Milton, MA - Everything you Want to Know
People looking to buy a house near Boston often pick one of the bustling communities near the town center. Milton MA is an established nautical suburb offering homeowners posh living within easy reach of premium amenities and urban benefits. Niche gives the city an A rating saying the community is vibrant, diverse, and rates the schools with the highest ranking. Visitors and residents often enjoy the rich history, culture, fine dining, exquisite artwork, and a multitude of events while in the area.
General Information about the Massachusetts Town
This upscale suburb sits in Norfolk County. The population is around 25,000 residents according to the 2010 Census. The city holds just over 13.3 square miles with just about all of it being land. The town is in the middle of the Blue Hills and the Neponset River. Affluent neighborhoods flank the city with Quincy on the south and eastern borders, Mattapan and Dorchester to the north, and the infamous Hyde Park area to the west. At one time, the city was part of Dorchester.
As an agricultural community, this town brings forth a rich culture and history. The area was a first for creating several mills offering unique goods for travelers along with fresh vegetables, grains, and fruits. One of the most fascinating facts about this area is it is the birthplace of former President George Herbert Walker Bush. His family home is now a museum where visitors can tour and learn about the family and the president as a child.
Six historical districts make up the community. Town Center, Railway Village, Scotts Woods, Brush Hill, the Town Hill, and the Town Cemetery are the districts. Guests will find many 19th century homes and farms to explore when visiting. The Blue Hills Reservation is the most popular destination spanning over 7,000 acres. Many residents fish, boat, swim, and capture amazing sunsets along Houghton’s Pond, a 24-acre pond in the nature preserve.
The city is widely famous for the Blue Hills Observatory because it is the oldest operating station for tracking weather conditions in the entire country. Another top place to see the charm and history of the founding Puritans is the Forbes House Museum showcasing the life of one of the country's most famous families. Along with high-end shopping destinations, premier art galleries, long-standing churches and museums, this community is popular for outdoor dining, strolling along tree-lined streets, quaint gardens, and sprawling farms and estates.
A Brief History of the Community
Once a part of Dorchester, this city was settled by several Puritan families like the Houghtons, Sumners, Tuckers, and Babcocks in the 1640s. They are the same people who were a part of forming the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Neponset Indian tribe called the area Unquity, meaning lower falls. The Algonquin called it Uncataquisset, meaning the front of the tide or head of the tidal wave. The property around the river area would eventually become the spot of one of the first grist mills in the country.
It became a separate city in 1662. In the early days, the area was popular as an agrarian or agricultural community with lavish farms and sprawling estates with gardens and livestock. Farmers would trade with each other and sell fresh goods to travelers stopping in the town.
As the city grew and flourished, it expanded with several mills popping up along the Neponset River. A chocolate factory, gunpowder mill, and a paper mill provided a diverse economic scene making the area a go-to place for uncommon items. It was a place to buy decadent chocolate treats, fine pastries, authentic Massachusetts meals, and fresh produce. In the early 1900s, streetcars were a familiar sight on every corner. After 1929, the large parts of the center of town were divided up into smaller tracts with more room for residential properties.
At the end of the Civil War, many people found the area a great stopping point on the way to Boston. The railroad was a popular means of travel and the city was a prominent thoroughfare for travelers. In 1774, the signing of the Suffolk Reserves became a draft for the Declaration of Independence. The site is a historic destination many people stop to explore while in town today. The local historic society cares for the property and exhibits in the museum.
Another fun tidbit about the town is it is the birthplace of the modern cracker. In 1801, a man named Josiah Bent created the snack as a long-standing staple for long boating trips across the ocean. The factory is still in operation today making replicas for reenactment groups and historical societies in the area.
Neighborhoods in the Community
Five primary neighborhoods come together to create this suburb. The East Town area, Curry College or Blue Hills, Town Center, the Central Village, and Upper Mills are the five. These segments of town are unique in their own way. Blue Hills is an area known for having a low poverty rate among children.
Upper Mills is full of large family homes ranging from three to five bedrooms in most cases. Town Center is the artistic part of town where galleries, museums, and local events draw in crowds regularly. Central Village is the cultural hub of the community with wine tastings and tons of souvenirs to find in local shops. You may recognize the area from starring on the This Old House Show. The Eastern part of town is the only area along the water, and it takes nautical design and atmosphere to another level.
Weather and Climate in the Area
This breezy city is one of the windiest places in the country. The wind often gusts to ten to fifteen miles per hour. In the summer, temperatures can reach 80 degrees on average, but the records indicate temps as high as 100 degrees and as low as 44 degrees. The area sees about three or four inches of rain per month. In the winter, precipitation like snow can fall quickly adding up to several feet of snow in the case of a Nor'easter or blizzard.
Types of Real Estate One Can Expect to Find
This community is full of historical old and new, contemporary homes. Many houses date back to the 19th century. One recognizable feature in the area signifying the older residences are the stone walls lining many properties. Many of these houses are homes where many workers maintained the grounds and buildings over the years.
Victorian Era homes with Historic Charm
Many of the older homes in the center of town are massive. Large demure residences with ornate porches and gardens await those who want a spectacular home where they can entertain large groups of guests. Many of the people who live in the community are wealthy professionals with college educations allowing them to pay the average home price of $650,000. Other, more prominent homes can sell for upwards of several million.
Classic Dutch Colonials
Another common sight in the town is the prevalence of the Colonial style home. Tons of windows let in plenty of natural light. The tall columns on these houses welcome guests and homeowners as they climb the steps. These homes go for about the same price as the Victorians.
These one-story homes are another popular choice. Many of these properties were built in the 1950s as the town grew and expanded. Buyers can find these houses for under $500,000.
People enjoying a different style of living can easily find a town-home or condo to buy for about a half a million dollars. These properties offer maintenance-free living, popular amenities, and a community of neighbors who often become friends. The newer condos are close to the best shopping and dining destinations while the older ones offer charm and expansive lawns and gardens.
Tips to Sell a House in Milton
For someone looking to sell a house, there are some things that can make the process go quicker. U.S. News offers several tips like:
Get rid of the excess stuff
Use a professional photographer to take the listing pictures
Leave blinds and curtains open on the day of the showing
Discuss the best price to list with an expert in real estate sales
Neutralize everything to make it a clean slate for the new owner
Disinfect, clean, and paint the entire home inside and out
Remember to fix sidewalks, garage doors, driveways, garden beds, and roofs
Add some curb appeal with a new mailbox, door color, accessories, plants, and mulch
What you should know about Massachusetts condo living
The two closest senior living communities are the Winter Valley Residences and Brush Hill. These properties feature access to gourmet food shops, specialty coffee, Thatcher Farm Dairy, and a couple of pizza places. With beautiful gardens and quaint places to dine, senior living offers many options from full assisted care to independent living for older Americans.
Average Cost to Buy a House in Milton
Zillow says the median home price in the community is just over $700,000. The current price is up from previous years. The amount is projected to rise over the next year because of the steady growth in the area and the high neighborhood ratings for low crime, diversity, the night scene, education, and beautiful properties.
Massachusetts is widely known as a state with top schools and colleges. Education is at the forefront of this community with over 60 percent of people have a college degree. Nearly another ten percent are in college, and almost everyone who lives in the city graduates high school. The Milton community offers access to many excellent rated educational facilities.
Tucker Elementary School, Cunningham School, Grover Elementary School, and Collicot Elementary School are all given an A rating from Niche. Great Schools gives Collicot a ten out of ten rating. The area is known for its excellent school districts, both public and private. The schools get the A rating from the grades children get and the skill of the teaching staff. Diversity is another plus for these educational facilities.
There are two middle education schools in the town. Charles S. Pierce Middle School offers a ratio of 13 students per teacher giving students extra attention. Chamberlain International School is a boarding school offering a variety of programs for children with special needs and learning styles.
The local High School is the primary education facility for older children and teens. This school gets an A+ rating from Niche. It features a 15 to one student to teacher ratio. It gets top ranks for diversity, college preparation classes, extracurricular activities, the health of students, the teaching staff, and the safety of the campus.
Colleges and Training Academies
Curry and Eastern Nazarene are the two closest four-year colleges in the area. Labouré and Quincy colleges are two-year establishments offering a variety of certifications and Associate Degree programs.
Transportation Services and Access
Getting around the city is easy because most people bike or walk the area. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority runs the public bus system in the community. The Ashmont–Mattapan High-Speed Line and a light rail running as part of the Red Line offer other ways to get around town. Residents can always use Interstate 93 or Massachusetts Routes 28 and 138 to commute to work or go to one of the nearby communities for a little rest and relaxation.
Things to Do for Fun
Living in Milton means whether you love the great outdoors or finding out new tidbits of history, there are dozens of things to do and see in the city. From recreational fun to shopping and dining, this city is full of diverse events, styles, and cuisines. Check out some of the biggest tourist draws and resident favorites below.
Parks and Recreational Areas
Blue Hills Reservation is the most attractive outdoor spot in the entire area. With 7,000 acres, there are miles and miles of hiking, biking, and walking trails. The Blue Hill Trailside Museum and the Blue Hill Observatory Science Center are two must-see places. Guests can check out local wildlife like falcons and other bird species.
The immaculate views are stunning, especially near sunset. On a cloudless day, they say you can see clear to New Hampshire, over 60 miles away from the observation deck. It costs three dollars for entry into the Science Center. It is open seven days a week. You can walk in on the weekend and schedule group visits.
Houghton's Pond is a small and soothing place to take kids to swim at the beach or get in a quiet morning run. It is about 24 acres in size. The shallow beach makes it perfect for taking a romantic walk or snapping a few evening photos as the colors cascade across the sky. You can bring your pooch too as long as they are on a leash.
Restaurants and Specialty Food Stops to Check Out
Steel & Rye is an American diner that tops the list for best places to eat in the community. If you like Chilaquiles Verdes, then expect to get a spicy treat here. They also serve vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Abby Park is a hip and trendy seafood and steak bar. Your meal will start with fried pickles or stuffed mushrooms and progress to Shrimp Fra Diavolo or Fried Catfish. The best thing about this food place is most meals cost about $30 or less.
Newcomb Farms Restaurant is one of the best places to get breakfast or brunch. They serve classic American dishes like breakfast skillets with a homemade cheese sauce that is divine. This place is an excellent stop when you are done with your morning run and need a way to refuel for the rest of the day.
Novara is a bar that serves Italian and American dishes. The restaurant offers a hidden gem with the outdoor terrace where guests are welcome to enjoy lunch or dinner. They serve several specialties using lobster and chicken, like Chicken Marinara.
The Plate is one of those places you want to dash in and grab your favorite sandwich before heading out to meet a date for a picnic. Griddle cakes are a local dish everyone loves. They serve tons of deli sandwiches and offer an outdoor eating area as well.
Festivals and Events
From local Farmer's Markets on Thursdays to the Annual Fall Farm Dinner, there is something for every personality here. The Music Fest every June is one of the biggest events drawing in thousands of visitors each year. On Saturdays, the event ends with fireworks and Sunday is a themed music day with a Celtic theme being the most recent experience. There are many festivals throughout the year.
The Owl Festival is held at the Blue Hills Reservation every October. Kids can get in on the fun with face painting and creative activities featuring the owls while learning about the animals' lifestyle and habits. Food trucks also show up at the event offering delicious bites of goodness from all over the region.
The Fall Beer Fest gives people the opportunity to try out many new craft beers. There is also the South Shore International Festival. The Fall Fair and Pumpkin Fest is another popular event around Halloween each year. Other activities like sunset yoga, author talks, senior swims, open mic nights, and more await people who choose to call this place home.
Best Places for Shopping
The South Shore Plaza is one of the best stops to find exclusive items like designer clothing, jewelry, crafts, and unique gift options. With over 200 stores, there is no way to see them all in one day. This place will take a few trips to discover all the mall has to offer.
Are you or someone you know planning a wedding? Grono and Christie Jewelers will make a custom engagement ring. You can pick out a spectacular anniversary present like a diamond necklace or a birthday gift for your mother. She is sure to adore anything you pick from this luxury jewelry stop.
The Nutshell is a clothing store for kids. Parents can check out the newest designs from a wide selection of sizes, colors, and styles. It is in the Fruit Center Marketplace.
Libraries, Galleries, and Museums
The Public Library is on Canton Avenue. It is best to check the hours before visiting because they are open at different times each day. The building is a stately looking structure that welcomes you with big doors and columns as you walk up the front steps. Indoors, thousands of books, DVDs, and videos await.
Local Art Galleries
J Todd Galleries
Eustis State Museum and Study Center
Forbes House Museum
The Art Center
Quincy House in nearby Quincy
There are plenty of vibrant bars and nightclubs to visit in the town. The area gets a B rating from Niche for the active nightlife options. Here are some of the most popular places below.
Lower Mills Tavern - gastro pub style
Rocco's Cucina and Bar - Italian fare
Abby's Park - hip and trendy place featuring local artists' work
Steel & Rye - used to be a garage turned fun bar
Prime Pizza - outdoor patio area, serves new foods
Brick and Beam - grill in Quincy with a lot of wood trim and down-home atmosphere
Lucy's American Tavern - seasonal ingredients, craft cocktails, and shabby-chic design
The Crossing 9's - in Quincy
The Bowery Bar - comfort food
Major Employers in the Area
Glover School is an excellent choice for teachers and administrators. Barstool Sports is a fun and eclectic employer where workers to write and blog for a living. The local Medical Office Building houses medical professionals in several fields. Not Your Average Joe's is a custom dining experience offering cooks, servers, and hospitality employees a chance to have a great shift any day of the week. Finally, Wollaston Golf Club gives workers the opportunity to get in a little sun and fun on the job.
This community is a vibrant and diverse place to grow up and earn a living. From the upscale homes and eclectic mix of businesses, there are plenty of places to have fun, grab a bite, and meet someone new. When the weather is not cooperating, the local galleries and museums have days of content to explore.
If you're looking to move to Milton, contact a local realtor today!