I grew up in Framingham and have lived around it for all my life.
Framingham is a unique place. It is large, about 35-40K people. But it is a town (meaning, it has a town meeting structure).
The poplulation is mixed, with a large Brazilian community.
There is a distinction, much to many people's chagrin, between North and South Framingham. The North being the locale with less diversity and less affordable housing.
Framingham has many major routes running through it, Routes 9, 126, 135 and Intrastate 90 (toll road) which run East/West and is situated midway between routes 128 and 495, which run North/South. As you may guess, this means that it is well situated for a commute just about anywhere in the state. There is a mediocre bus service and a pretty good commuter rail station that travels both into Boston and Worcester.
I just read that the average commuting time for residents in this area is 50 min. That doesn't necessarily mean into Boston either, that's mostly local commuting! Traffic during rush hour is bad and getting worse. My advice, either look very closely to your job location, work off hours or take public transportation.
Lastly, the communities that surround Framingham are (briefly):
> Sudbury: smaller, somewhat exclusive community. 1 med./small route running through it. Mod. high taxes
> Wayland: Approx. 17k people. Nice community, I'd characterize it as being like a mix of Framingham and Sudbury. Mod. high taxes.
> Ashland: Approx. 14K people. Nice community. Has a toxic waste supersite in it. It's in the middle of a 10 year clean up plan. Moderate taxes.
> Natick: Nice community, taxes moderately high. Divided into nice and 'very nice' (South Natick)
> Wellesley: 'exclusive' community. High taxes. Called 'swells-lee' by the locals. Not much diversity here.
> Southboro: Nice, kind of small community. High taxes
Here's a town website: http://www.framinghamma.org/
Lastly, Framingham has a community teaching hospital (affliated with Tufts I believe), situated next to the famous Framingham Heart Study. Framingham merged with a neighboring hospital (Leonard Morse in Natick) to form Metrowest Medical Center. This was sold to a for-profit group. That group, Tenet, is looking to sell it (not enough profits) so it's kind of in turmoil. You are within commuting distance to:
Leonard Morse Hospital, Natick (community hospital)
Milford Hospital, Milford (community teaching hospital)
Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton (community teaching hosp. affiliated with Harvard)
Emerson Hospital, Concord (community hospital)
Waltham Hospital, Waltham (closed or is closing)
UMass Medical Ctr., Worcester (level 1 trauma center) would be a reverse commute from Framingham
Faulkner Hospital, Jamaica Plain (community hospital affiliated with Harvard)
Then the BIG ones: Mass Eye/Ear, Children's Hospital, Mass General, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham and Women's, Joslin, N.E. Baptist, N.E. Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Inst., Boston City (renamed to Boston University Med. Ctr.).
Hope that helps! Please remember, these are just my thoughts and opinions, no offense to any resident of the above communities meant. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.
Good Luck! :hatparty: