Moving to Somerville
Welcome aboard on a captivating journey towards making Somerville, Massachusetts, your new home! Known for its vibrant arts scene, youthful energy, and unique blend of old-world charm and modern innovation, Somerville pulls in city-chasers with its irresistible magnetism. Our comprehensive guide will navigate you through finding the right neighborhood to discovering local gems in this charismatic city. Whether you're allured by the city's intellectual hubbub or its refreshing green spaces, we promise, moving to Somerville will be one of your most exciting adventures yet!
What to Know Before Moving to Somerville
1. Eclectic Neighborhoods
If you're all about variety, then Somerville welcomes you with open arms! A haven of eclectic neighborhoods; Somerville offers a charming mosaic of culture, art, food, and architecture. From the hip and happening Davis Square, the paradise for foodies at Union Square, to the art hub at Prospect Hill, each nook and cranny of this city tells a unique story. Get ready to pick and choose your vibe, because each neighborhood brings its own flavor to the Somerville table.
2. Art is in the Air
And sometimes, literally on the streets! Somerville is a city with a deep-rooted love for art and public spaces serve as a grand canvas. Be it the famed M.U.S.C.R.A.T. bus in Davis Square or the striking murals dotting the cityscapes, art comes alive right in the heart of the community, creating a unique urban tapestry that takes aesthetic exploration to a whole new level.
3. Farmer's Markets Galore
If fresh produce and artisanal food products sound like your cup of tea, you'll love the numerous farmer's markets brimming with local delights in Somerville. Showcasing everything from organically grown fruits and vegetables to locally made cheese and bread, Somerville's farmer's markets are the perfect place to grab your weekly groceries and support local farmers and businesses. It's a win-win!
4. Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands
Unconventional yet vibrant, the HONK! Festival is a unique Somerville tradition. As a vivid cacophony of activist street bands from all around the world descends upon Davis Square each October, the city dances to the tunes of music as a language of protest and social change. Its flamboyant community parades and impromptu musical sessions truly underline the city's dynamic spirit.
5. The Mysterious "Little Libraries"
Imagine walking down the street and happening upon a cute little library full of books waiting to be read? A couple of years ago, these small wooden structures popped up in Somerville, with each "Little Free Library" operating on a 'take a book, leave a book' policy. It's an enchanting concept that speaks volumes about the city's community spirit and love for reading. A serene expedition around the neighborhood may lead you to your favorite book-- for free!
6. It's the Birthplace of Fluff
Yes, you read that right! The creamy, fluffy marshmallow delight that enlivens your hot chocolates and s'mores was born right here in Somerville. Every year, the city celebrates its delicious heritage with the quirky 'What the Fluff?' Festival. With wacky games, culinary contests, live music, and more, this off-beat event is definitely a sticky situation you want to be in.
In all, Somerville might just be one of Massachusetts' best-kept secrets. Every corner of this city brims with something unexpected and magical, just waiting to delight those seeking for a place that's just as unique as they are. So go on, pack your bags, and get ready to move to this charismatic city. Trust us, you'll never want to leave!
Pros and Cons of Living in Somerville
Pros of Living in Somerville
Thriving Arts and Culture Scene
Somerville boasts an incredible arts and culture scene. Both the long-standing Somerville Theatre and the Armory for the Arts offer diverse programming, while numerous festivals and art shows, such as the annual ArtBeat Festival, continually enrich the local culture and provide entertainment for residents.
Dense Urban Living with a Neighborhood Feel
Despite being one of the most densely populated cities in New England, Somerville retains a neighborhood feel with its diverse and distinct squares and parks. These areas, like Davis Square or Union Square, offer unique shopping, dining, and recreation experiences.
Excellent Educational Institutions Nearby
Somerville's location puts it in close proximity to some of the nation's top educational institutions. Harvard, MIT, and Tufts are all a short distance away, making it a great place for academics, researchers, or students.
Impressive Dining Scene
The city offers an impressive array of culinary delights with a range of eateries from award-winning fine dining establishments to quirky local food trucks. This means residents have their pick of meals from around the globe without leaving the city.
Comprehensive Public Transportation
Somerville's well-connected public transportation includes easy access to several MBTA bus routes and subway lines. This, supplemented by the city's commitment to becoming more bike-friendly, makes commuting and navigating round the city easy.
Cons of Living in Somerville
High Cost of Living
As a desirable place to live in Greater Boston, Somerville's cost of living is significantly high. Expenses like grocery bills, healthcare, and transportation costs are above national averages, which can be a burden for some residents.
Parking can be a challenge in Somerville due to its dense population. While street parking is available in some areas, in others it can be hard to find, especially during peak hours or during snow emergencies in winter.
Winters in Somerville can be tough, with regular snowfall and freezing temperatures. This can affect commutes, outdoor activities, and overall comfort levels during the winter months.
High Population Density
Somerville has one of the highest population densities in New England. This means that things can get crowded - from public transportation to popular restaurants and parks.
Limited Green Spaces
Due to its urban nature and high population density, Somerville has a limited number of green spaces. While there are some parks and community gardens, these can get crowded and might not provide the amount of open spaces residents from less urban areas are accustomed to.
Is Somerville a Good Place to Live?
Somerville, MA is a great place to live because of its blend of small town charm and big city amenities, including a flourishing arts scene and food culture, alongside high-ranking schools and plenty of outdoor spaces. Furthermore, it boasts a strong sense of community, with diverse neighborhoods and an array of events and activities throughout the year. Its close proximity to Boston further adds to the convenience, making it a sought after place for both working professionals and families.
What Is Somerville Famous For?'
Known as one of the most hip, vibrant squares in the Boston area, Davis Square in Somerville offers an eclectic blend of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. It's home to the beloved Somerville Theatre which hosts live shows, concerts, and film screenings, making this spot a cultural hub within the city.
Union Square Donuts
When you're in Somerville, visiting Union Square and its famous donut shop is a must. Known for their mouth-watering, handcrafted donuts, Union Square Donuts has become a gastronomic landmark since its opening in Feb 2013. It might seem like just a donut shop, but it's a symbol of Somerville's love for local, artisanal food.
Every summer, the city hosts one of the area's largest and most innovative arts festivals, ArtBeat. Hundreds of visual and performing artists showcase their work to the backdrop of live music, craft vendors, and international food. It's a display of the city's creative talent and a true treat for art enthusiasts.
Prospect Hill Tower
The historic Prospect Hill Tower is a cherished city icon and holds immense historical significance. Built in 1903, the tower stands at the site where the original Grand Union Flag was raised in 1776, marking the formation of the United States. Past its history, the tower also offers a spectacular viewing deck, making it a popular attraction among both locals and tourists.'
Overview of Tax Rates
As of 2023, the property tax rate in Somerville, MA is $11.30 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This rate is relatively lower when compared to the national average, making Somerville an appealing place for homeownership.
The sales tax rate in Somerville, MA is 6.25% as of 2023, which is on par with sales tax rates in many other parts of the United States. There are no additional local sales taxes imposed in Somerville, unlike in some states and municipalities.
In 2023, the state income tax rate for residents of Somerville, MA is 5.00% - a flat rate for all income levels. While some states like Florida and Texas don't levy an income tax at all, others like California have a progressive tax system with rates as high as 13.3%.
The Somerville, MA housing market exhibits unique characteristics compared to the national average. Property values here tend to be significantly higher, with the median home value at $814,400 compared to the US median of $269,039. Renters face a similar scenario as the median monthly rent in Somerville is $2,600 compared to $1,062 nationwide. Despite high costs, this vibrant market attracts many for its rich cultural life and close proximity to Boston. Buyers must ready themselves for competitive bidding wars, while renters can expect above-average demand for apartments, due to a low vacancy rate.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Somerville, MA is significantly higher than the US average and higher than some nearby cities. Housing is the main factor contributing to this expense. However, compared to other highly desirable and urbanized cities in the region--like Boston--Somerville may offer a slightly more affordable alternative. It offers a diverse neighborhood with a quality lifestyle and amenities making it an appealing place to live. Always consider your lifestyle, commuting cost and personal financial situation before deciding where to settle.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Somerville, MA experiences a mix of four distinct seasons with a humid continental climate. The winters are cold, with average temperatures between 22deg to 40degF, often accompanied by heavy snowfall. Summers are typically hot and humid, reaching as high as 80deg to 90degF. The city gets frequent rain throughout the year contributing to its high humidity. Fall and spring offer fairly mild temperatures and are considered the most pleasant seasons. Somerville is not typically prone to natural disasters, but it has experienced some extreme weather, leading to instances of flooding, blizzards, and occasionally minor earthquakes. The city continues to invest in infrastructure and planning to mitigate the risks from these extraordinary weather events.
Economy & Job Market
• Education Services
• Retail Trade
Somerville, MA's history is steeped in marshmallow fluff and brick buildings, which is a fun way to say it played a vital role in the manufacturing industry in the past. However, the town has significantly changed its focus over the years. Today, the hustling and bustling streets of Somerville are filled with innovative minds and creative souls. This city is a hub for Education Services and Health Care and Social Assistance - these industries take the lion's share when it comes to employment opportunities. Pioneering in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, Somerville, MA has become a launching pad for various scientific research and tech companies. Retail Trade also thrives in the culturally rich neighborhoods of Somerville, MA. But let's not forget its heritage - manufacturing still graces the economic scenario, keeping the charm of the past alive.
If you're making the move to Somerville, MA, and searching for a job opportunity, you're in for an invigorating adventure! Job seekers will celebrate at the sight of Somerville's 4.3% unemployment rate, significantly lower than the national average. Your best bet for finding a job lies within the city's Education Services, which, given the multitude of schools and universities in the state, comes as no surprise. Health Care and Social Assistance industry closely follows this, offering plentiful opportunities. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services also offer a playground for the science enthusiasts out there. If you're not afraid of the occasional haggling customer, Retail Trade might be your domain. So brush up your CV, practice your interview skills and stride confidently into Somerville - the job you've been dreaming of might just be around the corner!
Traffic and Transportation
Welcome to Somerville, MA! Nestled in the bustling Greater Boston area, we move a little differently here. The average commute might be a leisurely 31-minute drive, but that's not how most of us roll. Many of us prefer the vibrant, convenient public transportation. Red Line, anyone? Yep, the MBTA puts all of Boston within our reach. Go north to Davis Square or south to Assembly and catch some amazing local flavor. Not a fan of the rails? The MBTA buses have got you covered. They're always ready to shuttle you around town.
Need to catch a flight? No worries, Logan International Airport is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Plus, with options like Uber and Lyft, getting there is stress-free. So, whether you're a local, a commuter or a wandering adventurer, consider this your transportation fairy tale! Welcome aboard to our sweet, scenic Somerville!
Best Neighborhoods in Somerville
1. Davis Square
If we were playing a game of "Neighborhood Personality", Davis Square would be that much-loved friend who's a little quirky, but always a blast to be around. This funky neighborhood is brimming with vibrant eateries ranging from gourmet donut shops to award-winning sushi spots. The Somerville Theater gives the locale a retro-trendy vibe, and hosts concerts and movies alike. With its local artisan shops and a bustling Farmer's Market, you're bound to find a unique memento whenever you venture out here.
2. Union Square
Walk into Union Square and prepare to be swept up by the cultural smorgasbord! Bursting with ethnic eateries, craft breweries, and specialty shops, it's a foodie's dream come true. Immigrant-owned boutiques and restaurants give the area a rich, international flair. With a calendar full of vibrant community festivals and collaborative arts events, you'll always find things to see, do, and taste.
3. Porter Square
This neighborhood is an academic's dream. Nestled between Harvard and Lesley University, Porter Square is studded with quaint bakeries, independent bookstores, and homey coffee shops - perfect for curling up with a good book or working on your next project. And with the Porter Square Shopping Center not far away, convenience is a sure thing for residents of this neighborhood.
4. Ball Square
For a more laid-back lifestyle, Ball Square is the place to be. With its cozy residential streets and small-scale commerce, it's perfect for those seeking quiet without sacrificing convenience. To the delight of early birds, it is home to two of the best breakfast spots in town. Cap off a restful weekend with live music at local venues or unwind in one of the serene parks dotted throughout the area.
5. Spring Hill
For those looking for a perfect mix of suburban charm and urban convenience, Spring Hill knocks it out of the park. Serenely residential yet a stone's throw from the buzz of Davis Square, this neighborhood is where quietude and accessibility live in harmony. Majestic Victorian homes line peaceful, tree-lined streets, and local gems like the Somerville Museum enrich the community.
In conclusion, whether you prefer the bohemian energy of Davis Square, the multicultural mix of Union Square, the academic-oriented vibe of Porter Square, the tranquility of Ball Square, or the suburban-urban blend of Spring Hill, there truly is a slice of Somerville perfect for everyone. This dynamic city pulses with a vibrant character, welcoming all with its warm, inclusive embrace. Happy exploring and don't forget your hat - it's always a new adventure in Somerville!
Things to Do
Welcome to Somerville, MA! This vibrant city located just north of Boston is a hidden gem overflowing with culture, history and off-the-beaten-path attractions. Whether you're a music lover, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, there's always something interesting to see or do. To help you plant your roots in this unique community, here are the 7 top things you must try in Somerville.
1. Visit the Somerville Museum
Established in 1897, the Somerville Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the history and culture of the city. The museum hosts a wide range of exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, and educational programs. This fascinating venue provides an impressive snapshot of the city's past, making it a must-visit spot for the history buffs!
2. Explore the Vibrant Art Scene
Somerville boasts an active and diverse art scene predominantly featuring local artists. One of the best ways to see it is through the Somerville Open Studios, an annual event that allows you to visit dozens of art studios across the city. Don't miss the Mystic Mural, a locally beloved half-mile long art piece painted by more than 275 residents.
3. Dine at Union Square
From delicious international restaurants to trendy coffee shops and bakeries, Union Square is a paradise for foodies. Over the weekend, also check out the farmers market for fresh, locally sourced produce. And don't miss Somerville's own Fluff Festival, a quirky, annual celebration of the marshmallow spread invented here in 1917.
4. Volunteer at the Charles River Cleanup
An off-beat, interactive way to immerse yourself in the local community is to volunteer. Join the annual Charles River Cleanup, where locals come together to clean and protect the city's beloved waterway. It's a great way to meet people and make a positive impact on your new city.
5. Stroll around Davis Square
The heart of Somerville, Davis Square, features eclectic shops, diverse restaurants, and a thriving nightlife scene. Here you'll also find the historic Somerville Theatre, an antique indie cinema and performance venue. Whether you're after retail therapy or a slice of the city's nightlife, Davis Square is the place to be.
6. Experience Prospect Hill Park
For outdoor enthusiasts, Prospect Hill Park offers breathtaking views of Boston, extensive trails and picnic facilities. In addition to its outdoor appeal, the park is steeped in history and hosts annual Revolutionary War reenactments on New Year's Day.
7. Try Candlepin Bowling
Finally, delve into a wholly New England experience of candlepin bowling at Sacco's Bowl Haven. This unique form of bowling, native to New England, is both challenging and addictive. Combine this with artisan pizza and local craft beers at Flatbreads, located inside the bowling alley, for a memorable experience.
In conclusion, Somerville's diverse cultural, art, and food scenes, combined with its community-centered events, historical treasures, and unique New England experiences, make it an incredible place to call home. Welcome to Somerville - start exploring, and have fun!
Find Movers for Your Somerville Relocation
Having explored the spirited city of Somerville, MA, from its charming neighborhoods to its bustling dining scene, it's clear why so many people choose to call this vibrant city home. Now that you are considering your own move, why not ensure a hassle-free experience? Great Guys Moving simplifies your transition by connecting you with professional, fully licensed, and insured movers. It's the efficient way to secure top-quality services at the most affordable rates. When planning your move to Somerville, indulge in the luxury of choosing from the best in the industry. Don't wait, request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.
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