Post # 1
My husband and I are making plans to move. I have family in Boston but they don’t necessarily have to live on a budget. I’ve always wanted to live in Boston, even applied to art school there. We are trying to put this in our 3 year plan.. maybe even sooner!
What are, in your opinion, best neighborhoods and best places to find a decent apartment etc?
Tell me the good and the bad!!
Post # 2
I live in Boston! I went to school here and now my husband and I both live and work here. We LOVE it! He is from PA originally and he said it was weird getting adjusted to city life, but i’m very accustomed to it. I’ve lived everywhere-from the North End, Beacon Hill, Somerville and now we just bought a house in Malden.
My advice: Boston is small, it is NOT worth spending a fortune on an apartment just to be “in the city”. Beacon Hill, Back bay, Financial district are all way over priced and while the location may be considered convenient, your bank accounts willl thank you if you just rent an apartment 15 minutes or so outside the city. Boston is VERY accessible by T as it is a commuter city-I lived in Somerville for 2 years in an awesome apartment and it took me about 10 minutes on the orange line to get into the city. That apartment was extremely spacious and half the cost of renting a tiny apartment in Beacon Hill.
The neighborhoods I recommend:
-Somerville (LOVE this area-close to the orange line AND the red line)
-Malden (a little further, but still easily accesible by orange line)
-Medford (where Tufts University is, not as accessible by T but car friendly and money friendly)
I would stay away from:
these are all rougher areas, I would try and stay away from those, there is a reason the apartments are super cheap from these places!
Post # 3
Just wanted to say that EmmeW gave some great advice (especially about the neighborhoods to avoid), and I’m also living in Somerville so I can vouch for it being awesome! Although parking is a NIGHTMARE in Somerville and if you ever have guests come, good luck to them trying to find parking… Cambridge is also pretty nice if you can find a cheap area, but most are on the expensive side. Like EmmeW said, don’t overwhelm your bank account just to live 15 minutes closer to downtown. A bunch of the T stops have great shops and restaurants, so even if you aren’t directly in Boston, you can still have a great time!
Post # 4
FutureMrsK2014: Second what other Boston bees have said on Sommerville. The town is getting built up and new MBTA lines have been added near Assembly Square Marketplace! Living in the heart of Boston is EXPENSIVE, almost as bad as New York City. Avoid Back Bay/South End, Kenmore Square, Downtown Crossing and Beacon Hill. If you have a car, then I suggest checking out Roslindale and Jamaica Plain (near Green St and Stoney Brook Orange T stops). Jamaica Plain is also on the highwe side but much less than city center and you get more space. Jamaica Plain also has a really nice artsy community along Centre St.
Post # 5
FutureMrsK2014: FI and I live in Brighton now (cause we’re both in grad school), where we just moved after 2 years of living in the North End. We also lived in Brookline for a year (which was great, but really not all that much cheaper than living downtown).
We LOVED the North End. Yes, it’s pricey. Yes, you don’t get a ton of space, but for us, it was absolutely worth it. We loved the old charm and the ability to walk anywhere we wanted.
Brighton is nice too (depending where you are – we’re in Cleveland Circle) and we definitely get more for our money out here. It’s definitely my recommendation for a more budget-friendly neighborhood because it’s so easy to get everywhere on the T (versus Somerville, which I find a little out of the way and hard to get to unless you live IN Davis Square). BUT, depending on what your budget is, I’d say the North End or South End are the best. You just can’t beat city living.
Also, I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re on the younger side, South Boston is a lot of fun and pretty affordable.
We love it here and plan to stay for the long haul. It’s such a fun city and you’ll love it!
Post # 6
I would add Roxbury to the list of places to avoid.
DH & I lived in the North End for 2 years and LOVED it there. I loved being able to just step out and be in the action so close to restaurants and events, especially all the festivals in right there, but it was pricy. We paid $1600 (and that was a STEAL) for a 2 bedroom. He only planned on living there a few years so just wanted to really do it right and be right in the middle of the action.
Brookline a really nice area. Cleveland Circle area of Brighton is nice too, near the D line, which has the fewest stops into the city for being so far out.
Post # 7
FutureMrsK2014: I lived in Boston for 5 years. Fenway-Kenmore area close to the Back Bay, definitely expensive, $1900/mo for a 1 bed (4 years ago). I would take much of EmmeW: ‘s advice. If you don’t want to have a car, there are a lot of places just outside the city that are on the T. If you do want to have a car, you can obviously move further out, but traffic may be an issue depending on where you are.
Post # 8
I live in Southie (South Boston) and love it! I’m in my late 20s, and there are a lot of people that age, but there are also a lot of people in their 30s and 40s. We don’t get the college crowd here like you do in Allston/Brighton. It’s just after 10 and the streets are empty and the bars are quiet. If you have a car Quincy is also a good spot to look into. Its on the redline so its easy to get into the city. West Roxbury is also beautiful, though a car would be helpful there too. There’s only buses and the commuter rail, no T. Charlestown is also worth checking out, and so is Medford. My FI used to live in Somerville and liked it a lot. There are actually some nice areas in Dorchester, i’ve known many people who have lived there and loved it. Avoid Mattapan.
I may be a little biased since I grew up near Boston, but I’ve been living in the city for over 10 years and I still love it as much as I did when I first got here.
Finding an apartment sucks though. I would avoid a lot of the Allston/Brighton area, most of the apartments are trash. Same with Mission Hill. Those two areas also have the worst landlords. to me, its just not worth it. If you can, find an apartment for a date other than September 1. Moving around the city is a nightmare then, since that is when all the students come back and move into their apartments.
Post # 9
I have lived in Boston about 7 years now (went to college here) and neighborhood really depends on where you end up working. I spent the majority of my time in Allston/Brighton which, while super collegey, is pretty affordable with lots of good, cheap food and bars. However, the commute from Allston to downtown is pretty terrible. It’s only a few miles but the green line is SLOW. It would regularly take me 45 minutes to an hour to get to work.
BF and I moved to the South End last year and its one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made. It’s definitely more expensive (1850/month for a 900 sq ft 1 bed with in-unit laundry and a dishwasher) but I can walk to work, I’m surrounded by some of Bostons’s best restaurants, and I can get pretty much anywhere I want to go in 15 minutes or less. And you definitely do not need a car but parking is super easy if you have one. I would definitely recommend the South End/Back Bay Area!
Post # 10
I also have to recommend the South End. I lived there for years (until shortly after I met my husband) and I have the best memories of it. It’s an aboslutely beautiful neighborhood and I still miss it. It IS expensive. You may need to look in the 2K-2500 range for a nice/updated apartment for you and your husband. This is a lot, but you won’t need a car (in fact, don’t bring one/plan to have one if you live right in the city – it will be more trouble than it’s worth and as other posters have said, the T is reliable and goes everywhere).
I agree with what others have said that you can still have a great urban Boston experience without living in the city limits. I think the lists of places to look vs places to skip that were previously mentioned are pretty spot on, with the excepton of Allston/Brighton, which I would stay away from if you don’t want to live with TONS of college kids. You should also consider Cambridge, which has pretty much the complete spectrum of fancy-to-not-fancy, which is something I like about it.
I have to say, I love Boston. I have been here for more than a decade now, and it’s home. I think you will love it here!
Post # 11
I also love the South End. It’s seen such a huge transformation in the last ten or fifteen years. Back in the nineties, parts of it would have been on everyone’s list of “rough” neighborhoods. But now there are new shops and restaurants opening all the time. If at all possible financially, you should buy a condo in the South End and then rent it out when you’re ready to move to a house. It would be a great investment.
Post # 12
omg all of you are so awesome!! We’ve been looking in the Somerville area. That is where my family lives, Davis Square. Unfortunately Boston won’t be for another 3 years or so. We are hoping to save enough money for a small business. We are both 25. I’ve ALWAYS loved Boston and I think my hubby is finally realizing that where we live now is so boring and slow pace! My only bump in the road may be deciding when we want to have kids….