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BrandonTO416

Boston Cost of Living

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How much does it cost to live in one of the urban areas of Boston? I would like to research jobs and costs of living and what-not..

Boston peeps - help me out.

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Boston is extremely expensive. In years past you had to compete with the 250,000 college students for apartments. Now the city has advocated for the big schools to build hi-rise dorms.

Still, $450,000 is not unheard of for a 3-decker in an urban neighborhood... even a bad part...

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Boston's inner burbs are expensive too. But there is a very good commuter rail system if cost is real important and you want to live far out to save money. You could buy a condo for about $650 in newton to a house in waltham for ~$300. If schools don't matter you have more options. If all you want is an apartment, you could live in Sommerville, Watertown or Waltham, all close in and find a one bedroom for ~$1000/mo or so. If you want to live on a streetcar or subway line the Fenway might be a possibility. You coud also live in east boston or revere off the blue line. Or just bite the bullet and find a deal in the backbay, it could happen depending on what time of year you move.

Food and clothes are reasonably cheap and gas is about average. Water and sewer are expensive. Car insurance isn't bad if you have a good driving record. Electricity is high.

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How much does it cost to live in one of the urban areas of Boston?

Too much, move to Providence. :D

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btw- What is your profession?

I'm in general business.. Not sure what kind of job I'll be able to get - it will have to be entry level.

And I'm only getting an associates degree from a local community college center (I'm spending my last semester at TTU right now).

Costs sound like they are out of control in Boston... Which sucks.

Just as comparison - you can get a brand new 1 bedroom condo in Toronto for around $150k CDN (around $115k USD). You can get a studio (gag, but it'd be a start eh?) for $99k right in downtown ($75k-80k USD) - brand new...

Providence is too small for me. I want to live in a big city.

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Providence is too small for me. I want to live in a big city.

Bah!

I was in Montreal a few years back (when I still lived in Boston) and I was reading an article about the housing crunch there, and how things were getting so expensive and how the vacancy rate was down to 10%. It gave me a good laugh.

Vacancies in Boston were around 1% at the time, and the prices $Canadian weren't even as high as the same prices $American, never mind the exchange. I was having a serious, 'how can I swing moving to Montreal' moment.

Living in Boston's most urban areas is rather prohibitive (Back Bay, Fenway, Beacon Hill, North End...). But you can still find some rather moderate prices in parts of Somerville, Allston-Brighton, Jamaica Plain... and these areas are certainly urban, they just aren't in close to the skyscrapers. Dorchester is really coming into it's own (only took 200 years). Gays are leaving the South End and moving to Dorchester in large numbers, creating a similar gentrification in Dorchester that gays triggered in the South End 20 years ago. Dorchester is cheekily being called the South South End.

A little further out, Waltham and Watertown are great towns, Quincy is affordable, but iffy in the urbanity department. Further out still, Salem is a great small city. These outer ring cities and towns are especially good if you are planning on bringing a car. Having a car in Boston is nightmarish.

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Man, I am looking at some of these Boston numbers on MSN's home area and its outrageous. I'd just assume to move to Chicago then put up with bloated prices like that.

Boston seriously needs to look into highrise condo construction if vacancy rates are that outrageous... Vancouver could be a lesson. ;)

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Boston seriously needs to look into highrise condo construction if vacancy rates are that outrageous... Vancouver could be a lesson. ;)

They are. Scott might know a little more about what the city is doing to ecourage new residential development.

It's generally agreed that the city cannot continue to be so expensive (I moved to NYC because Boston was too expensive :blink: ) In recent years getting students into campus housing has been the big way to free up housing. But prices really haven't dropped. So there are some new zoning measures to create downtown highrise housing.

Now if we could just do something about the NIMBYs... :angry:

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They have built/are buiiding quite a bit of housing, but it's mostly hi end. Some believe the high cost units will free up cheaper ones. For some reason that seems illogical, sort of like the trickle down housing aspect of Regan's trickle down economics. The pipeline has many new projects like one charles, liberty place, seaport housing, channel center, kensington place, columbus center, fenway apartments, and quite a few others. Almost all have a highrise component.

I should add that Providence is much bigger than most realize, and very close to Boston. Also close to the the cape, and not too far rom NYC.

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I should add that Providence is much bigger than most realize, and very close to Boston.  Also close to the the cape, and not too far from NYC.

PROVIDENCE

ProvNeighbourhoodMap.gif

173,618 people in 18.2 square miles (9,539 per sq. mile) 2000 census.

+/- 1 hour from Boston on Commuter Rail.

Median Sales Value:

$130,000 for Single-family residence

$129,000 for 2 to 5-family residence

Distance from Providence to the Cape Cod Canal is the same as the distance from Boston to the Cape Cod Canal. 45+ (summertime, very +++) minutes.

3 1/2 to 4 hours in Amtrak to NYC.

4 1/2 hour drive to NYC.

Average Monthly Rent:

Providence: $678

Boston: $1,419

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Providence definately looks like a cool place - I see myself moving to Chicago now that I realize how expensive Boston is; if going to Toronto turns out to be a chore.

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Oh my god this is completely one sided! Boston is expensive because it is a relatively safe city with fantastic museums, theater district, world class universities and hospitals. It pretty much has everything New York has without 15 million excess people ;) (j/k) Boston has enough historic structures for a dozen cities and building hi rise condos, en masse, has already destroyed whole neighborhoods like the old West End. I think the current push to build hi density developments around T stations and pushing DT into the South Bay and the South Boston Waterfront are it's best. Also take a drive around Roxbury some time and you'll see thousands of units being built on formally vacant land. I'd rather see vacant lots filled in in older neighborhoods than verticle buildings. The city needs to rebuild its residential density it achieved in the 1950's when we had 250,000 more people. That was achieved without any hi rise residential buildings. This will continue to foster a climate where amazing developments like Atelier 505 are built in neighborhoods that, only ten years ago, were considered dangerous after dark.

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btw- Dorchester has always had our "Gay-borhood". It is the area along Boston Street from Andrew Square at the Southie line to Edward Everett Square. My favorite restaurant "224 Boston Street" is there. The neighborhood is also heavily Polish and Lithuanian. The side streets are all named after types of pears because up till the early 20th century it was still a fruit orchard. It abutted South Bay which has long been filled and the orchard is now a neighborhood of 3 deckers.

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Yes, Boston actually has quite a few neighborhoods that are known to have a large gay population.

Dorchester hasn't recently been the most wealthy, enlightened or welcoming place so its can be surprising, but it is diverse. It has not been two hundred years (Cotuit <_< ) Dorchester was a wealthy streetcar suburb that still has some of the largest ship captains homes in the city. We have the fabulous Codman Square Victorian House Tour and the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Society. We also have a few of the larger hippie Christian Communes that paint houses in Boston where there are alot of wooden buildings and live in the giant old homes.

I grew up in a very nice area where every street was like a small town.

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Oh I completely agree that the city can dramatically increase it's population by working with what it has now, and by filling in the outer neighbourhoods. Allston-Brighton and the Fenway have high densities, but there is plenty of room for infill. I would NEVER want to see Boston become Vancouver. I'm sure Vancouver is all well and good, and it is one of the Canadian cities I would love to visit, but Boston will never be a Hong Kong on the Atlantic.

That said, there is room for high rise residential, and it is being built, but I would only want to see it in highrise areas. The West End could stand to have some high rise infill. The North Station area has some space. And of course the South Boston Waterfront around the Convention Centre is prime for highrise development. The height is restricted by proximity to Logan, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Also areas close to the Expressway around Boston Medical Centre and South Bay could have some high or midrise residential development.

Some of the inner ring cities have room to grow, and some areas are suited to growing up. North Point and the Alewife area of Cambridge could see some moderate height residential development. With improved transit, East Somerville around McGrath and I-93 could get taller. The Wonderland area of Revere, especially with improved Blue Line service and possible Commuter Rail connections. Quincy between the Quincy Centre and Quincy Adams T stations. Parts of Everett and Chelsea if the Urban Ring is ever built.

Yes, you're right about Dorchester too. There has been a gay presense there for a long time. In fact Boston has never really had a "Gaybourhood." The South End was the closest thing there was, and when pressed to identify one, that's what people would name. But really, the gay community in Boston has always been spread pretty evenly throughout the city, with a few pockets where they've been less then welcome having less gay people. A lot of the homes in Ashmont have been bought by gay couples for years now. But there is a distinct change happening in the South End today as more families are drawn to the neighbourhood. This whole push of 'New Urbanism' is attracting the kind of people who were fleeing the city decades ago, to come back. The South End for a long time has been a sort of Yuppie, and Guppie enclave. Now families are moving in and the flavour of the neighbourhood has changed. The gentrification frontier is in Dorchester, especially around Fields Corner and in Stabinkill (Savin Hill).

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