If you’re moving to Boston for studies, then you should know that you’re moving to one of the most interesting, fun, and fulfilling cities in the world. Life is going to be fantastic. But first, you’ll want to learn everything you need to know about renting a great apartment in Boston. So you can get started right away.
Here’s a guide that will help you choose an apartment and sign the lease. The guide will also show you how to add up and budget your monthly expenses to get started in Boston.
Let’s start with a brief overview of the different types of student housing in Boston.
Student housing in Boston: your options
Students live in Boston in a variety of accommodations, including rented rooms or apartments, homestays, or college-owned housing. For example, 92% of MIT students live in ‘college-owned, operated or affiliated housing”
Homestay accommodation Boston
With homestay, you choose a host family from several carefully screened selection of families. Once you have chosen a family and they agree, you’ll be welcomed into their home. The host family will provide you with your own room, work space, meals, transportation, laundry services.
For safety reasons, all host families must successfully complete a series of background checks. Home inspections, interviews, orientations and training before accepting a student into their home. Both the student and family have access to 24/7 online support during the host stay.
A student room in Boston is rented in the same way as an apartment. It’s usually a self-contained studio apartment with a private bathroom or shared bathroom. A private room is different from a room in a shared apartment because you’re renting the room itself. It is not a part of the whole house. You can rent a private room directly through rental service providers.
Shared apartment Boston
In shared apartments, you have your own room and shared access to common areas like the kitchen and bathroom. This is one of the most common types of Student Accommodation Boston and young professionals. Most universities have a significant number of on-campus and off-campus shared apartments, and the process of renting through the school is very different from that of a private lease.
Boston has some of the largest student housing in the United States. The residence halls offer a wide range of housing options and are located near college facilities such as the library, laundry facilities, gym, cafes, and classrooms.
Popular locations for students
- Jamaica Plain
Just 20 minutes from downtown Boston, Jamaica Plain is one of Boston’s most inclusive and diverse neighborhoods, and also one of the greenest. Jamaica Pond is great for running, biking and boating, and the 256-acre Arnold Arboretum hosts regular community events.
East Fenway, West Fenway, Fenmore Square… whatever they’re called on the map, to Bostonians (and Red Sox fans) they’re “The Fenway.’
Here you’ll find brownstones, brick houses and some low-rise apartment buildings, as well as parts of the College of Boston, North-Eastern and Berklee College of Music. All of these factors make Fenway a convenient and popular place for students; Boston College has some student housing here and it’s a traditional student stronghold.
Dorchester is a diverse neighborhood with a large LGBT population, centered around the bustling Dorchester Avenue, which runs north-south through the neighborhood. Managed building complexes like the Peninsula attract young professionals who live side by side with the large student groups at Harbor Point and Savin Hill. Rents in the area are affordable and it’s one of the highest educational neighborhoods in Boston.
The interlocking neighborhoods of Allston and Brighton, connected by Everett Street, Gordon Street, and Kelton Street, are home to increasing numbers of students. This may be partly because Boston College is buying land in this neighborhood for student housing, but also because the area is known for its vibrant nightlife. During the day, it’s a mix of small neighborhood businesses and Main Street. It’s arguably the student capital of Boston.
Cambridge is part of the Boston metropolitan area. Actually its own city and is home to MIT, Hult and Lesley Universities, and parts of Harvard. Not surprisingly, it’s also home to a large number of students and academics.
What amenities you should look for when considering student housing?
While looking for amenities, you can check into these two main areas:
These amenities include gyms, cafes, bike paths, walking trails, and shuttle busses, as well as the college itself.
These do not come with your home, but your home affects your access to them. Plan your daily transportation and remember that Boston’s climate may require different transportation in the winter than in the summer. Some college facilities are less expensive than their local alternatives, so take that into account as well.
In apartments, you should check for the amenities such as wifi, microwave, heating, refrigerators, storage, and washer/dryer access.
Think about how you want to live in Boston and what you expect from your apartment to achieve this. With reputed property agents, you can easily find accommodation that is perfect for your needs and budget and you can rest assured that the essential amenities are covered.