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ezcheese

Thinking about moving to Boston?

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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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What always kills me is when northerners think that all southerners are ignorant rednecks. I'm not saying you're like that, and you have lived in the south, so you know that isn't true. There are plenty of dumb rednecks pretty much wherever you go in the south, but there are also non-redneck southerners who live very progressive (and believe it or not, liberal) lives who's only give away that they're southerners is their accent.

I don't think I will have any problems adapting to the north. And I don't think the people are any less nice. There hasn't been a single place I have visited where the people have not been friendly or helpful when I needed something.

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What always kills me is when northerners think that all southerners are ignorant rednecks. I'm not saying you're like that, and you have lived in the south, so you know that isn't true. There are plenty of dumb rednecks pretty much wherever you go in the south, but there are also non-redneck southerners who live very progressive (and believe it or not, liberal) lives who's only give away that they're southerners is their accent.

I don't think I will have any problems adapting to the north. And I don't think the people are any less nice. There hasn't been a single place I have visited where the people have not been friendly or helpful when I needed something.

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You reminded me of another thing that got to me: having to be down here for two elections of Bush, with "W: The President" stickers everywhere. I'm not going to hash into politics on you, but my values lie with the Democrats.

So, your first sentence is definitely true. The North-South friction is still present to this day. Don't all southerners joke of yankees being arrogant, snobby urbanites? Stereotypes come from some truth.

I have met some very nice people down here, and although it's been rough sometimes, I am glad I left my nest. But it has been very tough finding people from the South to whom I feel I can really relate. My two best friends from school are from Long Island and Conn.

There were some Kerry stickers in Atlanta, but not that many. Anyways, with the 38% pop. growth in the 1990s, half the people are not really Atlantans anyways.

There are plenty of rednecks in NH and ME for us.

Edited by BostonFaker

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Yeah, it still burns me up when I get behind one of those Giant SUV's with the Bush stickers all over the back. The 2 counties that I have lived in for the past couple of years both went Democrat in the last election, so that makes me feel a little better about my current surroundings.

But you still see these idiots who have fallen under the neo-con spell all over the place. It's turning into Plato's Republic in America, and that's not a good thing.

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What always kills me is when northerners think that all southerners are ignorant rednecks. I'm not saying you're like that, and you have lived in the south, so you know that isn't true. There are plenty of dumb rednecks pretty much wherever you go in the south, but there are also non-redneck southerners who live very progressive (and believe it or not, liberal) lives who's only give away that they're southerners is their accent.

I don't think I will have any problems adapting to the north. And I don't think the people are any less nice. There hasn't been a single place I have visited where the people have not been friendly or helpful when I needed something.

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I'm one northerner who doesn't think that all southerners are rednecks and I think that any northerner who thinks all southerners are like that is an arrogant snob. There are plenty of people like that around here. But there are also plenty of dumb rednecks (who were born and raised in Massachusetts) up here too. They're everywhere.

Hopefully, you won't have trouble adapting to the north. I've lived in the northeast my entire life - born and raised in NYC, first two years of college at Philadelphia's Drexel University, last three years of college at UConn and two years of graduate school at Boston's Suffolk University. For me, adapting to Philly and Boston wasn't difficult because both are large cities in the same region as NY (there are some obvious differences - but every place is different). And while I find a lot of residents of the Bay State to be very provincial in their attitudes (especially by mentioning "New York"), I found some folks who were very friendly - both natives and non-natives. You will too. My girlfriend happens to be one of those very friendly native Bay Staters - so I don't regret coming here at all - whether I continue to live in Mass, that's a different story.

Edited by Mike D

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Well, it looks like things have changed once again! Now I will be going along with my GF on Monday and we will both be in Boston from monday until friday. That makes me feel a little more confident that we will be able to find a place while we're there. I can't wait to see what it's like and to try and get a feel for some of the different areas.

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Well, it looks like things have changed once again! Now I will be going along with my GF on Monday and we will both be in Boston from monday until friday. That makes me feel a little more confident that we will be able to find a place while we're there. I can't wait to see what it's like and to try and get a feel for some of the different areas.

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Hi there!

I know I am probably repeating what many others have said, but I also suggest Waltham. I grew up in Waterbury!! I moved to the Boston area 6 years ago, and my first place was in Waltham. I have since lived or worked in every part of Boston and it's immediate suburbs. For the areas your girlfriend will be traveling to, Waltham is perfect. Near every major highway, near the commuter rail, and only about a 20-30minute ride into the city.

I am happy to hear you will both be here next week. You must hit Back Bay for the Marathon Monday festivities. I used to live on Newbury Street, right where the runners turn up to head to Boylston Street to the finish line, and it was so amazing and fun!

Have fun next week, explore the different areas, and let us know what you decide.

Good luck :D

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Wow! It looks like we will have a front row seat for the marathon. We are staying at the Lenox hotel on Boylston street! Looks like we will start our new adventure with a bang! I have a few appointments to see some apartments in Dorchester and will be calling several other places in other areas.

BTW, welcome to Urban Planet BostonGal! And thanks for the input.

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My husband and I are going to be moving up to Boston in August from Florida. I'll be doing grad school at BU, and wondered what neighborhood (since everything I've read says Boston is made up of them) would be good for us.

We like trees, old buildings, and character. We'd both like to live where we could have a fireplace (is this impossible?) and can only really afford a max of 1300 a month (maybe).

After living in the south for a few years it is scary going from this economy to that one blind.

What month do you think we should visit to find a place? Is May too early?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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I used to live on Newbury Street, right where the runners turn up to head to Boylston Street to the finish line, and it was so amazing and fun!

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I used to live in the YWCA Building on Clarenden Street across from the Hard Rock (the upper floors are apartments). During the marathon our lobby was a medical station. The first year I lived there I took the elevator downstairs, the doors opened, and all I could see was a sea of people in those tinfoil capes. I let the doors close and went back up to my apartment, too crazy!

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My husband and I are going to be moving up to Boston in August from Florida.  I'll be doing grad school at BU, and wondered what neighborhood (since everything I've read says Boston is made up of them) would be good for us. 

We like trees, old buildings, and character.  We'd both like to live where we could have a fireplace (is this impossible?) and can only really afford a max of 1300 a month (maybe).

After living in the south for a few years it is scary going from this economy to that one blind.

What month do you think we should visit to find a place?  Is May too early?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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May would actually be a good time, as the students are beginning to leave and the landlords know if their apartments are going to be vacated by then. Trees and old buildings and BU makes me immediately think of Brookline (which is actually a sperate town, but it is surrounded by Boston and has two branches of the greenline running through it). But Brookline is pretty pricey and $1300 might be unrealistic. Allston and Brighton are the two neighbourhoods closest to BU. They are none to be student ghettos, but as the schools have been building more dorms, more places have been freeing up and more non-students are moving in. The Fenway is a nice neighbourhood, has the trees and old buildings you want, and is not far from BU, but again, it's pricey. Cambridgeport, across the river from BU is nice. It's the area between Mass. Ave. and the river south of Central Square. Jamaica Plain (J.P.) is a fun area, not as close to BU, but not too far. With the T (subway system) the city is really very accessible to other areas of itself. BU is on the B Branch of the greenline (which can be nightmarishly crowded because of all the students) but if you commuted from an area like Dorchester, you would be reverse commuting to BU on the greenline (most people live west of BU and are commuting inbound to the school or Downtown in the AM, from Dorchester you would be heading outbound in the morning).

The whole city is packed with charming old building. A fireplace may be a stretch, most landlords don't want to deal with the liability so they don't have working fireplaces in their apartments.

Also check out this thread in the Boston section. excheese was looking for similar advice for his upcoming move to Greater Boston.

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Coming into the thread very late, but thought I would offer some advise. Depending on your preference for urban or burbs your best bet is definitely checking pout the "greater Boston area"- Urban- Malden, Medford, are fairly priced and just north of town, Quincy- is just south of town and has a much different flavor and mix of ethnicities. I live in a town called Weymouth, its just outside quincy. Other towns in my area- Rockland, Abington, Hignham- are all suburban by nature, much cleaner, close to supermarkets and malls, on the coastline (10 min ride to ocean) and have easy access to Boston via commuter rail. (Hingham is on the water and you can take the commuter boat into town) It takes me 2 min to drive to the rail, and its about 25-30 minutes ride to South Station. The commuter rail is much more pleasant of a ride than the dreaded red line that you would have to take in Dorchester. And unlike some of the previous posts I will tell you to avoid Codman Square in Dorchester and there are other neighborhoods in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain that are very dangerous. In your price range you could rent a nice townhouse in Rockland with similar square footage and lots of greenery. But if it is Urban you are looking for- Malden or Medford is your best bet, or Quincy is really nice and extremely close to the city, with access to Wollaston beach, marina bay or Castle Island- major ammenities. I have heard Waltham mentioned, that is a nice industrial town close to Boston and nicer areas like Newton or Weston, but it is definitely a blue collar town and can be rowdy at times.

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i got back on sunday from my week-long apartment hunting trip and it was CRAZY! the best advice i can give at this point is that you really need to physically go to all the different areas that you are interested in and see them for yourself. my girlfriend and i visited several different towns and got a good feel for them while actually looking at available apartments that were in our price-range.

you should be able to find a pretty decent place for you and your husband for $1300 a month. but still, in that price range, you will have to give up some things for others. also, if you find a place that is really nice that you like, you should immediately put in an application. we had 2 awesome apartments stolen right from under our noses within a 24 hour period. so, if you find a diamond in the roguh, act on it immediately!

the best value for your money generally will still be in an apartment complex versus looking at multi-family houses. you will get nice apartments and amenities like washer&dryer and dishwasher plus ample parking.

if you want to get a good flavor for the unique multi-family properties though, you can check with some real-estate brokers that deal with renting, although right now they are generally charging half fee (half a month's rent for showing you the property and handling the application) and sometimes full fee. (some may even not charge a fee on your end.) there is amazing arcitecture in the boston area and if you look hard enough, you should be able to find a nice place in a neat area.

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wow, we had quite an experience last week in boston. we looked all over the place and still came home empty handed. we were not willing to settle for paying $1200 for dump after dump. there were a couple of really excellent apartments, but by the time we had our applications in, they had already been rented, or there were several people who already had applications in ahead of us.

somerville was a neat place, but the market there is just ridiculous. my girlfriend held her ground when she went back to work yesterday and just laid it all out on the table. now she is getting an additional $5,000 a year base salary raise plus she learned the details of her commission, and they are putting us up in one of those corporate relocation fully furnished deals for our first two months so we won't feel rushed. so now, we'll be able to move up there after my last day of school and we will be able to live there while we look for a place, which will take a lot of the pressure off. this company is starting to come around as far as the differences in cost of living.

the most amazing part of our trip was probably that we drove in from the airport on monday night to our hotel on the corner of exeter and boylston street and we actually made it to the hotel! there were still several streets closed, but there is that small alley that runs by the public library and we jumped on that and then backed down exeter until we got to the hotel. quite a first time boston driving experience! B)

Edited by ezcheese

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i got back on sunday from my week-long apartment hunting trip and it was CRAZY! the best advice i can give at this point is that you really need to physically go to all the different areas that you are interested in and see them for yourself. my girlfriend and i visited several different towns and got a good feel for them while actually looking at available apartments that were in our price-range.

Thank you! We're going up on Monday (to stay a week), so I suppose we'll be really busy trying to orient ourselves to Boston as well as looking at places. Do most places do the credit check thing?

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Oh, and I forgot to ask--what do people think of Roslindale? Friends of friends have a house they're willing to rent us there for around $1350 a month (not including utilities).

How bad would that commute be to BU? And how expensive are utilities in Boston? I can't imagine...

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First of all, ezcheese, glad your trip was good, but sorry to hear about the nightmare issues with finding an apt.

dyerview - Roslindale is a pretty cool area, right near JP (Jamaica Plain) which is a fantastic area to be in for culture. I don't know that you'll find a pretty building, certainly not as pretty as Brookline or right in Boston, but if the price is right and you are cool with the location, go for it! The commute would be a bit tough for you to get to BU from there. Will you have a car? Otherwise you'll need to take a bus to Forest Hills, which you'll probably have to transfer to a different bus to get you to the E-line, go a few stops to get to Copley station, and then switch to the B line and go out to BU.

Have you checked the subway maps yet? www.mbta.com is a great site for putting yourself in the different neighborhoods.

For $1300, I think you can get something around Fenway, which, yes, is highly populated with students, but there are also some young professionals (high 20s and 30s) there as well. Brookline is my immediate thought for you, but if you do have a car, that's an additional $100-180/month because you can't park anywhere overnight in Brookline unless you have your own spot.

It's great that you are coming up for a week - that way, you can get your bearings and visit different areas. May is a great time to come up, June and September are the most popular months for change-overs in apartments. As for the fee from the real estate agents, they typically all charge full fee, but you can definitely work your magic and try to negotiate that!

Best of luck to you.

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Oh, and I forgot to ask--what do people think of Roslindale?  Friends of friends have a house they're willing to rent us there for around $1350 a month (not including utilities).

How bad would that commute  be to BU?  And how expensive are utilities in Boston? I can't imagine...

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Ugh, Roslindale to BU might be a bit trying. A quick look makes me think the best way would be a bus to Forest Hills, then the Orange Line to Ruggles, then the 47 or CT2 bus to BU.

The T's Trip Planner came up with these options from Roslindale Village to BU Central. I've found the trip planner ain't that great. :rolleyes:

There's a commuter rail stop on the Needham Line at Roslindale Village, if you were in walking distance of that, you could take it to Ruggles, then take bus 47 or CT2 as I outlined above. Or the Commuter Rail to Back Bay, then walk two blocks to the Green Line which will drop you right on the BU campus. It's a bit of an inbound to get outbound commute, but could be quicker than transfering to the bus at Ruggles.

If the house is to your liking, $1350 sounds reasonable, describe it a little and maybe we can tell you if you're being taken for a ride.

I've never lived outside the Northeast, but I understand our electric rates are high. Heating depends obviously on how cold the winter is, the last two have been killer :angry: . Most homes in the Northeast are heated with oil, and if you read the papers you know what is going on with oil prices. Most oil vendors will put you on a payment plan, so you aren't spending $200 a month all winter. They spread out the cost of your fuel over the year. The electric company will do the same thing if you are unlucky enough to have electric heat. Though here in Rhode Island, Narragansett Electric needs you to be a customer for a year before they can calculate your monthly charge (I had a $300 electric bill one month last winter, I currently pay $113 a month on a 12-month plan with electric heat).

Most places do do a credit check. If your credit is particularly poor they may push for a larger security deposit. Most landlords know however that people will max their credit cards and eat ramen noodles for months on end to be able to pay the rent, most people are opposed to being homeless.

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somerville was a neat place, but the market there is just ridiculous. my girlfriend held her ground when she went back to work yesterday and just laid it all out on the table. now she is getting an additional $5,000 a year base salary raise plus she learned the details of her commission, and they are putting us up in one of those corporate relocation fully furnished deals for our first two months so we won't feel rushed. so now, we'll be able to move up there after my last day of school and we will be able to live there while we look for a place, which will take a lot of the pressure off. this company is starting to come around as far as the differences in cost of living.

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Excellent, she needs more money anyway, she works hard! :) That's great that you'll have a place to live and time to look. Somerville is great, but I think it's not good for your girlfriend's need to be driving out of the city a lot for work. There's really no good way to drive in and out of Somerville.

the most amazing part of our trip was probably that we drove in from the airport on monday night to our hotel on the corner of exeter and boylston street and we actually made it to the hotel! there were still several streets closed, but there is that small alley that runs by the public library and we jumped on that and then backed down exeter until we got to the hotel. quite a first time boston driving experience!  B)

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Well, you've passed the biggest test, you're almost a Bostonian. Now if you had backed down a one way street to get there, that would have been perfect. (Bostonians seem to think that if the car is facing the right way on a one way street, it doesn't matter which way it's actually moving).

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Hi,

I will be moving to Boston soon and I'm interested in living in East Boston because of the seemingly good value of my dollars to living space, parks and access to train. I've been doing some research on crime and statistically it seems that East Boston is about average for crime (violent and property) compared to other City of Boston areas, but then when I look up East Boston and crime on google, I come across several upsetting incidents such as stabbings, gangs and such...even on the Eastboston.com website. Thus, I'm faced with two juxtaposing points of view. So I'm hoping that those who live/have lived there can give me their experience/opinion to wizen me up before I move. I live in Maryland now in a quiet suburb, and I'm from the Midwest, so this is my first "Big City" move. Any help appreciated!

-Nik

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(Bostonians seem to think that if the car is facing the right way on a one way street, it doesn't matter which way it's actually moving).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What's wrong with that?

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What's wrong with that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In Providence we don't mess with that kind of subterfuge, we just drive the wrong way, the one way signs only apply if you're not in a hurry. :lol:

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I moved this over here so hopefully more people from Boston will find it.

East Boston has a very colourful history. When I moved to Boston in 1992 I would never have considered living there. However, like the rest of Boston, 'Eastie' has improved dramatically over the last decade. There are a number of condo projects in the works for the East Boston waterfront, and parkland is also being created along the waterfront. Eastie has become a hot area. There does remain a degree of crime, and there is some gang activity (though gangs tend to stab each other, not strangers). But Boston is an extremely safe city, and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable living in most parts of East Boston. If you're shown a place and have a bad feeling about the block it's on, go with that feeling (you should also visit any place you are thinking about living at night), but there are few areas of Boston where one would get a bad feeling.

One thing to consider with East Boston is the Blue Line. It is currently in the midst of a modernization project, and Maverick Station (the main stop for East Boston) is slated to be completely renovated. You will see some disruption in service as this project progresses, they are enlarging the platforms to handle 6 car trains, the blue line currently runs 4 car trains. There is always replacement service when needed, but sometimes that can be a hassle. When the Blue Line is running normally, you are only two stops from the Orange Line Downtown and 3 stops from the Green Line.

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I couldn't find this earlier, but there are system maps for the T showing all the trains and buses in relation to the streets. This map shows the Roslindale area, you can see Roslindale Village commuter rail station at the bottom right. This page has the map collections for the entire Greater Boston area.

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Excellent, she needs more money anyway, she works hard!  :) That's great that you'll have a place to live and time to look. Somerville is great, but I think it's not good for your girlfriend's need to be driving out of the city a lot for work. There's really no good way to drive in and out of Somerville.

Well, you've passed the biggest test, you're almost a Bostonian. Now if you had backed down a one way street to get there, that would have been perfect. (Bostonians seem to think that if the car is facing the right way on a one way street, it doesn't matter which way it's actually moving).

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haha, exeter IS a one-way street! looks like we passed with flying colors. it is funny to see people back down a one-way street, like having the car face the right way makes it proper. :silly: in our case this was pretty much the only option we had in order to get close enough to the hotel to have the valet come out and park it.

i also noticed the infamous quick left turn, where a person punches it when the light turns green in order to turn left before the traffic starts flowing.

Edited by ezcheese

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there is a guy we communicated with who just rennovated some apartments in east boston who was asking around $1200 a month for some very nice 2 bedroom apartments. i think you had to pay extra for off street parking, but he sent us several pictures of the apartments and he was trying to get good tenants in there with him. (he lives in one of the apartments.) if you would like, i can send you his information. that was one place that we actually didn't physically visit while we were there, as we need to live on the other side of boston for the best access to the rest of new england, but i have read some things that are in line with what cotuit is saying.

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