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Massachusetts Homes For Sale

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Acton, Massachusetts is well known, locally, for the public school system which consistently ranks at the top of “regional-school” rankings. In 2009, the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and for several years, Acton has been named as one of the best places to live by Money Magazine. This town, formerly the grazing lands for the town of Concord, Ma, was settled in 1639 and incorporated itself in 1735.

Approximately 21 miles from Boston, Acton, MA is 20 square miles and is bordered by the towns of Carlisle, Concord, Westford, Littleton, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, and Boxborough. Acton, Ma was primarily an agricultural town harvesting apples but when the 1950 population boom came the shift from apples to housing became permanent. The town design, for the most part is one of a cul-de-sac neighborhoods and commercial strip malls developed along main transportation corridors. Typically, people use cars to run errands rather than walk or ride bikes however, the town continues to discuss strengthening opportunities for non-vehicular alternatives during Master Plan Updates. Depending on your housing needs the Acton real estate market offers many home options.

Acton real estate offers rentals of apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes. If your housing needs are long-term, the Acton real estate market also offers condominiums, and single-family homes for sale. Anyone considering Acton real estate needs to ask: Is the neighborhood the right fit?
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Town of Acton, Ma
Acton became a town in 1735 however, the shaping of the town from agriculture to housing can be traced back to the establishment of railroad stops. Five villages developed within the town of Acton, Ma which are directly associated with railroad stops established during the 1800’s and all of the railroad stops except for the South Acton have ceased operation.

While the “villages” help identify certain areas Acton, because this land was re-developed the town is now more similar than distinctive especially since statistically, most of the population increase and development occurred between the 1950’s and the 1970’s. There were 3,500 people residing in Acton, Ma in 1950 and 17,000 by 1974. Since those population booms, most of the additional population increase has been to attributed to the birth rate.

North Acton experienced major growth from 1975-1980 with the growth of the Route 2A/119 corridor, North Acton has developed many commercial complexes and condominium buildings. Within this area lies The North Acton Recreation Area (also called NARA Park) which consists of a swimming pond, an open air auditorium, playing fields, and hiking trails. North Acton is home to conservation areas including Grassy Pond and Nagog Hill, Wills Hole Conservation Area and Town Forest, Nashoba Brook, Spring Hill, Camp Acton, Bulette Land, Heath Hen Meadow, Jenks Land, Morrison Farm & Ice House Pond.

Acton Center is the neighborhood with the historic heartbeat. A meeting place since the days of the American Revolution, the town hall, the main public library, a children's playground, an obelisk monument commemorating the Acton, Ma lives lost in the American Revolution, a fire station, congregational church, the post office and police station are all located here. The Acton Arboretum is located in Acton Center which consists of 53 acres of woods, meadows, swamp, ponds, old apple orchards, a glacial esker, a bog, herb, hosta, wildflower, rhododendron and butterfly garden.

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South Acton Village used to be the industrial area of the town with a rich history of mills and small scaled industrial development that used water power generated by Fort Pond Brook. The Faulkner Homestead (the oldest home in Acton) was owned by the Faulkner family who also owned and ran a mill across the street. Jones Tavern is another still-standing revolutionary-era structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While South Acton’s roots are industrial in nature it is also home to a 185 acre green space called Pratt’s Brook and Great Hill located behind the School Street fire station. There are picnic tables a skating pond and two sets of playing fields. The South Acton (MBTA station) is the only rail station on the Fitchburg line still active in Acton and is a very active train stop for commuters (See Commuting from Acton, Ma). East and West, Acton were small commercial areas that grew up around their respective train stops and with the advent of the automobile, and the demise of this branch of the railroad, both sections of town are largely residential and the commercial services are disposed along Routes 2A or 111.
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Commuting from Acton, Ma
Several options exist for commuters out of and into Acton, MA via car. The town has several transportation corridors that run through the town...
Population of Acton, MA
According to the Census of 2010 there were approximately

Government of Acton,Ma
Acton uses the Town Meeting form of government and town-elected selectmen serve as the presiding government officials. Anyone may attend Town Meeting but only registered voters (Ma property owners and renters alike) may vote. Acton also has a water district, which is run separately from town government, as a public utility. The town services are primarily funded through the residential property tax and the tax rate may be raised however, taxes may not be raised more than 2½% (locally known as State "Proposition 2½”) unless approved by the voters at Town Meeting. If real estate taxes are to be raised a separate budget line item must be delineated in the budget as opposed to wrapping all the taxes into an overall budget proposal. The Water District is funded through water rates, connection fees and property rental. The Water District revenues, however, are not subject to State "Proposition 2½." Acton Town Hall has more information.

Water Supply and Sewage Treatment of Acton, MA
The Acton Water District supplies drinking water to the majority (approximately 90%) of the town via seven wells located in Acton, Ma and most homes and businesses use private on-site sewage systems (i.e. septic tanks). Higher density developments such as condominiums and apartment buildings (approximately 10% of the town) use private sewers which go to small-scale private treatment plants. Title V is the State law that requires an on-site septic system must meet certain standards and pass a test when a piece of property is sold. Most banks require the septic system be functioning and a home habitable to fund a residential loan however, there are exceptions to this rule. The Title V test and a water test, if there is a well, is a requirement of the seller prior to an Acton real estate sale.

Trash Pick-up in Acton, Ma
Electric Service in Acton, Ma
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Education of Acton, Ma
The Acton Public School District consists of five elementary schools and the Acton Public School Pre-school. Acton implements the “Open Enrollment” process to assign students to elementary schools. First-time incoming kindergarten parents participate in a lottery-based selection process where the parents "choose" the school by listing their preferences in ranked order. This method of school choice has a large impact on the nature of the town. Acton is less oriented around neighborhoods than other towns which have neighborhood based schools. Other child-oriented activities such as town sport teams are also based on community-wide participation. As a result, students and families are likely to have social connections that are independent of their neighborhood. While the elementary education curriculum in the district is fairly standardized, each of the elementary schools, in the past has offered a different teaching philosophy. Because this changes over time and in response to State requirements, please check with the individual school.
Massachusetts offers a program entitled “School Choice” which allows students from neighboring towns to attend the local public school if there are spaces available and if the local School Committee decides this is in the best interest of the district. If there are spaces available, a notice is published in the local paper. There has been some discussion as to parents of children exercising this option to provide some compensation to the schools district. Each district is different so, please check with administration officials for the current policy.

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The Francis W. Parker Charter School, is another education option, technically located in Fort Devens. Admission is based on a lottery system for grades 7th -12th. One of Massachusetts’ first charter schools, Parker was started in 1995 by area parents and teachers committed to the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools. According to the website, The Coalition of Essential Schools, were established in 1984 by Theodore R. Sizer at Brown University, is a national network of over 1,200 schools and Centers engaged in restructuring and redesigning schools to promote better student learning and achievement. Essential schools share a common set of ideas known as the Ten Common Principles, which call for schools to set clear and simple goals about the intellectual skills and knowledge to be mastered by all the school’s students; to lower teacher-student loads, personalize teaching and curriculum, and make student work the center of classroom activity; to award diplomas based on students’ "exhibition" of their mastery of the school’s program; to create an atmosphere of trust and respect for the school, faculty, students and parents; and to model democratic practices and honor diversity.

The MinuteMan Regional School District, which Acton is a member, has a campus located in Lexington, Ma. The educational option offers an alternative high school in Applied Arts & Sciences. Minuteman Career and Technical High School is a public vocational high school (9th-12) that combines academics and college preparation (the main purpose of traditional high schools) with carefully designed courses related to career exploration and learning (the main purpose of vocational-technical schools). The original school planners focused on needs of students living along Massachusetts' high-tech corridor. Any 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student who is a resident of Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland or Weston who expects to be promoted into the grade they seek to enter by their local district is eligible to apply.

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Library System in Acton, Ma
Acton has two public libraries the
Acton Memorial Library and the West Acton Citizens' Library. The Acton Memorial Library was given to the town of Acton by William Allan Wilde as a memorial to its Civil War veterans in 1890. The building was expanded in 1967, and a second major expansion was completed in 1999. Both libraries are part of the Minuteman Library System, where a patron may check out a book in over 31 towns and 7 academic libraries. The library hosts many activities and programs conducted throughout the year and are worth exploring. Another resource in the town, the Jenks Library, is owned by the Acton Historical Society. This library contains historical maps, documents, photographs and drawings.

Terrain of Acton, Ma

The terrain of the land is mostly flat however, the glacier retreat approximately 10,000 years ago left nine drumlins. And the kettle ponds of Wills Hole and Grassy Pond. Located in the southern part of Acton, is the Nashoba Brook Stream, comprised of three other brooks, the Butter Brook, Will's Hole Brook and Conant Brook and the Fort Pond Brook system is comprised of Guggins Brook, Inch Brook, Grassy Pond Brook, Pratt's Brook and Coles Brook which all empty into the Assabet River. The Assebett then merges with the Concord and Sudbury Rivers in Concord, Ma. Nagog Pond in the north, on the Acton-Littleton line provides drinking water to the Town of Concord.

Recreation in Acton, Ma

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Points of Interest located in Acton, Ma

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