Lush lawns, parking spots galore and ample living space: Life in West Roxbury is so serene, it’s almost easy to forget you’re in the city of Boston.
“It still seems like a hidden gem,” says Jeff Israel, 34, who moved to West Roxbury three years ago with his wife, Katelyn, and dog, Louie. “It’s super quiet, we have a driveway, we’ve doubled our living space. I’ve heard people jokingly refer to West Roxbury as ‘God’s Country,’ but after living here for a few years, I don’t think they’re joking.”
A content-marketing professional, Israel and his wife loved living in Jamaica Plain, but wanted more space and a neighborhood where parking wasn’t a competitive sport. The couple moved into a two-bedroom apartment in a two-family home between the VFW Parkway and Catholic Memorial.
“Whenever we have someone over that lives downtown or in Southie, they’re like, ‘Where are we? Is this Boston? It’s so quiet, there’s so much space,’” says Israel, who cites Millennium Park and the proximity to Route 128 as bonuses.
And while buying a home in the neighborhood would be ideal, Israel says the price tags in the neighborhood are quite “daunting.”
“Over the summer I noticed the first million-dollar home in our neighborhood, that was definitely a shock,” he says. “I’ve actually seen a ton of Realtors list homes in WR as North Dedham, South Newton and East Brookline and other imaginary locations. I’m guessing it’s a way to justify the costs.”
Karen Hickman, a realtor in West Roxbury who grew up in the neighborhood, says there are 40 listings on the market in West Roxbury, including single-family homes, multifamily homes and condos. While they range in price from $199,000 to $1,299,000, the average sale price is $535,628.
“A fair amount of our buyers are coming from South Boston, Charlestown, the Back Bay and surrounding areas,” says Hickman. “Many purchased condos and are ready for a single-family home with a yard.”
The family-friendly environment is the key that draws most folks to West Roxbury, where it’s not unusual to see kids playing in the street together, or couples walking dogs after dusk.
“Everyone welcomed us into the neighborhood. It was crazy,” says Israel, who mentions less access to the MBTA as one of the only downsides of living in West Roxbury. “I was like, ‘Did we move to Pleasantville? Are we sure we’re still in Boston?’ The sense of community in the neighborhood is amazing. I’m a Bostonian, so I’m used to walking around with my eyes to the pavement, but here I actually exchange pleasantries with my neighbors.”