NWR: Apartment in Cambridge/Somerville

posted 3 years ago in New England
Post # 2
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

TGold:  I’m going to be completely honest, $1500 won’t get you much more than a shared apartment (1 room in a 3 or 4 bedroom, for example) or a studio apartment, and if you’re really really lucky that studio will be in a decent area, and maybe, just maybe, within walking distance of the T (the red line in this case).  My FI and I pay more than double that for a one-bedroom, but we’re in a nice area and right across from the T (FI is an MIT student).  

Post # 3
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Yeah, rents in Camberville are fairly excessive, especially if you hope to be anywhere near the T. If you’re willing to be further out and on bus routes, though, I know some people who’ve been able to score digs for ~1400! Best of luck, and don’t be afraid to scour Craigslist for by-owner listings. The Boston area broker situation is a scam and a half. 

Post # 6
Member
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I live in a 1-bedroom apartment for $1500/month a 15 minute walk from Harvard Square, so it can be done!  While we didn’t rent from him, we had a great experience with John from Red Line Real Estate.  He showed us plenty of apartments within our price range and really helped weigh pros and cons.  Craigslist is also a good resource.  If you’re looking for September 1st, I think listings will start popping up as early as May, with more in June/July.  Definitely start looking early (and reserve a moving van/service way in advance!), since that is when 75% of the city moves.  

Post # 7
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

TGold:  I just left somerville for the south shore bcs FI and I were tired of the high rents. You are looking for a unicorn if you are looking for a one bedroom in that area for less than 1600, especially near Harvard. If you find one great! I miss living amongst the city young folk- there is nothing the burbs offer other than peace and quiet.

FI and I are paying that for a one bedroom fully redone HOUSE with a fenced in half acre yard a stones throw from the beach, 5 miles south of the city. 

Post # 10
Member
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB

We found our place through craigslist(though not in Cambridge.). The best advice I can offer is to look early, be prepared to move FAST, and get in before the students.

Post # 11
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

TGold:  Ditto to what everyone else said, but I wanted to let you know that there ARE unicorns out there! FI and I have lived in the North End (read: VERY expensive area in downtown Boston) for almost 2 years and only pay $1600. My sister (who’s in real estate) can’t believe it, and thinks they’ll raise the rent to like $2200 when we move out. Our landlord lives in FL and has a company manage the property, so they don’t really care how much the rent is, and he’s too old or out of touch to realize what he could actually get for the place.

My point is that apartment hunting in Boston is TERRIBLE, but it’s doable! You can find what you want/need if you look long and hard enough. Just be really, really vigilant and basically stalk Craigslist, because anything good and affordable goes fast.

Good luck! We’re actually in the process of apartment hunting in Brighton right now (I’m going to grad school out there, so it doesn’t make sense to live where we do now any longer) and it sucks, so I feel your pain.

Post # 12
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ugh. Apartment hunting in Boston is horrible- everything is either shitty student housing or $3500/mo luxury units. We live in Brighton and need to move back to Cambridge/Somerville in September, but I just can’t start looking until July, after our honeymoon. Adding to the misery is that we’re going to be looking for a dog-friendly apartment. 

If you’re flexible about living near the T, then look in Belmont and Watertown. There are a bunch of bus routes that go to Harvard from there. Also, I’m not sure if this is how it is in NY, but if you go through a real estate agent be prepared to pay 4mo up front- first, last, security, and broker’s fee. 

Post # 14
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

TGold:  You might also want to look in Lower Allston. It’s right across the river from Harvard (Harvard Business School is actually in Allston), so it would definitely be walking/biking distance, and is probably a bit cheaper too! 

Post # 15
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Harvard Sq is unfortunately one of the priciest neighborhoods in Cambridge. The further away from the river and the T stops you go, the more you get for your money. The north side of Mass Ave in Central Sq has some more affordable places, but it’s not really the nicest section. We were paying about $3200 (with parking) for a 1 bedroom (luxury unit) in Kendall Sq until we decided to buy a place right up the street. We save about $500/mo owning a place that’s actually a little bigger and a little nicer than our last place. 

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