Magazine

Top Spots to Live

Greater Boston homeowners share their reasons for buying where they did

They were lured by good deals, privacy, lively downtowns, a rural feel with commuter access, and more.

Klas Fahlen for the Boston Globe

WHY I BOUGHT IN CAMBRIDGE

Andrew Stout, 37, software engineer/roboticist

Condo, September 2017

We wanted someplace that was walkable, that had access to restaurants and grocery stores. Another thing about Cambridge that attracted us were the good, diverse schools. I hope that this is the house my kids will grow up in. —  As told to Brenna Donovan

WHY I BOUGHT IN WINCHESTER

Chinku Mahindra, graphic designer

Townhouse, November 2017

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Chinku Mahindra, who prefers not to give her age, lived in North Andover for more than 20 years. She says: I raised my kids there and I lived in a big house. I wanted to kind of simplify my life and move closer to the city, yet not be in the city. Winchester was the perfect in-between. It took me a little while to find something, but eventually I did. This is really perfect for me right now. —  As told to Brooke Knisley

WHY I BOUGHT IN BROOKLINE

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Masu Haque-Khan, 45, consultant

Single-family, April 2017

We rented in Brookline Village 15 years ago and had such wonderful memories of all it had to offer. So when my husband and I decided to move from Houston back to Boston, we wanted to live somewhere somewhat familiar that had great schools and easy access to the city’s amenities. We ended up making a sizable number of renovations and improvements to the house, so we definitely exceeded our budget. I hope it’s our forever home. —  As told to Caroline Szachnowski

WHY I BOUGHT IN JAMAICA PLAIN

Mary Preap, 35, acquisitions editor

Single-family, September 2017

We’ve bounced around apartments in Roslindale, the South End, and JP and decided that we really wanted to raise our family here. It’s a fixer-upper and there’s a very, very long to-do list. Our daughter loves the house and yard, and our neighbors have been very welcoming. Obviously things may change, but we hope it’s our forever home. —  As told to Palak Patel

WHY I BOUGHT IN SOUTH BOSTON

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Garett Seney, 29, mortgage loan officer

Condo, March 2018

Like a lot of parts of Boston, Southie is old and new. There are a lot of new restaurants and new businesses popping up, but there’s also the neighborhood feel. The condo is three blocks from the beach. This condo sold in 2009 for half of what we bought it for, so I figured it’d be a solid investment, as well. Depending on when we have children, we would either sell it to purchase a new place or use it as an investment property.  —  As told to Brenna Donovan

WHY I BOUGHT IN NEEDHAM

Tricia Wajda, 41, communications director

Single-family, August 2017

We were drawn to Needham not just because of the good things we heard about their schools, but also because of its proximity to Interstate 95, to the Pike, and to the city. We have a thing for older homes. Our house was originally built in 1892, but the previous owners added on a sizable addition, giving us that modern master suite, kitchen, family room, and playroom. We feel really lucky. —  As told to Caroline Szachnowski

WHY I BOUGHT IN IPSWICH

Cheryl Coon, 39, pharmaceutical consultant

Single-family, May 2017

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My husband and I were living in Arizona, but traveled to Boston a lot [for work] and finally decided we needed to live in this area. The great thing about Ipswich is that we’ve got the commuter rail station here. You can work in the city, but then still have this rural, hometown environment. The community is very active and proactive and very supportive. I didn’t realize those things before we moved here, but those are definitely the things that are making me happy here.—  As told to Brooke Knisley

WHY I BOUGHT IN ROSLINDALE

Kate Ziegler, 32, law firm operations supervisor and realtor

Two-family, December 2017

We moved from a three-decker we own in Jamaica Plain and wanted to stay close by, so that we could continue to manage the property easily. We started looking toward Roslindale seriously when we tested the commuter rail for our daily trips, and the location we landed in is still close to Forest Hills and the Arboretum, so the Orange Line is available if needed. Plus the amenities in Rozzie Village are terrific. We’ve given ourselves two years for renovations and repairs, and after that we’ll reevaluate, but we’ve been thrilled with Rozzie so far and hope to be here for a long time.  —  As told to Palak Patel

WHY I BOUGHT IN MEDFORD

Sam Burns, 26, medical device salesman

Single-family, January 2018

I chose South Medford because of the accessibility to Boston. I went for a fixer-upper, because that way I was able to afford a full three-bedroom house. I wanted my own space and my own backyard. Another reason I chose this place was for investment purposes, with the Green Line extension. I want to renovate and live here for a while. The rental potential is a good reason to keep this place. I’m very satisfied here.  —  As told to Palak Patel

WHY I BOUGHT IN LYNN

Caroline Staudt, 35, broker and realtor

Condo, January 2018

I live in Winchester. I have been looking for an investment to have as a rental property. I see the upside in Lynn, especially looking down the road, and I think what they’re doing right now in the city  —  with the arts and the culture  —  is pretty incredible. The values for condos specifically have just been going up over the last few years, and I see that continuing. —  As told to Caroline Szachnowski

WHY I BOUGHT IN LAWRENCE

Marianne Goodrow, 55, nurse

Single-family, February 2018

I chose Lawrence for a few reasons. It’s in my price range for the type of home I want. I like the culture  —  it’s lively. There are good restaurants, boating on the Merrimack River, antiquing, and flea markets. From a first glance from the street, I knew I was going to buy this home. I didn’t know it had a pool, I didn’t know what the inside looked like, or how much land  —  I just knew immediately. The privacy factor, I think, is it for me.  —  As told to Brooke Knisley

WHY I BOUGHT IN BROCKTON

Peter Kennett, 47, architectural designer

Single-family, March 2018

We previously lived in Dorchester. We were at a point where we were interested in moving. The goal was to find a midcentury-modern house, because we’ve lived in Victorian houses for two decades. We were looking far and wide. We happened upon this house, and it was something we were truly interested in. The cost of this house compared with similar houses in other neighborhoods was probably about two-thirds, so we found that Brockton was a really good deal. —  As told to Caroline Szachnowski

Jon Gorey is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Get the best of the magazine’s award-winning stories and features right in your e-mail inbox every Sunday. Sign up here.