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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Winthrop, MA

Written by Adam Berns

Historic and distinctive, Winthrop is a seaside suburb situated on a pair of outlying mini-peninsulas that look out over Boston’s skyline to the southwest. Established in 1630 by English Puritan colonists who were drawn to the area by the pulling power of the tides, Winthrop was originally called “Pullen Poynt” and was located immediately opposite Boston. 

As one of the most prestigious Boston suburbs, Winthrop boasts a long history that dates back to the founding of the United States. Even though this is mostly a residential area, there are a lot of solid little companies here, and larger commercial areas like Square One Mall attract a lot of significant firms.

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

1. Winthrop’s cost of living is 50% than the national average

Because it is virtually a part of Boston, Winthrop also has Boston’s exorbitant cost of living—50% higher than the national average—and everything else that comes with it. The average home in Winthrop costs about $627,510, which is significantly more than the average price of a property in the USA. 

Your grocery bill, utility bills, and transportation costs will all go up if you decide to relocate to Winthrop. On average, you should expect to pay $2,750 a month for an apartment, so renting here won’t be cheap.

2. The Winthrop School District serves the city

The Winthrop School District, with its four schools and around 2,000 pupils, is mainly responsible for providing education to the residents of Winthrop. Being so close to Boston also means that residents could potentially have access to various educational opportunities. 

Winningthrop High, Winthrop Middle, and Arthur T. Cummings Elementary are all excellent neighborhood schools. You can be certain that your child will thrive in Winthrop!

3. Winters are harsh while summers are pleasant

The weather in Winthrop is very similar to that of Boston, which is not surprising given that the two cities are so close together across the ocean. In most years, winters bring heavy snowfall, torrential downpours, and biting ocean winds, while summers are mild and pleasant. 

During the winter, temperatures will drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, while summertime highs will reach 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall in Winthrop is 48 inches per year, which is greater than the national average of 38 inches. The national average is 28 inches of snow, whereas Winthrop receives 44 inches. 

4. The healthcare sector is thriving in Winthrop

Analytical Chemist, Alcohol and Drug Addiction counselor, and Resident Care Director are some of the most sought-after jobs in Winthrop. Workers in Winthrop can expect an average annual pay of $66k and an average hourly wage of $16.96.

Since Winthrop is primarily a suburb, it is not home to any major employers; so if you are looking for work, you might want to look toward Boston, which is close by. 

5. Live in neighborhoods like Winthrop Beach, Cottage Park, or Court Park

Winthrop is not a very large town, but it is organized into several neighborhoods and a core downtown. Discovering the perfect community that fits your needs and lifestyle is of utmost importance.

Winthrop Beach is a neighborhood that, as its name implies, is located right on the city’s most famous beach. Winthrop Beach is a stunning and desirable community that features both established beach homes and brand-new condos. Winthrop Beach is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike due to its status as the sole urban beach in Greater Boston. Winthrop Beach is known for its various prices, but waterfront residences tend to be among the most expensive in the city. There are a lot of houses ranging from $550,000 to $900,000, and some of the more luxurious ones cost more than $1 million.

Cottage Park is a highly populated urban neighborhood situated on the Boston Harborside of town. Situated on the southern side of Winthrop, this seaside hamlet boasts ideal access to picturesque water vistas. The prices of homes for sale in Cottage Park range from the low to mid-$200,000s to the mid to upper $600,000. Cottage Park is primarily composed of single-family detached homes that are of a reasonable size.

Court Park is located to the north of Cottage Park. These areas have many of the same advantages and are often considered as a single entity when selling real estate. Court Park is teeming with lovely, family-friendly houses, and it also has an ideal location along the Boston Harborside and convenient access to the sea. The real estate data for Court Park and Cottage Park is comparable, with values often ranging from $200,000 to $600,000.

6. Learn about the Winthrop’s history at Deane Winthrop House or Edward B. Newton School

Winthrop, being one of the first settlements in the nation, is rich in historical artifacts. In all, the National Register includes five locations in Winthrop.

Deane Winthrop House: At 34 Shirley Street, the house where Deane Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop, lived is still intact. Originally built in 1675, the Deane Winthrop House is the nation’s oldest continuously lived-in residence.

Edward B. Newton School: Newton School, situated at 131 Pauline Street in Winthrop, was constructed in 1908. Designed by William M. Bacon, the massive Tudor Revival structure known as Newton School was named after Edward B. Newton. Newton lived in Winthrop, and he contributed financially and served on the committee.

Fort Bank Mortar Battery: During the Endicott Period in the late 1890s, the United States Coast Artillery constructed Fort Bank. During this time, the United States’ coast defense systems were significantly enhanced and expanded.

The other two locations are the Winthrop Center/Metcalf Square Historic District and the Winthrop Shore Drive

7. Check out Winthrop Golf Club, Deer Island, or Coughlin Park

Winthrop Golf Club has a beautifully maintained course that both regulars and sporadic players will love. Even the most seasoned players will be impressed by the breathtaking scenery and the variety of difficult courses.

Sit back and enjoy the view of the Boston skyline or the passing jets. Known as a picturesque neighborhood park, Coughlin Park features wide green space, a modest network of paths, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgroup equipment, and breathtaking ocean views.

Make your way to Deer Island, which is situated in the southern part of Winthrop. Spend a peaceful afternoon at the historic park’s waterfront. Gather the gang for a picnic and a stroll will take you to either Port Shirley Beach or Yirrell Beach, depending on how far you are going.

8. Traffic can occasionally get bad

Traffic during rush hours in Winthrop can be extremely congested due to the limited routes available. The main cause of traffic headaches is that Winthrop is connected to the rest of Massachusetts only by the Saratoga Street Bridge leading to East Boston. 

This single-road bridge across the harbor creates a bottleneck, especially during weekday commute times when many residents are driving to jobs in Boston and elsewhere. With few alternate routes available, backups frequently occur on the bridge as well as the roads feeding into it from Winthrop. Residents have to plan strategically and allow plenty of extra time to get across the bridge without being stuck. 

9. A safe place to live

Winthrop is considered a relatively safe place to live, with a low crime rate compared to national averages. The town has a crime rate of only 7.84 incidents per 1,000 residents according to the most recent data. This rate is lower than over 60% of cities across the United States. Both violent crime and property crime occur at minimal levels in Winthrop. 

For example, there are only around 2 violent crimes annually per 1,000. Property crimes like burglary, theft, and auto theft also happen 63% less often than average. 

Winthrop’s safety across all types of crimes adds to its draw as an ideal place to live and raise a family away from many big city risks.

10. Winthrop is closely knit

Winthrop is a small, closely-knit town with a population of approximately 19,000 residents. With only around 1,000 people per square mile, it has a low population density compared to other towns and cities in Massachusetts. This small permanent population helps Winthrop maintain a traditional small-town community spirit.

Residents tend to know their neighbors and look out for one another. Community events like festivals, school activities, and town meetings are well-attended and bring locals together regularly. This also means newcomers are easily noticed and welcomed.

Final Thoughts

 Winthrop, MA, a historical seaside suburb of Boston, offers a rich cultural heritage and diverse neighborhoods. While boasting significant historical landmarks, the area struggles with a higher cost of living, especially in housing. Also, the town’s limited access routes cause traffic congestion.

However, its strong sense of community, access to top-notch schools, and safety make it an appealing choice for families seeking a close-knit coastal lifestyle.

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