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Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Shadow Hills,Ca
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44 posts
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Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Considering relocating to MA. Currently only looking at properties in Marblehead and Swampscott. How are the communities of Ipswich and Topsfield? What are the differences between those 4 places?

MrK
Chicago, Illinois
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114 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Topsfield is inland, and somewhat rural. The schools are very, very good. You have easy access to I-95 and Route 1 which makes going south to Boston or north to NH/ME very doable. There is not much of a town center in Topsfield. Housing tends to be in wooded areas and there are hills around. There is a beautiful Audubon sanctuary and (I believe) access to Bradley Palmer State Forest.

Ipswich has a significant historical area and a larger town center with a few good restaurants/pubs. It feels generally more congested than Topsfield, less wealthy, less cosmopolian, and the schools are not as good. However, you do have better access to the beach; Crane Beach is among the prettiest in New England (however, it must be avoided when the greenhead flies are out). There are some rural areas, and Ipswich in general has more character than Topsfield. It might be a harder place to move to -- it has a bit of an old Yankee feel to the place.

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
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2. Re: Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Topsfield, like Hamilton and Boxford in the same area, is one of those towns where there are nearly as many stables as garages. It's a community of big houses on bigger lots, and as has already been said there's no real "center of town" to speak of. For less money you could house-hunt in Middleton knowing that your kids would go to the same high school as the youth of Topsfield.

Ipswich has more of a socioeconomic cross-section but also has a rural feel to it. A "colonial" house there might have been built in the 18th century just as easily as it might've gone up in the 1990's. Local niceties are a working farm where you can buy fresh produce, honey, cider, etc, and the phenomenal Crane's Beach that extends for miles and is a conservation area. Its annual Sand Castle Olympics is a sight to see.

My unscientific ranking of public school systems would be Marblehead first, Masconomet Regional (Topsfield and 2 other towns) second, Swampscott third, and Ipswich fourth.

Boston...
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3. Re: Does anyone know about Ipswich?

MrK has it right about Topsfield... but beware of traffic around Rte 1 in Topsfield during the week of the Fair in early October.

Topsfield may be an easy hop to a highway, (good thing) to do ANYTHING, you have to leave town.

I was born and raised in Essex County, and have lived in a 17th century house in Ipswich for several years. We have the best beach in the region, a riverside "downtown" with most of the necessities... including a commuter rail station with service to Boston (The same line as Swampscott) The Audobon santuary and Bradley Palmer Park are both near where the towns of Topsfield, Ipswich and Hamilton meet. Even though we are further from Boston than Marblehead is, access to Boston and points north is easier, though the "atmosphere" in Ipswich is similar to Marblehead in many ways. The towns north of Ipswich (Rowley, Newbury & Newburyport) are very much worthy of consideration, too)... Marblehead, Ipswich & Newburyport are all old seafaring communities. Topsfield is to MA what Mayberry is to NC. Swampscott's roots lie more in the expansion of wealthy merchants from Boston building coastal summer homes in the 19th century.

Marblehead is beautiful... especially "Old Town", but I personally find it to be a little too "hemmed in"... routes into and out of town are limited, and I find there are too many traffic lights (Ipswich has none)

Swampscott is also nice... has a commuter rail connection to Boston, and is a bit easier to get to than Marblehead, but still not right on what I would call a major highway, so traffic gets to me an issue.

As far as real estate goes, the further you get away from Boston, the more "bang for your buck", but there are too many factors to cover here, depending on your criteria.

Seabrook, NH
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4. Re: Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Hi, I lived in Ipswich for 12 years. It's a nice town with a beautiful beach. Not very much poverty. High to middle income town. there is a section called Great Neck, with lots of home and ocean views, depending on your affordability. Plus there are other great sections in town too. Check out Coldwell Banker website for homes. A man buy the name of Jerry Hannibal can help you, if you decide to check it out. topsfield is pretty high income homes and very nice. Marblehead is also nice and on the ocean. If you don'r care about the ocean, and you want access to major highways not too close, but not too far, I wuuld recommend topsfield. There all beautiful towns.Hope this helps.

Doreen Coughlin

Seabrook, NH
2 posts
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5. Re: Does anyone know about Ipswich?

Hi, I lived in Ipswich for 12 years. It's a nice town with a beautiful beach. Not very much poverty. High to middle income town. there is a section called Great Neck, with lots of home and ocean views, depending on your affordability. Plus there are other great sections in town too. Check out Coldwell Banker website for homes. A man buy the name of Jerry Hannibal can help you, if you decide to check it out. topsfield is pretty high income homes and very nice. Marblehead is also nice and on the ocean. If you don'r care about the ocean, and you want access to major highways not too close, but not too far, I wuuld recommend topsfield. There all beautiful towns.Hope this helps.

Doreen Coughlin

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