waltham, MA - 02451, 02452, 02453
Welcome to Waltham, a city on the Charles River about 10 miles west of Boston. It is not served well by public transit; however, there is express bus service and light rail from Waltham to Boston. The combination of its population density in central and south Waltham (downtown and along the Charles Riverwalk, which is often crowded on summer nights by people fishing, jogging, or walking off a meal at one of the many restaurants), along with its parks, stores, and trails make Waltham a wonderful place to live. The three major thoroughfares are Rt 128/I-95, SR 60, and US 20; however, if you live in the northern reaches near Lakeview, you can access SR-2/the Concord Turnpike, while the southern side near Angleside, The Island, etc., can access the Mass turnpike/I-90. Unfortunately, Waltham’s neighborhoods are predominantly “car-dependent”; so, keep this in mind when trying to determine which neighborhood to live in if you do not have a car.
When speaking of the Greater Boston area, Waltham has the second largest office market behind Boston; and so, if you would like to google specific areas within Waltham, remember that Waltham includes 3 zip codes: 02451, 02452, and 02453. Waltham’s diverse housing includes dense multi-family housing in the southern section of the city and larger lots of single-family housing in the northern section. Some of the names of neighborhoods or villages you might hear (their general boundaries/locations and maps are available online) include:
- Angleside meanders along the north side of the Charles River on the west side of town.
- Banks Square sits atop the Angleside neighborhood and is essentially bisected by routes 117 and 20.
- The Bleachery neighborhood runs along the north side of the Charles River and has a relatively good Walkscore rating.
- Cedarwood is just off Rt 128/95 at exit 26. Check out their page on Facebook.
- The Chemistry is probably the most walkable neighborhood according to WalkScore.com. This small neighborhood is nestled between Crescent, Newton and Moody Streets on the Charles River.
- North Waltham consisting of The North Side – a nice, more rural area of the city abutting Lexington and Belmont with a mix of new condominiums, ranch style homes, older capes, and new construction – and Glen Meadow East/West, – a bit older ranch houses built in the 1950’s which, more and more have been remodeled/expanded to larger ranches or multi-level homes or even torn down to make room for new, larger homes which are pejoratively referred to as Mcmansions. Glen Meadow East is east of Lexington Street and south of Trapelo Road, and Glen Meadow West is west of Lexington Street and north of Trapelo Road.
- The Highlands lies north of the B & M tracks on the side of Prospect Hill. Fireworks are set off on the 4th of July in Leary Field. You can find condos selling in the $300’s, colonials in the $600’s, and new construction over $1M in this neighborhood.
- The Island is a residential neighborhood, partly in Newton and primarily situated along the south side of the Charles River and on two of its coves – Cram’s Cove and Purgatory Cove. Housing is mixed, including multi-family homes, small cottage style houses, large Victorians, and medium sized bungalows and capes. Walk to Logan Park. It’s all about water views whether you are on Riverview Ave or Rumford Ave.
- Lakeview – a neighborhood on the northern side of Waltham and adjacent to Lexington. It is centered north of Lake St. and as the name suggests several streets offer views of Hardy Pond. It offers easy access to Routes 128 and Route 2 along Trapelo road. The homes here are a mix of smaller older homes, some wonderful large homes and some new construction.
- The Lanes is a beautifully wooded area lying south of Totten Pond Road and east of Prospect Hill Park.
- Piety Corner – a wonderful area in central Waltham known for being extremely desirable with its tree lined streets and beautiful homes. This neighborhood has a prime location with easy access to schools, recreation, quick access to Routes 128/95 and the Mass Pike (Route 90).
- Robert’s is located on the southwestern tip of Waltham and backs to the Stony Brook Reservoir. Just minutes from I-90 and I-95.
- The South Side – Moody Street runs through the center with it’s wide selection of restaurants and shops. This area is largely multi-families and condos. This area provides some river access and access to the office park areas in the southwest of town.
- Warrendale – area between route 60 and Warren Street. It borders on Watertown and is a short drive east of the town center. It is a beautiful mix of older colonial styles, small capes and ranch style homes.
The official web site for the city of Waltham has helpful civic news and information. If you have a specific property in mind that you think you might like to buy, Waltham also maintains a database for the City Assessor which you can access to see what value the City gives the property and what the annual taxes are. Scott Shurr, a local citizen, maintains a community web site with links to helpful resources. Waltham has a lot of attractions for you to see while living here.
If you have school-age children, the Waltham Public School district will take good care of them. Once you determine which school your child(ren) will be attending, find Its transportation policies and bus route outlined here.
Great Schools provides ratings for most schools in the United States. Below, you can see what schools are near the address you are thinking of buying and then compare it to other neighboring schools.
Except for an average 3 sales a month of multi-family homes, the rest of the sales are pretty much evenly divided between single-family homes and condominiums/townhomes. Single family have seen prices running from $300,000 for a small, fixer-upper to $2,200,000 for a 1+ acre home with a pool, while condominiums have been running from $225,000 for a small, older 1 bedroom to $1,295,000 for a large, new-construction townhome. The multi-families have been running $525,000 for a small two-family fixer-upper to $2,375,000 for a five-family.
As you can see, pricing varies depending upon size, location, and amenities. Real estate sales and pricing are very fluid and can fluctuate in a matter of hours because homes come on and off the market daily… even hourly. What is currently offered for sale is listed below. The following chart is a visual representation of the cyclical nature of real estate activity and compares the ups and downs of Quincy to those of Boston proper. The taller the column the better it is for buyers. The shorter the column the better it is for sellers. Hence 2006 was the best time for a buyer to buy in Quincy, while 2015-2018 were great years for sellers. However, the graphic below indicates a weakening seller’s market for both Quincy and Boston.
This next chart shows the number of sales occurring in Waltham month-to-month, year-to-year since 2018 and provides you a historical overview of the best times to sell – months with the greatest number of sales (spring and fall) – and the best times to buy – months with the fewest number of sales (summer and winter). CAVEAT: there are usually more houses to choose from in the first half of the year.
Searching for Waltham Real Estate
This is Waltham’s best real estate site to search for: homes, land and foreclosure properties. It is seriously the only site you will ever need to find your next home or investment property! You can pick which type of housing – single-family, condo, or multi-family – you are interested in seeing at a glance.
*** If you should see some properties listed twice it is because brokers like to list a condo/townhome as a condo plus as a single-family house, or list a dilapidated house as land, as well as a residence.