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Old 06-03-2010, 12:58 AM   #21
czsz
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

Okay, but that just proves the point. It's more convenient to be directly near a transit stop than to "feed off" of one in an adjacent city.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:11 AM   #22
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Re: South Boston Seaport

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I think what you're missing is that, if you went to NEU, WIT, BU, et al, the places you mentioned ARE out of Boston...... that is, they're not the Fenway/Back Bay/top of the Hill/Comm Ave and appear to be that way. And when you're 25, trying to make monthly costs and still party until last call weekends, why not move to another city for less money and live in the middle of it all?
The easy and most obvious answer is that other cities either aren't as good, or the few that are, will be just as expensive. I went to B.U., and lived many years afterward in Allston, followed by Brookline, and just as you described, I had no clue about the outer neighborhoods. But it is possible to spend a chunk of your 20s in the student dominated areas perceived as "fun" and still afford that life. Sharing an apartment/rent/utilities is part of that experience. But when people are ready to buy and settle down, they should know about the other options.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #23
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Re: South Boston Seaport

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Where do you plan to move to?
If I were to buy today, I'd likely move to Qunicy, and I'd look for an area where I can walk to a subway stop, a grocery store and restaurants in under 10 minutes (since that's what I have now in Coolidge Corner, and love it). My long term plan is to move down to the Carolinas around the time the g/f and I are ready to have kids.

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"I refuse to pay $350K for a basement condo"

You can buy a 2 bedroom in Riverway/West Fenway/Mission Hill/Alston/Brighton/Brookline for (less than) that which isn't in a basement. All areas close to public transit. Studios are going for 165-185k and 1 BRS in the low to mid 250s. Sure the square footage is small by 'modern' standards, but the layouts are typically better and quite honestly the square footage for 'modern' construction is grossly over-scaled.
And there's the problem, if you look at what people want these days it's square footage and large closets - they don't take those studios seriously as a place to live.
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As far as affordable housing:
It doesn't help that the BRA and Mayor's office stall every residential development to a snails pace. No developer wants to take the risk on a lower profit margin non-'luxury' project for the middle class when the market forecasts are neigh impossible with such uncertain long term timetables.
Not only that but the residency restrictions for who can live there is also ridiculous "For a family of 4, you need to make under 35K combined" or some such line. I could not qualify for most of the 'affordable' housing being built by the developers, and the rest is too expensive due to the whole supply vs. demand issue - it's as though the city government must have slept through during their econ classes (assuming they even took such a class!).
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #24
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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Okay, but that just proves the point. It's more convenient to be directly near a transit stop than to "feed off" of one in an adjacent city.
A substantial chunk of Somerville is within walking distance of Porter Square station (and, conversely, a substantial chunk of Cambridge is within walking distance of Davis station). What matters is radius, not city boundaries.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:56 PM   #25
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Re: South Boston Seaport

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"I refuse to pay $350K for a basement condo"

You can buy a 2 bedroom in Riverway/West Fenway/Mission Hill/Alston/Brighton/Brookline for (less than) that which isn't in a basement. All areas close to public transit.
I'd absolutely love to live in Brookline, but the rest are basically dumping grounds for students. I'm 28, and I don't want to spend a quarter of a million dollars to live next to a frat party.

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LOL.....I'm sure those are nice areas. I also know nice areas in Chelesa, East Boston, Everett, Malden, Revere, Medford, Quincy. But when you work your ass off and graduate at one of the top tier schools in the city I think most kids are more ambitious to live near closer to the city or to a much more younger hip vibe.
Bingo. It's selfish, but if I'm going to pay a high cost of living, I don't want to be far from the actual city. If my neighborhood could be anywhere, then I'll be inclined to pay less to be somewhere else.

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Roxbury and much of Dorchester are still conceived as dangerous. They are also not as well connected, through both mass transit and private alternatives like MASCO and LMA shuttles, to Longwood as JP, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, etc.
Bingo x2. There are some really nice parts of Dot, but getting from there to anywhere else is not always easy. I could always rent in Dot, buy a car... and essentially give up the lifestyle I would be living in Boston to experience.

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The Orange Line during rush hour is mostly filled with professionals, not gangbangers.
Bingo x3. I love the Orange Line. I'd happily take it over any of the other rapid transit lines. And you're hearing this from someone who has spent years regularly commuting in during rush hour, and headed home on one of the last trains of the evening.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:09 PM   #26
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Re: South Boston Seaport

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I also know nice areas in Chelesa, East Boston, Everett, Malden, Revere, Medford, Quincy. But when you work your ass off and graduate at one of the top tier schools in the city I think most kids are more ambitious to live near closer to the city or to a much more younger hip vibe.
I know its not for everyone (and I'm biased), but the sections of Eastie that are within walking distance of Maverick Station have quite a bit better access to "the city" and the younger hip vibe" than the others listed by Rifleman above. While lacking its own 20-something nightlife scene (for now), it is one subway stop to Faneuil Hall, the North End and the Financial District. Its a shorter trip to the Back Bay than from A/B or Somerville. For those uncommitted enough to urban living to consider moving beyond 128, it is much easier to park in Eastie than the higher priced hoods. For those who require urban living, it feels quite a bit more urban than the detached wood frame areas of Somerville or Dorchester.

And for those making fact-finding trips to one of those affordable city centers in Atlanta or the Carolinas in advance of their next move--Logan's a short walk away!
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:12 PM   #27
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

The reason I wouldn't move to East Boston: you can't walk or bike home from anywhere else in Boston, and you can't easily reach less crowded areas or parks for recreation.

These things make it, for me, much less desirable than Cambridge, Somerville, Southie, or JP.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:23 PM   #28
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

Well, I'm not suggesting its the greatest place on earth. But it does meet many of the access to city center/nightlife criteria and is more affordable than the areas Ron mentions. If one was priced out of those areas and was willing to make the tradeoff on biking/walking access to downtown and easy access to rural areas, they might look at Eastie. If they preferred to make the tradeoff on urban vibe or easy access to the city center, they might opt for Medford or Hyde Park.

If the question is: where is the affordable neighborhood that has an urban feel and easy access to the city center and nightlife but is a short bike ride away from a pastoral setting, then I guess the answer is...nowhere?
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #29
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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The reason I wouldn't move to East Boston: you can't walk or bike home from anywhere else in Boston, and you can't easily reach less crowded areas or parks for recreation.
I lived there for three years, and these are for the most part the reasons I moved to Cambridge. Still, I sometimes get the itch to move back. It's a great neighborhood, it's just a shame about the biking/walking issue. The easy T access to downtown is fantastic, though.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #30
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Re: South Boston Seaport

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I'd absolutely love to live in Brookline, but the rest are basically dumping grounds for students. I'm 28, and I don't want to spend a quarter of a million dollars to live next to a frat party.
In the right building that won't happen. Checking owner occupancy is a big deal. Also look into the average rent in the building if there are a lot of investor owned units. Higher rents aren't going to be conducive to the kooledge pahrtee kwowdeh. I'd honestly look into some units on the Riverway and Brookline bordering the C/D line if you want something very close to the city without poking around the outer neighborhoods or Cambridge.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:09 PM   #31
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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The easy T access to downtown is fantastic, though.
I live in the Heights (200 yards from the station) but I drive to my office in Brookline Village every day. I can't say that I'm proud of this, but the 5-7 hours of commute-time I save every week are worth more to me than the ~ $50/week I spend on tolls, parking, and gas.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #32
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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I live in the Heights (200 yards from the station) but I drive to my office in Brookline Village every day. I can't say that I'm proud of this, but the 5-7 hours of commute-time I save every week are worth more to me than the ~ $50/week I spend on tolls, parking, and gas.
Funny you should say that, because a big part of the reason why I could see myself moving back to Eastie is because I've had to buy a car (for a new commute) since moving to Cambridge. Though convenient to the T, Eastie's very much a car community, and I think with the lack of biking and walking destinations available, having a car there makes Eastie living (not to mention the commute to Brookline Village!) more tolerable.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:31 AM   #33
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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Funny you should say that, because a big part of the reason why I could see myself moving back to Eastie is because I've had to buy a car (for a new commute) since moving to Cambridge. Though convenient to the T, Eastie's very much a car community, and I think with the lack of biking and walking destinations available, having a car there makes Eastie living (not to mention the commute to Brookline Village!) more tolerable.
Not to mention that Eastie is isolated from the rest of Boston if you are not going by car or the T. I'm surprise nobody has drawn up a proposal to provide a bridge for pedestrians and bikes into Charlestown or Boston. But knowing Boston, even when such proposal is brought up, no money will be funded into this project.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:44 AM   #34
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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I'm surprise nobody has drawn up a proposal to provide a bridge for pedestrians and bikes into Charlestown or Boston. But knowing Boston, even when such proposal is brought up, no money will be funded into this project.
A bridge was my pie-in-the-sky dream. See this thread:

http://www.archboston.org/community/...ead.php?t=2486
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #35
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

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I live in the Heights (200 yards from the station) but I drive to my office in Brookline Village every day.
I know you're a lifer in Eastie, so I'd be interested to hear your take on this, but to me the neighborhood functions as two distinct places--everything from Day Square back to the harbor (Eagle Hill, Maverick, Jeffries Point, etc), and everything beyond Day Square (including the Heights) where the density really starts to drop off.

I know a lot of people down at my end (by Maverick) who are commuting to LMA, Cambridge, etc by T. It may not be the smoothest commute, but you're only a 7 minute ride to Government Center, or about 10 from Park Street during rush hour from Maverick..
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:01 PM   #36
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Re: Housing and the Middle Class in Boston

Honestly, any chance of a proper Eastie-Boston connection any time soon was lost with the Big Dig. They could have made a bee-line from I-93 at Rowes Wharf to Rt 1A but instead they swung miles out of the way and devoured the seaport with ramps, open air stretches of tunnels, and vent towers in the process.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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