As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, an increasing number of Boston homebuyers are cutting ties with the cities in which they work.
These househunters are often looking for more space, privacy and outdoor areas, and Greater Boston's suburbs have been the ideal fit. They tend to trend toward a millennial age as they're comfortable with the Facebook Live open houses, FaceTime Tours and Zelle transfers that COVID real estate purchasing has made imperative.
In-person showing requests have dropped, but searches, click-throughs and impressions on listings within Boston's suburbs have greatly increased.
For homeowners who were expecting to put their children through private school, but have now taken a pay cut or lost a job, strong public schools in the suburbs may be a cost-friendly alternative. In addition, the traditional financial stability of the housing market has enticed some renters to buy, or city condo owners to invest in single-family residences outside of Boston.
Is a move to the suburbs right for you?
Here's a look into some of Greater Boston's standout suburban neighborhoods.
Despite its close proximity to downtown Boston, Brookline maintains its own distinctive identity with its tree-lined streets, charming brownstones, expansive estates, and one of the best school systems in the state.
Some of the most popular retail areas include Coolidge Corner, Washington Square, Brookline Village and the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center. It's home to the oldest country club in the nation and is within a stone's throw of some of the finest hospitals in the world.
Newton is a sprawling suburban city seven miles west of Boston. Consisting of 13 distinctive villages, Newton has become a top destination for house hunters and a hub for top restaurants and shopping locations.
The city offers a wealth of preserved outdoor spaces throughout its 13 villages including Crystal Lake and the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Newton Public Schools operates 15 elementary schools, four middle schools and two high schools.
Arlington's close proximity to Cambridge makes it an ideal suburban location for those who work close to Harvard or MIT Universities. The town has a broad mix of single family homes on the hillside straddling Route 2 and multi-family dwellings.
A seemingly endless array of shops and restaurants line Massachusetts Avenue corridor. Its public school system includes seven elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.
Established in 1859, Belmont is made up of land that once belonged to the surrounding Watertown, Waltham and Arlington towns. Belmont is primarily a residential suburb, with many owner-occupied single family homes and affluent estates in Belmont Hill.
The town offers three commercial centers, each with a variety of upscale eateries, bakeries, shops and essential services. Their public school system includes four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.
Located approximately 15 miles northwest of Boston, Lexington brought in a wealth of homeowners after a technology boom in the 1970s. The town exudes quintessential New England charm, with numerous historic buildings, parks and monuments.
In addition to its landmarks, there are plenty of restaurants, shops and galleries in Lexington. Its school system is known for its high standards of excellence and ranked #1 in Massachusetts by Newsweek magazine in 2014.
Wellesley is an affluent suburb situated 17 miles southwest of Boston. The town is considered one of the best educated in the nation, as it has the highest percentage of adults with at least one college degree in the country.
Its public school system is one of the best in the state, with seven elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Universities include Wellesley College and Babson College.
Needham is located along I-95/Route 128 approximately 19 miles southwest of Boston. Needham is primarily residential, though major companies such as Coca-Cola and Trader's Joe's still operate plants within the town, along with many technology firms.
The town is located along the Charles River, maintaining plenty of preserved outdoor space and trails, as well as a vibrant town center with an array of restaurants and shops.