In 1999, Somerville was pretty badly ravaged by Hurricane Floyd, which poured down nearly 14 inches of rain over three days and caused significant damage and severe flooding across the borough. But it's all good in Somerville now.
Of course, the people of Somerville didn't let a mere hurricane stop them from rebuilding what was lost and making the borough what it is today. Thankfully, most of the historic buildings in the downtown area were saved, many of which have now been turned into quaint boutique stores. There are 12,098 people living in Somerville, according to the 2010 census, spread between about 4,500 properties. The borough lies roughly 30 miles from Manhattan to the east, and a lot of the local people commute to the big city for work and play.
Moving to Somerville
The housing market in Somerville is surprisingly open and this is great for anyone looking for places to live in the borough. For somewhere so close to New York, the vacancy rate is generally pretty high, and there is a great variation of available housing. About half of the properties are houses, primarily with three to four bedrooms, so anyone after rental houses is in luck. However, the number of small apartment buildings and high-rise complexes is also extremely high, with over 45 percent of the market comprised of them. Apartment seekers rejoice, therefore, because a range of apartment homes in Somerville are easily found. While lots of people commute to other boroughs and to New York for work, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a nice place to live, which is fairly rare for such a highly prized region. So, get in quick before things begin to change!
Neighborhoods in Somerville
Space is at a premium down the Atlantic coast near New York, so it's no surprise that the borough only takes up less than 2.5 square miles. As such, having a quick look around the area is a good idea, and you might get a feel for which neighborhood most suits you. It's also good to know that the WalkScore is 71, which makes the region fairly walkable. Again, this isn't a great surprise when everything's packed so tightly together.
Borough Center: This is home to the Exchange Field with several baseball fields and a host of restaurants along Route 22, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Wendy's, and McDonald's.
Union Avenue / Adamsville Road N: This is the most easterly neighborhood with easy transport links along Route 22 and Interstate 287. Also home to Somerset Medical Center.
E Main Street / Loeser Avenue: This is where you'll get your shopping done, at Downtown Somerville Shopping Center. Verve Restaurant is also worth a look.
North Branch: This area is great if you're looking for larger property rentals in the borough. North Branch is over to the west, so commuting times east are longer, but you've got Fox Hollow Golf Club on your doorstep, and a host of pretty parks to enjoy.
Living in Somerville
Somerville provides many of its inhabitants with the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the pleasures of working in the big city to the east by commuting to New York, with the small town values that you can only enjoy when living somewhere outside of it. Many people do just that, earning big in New York and enjoying a better quality of life in small towns and boroughs over to the west. Transport links to the east are excellent, with Route 22 taking you all the way to Manhattan, and a couple of major interstate roads nearby as well. There's also a train station in Somerville which connects straight to Midtown Manhattan for commuters and anyone going in for social reasons, while transit links through the borough are also good. With a good walk score, however, much of what you need is easily reachable on foot.