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Old 03-05-2011, 02:49 PM
Location: New Hampshire relocating to MA
6 posts, read 12,147 times
Reputation: 10



I'm hoping I can get some real help here. My boyfriend and I are moving to MA in June, we'll be lining up jobs beforehand-- me as a nanny and him either in para legal or security. Here's what's going on, I have a car so parking has to exist, he will be using public transportation--bus, train, doesn't matter, just so long as it's within 15 min walk for him to access. We're looking at 1-2 bedroom apartments NO studios, $800 a month and anywhere within 30-45 minutes to Boston.

I don't know the areas well enough to know where to stay away from, and where is safe. I don't want to be afraid to drive home at night or go out at night and come in late. I also don't know all the areas within 30-45 minutes of Boston that fit the price point ($800 is tight, I know, but it is what it is). Heres where we've been looking: Needham, Dedham, Quincy, Roslindale, Medford, Lynn, Somerville, Chelsea, Weymouth, Jamaica Plains.

Can you tell me what areas are within 30-45 min and also where to look--remember I'm in NH so I have to be able to see the apartment before setting up a viewing so newspapers really aren't helpful. I know there are wonderful resources online but the ones I've found haven't been too helpful.

Thank you SO much!
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:37 PM
100 posts, read 303,113 times
Reputation: 56
You can check out apartments in and around Moody Street in Waltham. It is within 30 mins from Boston and close to the T-station. Similarly, you can check out Woburn and Quincy.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:44 PM
5,763 posts, read 13,341,378 times
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800 a month is tight for this area. Realistically, you may want to consider a studio despite your obvious objections to this option.

It's usually easier to recommend areas to live in if people already know where they're going to be working, and can pass along that information here, because that can make a substantial difference with regard to commuting time. Without knowing this information, but going by the criteria that you need a less expensive place in a safe area, I second the suggestion of downtown Waltham. Other possibilities would be areas close to the red line in Quincy, Arlington along and close to Mass. Ave. (may be especially iffy finding the rent you're looking for in Arlington, but worth a look), and the Oak Square and Birghton Center neighborhoods in Brighton.

You might also look around the Watertown Square neighborhood in Watertown. There's not as much in the way of restaurants and the like as there is in downtown Waltham, but there is a bus connection to Cambridge, and this is another area where the rents may not be as high as they are in some sections of the Boston area close to Boston.

I'm not highly familiar with Jamaica Plain, but it's my understanding that the area varies a lot from one neighborhood to another, and in some cases from one street to another, in terms of safety, so you'd want to get some really good info on any location you might consider. In any case, J.P. is getting expensive, and I'm not so sure how many options you can find there anyway that would fit your housing budget.

Of the other areas you're considering, Needham, Dedham, and Weymouth are suburban towns that may not have a lot of rental property, and Needham is kind of an upscale town where the rents for any rental property that might be available would likely be on the high side. Medford and Lynn are two other areas like J.P. where there will probably be a lot of variation from one neighborhood to another in terms of safety. I don't know either city well enough to make suggestions, but Lynn in particular is generally regarded as kind of a run down city, though I've heard there are nice neighborhoods. Medford generally gives me the impression that it's sort of the inverse of Lynn. While Lynn overall is not so nice, but may have some decent neighborhoods here and there, Medford generally seems to be a solid middle class and blue collar town, but may have a few bad neighborhoods scattered around. In either city you'd want some good info on any neighborhoods where you might be looking at property.

Last edited by ogre; 03-06-2011 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:48 AM
5,680 posts, read 5,023,052 times
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I'd probably eliminate Somerville and JP from your list only because $800 won't really get you anything there (to put a fine point on it, if there is a one-bedroom in either place at that price point, it would be a ****hole).

The trouble with looking for an apartment before you have a job is that your commute could end up being a nightmare--you cannot assume you will get jobs in Boston proper and have easy transit access/short commute. The flip side is your budget is on the extreme low end, so you won't have many options and won't be in a position to be picky.

With your housing budget, have you considered a roommate situation? That would allow you a better area and more space without compromising your budget.

Also, CraigsList is a good place to look for apartments. Obviously you still need to see places in person, but most CL listings include photos so you can get a sense of what's out there.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:46 AM
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 1,968,134 times
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In addition to the others, maybe also consider Malden (on the Orange Line). There's definitely a premium on apartements that are walkable to the T. So while $800 for a one bedroom is certainly possible for the areas you mentioned, they may not be convenient to public transportation. Or, it may be a situation where your BF has to make a transfer or two on the bus/train which will push his commute into Boston into the 1 hr+ range (especially if we're talking rush hour).

Can you up your rent to $850 or $900? I think you'll have a little more luck. But, I don't know if those rents will include heat.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:05 PM
1,270 posts, read 4,779,067 times
Reputation: 559
Default Arlington

What about Arlington down by the Somerville line?
Some of those are on the bus lines that go to Davis Square/Porter Square (Red Line)
You could possibly bike or walk to the Alewife "T" Station too in nice weather or take a cab...???


Not sure what you could get for $900 tho

Boston isn't the midwest.

Last edited by DreamworksSKG; 03-07-2011 at 11:06 PM.. Reason: error
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:46 AM
2 posts, read 2,844 times
Reputation: 15
I agree that Somerville, although ideal as far as walking to the T and getting downtown in 20 minutes, won't have any apartments in your price range, aside from studios. BUT I do know a few elderly couples in Somerville whose mortgage was paid off long ago and who rent out a unit in their 2- or 3-family house for around $900, and there are a lot of 3-families with 3-room apartments on the third floor which might be rented for around $1,000 or less. East Somerville, near the orange line (Sullivan Station) is cheaper than western Somerville near Porter and Davis Sq. So if you decide on Somerville, you might happen upon a small unit or a good deal in your price range -- but more likely it will be too expensive.

How about looking at the commuter rail map and looking for an apartment in one of the towns on the commuter rail? Westbound would be more expensive than the towns on the southbound or northbound lines, I'd imagine.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:46 PM
596 posts, read 1,381,430 times
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If you'd be willing to bump your price up to 1000-1200 then the world would be your oyster in this case, you'd find exactly what you want where you want, but I'm afraid that you're not going to find much for under 1'000, unless you're willing to to take the Commuter Rail instead of the basic subway service, but you'll probably end up paying the difference in transportation costs anyway because that Commuter Rail is pretty expensive and the price keeps going up the further out you get.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:47 PM
Location: DisneyWorld, FL but missing Home
118 posts, read 409,507 times
Reputation: 42
well if its 30-45 min drive i would look into north attleboro and mansfield areas along the 95-495 area.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:48 PM
Location: Boston, MA USA
267 posts, read 844,994 times
Reputation: 224
South Braintree near the end of the red line
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