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Old 06-09-2009, 11:43 AM
Location: NC
6 posts, read 10,854 times
Reputation: 12


Hi all,
I am moving from NC to Boston in Fall'09 to attend Grad School @ Boston Architectural College (Back Bay Area) and am needing help in locating housing/ a neighborhood based on the following:

* Overall Budget: $1000-1500/mo. (including rent, elec, gas, water, phone, some misc (food, transp, etc.)).

* Housing Amenities (PREFERRED):
- 2 bedrms, 1-2 baths (in case I need a roommate I prefer sep bd & ba's)
- Laundry connections or Laundry in unit
- Some utilities included

* SAFE & Friendly community (will have some night classes/ job). Prefer suburbs w/ short commute to city areas.

* Walking distance to Public Transit, Grocery Store, Pharmacy (I will not have a car at all)...Preferred commute time to Back Bay @ most 20 - 30mins one way.

* Other important places: Bank, Post Office, Wal-Mart (or related store), Airport/Amtrak.

Also if anyone knows of any great websites or agencies to research housing and jobs that too would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance.

Last edited by BACgirl09; 06-09-2009 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:48 PM
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,803,731 times
Reputation: 1483
There's an inherent tension between wanting something suburban and having access to the stores and transit on foot, but there are some places in the Boston area that might fit the bill.

Newton Centre is on the D line branch of the Green Line, which goes directly to the Hynes Convention Center stop near the BAC. It's a safe area with a number of stores and restaurants, including a pharmacy and bank. There's a Whole Foods store and some other grocery stores not that far away.

Watertown Square (where Main St, Arsenal St, Galen St, and Mt Auburn St meet just north of the Charles River in Watertown) is near the terminus of the 57 bus, which goes to Kenmore Square (one T stop or a short walk to Hynes). There are also express buses to Copley Square in the Back Bay, and a bus to Harvard Square from there. There is a 24-hour CVS pharmacy and some banks there. Arsenal St. in Watertown, east of the square, has a Target and two malls. Wal-mart per se is something you only find at a greater distance from the city. There's a big supermarket south of the river on Route 16/Watertown St, and another one on Mt Auburn St at the Cambridge border (which is some distance).

Another possibility would be in the Malden Center or Oak Grove area at the north end of the Orange line, which goes to Back Bay station and Mass Av near Huntington. People on here have disputed if Malden is safe and nice, or a little scruffy, and I don't know about the stores there. But it's not far from Boston by train and it's more affordable.

Though the suburban areas can be quite a bit cheaper than the immediate Back Bay vicinity by the school, your budget will be strained. In Newton and Watertown many 2-BRs are $1200-$1500 and up, plus utilities (which can be high in the winter). You'd likely need a roommate before you could even sign a lease on such a place. 2-BR, 2 bath is generally limited to high-end newer contstruction, which is fairly rare and probably beyond your reach financially.

You can look on craigslist, both at the apartments and at room shares, running searches for the neighborhoods I named and for others that people may suggest.

boston all apartments classifieds - craigslist
boston rooms & shares classifieds - craigslist

You should also act soon-there's a big crush in areas heavily populated by students. The leases almost all begin Sept. 1 and you have to line a place up in advance. This will be less of a problem in outlying areas like the ones I've named.

Looking for a place is very different when you won't have a car. I'd suggest becoming very familiar with the MBTA system and being very specific about the location of the apartment. It really does need to be near reliable transportation to school and to be within walking or easy transit distance to the stores you need regularly. For example, there are a lot of apartments in Watertown, but many are not anywhere near the bus lines or stores I mentioned. Pay close attention so your experience is not marred by an inconvenient living situation.

If you have leads, people on here are generally happy to offer opinions on the convenience, safety, etc. of the location. Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:09 AM
1,270 posts, read 4,778,311 times
Reputation: 559
Default Brookline Village

Would some areas around Brookline Village be good?
Maybe someone else can answer this but you might try looking around there anyway
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:10 AM
1,270 posts, read 4,778,311 times
Reputation: 559
Default Cars in Boston

You could also use the ZIPCAR service if you needed a car for a weekend or even for a few hours

They are all over the city and some suburban areas around Boston
Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar

check them out and you can view the map link to see the locations
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