Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not quite about photography...

...but important nonetheless. Boston, and moving thereto - where are YOU looking? I keep switching between as close as possible to the school and the city to be "where the action is" vs. out a little further where there is some space, peace, and lower rents (and also more my style). Where are some of the better places further out? Is NH out of the question? I have heard all the advice in the world (and then some) about everywhere within a 5 mile radius of AIB, and am now interested on the 10 to 30 mile radius. Thoughts?



  1. Driving in and around Boston can be a challenge. Faculty have a few parking spots, but students do not. Plus. we are right across from Fenway Park, so 81 days a year, parking and driving become especially challenging!
    That said, there are quite a few neighborhoods with good public transportation to AIB.


  2. I went to undergrad at AIB and though I liked driving to class for a short day, I agree with Ben that parking is a real challenge, especially on red sox days with the meter maids working on overdrive. I would suggest sticking to a part of the greater Boston metro area that is on a major T line, not the commuter rail as that will take you forever to get into the city with all the transfers. In the fall I will be living in Brighton, an area I like, and if you're willing to live on a bus line instead of the train you can get a good space for a decent price. I would also suggest Cambridge/Somerville off of the red line a little ways out, off of Porter or Davis square. Good luck!


  3. I should add that I am coming with my wife, my dog, our 3 cats and 2 cars, one of which will need off street parking. I now know our rent budget maxes out at about $1000 a month. This should narrow things down considerably...

  4. Hey! My limit is $900 bucks, I've looked everywhere in the Boston (Allston,Brighton,Brookline,Cambridge) area and have a couple of agents on the case. Its especially frustrating when websites don't update their info on prospective apartments.

    I too have a girl and cat, and the hunt continues.

    Let me know how it goes on your end.


  5. We will be making a preliminary visit to the city at the end of July when we hope to look at places and get one. We have contacted an agent or 2, but we're not using one, just vigilant scouring of the internet every day, but we're not being too serious until we get there and can actually look. We also have decided that compromise is the name of the game, since our budget is limited. As much as we would LOVE a 1 bedroom, we're accepting the fact that all we'll probably be able to afford is a studio, most of which look like overpriced shoe boxes. We'll just do our best when we get there to score a good place. We are planning to get a place August 1st, and move in shortly thereafter. I'll post how things go for sure.

  6. I'm starting to lose a little hope with the 1 br deal. Usually anything within our range is either the "doctor from the Philippines" scam or a studio with a wall in the middle.

    Either way, the hunt continues. I'm looking for roomates who are comfortable living with a couple and a blind cat. A lot of landlords won't rent out studios to small families from what I found out.

    We went to Boston June 1 just to see the city and I can't wait to start the grad school experience. Even AIB itself has this ethereal quality to it, glowing in the lights from Fenway. I already plan on eating my weight in sushi across the street after a vigorous day of huffing chemistry.

    All romanticism aside - I'm hoping some MFA brethren see this and point me in a new direction with regards to apartments and info. Feel free to call (727)-517-6288.

  7. Hi, earlier this year I read online (various websites, blogs, etc.) that finding a good rental would be difficult the closer it gets to August because there are some 250,000 students in the area. Also read there are a lot of rental scams...go figure. I didn’t want a dump so I worked with a broker (and yes there is a fee) but was able to narrow down what I wanted (area, price, etc.) and the broker had apts to view when I arrived in town in May. Unfortunately the apt I fell in love with was available June 1st so I ended up starting my lease then. I went back to Boston in June and set up my apt. so now I get to explore the area even more when I visit again in July. My new digs is a brownstone on Marlborough st, less than a mile from school, and there is a price tag that comes with that. The broker fee was one full month of rent. However, there are large apt bldg places in the area that will cover the broker fee. If interested, the realty group that I worked with was Charlesgate (Melissa Lorenzetti) and I highly recommend them. I read about parking & understand the difficulty/limitations with pets so my husband & I made the decision that I would try to go car-less by living in the hub of everything, he would remain in Seattle with our pets (5 cats & 1 dog), and I would fly home once per month. -Angelina

  8. Heh, the way it looks now, I may just have to live in my van until loan money gets disbursed in October - that is, if I don't have to sell it to get there in the first place.

  9. Travis and others,

    Outside of the Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge choice, the area that might be the least expensive and still accessible by subway is East Boston. Here's an example: http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/abo/2465079141.html

    It's on the blue line, which transfers to the green line. It's a bit out of the way, but not physically far from Boston. Another choice is Dorchester or Quincy, on the red line. Of course you should visit the apartments in person to make sure the neighborhood is suitable and not rough or too industrial.

    - Ben

  10. Hey Everyone,

    I can't believe I didn't see this post before. I've been in Boston for the past two years. Other previous suggestions are pretty much on the nose. Rent is expensive here, but there are some good spots. I've been searching off and on for other spaces, just to see what's out there. I've never seen a 1 bedroom for less than $1100, but it's more typical to see a 1 bedroom for $1300 to $1500 unless the area is a bit sketchy. A lot of people tend to live with people to lessen the cost. Studios often seem large and roomy.

    Good places to look in are Brighton (where I live), Brookline and Allston, which might as well be considered the same area. In Brookline, overnight street parking isn't allowed, so you have to pay about $150 for a parking space, even as a resident. These areas are only 2 or 3 miles from the school and have trains that ride directly into Kenmore Square.

    Belmont and Newton are great places if you have cars or don't mind riding the commuter trains in for a couple stops. These areas are only about 5-10 miles from the school. Trains don't come as often, but you'll get much bigger spaces for a lot less, and they look like nice areas.

    Cambridge is an awesome place to live, but usually very expensive. Somerville is the cheaper version of Cambridge. Most areas are really nice and Davis Square is a popular trendy area. Costs are reasonable and going downtown is convenient.

    Jamaica Plain is getting popular. It's less expensive, and a lot of young couples and students live there. Some areas are sketchy... I wouldn't live near Forest Hills or Green Station, but other areas are nice and it's very close to the Arboretum.

    Also if you are bringing a car, it's a bit of a headache at first. You might want to find a garage to park it at until you get it registered and get residential stickers. I got so many tickets when I first came here, but I'm so glad I have my car now.

    Hope this helps.


  11. Waiting for word on a place in Malden. Sounds like it will happen, though. West Malden on the border with Medford. Right next to Middlesex Fells. I heard safe, blue collar and suburb and figured it was more my speed. Close to orange line and a short commute to school. Nice price and lots included, and we even have a backyard. Free street parking and an abandoned hospital across the street to photograph (or photograph in!). Keeping my fingers crossed. The parks and Fells were a huge selling point for me, never been much of a city dweller...

  12. Roslindale. Opinions?
    Near the George Wright Golf Course and the Stony Brook Reservation.

    Thanks, Dave.

  13. Roslindale is great and well priced but I'm not extremely familiar with it. I know there's a bus that goes to the Forest Hills Orange Line T stop and there's a commuter rail, but not much more than that. For everyone, it seems transportation access is pretty crucial. I know people who live in Providence, RI (great town, much less expensive than Boston), which is a 45 train ride and swear by it, though they are at the mercy of commuter rail delays, etc.