The Ultimate Renter's Guide to Boston

Boston Apartments
Boston Apartments | © Jeremy T. Hetzel / Flickr

Boston is a fun and vibrant city to live in, and it experiences all four seasons and has plenty of outdoor space plus some greats bars and nightlife. Take a look at our renter’s guide to learn more about renting in this city, where the average rent is $2,955.

Boston has some of the United States’ most successful sports teams, plus there are always events going on in this lively city. It is home to many prestigious universities, and it’s a startup hub and an innovation center. Due to all of these wonderful characteristics and the fact that so many people want to live here, finding affordable rent in Boston is no easy feat.

Neighborhoods and areas

1. Somerville

Movie Theater, Theater

1. Somerville
© Tim Sackton / Flickr
Somerville is another great neighborhood in which to live. It is accessible by the Orange and Red Lines, and there are also some bars and restaurants nearby, depending on where you live. The rent here is often a bit cheaper than Cambridge, and many young people and families live here. Somerville is typically a good place to live if you have a car because not all areas are T-accessible, yet street parking is easier to find. Live around the Assembly Square area for awesome access to outlet shopping, bars, restaurants, and a movie theater.

Real estate tips

Renting in Boston isn’t easy to do. Many experts suggest that the high rental costs will go down eventually because the “bubble” will pop – i.e. the rent can’t keep rising this much forever. For now, follow these tips:

Most leases in Boston will have a high broker’s fee, which is usually the cost of an entire month’s rent. Be prepared for this. If it’s an apartment you really love, and you’ll be there a few years, it may be worth it. However, if you are only staying there for one year, consider going directly through an apartment building or look for listings without brokers as it can be a great way to get around that expense and save some money.

September 1st is the busiest lease cycle in Boston. Moving around this time can be crazy, and good places go fast. Sometimes it’s best (as a renter) to not look during this busy month. Finding a place won’t be so competitive, and you may find a better deal.

Move in with roommates. Adding on roommates can save you a lot of money, depending on the neighborhood. Consider this when you’re embarking on your apartment search.

Be sure that your apartment is inspected, safe, and up to code. Make sure you have a good landlord you can trust, and check that the fire alarms are all in working shape. You have rights as a renter, and they should be met.

Happy apartment hunting! You can look on craigslist for some good deals, but Zillow is another popular apartment search tool.

Boston apartments

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article