Moving to Massachusetts

As the birthplace of the American Revolution, Massachusetts is a place of great historical and cultural significance. Equally impressive are its leading educational opportunities, economic strength, and spectacular vacation destinations (Cape Cod, Appalachian Mountains, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, the Berkshires, the list goes on). As one of the original 13 colonies, this New England state has a charm all its own.

Looking to move to the Bay State? To make your decision process easier, Great Guys Long Distance Movers has put together the following guide, offering insightful info on the following topics:

  1. Things to know before moving to MA
  2. Best places to live in the state
  3. Interstate moving guide
  4. List of our quality moving services

We hope this guide helps make your move to Massachusetts much more enjoyable!

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Living in Massachusetts: What to Know Before Moving to Massachusetts

Want to call Massachusetts home? Despite its small size (ranked #44 at 10,565 square miles), the state has several distinct regions and the country’s 15th largest population (6.9 million). If you’re considering a move here, this section will help you get a better understanding of this great New England state.

Pros and Cons of Living in Massachusetts

Pros:

  • Education: Ranked #1 in K–12 education, Massachusetts is also home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world (including Harvard University and MIT).
  • History & Culture: From the Pilgrims to the Boston Tea Party to becoming the first state to legalize gay marriage, it is steeped in rich history and progressive culture.
  • Economy: According to a report by WalletHub, the Bay State has the third-best economy in the country. It also ranks #1 in innovation potential.
  • Food: If you like world-class seafood – clam chowder, lobster, haddock – you’ll love it here! The state is also known for its baked beans, cranberries, turkeys, and cider doughnuts.
  • Natural beauty: From Cape Cod to the bucolic Berkshires, Massachusetts is filled with one stunning travel destination after another.
  • Sports: Passion for sports runs deep, especially in Boston. Whether rooting for the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics or Patriots, fans proudly carry the torch of a storied sports culture.
  • Fall season: One cannot adequately describe the beauty of fall foliage in words. If you want to experience a feast for the eyes, take a long drive during October.

Cons:

  • Cost of living: Pretty much any area near Boston is going to have a high cost of living. Those looking for more affordable options should consider Western Massachusetts.
  • Winters: It gets cold and snowy here. But if that’s your thing, you can look forward to a lot of snowstorms, winter activities, and indoor living during the frigid season.
  • Wacky weather: One day it can be sunny and the next there’s a foot of snow. Be prepared for crazy weather fluctuations throughout the year. 
  • Liquor laws: With high liquor taxes, a ban on happy hour, and denied purchase if anyone in your party has an expired ID, MA liquor laws aren’t exactly accommodating.
  • Traffic congestion: Boston, where the bulk of the state’s population lives, is considered the most congested city in the nation.
  • Lack of space: Massachusetts is a small state with a big population. As the third most densely populated state in America, you’ll have to go west to find more open spaces.
  • Weird laws: Not so much a con, there are several odd laws on the books. For example, you can get arrested for snoring. Another: you can’t have a gorilla in the back seat of a car.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.22%. The state’s effective real-estate tax rate is ranked #34.
  • Sales Tax: 6.25%. Massachusetts does not have a county sale tax.
  • Income Tax: 5.05%. This rate is a flat tax on personal incomes.

Housing Market

To Buy or Rent? As one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Massachusetts can be an expensive place to live, particularly in Boston and its surrounding suburbs. Nearly two-thirds of Boston residents rent their homes. If you’re in the market for quieter living with less congestion, the western part of the state offers a significantly lower cost of living.

  • Median Home Value: $407,900
  • Median Rental Expense: $1,325 (1BR) and $1,647 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Massachusetts:

  1. Palmer Town
  2. Gardner
  3. Westfield
  4. Agawam Town
  5. Pittsfield
  6. Southbridge Town
  7. Chicopee
  8. North Adams
  9. Fitchburg
  10. Attleboro

Cost of Living

Massachusetts is among the richest states in America. According to MERIC’s cost of living data series, the state ranks #46 (index of 131.6) in the United States for the cost of living, behind only Oregon, New York, California, District of Columbia, and Hawaii.

Using the Family Budget Calculator, we can take a look at the average expenses for a family of four in two metropolitan areas.

First, let’s check out Boston (Eastern MA):

  1. Housing = $1,740
  2. Food = $877
  3. Childcare = $2,225
  4. Transportation = $1,103
  5. Healthcare = $837
  6. Other necessities = $1,056
  7. Taxes = $1,626
  8. Total = $9,463 per month or $113,558 per year

Second, the Berkshire metro area (Western MA):

  1. Housing = $1,021
  2. Food = $921
  3. Childcare = $1,763
  4. Transportation = $1,204
  5. Healthcare = $960
  6. Other necessities = $783
  7. Taxes = $1,155
  8. Total = $7,808 per month or $93,695 per year

As you can see, there is a bit of difference when comparing eastern and western cities. The overall cost of living in Massachusetts, however, is still higher than the national average.

Weather & Natural Disasters

With a mostly humid continental climate, Massachusetts experiences snowy winters and warm summers. Average temperatures hover around or above 80 degrees in July. Coastal temperatures in the winter are relatively warmer (typically above freezing in January), but it is normal to see temperatures below zero degrees further inland.

The state sees approximately 43 inches of rainfall annually, while annual snowfall can reach 100 inches or higher. Massachusetts averages around 30 days of thunderstorm activity during the summers and has been hit by several notable nor’easters, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Severe winter weather (nor’easters)
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Tornadoes & high winds
  4. Thunderstorms
  5. Flooding
  6. Forest fires
  7. Extreme heat
  8. Earthquakes
  9. Coastal erosion
  10. Landslides

Economy & Job Market

According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, Massachusetts has the seventh-best economy in the United States. It is currently considered #2 in business environment, #9 in employment, and #19 in growth. The median income is $41,821, and the state’s GDP is approximately $543 billion.

Top Industries:

  1. Hospitals, nursing, and residential care
  2. Finance
  3. Technology R&D / Innovation
  4. Tourism
  5. Medicine
  6. Education
  7. Commercial fishing
  8. Food processing
  9. Printing & publishing
  10. Government

Top Employers:

  1. General Electric
  2. The TJX Companies
  3. Showcase Cinemas
  4. Fresenius Medical Care North America
  5. Raytheon
  6. Staples
  7. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  8. Liberty Mutual Insurance
  9. Stop & Shop
  10. Stream Global Services, Inc.

Looking for work in Massachusetts? Here are some top resources:

  1. Mass.gov page: Finding a Job
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

According to the 2019 INRIX congestion report, Boston (where the bulk of Massachusetts’ population resides) is the most congested city in America. Bostonians on average lose nearly 165 hours sitting in traffic. The metropolis also ranks as one of the Top 10 most congested cities in the world.

Interstate Highways & US Highways:

  1. Interstate 84
  2. Interstate 86
  3. Interstate 90
  4. Interstate 91
  5. Interstate 93
  6. Interstate 95
  7. US 1
  8. US 2
  9. US 5
  10. US 5A
  11. US 6
  12. US 7
  13. US 20
  14. US 44
  15. US 202

Main Forms of Transportation:

  1. Roadway (personal vehicle, taxi, bus system)
  2. Subway network (MBTA)
  3. Regional rail (commuter, intercity, and freight)
  4. Air (domestic & international)
  5. Walking & bicycling
  6. Seaport (Port of Boston)
  7. Ferry & passenger boats

Things to Do

  • Food & Drink: Legal Sea Foods, Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, Petsi Pies, Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, Tree House Brewing Co., The Langham, Craigie on Main, El Pelon Taqueria, Gourmet Dumpling House, Beacon Hill Chocolates, Pavement Coffeehouse, Trillium Brewing, Sweet Bakery, The Tam, Donut King, Boston Copley Square Farmers Market, Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers, Tasty Burger, Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Provincetown Fudge Factory
  • Family Friendly Tours: Boston Whale Watching Cruise, The Salem Night Tour, Boston to Martha’s Vineyard Daytrip, Boston Classic: Duck Boat Sightseeing, Boston-In-One-Day Sightseeing Tour, Harvard “Hahvahd” Campus Walking Tour, Amazing Freedom Trail Walking Tour, Boston Harbor Sunset Sightseeing Cruise, City View Bike Tour, American History Tour, North End Small Group Food Tour, North End Pizza Tour, Newport Cliff Walk, 1692 Witch Trials Walking Tour in Salem
  • Nature & Parks: Shining Sea Bikeway, Stanley Park, Boston Public Garden, Cape Cod Provincelands Trail, Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Coast Guard Beach, Race Point Beach, Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, Mayflower Beach, Head of the Meadow Beach, Herring Cove Beach, Mount Greylock State Reservation, Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Cape Cod Rail Trail, Smith College Botanic Garden, Ocean Park
  • Fun & Games: Four-Handed Illusions, Global Flight Adventures, Miracles & Other Deceptions, Cashunt Boston (Private Games), Red Fox Escapes, Room Escapers, Chatham Orpheum Theater, Putter’s Paradise, Pirate’s Paradise, Davis’ Farmland & Mega Maze, Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, Gillette Stadium, Improv Asylum, Trombetta’s Farm, Frog Pond, Cape Cinema, Kimball Farm, Amherst Cinema Arts Center, Boda Borg Boston, Sacco’s Bowl Haven, Live Action Escapes
  • Sights & Landmarks: Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Hornstra Farms, Boston Public Library, Wright’s Dairy Farm & Bakery, Great Point Light, Mount Auburn Cemetery, North End Phillips House, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Adams National Historical Park, Stone Bridge Farm, Minute Man National Historical Park, North Bridge, National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Bridge of Flowers, Fishermen’s Memorial Monument, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Edward Gorey House
  • Museums: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Lizzie Borden House, The International of World War II, Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, Jenney Museum, Phillips House, John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library, The Mount (Edith Wharton’s house), Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Cape Ann Museum, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Egan Maritime’s Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Hancock-Clarke House, New England Holocaust Memorial
  • Art Galleries: Maps of Antiquity, Schantz Galleries, MIT Museum, Ozzie’s Glass Gallery, Rockport Art Association & Museum, The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, Narrows Center for the Arts, Western Avenue Studios, Luke Adams Glass, McDermott Glass Studio, R. Michelson Galleries, Salem Art Gallery, Richard Sparrow House, Yak Arts, Sydenstricker Glass Galleries, Addison Art Gallery
  • Nightlife: Cocktails & Cannoli, Boston Crawling, Bully Boy Distillers, Boston Pizza Tours, The Black Rose, The Beachcomber at Wellfleet, Buzzards Bay Brewing, Club Passim, Warren Tavern, Scampo at the Liberty Hotel, Wally’s Café, Far From the Tree Cider, Kings Dining & Entertainment, The Crow’s Nest, Bell in Hand Tavern, The Pour House Bar & Grill, Art House, Beantown Pub, The Crown & Anchor, The Hangar Pub & Grill, The Point, House of Blues Boston, Scullers Jazz Club
  • Zoos & Aquariums: Southwick’s Zoo (Mendon), Woods Hole Science Aquarium (Woods Hole), Animal Adventures (Bolton), WWI Memorial Park & Zoo(North Attleboro), New England Aquarium (Boston), Capron Park Zoo (Attleboro), Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford), The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center (Springfield), Aquarium of the National Marine Fisheries (Woods Hole), Franklin Park Zoo (Boston)
  • Cool & Unusual: Mapparium, The Witch House of Salem, Warren Anatomical Museum, Danvers State Hospital, Forest Hills Cemetery, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Bodega, Boston Athenaeum Skin Book, Café Vittoria, Hammond Castle Museum, Ancient Crypt, Museum of Bad Art, Edgar Allan Poe Square, Brattle Book Shop, Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, Boston’s Old Burying Grounds, Kelleher Rose Garden, The Ether Dome, House of the Seven Gables, Eyrie House Ruins

Schools and Universities

Home to nearly 80 colleges and universities, Massachusetts is a powerhouse when it comes to higher education. Every campus named below is on the Top 100 national universities list (with Harvard and MIT ranked #2 and #3, respectively). Many of the finest schools are in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Northampton, and Worcester. Not to be outdone, the state is ranked #1 for K–12 education!

Top MA Colleges:

  1. Harvard University (Cambridge)
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge)
  3. Tufts University (Medford)
  4. Brandeis University (Waltham)
  5. Boston College (Chestnut Hills)
  6. Boston University (Boston)
  7. Northeastern University (Boston)
  8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester)
  9. Clark University (Worcester)
  10. University of Massachusetts – Amherst (Amherst)

Top MA Public School Districts:

  1. Newton Public Schools (Newton)
  2. Lexington Public Schools (Lexington)
  3. Westford Public Schools (Westford)
  4. Public Schools of Brookline (Brookline)
  5. Wayland Public Schools (Wayland)
  6. Belmont Public Schools (Belmont)
  7. Wellesley Public Schools (Wellesley)
  8. Weston Public Schools (Weston)
  9. Amherst-Pelham Regional School District (Amherst)
  10. Hopkinton Public Schools (Hopkinton)

Top MA Private K–12 Schools:

  1. Milton Academy (Milton)
  2. Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge)
  3. Bancroft School (Worcester)
  4. Maimonides School (Brookline)
  5. Dexter Southfield School (Brookline)
  6. Brimmer and May School (Chestnut Hill)
  7. British International School of Boston (Jamaica Plain)
  8. Cape Cod Academy (Osterville)
  9. International School of Boston (Cambridge)
  10. Sacred Heart School (Kingston)

How to Become a Massachusetts Resident

New residents are required to acquire a Massachusetts ID or driver’s license (more info below). To become an official Massachusetts resident, you must establish domicile, change your address, and file taxes in the state. Students seeking eligibility for resident tuition rates must show proof of residency and physical presence in the state for at least 12 months before the beginning of classes.

Moving to Massachusetts RMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

If you have a driver’s license from another state, you must obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license to continue driving in the state.

Steps to get an MA driver’s license:

  1. Decide on the type of license (REAL ID or Standard).
  2. Begin your application (online out of state license conversion).
  3. Visit an RMV Service Center.
  4. Present the required documentation.
  5. Pay license conversion fees.
  6. Expired license for over one year? A written test, a road test, and an eye test will be required.
  7. Once completed, it will take 7–10 days to receive your new license in the mail.

Vehicle registration:

New residents must transfer title and registration as soon as they move to the state. Here’s a handy guide on how to transfer your title and registration to Massachusetts.

Qualifications to vote:

  1. Must be a United States citizen
  2. Must be a resident of Massachusetts
  3. Must be at least 18 years old on election day

Note: a convicted felon has their voting rights restored upon serving a prison sentence. For more info, check out Ballotpedia’s Voting in Massachusetts page.

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Best Places to Live in Massachusetts

Wondering which part of the Bay State to call home? Check out our top picks!

Western Massachusetts

Northampton

Population: 28,600
Median Home Value: $299,500

Known for its picturesque small towns and cities, we begin our journey through Western Massachusetts. First on our tour is the city of Northampton. Nicknamed Paradise City, it has served as a hub for music, art, counterculture, and academics. The majority of residents are liberal and own their homes, and the public school system is highly rated.

Nestled in Hampshire County, along the Connecticut River, this relatively affordable city is surrounded by wonderful nature: hills, rivers, meadows, farmland, woods, and mountains. But this isn’t a place without amenities. There’s plenty to do, including visiting its eclectic and eccentric coffee houses, two historic theaters, breweries, winery, museums, art galleries, shops, farmers market, bookstores, hiking paths, and the list goes on. Consistently ranked as one of the most liberal communities in the country, this college town offers a great mix of vibrancy and diversity.

Top public schools include Northampton High School, John F. Kennedy Middle School, Jackson Street School, R.K. Finn Ryan Road School, and Leeds Elementary School. How about private education? Consider Smith College Campus School, The Montessori School of Northampton, Lander Grinspoon Academy, Clarke Schools for Hearing & Speech, and New Directions School at Nccf. Northampton is also home to Smith College. Dubbed the 5 College Consortium, the city is convenient to Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

If you’re in the market for a quaint yet progressive mid-size city that offers exceptional educational, artistic, musical, and cultural opportunities, Northampton could be the ideal choice.

Longmeadow 

Population: 15,900
Median Home Value: $358,500

Ranked as one of Massachusetts’ best towns for families, Longmeadow is also considered the best place to live in the Springfield area. The town offers a decidedly dreamy and quaint feel. Nearly 90% of residents rent their homes and tend to be liberal. It also offers exceptional public education.

As a charming and clean community of less than 16,000, Longmeadow is the perfect postcard image for the ideal New England town. On any given day, you’ll see plenty of kids playing and walking to and from school, along with myriad dogs out on long walks. Though the town isn’t exactly brimming with community centers and other amenities, it has several shops, parks, and Town Green (a historic district) that serve the small community faultlessly well.

Have kids? Check out Longmeadow High School, Center Elementary School, Williams Middle School, Blueberry Hill Elementary School, and Glenbrook Middle School. For private education, consider St. Mary’s Academy, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy, Heritage Academy, Willie Ross School for the Deaf, and Longmeadow Montessori Internationale School. The town is also home to Bay Path University.

Offering a beautiful, safe environment ideal for raising children, Longmeadow offers an attractive alternative to the higher expense and hustle of its Eastern Mass counterparts.

Pelham

Population: 1,350
Median Home Value: $312,700

As the #1 suburb to buy a house in MA (According to Niche’s 2019 List of Best Suburbs to Buy a House in MA), Pelham is situated on the hills that separate Pioneer Valley and Quabbin Valley. The tiny town of less than 1,400 has a pleasant rural feel. Folks here tend to have more moderate political views, and nearly 85% of residents are homeowners.

Settled by Irish immigrants in 1739, Pelham officially became a town in 1743. Priding itself on independence, a good portion of locals tend to work from home (though the majority of residents work for out-of-town businesses and schools such as the University of Massachusetts). Tradition and education are big here as well, exemplified by the 74,000 volumes housed in the town library.

Pelham’s crime rate is among the lowest in the United States. Offering peace and quiet, the town is home to many retirees looking for a mellow environment and proximity to cultural opportunities.

Though diminutive in size, Pelham does offer exceptional public education. If you’re in the market for great K–12 schools, there are three highly-rated options: Amherst Regional High School, Amherst Regional Middle School, and Pelham Elementary School.

Are you searching for one of the safest and most peaceful towns to call home in Massachusetts? Include Pelham on your list!

Williamstown

Population: 7,700
Median Home Value: $287,600

Looking for a quaint yet lively northwestern MA town? Williamstown may be just the ticket. Located in the bucolic Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, the small college town is home to Williams College (a private liberal arts school). It shares a border with Vermont and New York, offering a quick trip to either state. Most people here tend to be liberal, and two-thirds of residents own their homes.

Home to Field Park, Spring Street (home to several boutiques and eateries), the Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Clark Art Institute (one of New England’s premier museums), there’s something to do year-round amongst the panoramic mountain views and natural beauty of the town.

Unsurprisingly, Williamstown offers highly rated academics. Parents looking for great public schooling will be more than pleased with Williamstown Elementary School and Mt. Greylock Regional High School. Top private schools include Buxton School and Pine Cobble School. And as previously mentioned, Williams College offers a topnotch liberal arts education to its 2,100 students.

Checking all the boxes for a small town – it’s safe, beautiful (especially during the fall season), relatively affordable, and has great resources – Williamstown is a favorite place for students and families alike.

Eastern Massachusetts

Boston

Population: 669,000
Median Home Value: $596,900

How could we have a list without Boston? Known by many nicknames – Beantown, The Cradle of Liberty, Titletown, America’s Walking City, to name a few – this city of almost 700,000 (with a metro population of over 4.6 million) is the largest metropolis in New England. As the capital city of Massachusetts, Boston is equal parts historical seaport, seafood lover’s paradise, educational mecca, sports fanatic’s dream, and finance & tech juggernaut.

Like most other major cities, it’s virtually impossible to list all the things that make Boston great. The famous city offers something for everyone: world-class museums (the Museum of Fine Arts), history (the Freedom Trail), pro sports teams (Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins, and Revolution), beautiful libraries (The Beaux Arts-Renaissance Revival), shopping (Faneuil Hall), festivals & events (the Boston Marathon, the Cambridge Science Festival, and ArtWeek Boston), along with being the most walkable US city.

One downside – though it is a diverse and liberal city – is that there’s room for integration.

Top public schools serving Boston: Boston Latin School, Brooke Charter School – Roslindale, Boston Latin Academy, Excel Academy Charter School, and O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Top private schools:  Winsor School, The Roxbury Latin School, Boston University Academy, Commonwealth School, and Boston College High School. Top colleges: Boston University, Northwestern University, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

Top neighborhoods: Leather District, West End, Bay Village, North End, and Back Bay.

Whether you’re a diehard sports fan, foodie, history buff, student, or business person looking for a great opportunity, Boston is truly the City of Champions!

Brookline

Population: 59,000
Median Home Value: $829,300

Considered the #1 suburb of Boston, Brookline is just 15 minutes or so from the storied city. It is home to many celebrities – Conan O’Brien was born here, and Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen call it home – and many young professionals flock to the town. Most residents own their homes and tend to be liberal. As with most places on our list, the public school system is one of the best in the country.

Offering a painless commute and first-rate amenities, Brookline is home to highly educated residents with a median age of just 33 years old. Summer weather is warm and humid, while winter is especially cold. If you’re into diverse cuisine, there are several local restaurants. The best part is that amazing attractions, events, and parks (including Emerald Necklace) are just a few minutes away.

In search of stellar K–12 education? Brookline certainly does not disappoint. Top public schools include Brookline High School, Heath School, Baker School, Lawrence School, and Michael Driscoll School. For private options, consider Beaver County Day School, Maimonides School, Dexter Southfield School, The Park School, and Torah Academy. Local colleges include Pine Manor College, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, and Hellenic College & Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

Offering safety, beauty, and a getaway from the hustle & bustle of city life, Brookline is a great place to raise a family. Top neighborhoods include South Brookline, Fisher Hill, and JFK Crossing.

Offering big-city amenities without the hassle of big-city problems (other than paying for a high quality of life), Brookline is one of the Top 10 towns for millennials to live in America!

Cambridge

Population: 113,000
Median Home Value: $799,400

Consistently ranked as one of the top 25 places to live in America (and one of the best college towns), Cambridge is known as “the intellectual capital of the world.” The prestigious city is home to both Harvard and MIT, attracting the greatest minds of the world. Incorporated in 1846, Cambridge has one of the richest histories in New England. Nearly 65% of residents rent, and many tend to be liberal.

Along with its highly praised academics and rich history, the city doesn’t skimp on first-class museums (Harvard Art Museum, List Visual Arts Center, etc.), art & culture (Cambridge River Festival and Central Square World’s Fair), architecture (The Asa Gray House, Cambridge Public Library, and much more), music venues (Club Passim, The Plough & Stars, and The Middle East), open spaces & recreation (Harvard Yard, MIT’s Great Lawn, Mount Auburn Cemetery, and so on), and much more.

Top public schools: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, John M. Tobin Montessori School, Amigos School, The Andrew Peabody School, and Rindge Avenue Upper School. Top private schools: Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, International School of Boston, Matignon High School, Shady Hill School, and St. Peter Elementary School. Top colleges: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lesley University, Cambridge College, and Hult International Business School. Top neighborhoods: Cambridgeport, East Cambridge, Riverside, Peabody, and Mid-Cambridge.

Though living here comes with a high price tag, Cambridge is nonetheless one of the best places to live in the United States, especially for students, professors, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators.

Worcester

Population: 185,000
Median Home Value: $242,300

Rounding out our list is a surprisingly affordable alternative to Boston and its pricey suburbs: Worcester. Situated in Worcester County, the second-largest city in Massachusetts is about 40 miles west of Boston. The city offers the perfect opportunity to own a home, raise kids, or fly solo. Nearly 60% of residents are homeowners, and the majority of people hold liberal views.

As a place with high diversity and fun cultural & entertainment activities, Worcester offers plenty to do. The list includes great cuisine on Shrewbury Street, Worchester Red Sox baseball games, the Worchester Art Museum, the DCU Center, Ecotarium, the Hanover Theater, and numerous festivals & events.

Top public schools include Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science, Worcester Arts Magnet School, West Tatnuck School, Worchester Technical High School, and South High Community School. Top private schools are Bancroft School, Worchester Academy, Notre Dame Academy, St. Peter-Marian Catholic Junior / Senior High School. For higher education, prospective students should consider the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Clark University.

As the second-largest city in the state, Worcester is a tempting option with its low cost of living, numerous amenities, college atmosphere, and small-town feel.

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How to Move to Massachusetts

Whether it’s your first or tenth time, moving takes preparation, effort, and persistence. Use this interstate moving guide to make your Massachusetts move a lot more manageable.

2 to 3 Months Before Move

  • Top of the list – don’t procrastinate: It can be tempting to wait until the last minute. Big mistake! Moving involves a ton of logistics. From finding reputable movers to balancing your work-life schedule and searching for a new place, give yourself at least 2–3 months to prepare.
  • Give a heads up to landlord: Rent? To protect yourself from breach of contract or security deposit issues, notify your landlord ASAP. Own? Contact a realtor to get the ball rolling if you plan to sell or rent. In any case, tell neighbors about your upcoming move.
  • Create a plan: Grab a notepad or device. Make lists: budget, schedule, logistics, and so on. Grab an organizing folder to store papers, receipts, and other important docs. Once you have a plan of attack, get people involved. Delegate jobs and make sure everyone is on board.
  • Research MA movers: Okay, now it’s time to find Massachusetts movers. Compare at least 3–5 companies. Only consider moving outfits that are fully licensed and insured. Make sure also to check reviews. Give yourself plenty of time to secure the best availability and rate.
  • Hire MA moving company: The general theme is, research and hire ASAP. Quality movers can book up fast, so don’t drag your feet. Want a pain-free experience? Contact Great Guys today. We make the process of selecting top-rated moving services a cinch.
  • Prepare children: Got kids? This transition can be a stressful time for them, especially if this is their first time moving. Take the time to explain to them what’s happening. Use a story or playtime to help them understand. Maintain a normal routine as much as possible during the move.
  • Tour new city or town: If doable, visit your new area. Get a feel for everything it has to offer: schools, work, shops, attractions, community activities, etc. Make an adventure out of it. Can’t make the trip? Subscribe to a local newspaper to keep up with news and events.
  • Purge & declutter: Save money, space, and time by downsizing. To start, take inventory of your household goods. Beginning in one room, decide which items you want to pack or toss. Place in piles or label accordingly. Continue this process in every space of your home.
  • Sell, donate, recycle: Once you complete the sorting step, it’s time to get rid of disused items. There are several ways to go about it. You can sell (Amazon, yard sale, etc.), donate (local charity or thrift shop), and recycle. Also consider giving stuff to family, friends, and neighbors.

4 – 8 Weeks Out

  • Start to pack: DIY packing? If so, grab quality supplies: cardboard boxes, tape, and packing materials (bubble wrap, packing paper, and so on). Carefully wrap fragile or valuable items. Don’t have the time or ability? We can connect you with cheap professional packers.
  • Change address: Visit your local post office or go online to USPS.com. Also, remember to update your mailing info for online subscriptions and home delivery services.
  • Turn off & on services: Schedule utilities and other services to be deactivated (preferably a day after moving) and turn on new services before moving in.
  • Visit doctors: This goes for pets, kids, and yourself. Take your furry friend to the vet. Check MA pet laws. Make sure to schedule checkups (medical, dental, etc.) for yourself and children.
  • Transfer important records: This can include school and medical records. While you’re at it, refill medications and prescriptions. The last thing you want right now is to run out.

2 – 4 Weeks Left

  • Hire cleaning services: To ensure a great showing or protect your security deposit, hire cleaning pros. Schedule for a cleaning crew to show up after your old place is empty.
  • Check insurance policies: Be prepared for any incident that may occur during your relocation. Get hold of your insurance company and movers for coverage details and options.
  • Service vehicle: Driving to or out of Massachusetts? Make sure maintenance is up to date. Take vehicle in for oil change, tire rotation, and other auto services to ensure a safe trip.
  • Plan driving route: If driving to a new place, you’ll want to create a driving plan. Consider the best routes, stops, and how long it will take to travel.
  • Have a moving sale: Whether through a garage sale or yard sale, you can make some decent pocket change and save a ton of moving truck or storage space.
  • Plan for daycare: Moving day is coming soon, and it will be hectic. Ensure that your pets and children are safe by scheduling a playdate, pet sitting, or babysitter.
  • Say farewells: During the last few weeks, it’s important to take a break and celebrate with family and friends. Host a dinner party, group outing, or meet up one-on-one.

During Moving Week

  • Confirm with movers: Call up moving company to ensure everything is properly set. Double-check arrival time and swap phone numbers for easy communication during transit.
  • Check travel arrangements: Flying? Double-check flight times and go over luggage and carry-on requirements. Driving? Review your driving plan and consider alternative routes.
  • Finish packing: By now, most of your packing should be done. Now is the perfect opportunity to create an essentials box with everything you’ll need for the first 24–48 hours at your new home.
  • Rest up: Tomorrow’s moving day. Instead of going out or staying up late, keep things chill. Stay in, relax, and get plenty of sleep. You’ll need to be ready to tackle everything tomorrow.

Moving Day Is Here

  • Be present: This means two things – be in the moment and be physically present when movers arrive. Doing so will make for a much smoother transition and clearer communication.
  • Provide snacks: This isn’t necessary, but the gesture can provide a nice boost in morale. Offer a light snack and bottled water.
  • Perform a walkthrough: Once the movers have cleared your old place, take the last tour. Keep an eye out for anything you may have missed (items, messes, and so on).

 

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Quality Moving Services from Massachusetts Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers is your #1 source for affordable, reliable MA moving services.

Long Distance Moves

Relocating to the Bay State? We’ve got your back. Out-of-state moving is filled with complicated logistics, but with the right assistance, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Our network of long-distance moving companies makes moving to Massachusetts or any other state easy!

Intrastate & Local Moves

Moving inland or to the coast? When relocating within state lines, you need local moving services you can count on. We can connect you with local movers that know your area like the back of their hand. Enjoy a smooth transition and great savings. Contact us today!

International Moves

On the move to another country? From military moving to a new corporate job overseas, we can find you the right fit. Our international movers help you navigate complicated paperwork, customs requirements, and shipping logistics so that you can enjoy a drama-free start in your new country.

Small Load Moves

It’s too expensive to hire movers for your small place, right? Think again! Great Guys can hook you up with a cheap, fast, small load moving service in your area. From one-bedroom apartments to dorms and studios, our moving partners can get you in and out in no time.

Furniture Shipments

Got a prized antique desk? How about an entire house filled with bulky furniture? In any case, you shouldn’t have to risk damage or injury. Hire one of our top furniture movers to carry the heavy load. Ensure the safe shipment of your furniture at a rate that will put a smile on your face.

Piano Transport

Whether you need to move an organ or grand piano, our top-rated piano moving specialists are the best in the business. They take great pride in their work, ensuring that your beloved instrument arrives at its final new destination in exactly the same condition in which it left.

Art Shipping & Transport

Relocating fine art takes a special skill set. Our group of art shippers isn’t your typical movers. Each one comes highly trained and specialized for your particular requirements. From small private collections to large art installations, you can rest assured that everything is being handled with exceptional care.

Storage

Traveling the world? Renovating? Not quite ready to move into your new home? In any event, you need a safe and secure storage service. Our Massachusetts moving partners are ready to offer you several short-term and long-term storage options tailored to your needs and budget.

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Facing an abrupt move? We understand how overwhelming it can be. That’s why we specialize in sourcing inexpensive and quick short notice movers. When you’re in a jam, our moving specialists can help alleviate the stress of having to move for a new job, eviction, or any last-minute issue.

Residential Moves

Moving into a new home? Congratulations! Before you become overwhelmed by all the moving process, hire one of our Massachusetts residential moving companies to take care of your relocation. Sit back while they take care of everything – from packing and unloading to even furniture arrangement.

Packing Services

Packing is a pain. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you don’t have the time or ability, our professional packers make it look easy. Contact us today to schedule the perfect packing service (from partial packing to full-service packing from start to finish).

Commercial and Office Moves

Moving a retail space or office? Count on the top office movers in Massachusetts. From a small business move across the street to a large corporate HQ relocation across the country, we supply you with top-tier commercial moving specialists that ensure little to no downtime and delays.

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