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5 things to know about living in Wellesley

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The suburb of Wellesley is a quintessential New England town with an abundance of million dollar homes. (Pictured: Town Hall)
The suburb of Wellesley is a quintessential New England town with an abundance of million dollar homes. (Pictured: Town Hall) Jonathan Wiggs / Globe Staff

Wellesley is about 15 miles outside of Boston, but its suburban vibe will make it feel farther away from the Hub. It’s known for being the halfway point on the Boston Marathon route, for being the home to an elite female college and one of the best business schools in the country, and for its large, expensive homes — Wellesley has a lot to offer.

1. You’ll live in…

Wellesley home designed by architect David Sharff. —Michael J. Lee

…a big Colonial, most likely. Many of the homes in Wellesley are in that style, according to Christine Norcross, sales vice president and realtor for Christine Norcross & Partners. She added you will also find some cape-style and some ranch-style homes. Geographically, the commute from Wellesley into the city is a relatively easy one, though traffic can be rough. But there are also three commuter rail stops in town. And, as Norcross added, Wellesley has many of the amenities you need day-to-day. “You don’t have to leave the town if you don’t want to,’’ she said.

2. You’ll pay…

Renovated New England Colonial in Wellesley. —Joanne Rathe / The Boston Globe

…a lot. From July 2015 to October 2015, the median sales price in Wellesley has been $932,500, with a handful of high-end homes bringing the average listing price to $1,736,544, according to Trulia. In fact, last year The Boston Globe reported that Wellesley was the most expensive market for big houses outside of California. A few moderately sized condos tend to fall in the $450,000 to $550,000 range

3. You’ll hang out…

Chef Ming Tsai poses for a portrait at his restaurant Blue Ginger. —Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

…somewhere peaceful. If you want a night out on the town, Wellesley is probably not your best bet. Wellesley was a dry town for some time and just recently dropped its prohibition-style ways. The bar scene in the suburb hasn’t exactly caught up to the new rules and most restaurants still do not serve alcohol. But there are plenty of other activities to fill your time, as downtown Wellesley is filled with shops, bookstores, and restaurants, including the famous Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger. Wellesley is also surrounded by Natick and Chestnut Hill, both of which have large malls for shopping.

On a nice day you will always find families walking around Wellesley College’s Lake Waban. On colder days you will find art enthusiasts taking a stroll through the Davis Museum & Cultural Center on campus.

Lake Waban at Wellesley College. —Flickr Creative Commons / new-york-city

The Wellesley Historical Society is also a great place to visit, and the website has a wide range of resources for finding the history of your home.

After a day of walking, stop by Truly Yogurt to get some awesome soft-serve or ice cream.

Wellesley’s Walk Score falls at a 37, so be aware that most errands will in fact require you to have a car.

4. Your kids will…

Wellesley High School. —The Boston Globe

…be well-educated. Wellesley High School was ranked the 15th best in the state of Massachusetts, and other Wellesley Public Schools follow suit. Using the Great Schools rating system, which ranks public schools on a 1-10 scale, almost all elementary, middle, and high schools in the town get a 9 or a 10 rating. Wellesley is also known for its Dana Hall School, which is a prestigious boarding school for girls in grades 6-12.

There are also a variety of groups kids can join at the Wellesley Free Library.

5. You’ll love…

The town of WellesleySprague Memorial Clock Tower. —Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

…the neighbors. Though Wellesley is known for being a wealthy town, The Boston Globe wrote that Wellesley resident, Cathi Jones, who moved from California, has found the town to be quite welcoming. “Though the town is sometimes referred to as ‘Swellesley,’ its reputation for snobbery is overstated, according to Jones.’’

“You can move to Wellesley and instantly find a welcoming community, whether you’re a kid or an adult,’’ Jones told the Globe. “Socioeconomically, the numbers don’t lie. That will always be a piece that we have to own. But you will find snobbery anywhere.’’

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