5 things to know about living in Belmont

Buying Belmont
Belmont  Ma 7/08/2015 Former Belmont Fire Station is now a private home.  Staff/Photographer Jonathan  Wiggs 
The former Belmont Fire Station is now a private home. Jonathan Wiggs / Globe staff

Just a quick eight miles from the city, Belmont in the 1900s became a place where artists, authors, educators, physicians, and scientists began moving to, and it’s still a popular place for those that work in Cambridge and Boston.

Though Belmont is heavily residential, it has a few town centers and quite a bit of green space.

Check it out.

1. You’ll live in…

01/23/2015 Belmont Ma. Home of the Week at 224 Marsh Street. Globe/Staff Photographer Jonathan Wiggs
One of the Boston Globe’s Homes of the Week in Belmont. — Jonathan Wiggs / Globe staff

… a single-family home. Belmont is known as the “town of homes,” according to its website. Though the home prices differ somewhat from neighborhood to neighborhood, Belmont Patch notes “most Belmont residents won’t see a perceptible difference in the immediate neighborhoods, [but] looking at the whole census tracts shows a significant drop-off in household incomes in some areas.”

Homes currently listed for sale vary in style, but for the most part they have a historic feel on the outside with renovations done on the inside.

2. You’ll pay…

Belmont, MA 091713 Home of the week in Belmont, Tuesday, September 17 2013. (Staff Photo/Wendy Maeda) section: Business slug: 22home reporter: John Ellement
One of The Boston Globe’s 2013 Homes of the Week. —Wendy Maeda / Globe staff

… on average, under a million dollars. The Zillow Home Value Index puts the median home value in Belmont at $854,200. It has increased 7.1 percent over the last year and is expected to continue to rise 1.9 percent over the next.

For $800,000 to $900,000, you can get a single-family home close to 2,000 square feet in size that almost certainly has some character. Belmont’s Walk Score is 59, meaning some errands can be done on foot. Some neighborhoods get a higher score, such as Waverley Square, Cushing Square and Belmont Center.

3. You’ll hang out…

BELMONT, MA - June 27, 2014-- LEONARD ST, BELMONT - cars actively parking on Leonard Street in Belmont for a center piece on parking solutions in suburban town centers. (globe staff photo :Joanne Rathe section: west reporter: kathleen conti topic: zoparkin)
Leonard Street in Belmont Center. —Joanne Rathe / Globe staff

… in one of the town centers. There are two local business organizations in Belmont, Belmont Center and Cushing Square, both of which have a variety of local restaurants and shops.

Belmont, MA 062713 At the Farmer's Market in Belmont on June 27, 2013 we photographed owner of Real Pops, Dewey Cyr. (Essdras M Surez/ Globe Staff)/ G
A farmer’s market in Belmont. —Essdras M Surez / Globe Staff

The Belmont Farmer’s Market is also a good place to get some local produce from various venders. The market is on Thursday afternoons in the town center parking lot from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the summer, and until 6 p.m. after Labor Day. Along with its weekly vendors, the market also has story time for kids, tasting events, and performances.

Belmont, MA 111613 Co-owner Jeremy Gotsch (cq) arranged bottles of spirits in the tasting room of Damnation Alley Distillery in Belmont, Saturday, November 16 2013. (Globe Staff/Wendy Maeda) section: Lifestyle slug: 04distillery reporter: Katherine Hysmith
Co-owner Jeremy Gotsch arranged bottles of spirits in the tasting room of Damnation Alley Distillery in Belmont. —Wendy Maeda / Globe staff

Belmont also has its own distillery, which was started in 2011 with the goal of using local ingredients for a farm to bottle experience. Damnation Alley has a retail store and you can contact it for a small group tour or tasting.

If you want to hang out outside, there are plenty of parks and playgrounds in town, including the Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a nature preserve where you can take educational classes and go on walks.

24wearts - Winslow Homer's November 23, 1861 Harper's Weekly illustration,
Winslow Homer’s November 23, 1861 Harper’s Weekly illustration, “The Songs of the War,” on exhibit in the Homer House in Belmont. —Handout

For some history, visit the 1853 Homer House, former home to a wealthy Boston merchant and his wife. Their nephew, the famous artist Winslow Homer, lived nearby and would often paint there.  The home hosts a variety of events and is open for tours.

The old-school Belmont Studio Cinema is also a great place to catch a movie.

Belmont, MA - 05/15/14 - Greek salad. My Other Kitchen restaurant in Belmont. Lane Turner/Globe Staff Section: FOOD Reporter: julien Slug: 21cheap
Greek salad from My Other Kitchen restaurant in Belmont. —Lane Turner/Globe Staff

When it’s time to eat, the No. 1 rated restaurant on Yelp is My Other Kitchen, which is known for its Greek and Mediterranean food, along with its breakfast.

4. Your kids will…

Children play on the playground at the newly rebuilt Joey's Park in Belmont, Massachusetts October 14, 2013. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Children play on the playground at the newly rebuilt Joey’s Park in Belmont. —Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

… go to amazing schools. Three different public schools in Belmont get a 10 on the 1-10 GreatSchools rating scale. Belmont High School, and two others, each received a 9 on the scale.

5. You’ll love…

May 2, 2015 - Linda's Donuts - A customer walks into Linda's Donuts in Belmont, MA. (Katherine Taylor for The Boston Globe)
A customer walks into Linda’s Donuts in Belmont. —Katherine Taylor for The Boston Globe

… Linda’s Donuts. The small, old-school, unassuming donut shop is a local favorite in Belmont and is very highly-rated on Yelp. The busy shop has been in town since the 1950s or 60s, according to The Boston Globe, but came under new ownership in 1983 and has stayed as a family business.