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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Wellesley, MA

Written by Adam Berns

Nestled in Norfolk County, Wellesley, MA stands out as an exemplary Massachusetts town, renowned for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and affluent status. With a population just shy of 19,000 residents, it secures its position as the 12th largest town in the state and is known for its opulent reputation. 

This city exudes a charm that effortlessly combines a historical legacy with contemporary allure. Wellesley’s picturesque neighborhoods are adorned with lush greenery, elegant estates, and a vibrant downtown, crafting a sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

Here are ten things to know before moving to Wellesley, MA.

1. Wellesley is a safe city to live in

Considering a potential relocation to Wellesley and concerned about safety? Put your worries to rest! Wellesley boasts an outstanding safety record, earning an exceptional A+ safety rating on AreaVibes. The town’s crime statistics reflect a remarkable 82% lower total crime rate compared to the national average, with incidents of violent crime an astounding 89% lower. 

Rest assured, Wellesley is a prime example of a community prioritizing safety and security, offering peace of mind to those contemplating it as their future home.

2. The cost of living in Wellesley is 96% higher than the national average

The upscale community and high quality of life in Wellesley come at a steep price. The cost of living there is nearly double the national average, with an index of 196. An average home in Wellesley costs a whopping $1,090,400, while the median household income is $188,908. 

Some living expenses in Wellesley are more inflated than others. For example, grocery bills are only about 4% higher than average. But utilities in Wellesley run a staggering 41% above costs in other parts of the country.

Renters also face high rates, with rental prices building upon Boston’s already elevated baseline of $3,014 per month for an average apartment. Finding low-cost rentals in Wellesley is extremely rare. The luxury lifestyle and prestigious amenities in Wellesley make it one of the most expensive places to live in the nation.

3. The Wellesley Public School District is one of the most highly rated in the state

Wellesley has one of the most highly educated populations in the country, ranked second for concentration of residents with master’s degrees. The town’s schools reflect this emphasis on education. The Wellesley Public School District operates top-tier schools including Fiske Elementary, Wellesley Middle, and Wellesley High, recently named one of the best high schools nationally. Beyond rigorous academics, the district provides enrichment activities and camps. 

With stand-out institutions at all levels, Wellesley schools enable students to excel while enjoying a robust educational experience. 

4. Wellesley is home to Wellesley College and Babson College

Looking for a university in Wellesley? Several of the nation’s most prestigious private universities are located in Wellesley.

Wellesley College, which is exclusively open to women, is widely recognized as one of the top three liberal arts colleges in the US and is home to notable graduates like Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton. One of the best business schools in the United States, Wellesley is home to Babson College, another prestigious institution that can count a ton of Fortune 500 CEOs among its illustrious alumni. It goes without saying that Wellesley offers some of the nation’s finest education.

5. Winters are quite cold in Wellesley

It gets cold in Wellesley, so bring plenty of warm clothes if you’re planning to stay there. Monthly highs in the summer are pleasant, reaching into the mid-80s, while lows in the winter sometimes drop to 16.7 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Along with receiving more precipitation (rain and snow) than the average American city, Wellesley also has high humidity. In comparison to the United States average of 38.1 inches of rainfall and 27.8 inches of snowfall each year, you should expect precipitation reaching approximately fifty inches every year. 

6. Live in neighborhoods like Wellesley Hills or Wellesley Farms

You would assume that Wellesley doesn’t provide many neighborhood choices due to its small size (the town occupies only around 10 square miles). But when it comes to fantastic Wellesley neighborhoods, you have plenty of options!

Wellesley Hills is a fantastic neighborhood to live in if you desire to be in the thick of things, thanks to its prime location in the middle of town! Extending across a large portion of Wellesley’s downtown, you’ll have easy access to all the amenities your house has to offer without leaving your neighborhood.

Stop searching; Wellesley Farms has some of the most desirable real estate in the region. Wellesley Farms is a great place to find a house since it has a wide variety of homes, from large Colonials to some of the smallest in Wellesley.

7. Wellesley College, Babson College, and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates are the city’s major employers

Wellesley College and Babson College, along with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, are some of the major employers in Wellesley.

Wellesley has ridiculously high housing prices, so if you’re thinking of relocating there, you likely already have a substantial salary. But if you want to create a life here, you should seriously consider getting a degree, especially in one of the many scientific disciplines. For example, a senior data scientist can earn up to $128k per year.

8. Check out stunning outdoor spots like Lake Waban and Elm Bank Reservation

Wellesley boasts an abundance of scenic parks, meticulously maintained trails, and serene green spaces. From the stunning Lake Waban, ideal for peaceful walks or kayaking, to the tranquil Elm Bank Reservation, residents revel in the town’s natural beauty. 

The extensive network of trails, including the Wellesley Trails System, invites outdoor enthusiasts to hike, bike, and explore the lush surroundings. Nature lovers and families alike appreciate the town’s dedication to preserving green spaces, fostering a vibrant outdoor lifestyle.

9. Learn about the city’s history at The Wellesley Historical Society or the Davis Museum

Steeped in history, Wellesley offers a treasure trove of cultural landmarks and historic sites. Wellesley College, a prestigious women’s liberal arts institution founded in 1870, stands as an iconic educational hub with its stunning architecture and academic prominence. 

The Wellesley Historical Society preserves the town’s heritage, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that delve into its rich past. Residents and visitors can immerse themselves in the town’s history by exploring historical sites such as the Hunnewell Arboretum and the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.

10. Eat at restaurants like The Cottage Wellesley or Alta Strada

The Cottage Wellesley charms diners with its cozy yet chic atmosphere and an eclectic menu showcasing New American cuisine. Known for its seasonal ingredients and creative dishes, this restaurant offers an array of delectable options, from Crab Cakes and Truffle Fries to Lobster Mac and Cheese, ensuring a delightful culinary experience.

Celebrity chef Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger offers a fusion of East-West cuisine, presenting innovative and flavorful dishes influenced by Asian and French cooking techniques. 

Alta Strada captures the essence of authentic Italian cuisine with its rustic yet refined offerings. Guests relish classic Italian flavors in dishes like handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and savory antipasti. The welcoming ambiance and flavorful

In Conclusion

A move to Wellesley, MA, promises a unique blend of upscale living, historical allure, and top-notch safety. This Massachusetts town, known for its affluent status and rich history, offers an exquisite lifestyle, elegant neighborhoods, and a thriving cultural scene. 

While Wellesley boasts exceptional educational institutions, a diverse job market, and a plethora of recreational activities, the chilly winters and high precipitation levels might not suit everyone’s preferences. Also, prospective residents should be prepared for the elevated living costs of this prestigious town. 

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