Neighborhood to Watch: South Medford, MA


South Medford began as Medford in 1630. It was founded by English settlers and was an area that Paul Revere travelled through on his famous ride to alert settlers that British troops were on their way. Rich in historical significance, South Medford has steadily progressed to become one of the United States’ most up and coming communities. Here are the reasons why we believe it qualifies as a top choice among the best places to live in the United States.

Following the evolution

A quick review of the history of South Medford offers a background of why this lovely town is so charming and interesting to visitors. Several now popular landmarks were established in the past 200 years. The Isaac Royall House, named for its former owner and famed Harvard Law School founder sits on main street and now serves as a local history museum. The Stearns House was established in 1845 and Tufts University in 1852.

The 1800s were developmental years for the city. Commercial transportation was established in town with the Boston and Lowell Railroad in the 1830s. This boosted commerce in the area and helped to create more jobs to support a larger population base. The city also formed its’ own progressive pubic transportation system so new residents could better get around the town. It began with the street railway (1860), advancing to trolley cars (1890) and by the 1950s and early 1960s, a public bus system. The citizens had dependable transportation to get from one place to another.

The history of South Medford had set it up for success. Public interest in the history and the National Historic Landmarks located in the town made it easier for modern entrepreneurs to establish businesses that centered around popular historical themes. The fact that is is just three miles from Boston makes it a perfect hideaway from the metropolitan area, yet offers quick access to the benefits of the big city. South Medford is not considered to be a rural neighborhood but it you don’t have far to go to get there.

South Medford today

Two historic districts within the town of South Medford give it an ambiance that is attractive to anyone fond of history, museums and learning more about life in the 1600s. This town is the fourth oldest English settlement in the U.S. Many of the homes hold historic value and this increases their appeal and their value. Comparing the cost of living in South Medford with Boston and other surrounding towns confirms that the cost of living is a little lower, but the quality of life is definitely up to par. Although the price of real estate in the area has seen a 6.9% increase over the past three years, it is still considered to be an excellent area for first time home buyers.

According to Boston Magazine, the taxes in South Medford are the low when compared with other cities in Massachusetts. Redfin places it as the number one place to live in the state with the price of real estate a little lower than nearby communities.


South Medford has its share of recreational areas and twenty four public parks. In addition, there are a few museums where you can learn more about the history of the town, which is lengthy and interesting. Tufts University offers higher education and an art gallery for the public. The town is filled with a diverse variety of restaurants and eateries. The public library sponsors children’s activities that include passes for local attractions.


South Medford has its share of businesses for shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues. There are plenty of activities, but one of the most attractive features about this town is the peace and quiet that you can find there. Nature is all around and it’s easy to find out of the way places to rest and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. If you’re into fishing, there are quite a few places to go and the same applies for hunting. There is a little something for everyone in South Medford.


South Medford High School holds the ranking of number one the 1 to 10 Great Schools assessment with other pubic schools coming in at 4th or 5th. You’ll have the choice of pubic or private education for your children. The community places a high value on education.

Low crime rates

Statistics show that the crime rate in South Medford was 123.6 for 2014. This shows a downward trend from the rate of 199.7 in 2005. This is the lowest that it has been in the last twelve years. It is significantly lower than the crime rates in Boston, Cambridge and Malden. The national average is 295.4 so it is a fair assessment to say that South Medford is a fairly peaceful place to live with a low crime rate.

Proof that the economy is in an upswing

The average household income in 2000 was $52,426 and had risen to $73,797 by 2013. This shows a healthy pattern of growth. It indicates that life in South Medford can be pretty good. This makes the town an excellent option for settling down and raising a family. We think that the financial health of a community is a factor that weighs in heavy when deciding if an area is a good place to make a home. It shows that there is a greater measure of stability for sustaining family life in the area.

Some observations about the town

Visually, South Medford is stunning and charming. Economically it is stable and progressive. Educational opportunities abound and housing is affordable. Statistically, the schools are great and the crime rate is low. We’ve gathered the evidence needed to make an assessment on the value of South Medford’s worthiness for being one of the best places to live.

Final verdict

The evidence is in favor of the town maintaining its present course to being one of the best places to live in the United States. At a minimum, it is a neighborhood to watch. It offers a rich historical past that makes it filled with interesting reminders of days gone by. Real estate is following a stable trend with affordable housing for first time buyers. The schools are noteworthy, the community is supportive of education and every amenity you can imagine is within driving distance.


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