We love to make comparisons with our west coast counterparts. Whether its coffee (Dunks vs. Starbucks), sports (Sox vs. Giants), or schools (MIT vs. Stanford) there's a continual questioning (validating?) of us vs. them.
This article, The Biggest Problem With San Francisco's Rent Crisis. The Suburbs. from Slate.com caught our questioning/validating eye.
As much as we like to think we're different, the San Francisco area and the Boston area have many similarities when it comes to real estate. For one thing there is the ocean. Since you can't build houses on water we are both geographically restricted in terms of buildable areas. Places like Denver and Dallas can sprawl until their heart's content, but our geographic area is forcibly dense, causing rents and home values of those closest to the city to skyrocket faster and higher.
"A forward-thinking planner might have conceived of the region as three high-density nodes of housing and jobs, in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, with quiet bedroom communities strung like beads along commuter rail lines and highways."
Sounds familiar. Our Boston, Cambridge, Somerville to their San Francisco, San Jose. Geographically similar, bursting with intellectual capital, and off-the-charts real estate again make it seem as if we're more alike than different. Not to mention we have that 'bikeability' thing in common - according to this study, San Francisco has a bike score of 70, Boston 68.
"With homes and jobs closer together, commutes get shorter, easing the weight on the region's sagging transportation infrastructure. With better incentives to allow more construction, cities might start building enough housing to bite into the monthly rent increases."
When people live in and/or near the cities in which they work, there is more ownership, activism, and involvement than in the cities and towns where the lights go out when commuters leave. Arlington is a great example. As a densely populated town that enjoys many benefits of being close to Boston and public transportation, it also has a thriving business community of its own that makes it vibrant place to live and work. We also have our own likeable, bikeable Minuteman Bikeway and plans underway to make Mass. Ave. more bike-friendly. It's no wonder that there are so many transplants from the west coast that choose to settle in our area. Maybe there's something about a place that reminds you of home?
While we may never see eye-to-eye on whether a Venti Latte is better than a Medium Iced Regular (it's not), we can agree that there are similarities that make each of these areas great places to live.
Interested in new construction? Arlington has a number of new projects on the way. You can check them out here.