No one said that finding the perfect place to live would be easy, but there are ways to mitigate the headaches and stress. Since I live in the Boston area, I wanted to provide you some of my best tips for finding your dream place.
Boston is a wonderful place to live. I grew up in this area and it has the perks of living in a city while still maintaining its unique charm. Boston has incredible sports and entertainment, cultural activities and concerts, wonderful beaches in summer and is close to skiing in winter. We specialize in clam chowdah and lobster rolls, but you can find every type of food here and some of the best restaurants in the country.
I remember living in L.A. and waking up to the same day every day and the same bright sun blinding me as I drove to work. It began to feel like Groundhog Day after a while. But, Boston has seasons and while I may not appreciate the coldest days, we more than make up for it with the warm months and the beautiful fall foliage. And, I have to admit I do love the snow, especially if you can come in to a warm fireplace and some hot caramel cocoa.
After graduating college, I found a unique apartment in the Back Bay that I shared with my then boyfriend. I loved being able to walk through the Public Gardens during my lunch hour, checking out the Swan Boats and stopping for lunch at a small cafe. I loved the art museums and the poetry workshops. It was pure joy.
So, you’ve found your dream city. Now, for some rent research strategies:
Scout and get information about different neighborhoods to find what truly matches your needs and wants.
What type of ambiance do you seek? Working professionals, students, families? A neighborhood rich in history or one more modern? Are you looking for affordable or luxury? Do you need public transit nearby? Do you need guaranteed parking? Is it near your favorite shops and cafes?
When figuring out costs, use the 30% rule which states that your monthly rent should not go above 30% of your gross monthly income. If you have someone sharing the rent of course, that will considerably cut costs. Also, ensure that you have enough for first, last and security deposit. And, if you have a pet, there may be a fee for that as well.
I love to research different rental apps on my phone and my favorite is Zumper. Zumper is very user-friendly and you can easily search by zip code and neighborhood. You can filter quickly by the number of bedrooms you want, amenities or if they allow pets. You can also access them on your laptop or desktop. Zumper is used by millions of renters to find houses, rooms, condos, or apartments for rent.
You can easily apply online and submit digital rental applications and credit reports with Zumper’s screening service, powered by TransUnion™.
I love that their listings are updated in real-time, so you’ll always see new rentals on Zumper first and you can sign up for notifications according to your preferences.
Filter by location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, or amenity and set an alert to get notifications when a new listing is posted. One thing I learned is to express interest quickly, because when you wait, you can easily lose a place that would really be perfect for you.
Zumper has some really helpful research tips for renting in Boston:
According to Zumper, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Boston, MA is currently $2,050. This is a 18% decrease compared to the previous year.
Recent data by Zumper shows that over the past month, the average rent for a studio apartment in Boston remained flat. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment increased by 3% to $2,050, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased by 2% to $2,550.
Zumper also breaks rents down by neighborhood which is extremely helpful.
So, get your ducks in a row, know what amenities you’re searching for, your budget and preferred neighborhood. Do your homework. Have your references queued up. The more organized you are, the less headache and stress. We all have enough of that already!
Happy new home hunting!