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5 things to know about living in Malden

Buying
Malden contains a variety of home styles and sizes. This Victorian is on Converse Avenue in the Bell Rock neighborhood.
Malden contains a variety of home styles and sizes. This Victorian is on Converse Avenue in the Bell Rock neighborhood. Aram Boghosian for the Boston Globe

Bloomberg Business named Malden the best place in Massachusetts to raise kids in 2009, citing the city’s diversity, affordability, proximity to Boston, and Malden Square’s revitalization.

The Boston Globe notes Malden residents’ dedication to their community and generosity in giving back to it. The city has many nonprofits, such as the Malden Teen Enrichment Center and Bread of Life.

The city is also know for being the home to the Converse Rubber Shoe Co., which opened in 1908.

The Malden Teen Enrichment Center, Saturday, December 20 2014.
The Malden Teen Enrichment Center, Saturday, December 20 2014. —Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Malden resident Mark Lawhorne told the Globe, “One of the things I like about Malden is the traditions that have been here for generations, but also the diversity that’s moving in. I love being in a community that can bridge the old with the new.”

Check it out.

1. You’ll live in…

… one of Malden’s distinct neighborhoods. The city of Malden refers to itself as a “city of neighborhoods,” in which “each neighborhood shares the commonality of being in Malden yet each has its own individual character and history.”

The Malden Redevelopment Authority notes the range of homes the city offers – from “elegant Victorians to upscale high-rise apartments to single-, two- and three-family homes.” A variety of new apartment buildings have been built with easy access to the T station.

One of Malden’s “elegant Victorians,” this one Dexter Street.
One of Malden’s “elegant Victorians,” this one Dexter Street. —Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

It is also very likely that if you live in Malden, you will live close to one of its many parks. Ranging from sports fields to dog parks to bike trails – in this city, you are never too far away from some green space.

2. You’ll pay…

… less than Boston (but maybe not for long). The Zillow Home Value Index estimates Malden’s median home value at $349,500, while Boston’s is currently $478,000. In the past year, home values in Malden have gone up 7.2 percent and are expected to climb another 1.6 percent in the next year.

For $300,000 to $400,000, you can get a single-family home or condo that is around 1,500 square feet. Malden’s WalkScore is 66, making it somewhat walkable – though the city also has a MBTA Commuter Rail stop and an Orange Line stop, making access to Boston easy. Malden Center, Ferryway, and Bell Rock are Malden’s neighborhoods that get the highest WalkScores.

3. You’ll hang out…

… outside with other community members. If you are looking for a day outdoors, you can go to the Middlesex Fells Reservation. It encompasses part of Medford, Stoneham, Melrose, Winchester, and Malden, with 2,575 acres of open space to hike, rock climb, cross-country ski, and picnic.

There is lots of open space near the Malden River.
There is lots of open space near the Malden River. —Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

There is also a walking route alongside the Malden River. Though historically the waterway has been under-used, recently groups like Friends of the Malden River have been working to improve its cleanliness and function.

The city also has a community garden where residents can adopt a planting bed for $20 per year. You provide your own plants and seeds, while the city of Malden supplies the water.

If you are looking to stay inside, the Malden Public Library also has a variety of art galleries, many of which were donated by the Converse family.

When it is time to eat, Malden delivers. The top-rated restaurant on Yelp is Mystic Station, an American cocktail bar known for its extensive beer menu and homemade comfort food. If you are feeling some dessert, Malden has plenty of options there as well.

4. Your kids will…

Malden is home to Charles Ro, the country’s largest model train store.
Malden is home to Charles Ro, the country’s largest model train store. —Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

… go to pretty good schools. Most of the public schools in Malden get a 6 or 7 on the 1-10 GreatSchools rating scale. Malden High School gets a 4.

The Malden Public Library, called the Converse Memorial Building, also has a variety of programs for youth and teens in the city to encourage reading and learning. The building is named after the Converse family, as the city’s first mayor, Elisha S. Converse, and his wife donated the money to construct the building in the memory of their son who had been killed.

The Malden Public Library, Saturday, December 20 2014.
The Malden Public Library, Saturday, December 20 2014. —Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

5. You’ll love…

… the Medford versus Malden football game. The rivalry is known as the second oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the country and is played each year on Thanksgiving Day. Malden and Medford high schools first took the field on October 15, 1889 (10 years later the game moved to Thanksgiving Day). The teams have never missed their annual game.