Boston is one of the best and most famous college cities in the U.S. The home of Harvard and MIT, clam chowder and the New England Patriots, Boston tea party and Good Will Hunting! Anyone, from anywhere in the world, would love to go to school here. It is a success in its own right to be accepted into one of Boston’s prestigious colleges. This makes Boston a city of rentals and where to stay in Boston during college will make all the difference for you in the future. So hold your hipster glasses tight and listen up!
Why choose Boston to study?
The question was where to stay in Boston during college but let’s start with why stay in Boston? There are numerous reasons, some already mentioned above, but here are some more, shared by students themselves:
- Great networking, opportunities to meet new people are abundant! People in Boston are very friendly and easy to talk to, you will be meeting new friends on daily bases!
- Plenty of activities around to keep your social life busy. There are always concerts to listen to and parties to go to in town.
- Great food, you will never go hungry in Boston! Amazing food everywhere plus awesome food trucks waiting on every corner during lunch time.
- Public transportation or the “MBTA” is amazing, easy to figure out and on time, you almost won’t need a car while here.
- Beautiful seasons, you won’t know which time in Boston is more beautiful. The fall time with leaf peeping, or, the mild springtime, romantic snowy winters or beautiful summers…
Where to stay in Boston during college-learn all about the neighborhoods
Before you even start looking for a place to live, know your neighborhoods! North End, South End, South Boston, Back Bay, Financial District, Chinatown, Beacon Hill, and Charlestown are the nicer ones. Cambridge is obviously where the most famous colleges are, and an average student usually can’t afford to live there. Maybe if you are subletting a closet in an apartment already packed with international students. This also means you will spend more time at the library than at your own place.
You need to do thorough online research and look at all the different neighborhoods Boston has to offer. Take into consideration the location of your school, but also learn about all the T-stops around it. This will enable you to look at different routes of public transport and if you find a quick one you can even choose neighborhoods that are further away but more affordable.
Your search for where to live in Boston during college doesn’t have to stop at Dorchester or Roxbury. A lot of people think certain parts of Boston are bad, but they are not nearly as bad as you think. There are a lot of stereotypes and some people are to slow to catch up!
Start early and stay flexible!
A good thing to know where to stay in Boston during college is that most places for rent are on a September 1 lease cycle due to the overwhelming student population. Apartments go fast so you need to be ready to jump on an opportunity! Once you have narrowed your search down to a couple of neighborhoods you need to start looking early how to move into a tiny room. Most of the apartments are advertised 6 weeks before the lease date, so you need to be flexible and patient. Some people hire real estate agents who will, for practically no work, charge you 1-month free! And this is only in addition to paying first month’s rent, last and security in advance.
Learn all about rent prices
Boston is very expensive! Although it is not like moving to NYC or SF, it’s close behind. Almost every location in the city is desirable real estate. You can get a good picture of how expensive things are by checking out this heat map of Boston rent rates. Learning about prices will enable you to create a budget which will then greatly affect everything else you do.
Line up your roommates
The big part of planning ahead in your search, for a place to live in Boston, is finding good roommates. You need to do this before looking at apartments because even if you find a perfect place that you like if you don’t have your roommates ready to sign their applications, the perfect place will slip through your fingers. This is also a more realistic way of affording a place in Boston under 1200$ a month. If you don’t have any friends in town who would like to share an apartment with you, try using some of the roommate finder searching apps and be ready for the first day in the dorm-unpacking guide.
Be ready to sign on the spot
Don’t go look at a property if you are not ready to sign on the spot. Places to rent in Boston are few, they go fast and are very expensive. So don’t waste your time looking too much, you won’t find a perfect apartment. You don’t have time to sit around and think about it. If you found something that maybe looks like a good deal, jumps on it! For this kind of maneuvering you need to be very flexible, use common sense and compromise.
Getting a place close to a T-station
Many people would think that no matter how far the apartment is from your school if it’s close to a T-station you will be fine. They aren’t necessarily wrong. The well to do student with an above-average budget can afford to live in any of the lovely Boston neighborhoods that make the Boston Proper. Next in line is the not so lucky student, and most of them want to live within the walking distance of a T-station. In most cases everyone else thought of this too, thus apartments close to public transport are almost as expensive as the ones in popular neighborhoods.
When looking where to stay in Boston during college don’t expect a smooth ride. Looking for places to rent here will be as hard as enrolling into that prestigious college you will be attending soon. So if you are not the above-average budget guy, be prepared to start looking for a job soon!