the fact that I grew up here cannot be ignored. This is my home. These are my people. It's the intangibles that keep us here. But we do travel alot for work/play, and that keeps it all in perspective and makes us appreciate life in Mass. You gotta travel.
    Only boring people get bored.

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