ezcheese

Thinking about moving to Boston?

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So, my girlfriend has a job opportunity that would require us to move to the Boston area. She would have the entire New England territory for a medical supply company. We are trying to do some research to find out if there is indeed such a thing as an affordable place to live in Boston. We basically have no knowledge of any of the neighborhoods in the Boston area (except what I

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to add to this (i am the girlfriend :wub:) i read where the rents in allston, brighton, charlestown, dorchester, east boston and jamaica plain are down 5% WHY IS THIS?

i would really like to get a sense of the safer, nicer areas of boston and the surrounding towns in addition to the not-so-nice areas as well as what we can expect to pay for rent.

let me reiterate what i am trying to accomplish i need to be able to go to my company with information that will back me up in asking for a significant salary increase in what they want to pay me to move up to boston. currently they have the base salary on par with cities like nashville and omaha when it really should be comparable to san fran, silicon valley, etc. so i need to be prepared to say i'm not moving there unless i can be compensated for the cost-of-living difference for my base salary. thanks.

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How crazy am I to expect to find a comparable apartment for under $1,000 in a decent neighborhood in Boston?

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You are totally fvcking insane to think that you could find anything like that anywhere within 50 miles of Boston for $1000 or less. Start thinking about $1500+.

Check out the [url=http://www.boston.com/realestate/]Real Estate section on Boston.com to start getting an idea on prices.

However, I would not characterize any neighbourhood in Boston as 'dangerous.' There are some places that might be considered less desirable than others, but I wouldn't say to stay away from neighbourhood.

The key thing you want is access to the T. Prices go upi the closer you are to a T station, but it's worth the price.

If you want to look at things a little bit outside the city, I personally love Waltham, it's on the commuter rail, about 10-15 from North Station, with a stop in Cambridge before North Station. There's also express bus service to Boston via the Pike, and local bus service to Watertown and Cambridge.

Watertown and Belmont are nearby towns that are nice, but a still be pretty damn expensive, though less so than Cambridge or Boston.

Dorchester (which is a neighbourhood of Boston), is a great area, but it is a large area, and the red line only directly serves a thin sliver of it.

to add to this (i am the girlfriend  :wub:) i read where the rents in allston, brighton, charlestown, dorchester, east boston and jamaica plain are down 5% WHY IS THIS?

i would really like to get a sense of the safer, nicer areas of boston and the surrounding towns in addition to the not-so-nice areas as well as what we can expect to pay for rent. 

let me reiterate what i am trying to accomplish i need to be able to go to my company with information that will back me up in asking for a significant salary increase in what they want to pay me to move up to boston.  currently they have the base salary on par with cities like nashville and omaha when it really should be comparable to san fran, silicon valley, etc.  so i need to be prepared to say i'm not moving there unless i can be compensated for the cost-of-living difference for my base salary.  thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmm, I don't know why there is or would be a price drop anywhere in the city. The market adjusts itself a little bit from time to time. Vacancies can drop below 1% citywide at times and things get crazy. Shortly after September 11th there was one of these adjustments where for a short time it was more of a renters market. The Universities have been builing a lot of dorms latley, and more are on the way, so that can take a little pressure off the rental market, especially in areas like Allston/Brighton and J.P.

It is totally insane for your company to even consider tranferring you at a Nashville-like cost of living scale. Boston is in the New York, San Francisco, Washington bracket of affordablity and depending on exactly how you crunch the numbers can be ranked as the most expensive of that lot.

You can always think about Providence. Many people do commute from Providence daily to Boston via the commuter rail, it's about an hour ride. If you don't have to be in the office everyday and are expected to be out in your sales territory more often than not, it may be something you don't mind doing (the commute I mean, which isn't really that bad since you are just sitting on the train, you can get work done, read... And since Providence is the first stop, you always get a seat in the morning :) )

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You are totally fvcking insane to think that you could find anything like that anywhere within 50 miles of Boston for $1000 or less. Start thinking about $1500+.

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but i have done some searching online and found some apts. in brighton or east boston from $900-$1000. are those going to be complete dumps? most of the "affordable" 2 bdrms are listed as being rented by a family that wants to rent out a floor of their home to a quiet person(s).

would you recommed getting a broker? how does taht work b/c we don't have those here b/c affordable housing is not an issue. :unsure: thanks for your suggestions and help.

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but i have done some searching online and found some apts. in brighton or east boston from $900-$1000.  are those going to be complete dumps?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They might be. The prices have been moderating slightly since I left Boston. I left right as the tech boom was crashing. So stuff did drop a bit from what I remember it being. The cheaper East Boston apartment is likely better than the cheaper Brighton apartment. The airport is in East Boston so you will likely be impacted by that.

most of the "affordable" 2 bdrms are listed as being rented by a family that wants to rent out a floor of their home to a quiet person(s).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is code meaning they want to rent to you. Adult proffessionals with no pets and no kids, who go to bed early because they need to be to work in the morning and don't have parties, i.e. NOT college kids. The triple-decker is a style of house that is quite common in Boston. Each floor is a 2 or 3 bed apartment of about equal size. Many are owner occupied and they rent out the other two floors.

would you recommed getting a broker?  how does taht work b/c we don't have those here b/c affordable housing is not an issue. :unsure:  thanks for your suggestions and help.

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It's generally good to go through a real estate agent. Most landlords don't want to deal with the hassle of finding a renter themselves. You're going to save yourself the fee by going direct to the landlord, if you see ads that sound good, certainly look. Expect to need first month's rent, last month's rent, one month security deposit (which is supposed to come back to you with interest at the end of the lease), and one half, or one full month fee for the realtor.

If you have specific neighbourhoods/streets that you want to bounce off of me, let me know, I can give you a feel for them.

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First of all, your advice is all wrong. You can easily find a nice 2 bed near Boston in the range of 1000. All you have to do is look. I am a property manager. I manage 110 units in properties North of Boston and I can put you in a Beautiful 2 bed (around 800 sqft) apartment for 1050. Do not waste your money in getting a broker. Only suckers do this.. If a landlord has a unit vacant for a substatial amount of time (2 months or more) he has no choice other than to lower the rent. The same holds true in any market (including NYC)

Here's a link to an apartment I have available. It's near the Orange line and commuter rail, is very roomy, has hardwood floors and high ceilings, plus - heat and hot water are included. It's down the street from downtown Melrose, so you'll have plenty of acess to things you wouldnt have if you lived deep in a residential section of Boston.

http://boston.craigslist.org/abo/64739515.html

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I agree with BOSdev that you can find an apartment closer to your price range. Since I imagine you will be traveling by car a lot for your job, I would also consider living near a freeway. If you are young and want a big city experience you might consider giving up some space and paying more to live in Cambridge or the Backbay, or a loft apartment DT or near the green line D branch or Beacon St Branch in Brookline or Newton All of those areas are very safe. Many young people are moving to south Boston which is near DT but has waterfront urban beach propoerty. No part of Boston is really dnagerous compared to some big cities but you might avoid Roxbury and Dorchester as probably the most blighted areas of the city. Everet, Revere and Charlestown can be difficult to get in and out of by car. I would suggest you pick some places on the internet and then visit the city for a few days. There are very cheap flights into Logan, Providence or Manchester. It's very different from where you live now, with older houing stock and much denser living.

To prove you need more money to live in Boston do rent and salary comparisons on the internet and show them to your boss.

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^ Parts of Roxbury and Dorchester Tim! ;)

Neponset and Cedar Grove, the part of Dorchester that I grew up in is quite safe. So are other areas but they are no bargain when it comes to rents. Fort and Mission Hills in Roxbury are also quite nice but expensive. :(

EDIT_ I'd consider Quincy because you can get a newer apartment on the Red Line for the money.

Edited by Scott

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You can definitely find a decent place in Boston in the $1000-$1200 price range, even in a neighborhood like the Fens. I know because I used to own property there. There are cheaper places in Allston, Brighton, South Boston, East Boston, and Charlestown. Some parts of Roxbury and Dorchester are inexpensive, but they wouldn't be my first choice. Same with Jamaica Plain. Where exactly is your gf going to work, the financial district? Commuting and excessibilty to your workplace should be one of the main factors in considering where exaclty to move.

Suburbs like Cambridge are great, but even more expensive them Boston in some parts. Somerville and Medford are decent, stay away from Chelsea and Everett. I would recommend against Revere. Brookline is too expensive for you, most likely. Newton is nice, but also a bit pricey. Heck, even moving to somewhere on the T (Boston's commuter rail) like Framingham or Worcester could work, because rents are far cheaper outside the city.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for all the input so far guys. We have been trying to do some research on prices in different areas around Boston. My girlfriend will have the entire new england territory, but 75% of the accounts she will be calling on are in the Boston area. So, we are actually going to map out all the accounts and try and find a central location to try and find the best location to live, then I suppose we will see if we can actually afford it. :silly:

if anyone else has any input as far as locations for renting, please feel free to chime in!

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Someplace in MetroWest like Waltham, could be better if she has to leave Boston frequently. It can be a pain to have to drive in and out of the city. Say you are right near downtown and 3 days a week she's on the road, coming home at 6pm is going to be a b1tch!

Waltham is good because it is right off 128 so you can easily head north or south from there, and also the Pike is right there for heading west, plus it has commuter rail and express buses into the city if you are going to be working in the city, or if she heads into the city somedays carless.

Other areas around 128 may be good as well depending on if her territory is more north or south of Boston.

Belmont and Arlington are nice areas near Route 2, which can quickly get you out to Route 128. Arlington is a short ride to the Alewife red line station, and Belmont has commuter rail to North Station and local bus service to Cambridge and the redline.

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I am still trying to figure out if it will be remotely possible to transfer to one of the many colleges in the area. My financial aid should really be kicking in this fall, but if I will have to pay out of state tuition for the first year, this could definitely pose a challenge. We are also somewhat concerned with the available parking in different locations. We are going to be coming from a very car-dependent place. If there will be parking issues, however, I would have no problem leaving my car down here, but in that case, we would need to live near the T or some other form of public transportation.

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if you want places near boston you could try malden. they got 1-2 bedroom luxury apartments in the 900-1400 $ range. revere also has apartments on the beach but i dont know what the range is on those

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Thanks for all the input everybody! It looks like my girlfriend is taking the job. She will be in Boston all next week and I am going to fly up at the end of the week and try to find a place for us to live. This will be extremely stressful, but I feel like I have an idea of what I need to be looking for now.

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It's expensive as all hell, but you're gonna love it!

The marathon is on the 18th, will you be there then? The city is chaos on Marathon Monday, but it's a cool chaos.

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A friend of mine told me about craigslist.org, so I have been checking out listings there. There have been a few listings that look like they may be decent. We mapped out all of my Girlfriend's accounts and we want to find a place somewhere in the western area of Boston between I-95 and I-495:

area.jpg

Do any places there stick out to you as places we should check out?

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Do any places there stick out to you as places we should check out?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The towns are all decent. I grew up in Franklin. Most of the W towns are probably out of your range: Wellesley, Wayland, Weston, Waltham, and Watertown. Most of the affluent live there. Of course there are always the exceptional finds. Framingham is the largest "town" in the state, so it's a very diverse town. Other than that, if you want to commute into Boston with the MBTA, check out the Maps on www.mbta.com. The closer to the city, the more you will have to pay.

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That would be MetroWest, overall it's a wonderful, and pricey area. It has it's share of repugnant sprawl, especially around Framingham and Natick, but also has it's share of picture postcard New England village centres.

I would look at Waltham if you want something that's a bit more on the urban side (that whole area in red is decidedly suburban in nature). As you can see it sits right on the edge of your girlfriend's sales territory with good access to Route 2 and the Mass Pike (I-90). It has good transit access into Boston if you were to go to school or work in the city.

Waltham is on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, look Thinking about moving to Providence? thread if you want to learn more.

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That would be MetroWest, overall it's a wonderful, and pricey area. It has it's share of repugnant sprawl, especially around Framingham and Natick, but also has it's share of picture postcard New England village centres.

I would look at Waltham if you want something that's a bit more on the urban side (that whole area in red is decidedly suburban in nature). As you can see it sits right on the edge of your girlfriend's sales territory with good access to Route 2 and the Mass Pike (I-90). It has good transit access into Boston if you were to go to school or work in the city.

Waltham is on the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, look Thinking about moving to Providence? thread if you want to learn more.

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First off, thanks once again for all the tips!

I need to clarify though, the area on that map I highlighted is just where we were thinking of looking for a place. My GF's territory actually goes as far south as Waterbury and she has 4 accounts up in Maine. The rest of the accounts are spread out all over the place. She has 12 accounts in the Boston area, 4 in Providence, and several in Vermont and New Hamshire. So, she will have to do a lot of driving all over NE for her work.

We just want to find a place that has good access to those farther off places when she needs to visit them and to still be able to go into the city. I have suggested to her that maybe Providence would be cool, but she will be spending the majority of each quarter in the 3 Boston territories. (north, south and west) So, basically, we want to try and stick with the area within the I-495 area.

Waltham looks like it may be what we're looking for. I looked at some listings in Worcester, but decided it's a little farther out than we want to be.

This is crazy! btw, she will be in Boston during the marathon, but she will just be getting there, so hopefully it won't be too crazy for her.

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Besides the price, be ready for a culture shock too!  I'm sure that has crossed your mind a few times.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Everybody keeps warning me about that! I have a friend who has a freind who moved to the Boston area from North Carolina and he said it took him a few years to get used to the cultural differences. I don't want to lose my southern hospitality! :silly:

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What's hospitality? :blink:

If she has to be in NH, VT, or ME with any degree of regularity (or even just on the North Shore of Boston), then I'd probably nix Providence. I think Waltham is a good central location close enough to Boston for you to go into regularly, but far enough out, and with good enough highway access that she can jump on the road and go when she needs to.

The accent is going to be what gets you probably. Here's a hint, wicked pissah is a good thing. ^_^

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Everybody keeps warning me about that! I have a friend who has a freind who moved to the Boston area from North Carolina and he said it took him a few years to get used to the cultural differences. I don't want to lose my southern hospitality!  :silly:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's a lot more than just the "hospitality," and in the 5 years I've been in Atlanta, I want out of the South so badly. That's just me. Atlanta is way too spread out, and I need density, snow, the ocean, foliage, and the Red Sox (heh). There's probably more I miss. I don't need Confederate flags, love for guns, intolerance, a 3 acre house lot, and fishes on all the cars. These are just the main images in my head right now. And anyways, a lot of times the hospitality thing came off just so fake to me, and I'd wonder why someone whom I did not even know, or someone whom I knew disliked me, was being so friendly.

But hey, don't take anything bad by it. I have just found out what I like. And I don't want to scare you. The stereotype of us yankees being @ssholes might be true on the surface, but we are very friendly, helpful, and kind, as this blog shows, once you get to know us. It's hard to make friends up here, but once you have them, it's hard to lose them.

Stay in touch on the blog after the move. Best

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