Boston Suburb Showcase: Living in Brookline, MA

If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to Boston lifestyle, the locals will tell you that Brookline is the place to be. The buzzword names in Boston real estate generally start with the likes of Newbury Street and go from there, but when it comes to across-the-board excellence Brookline takes the cake.

Why? Start with the combination of access and safety. Whether the attraction is Fenway Park, the aforementioned Newbury Street or the historical Boston Common, you can get there quickly and easily from Brookline while experiencing a decidedly more elite suburban lifestyle.  For this reason, Brookline is widely renowned one of the best Boston suburbs.

That’s where safety come in. The crime rate in Brookline is over 50 percent lower than the national average, but the safety factor goes far beyond the numbers. Brookline has long been a haven for those who want to experience Boston without a lot of the hustle and bustle of urban life, and it’s also a destination for the rich and famous who want a high level of safety and privacy as well.

All of that makes living in Brookline MA ideal for couples looking to start a family, or for older couples whose children are either bound for college or about to transform their parents into empty-nesters. The stats say 48 percent of all Brookliners are married and 44 percent are single. But the key number here is that just over 50 percent of the residents are homeowners, which is rare in the heart of an expensive city like Boston.

The school ratings support those basic demographics as well. Brookline schools have excellent ratings across the board, ranging from a 7 out of 10 at the high school level and at least 8 stars at the lower levels.If you’re raising a family and you want your kids to either be in or get into a great school, Brookline is definitely a top-shelf choice.

The tradeoff for all this excellence is cost. The average cost of a home for sale in Brookline is over $1.2 million, and average rent for Brookline apartments is nearly $3500 a month. There is a healthy student population despite those costs, though, which adds to the diversity of Brookline and the vitality of the different stores and neighborhoods, especially in the area around Boston College.

Green space is the final strength we’ll mention here. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir area near BC is a prime spot for runners, walkers and dog enthusiasts, and there are several small pristine parks tucked away in what seems to be a semi-urban neighborhood.

The array of choices is simply stunning, which is why Brookline is and will continue to be one of the best places to live in Boston.