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Old 08-15-2010, 06:28 AM
5 posts, read 7,116 times
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Okay I am moving from Eagan, Minnesota to Boston. I am going to be attending Boston University. It's going to be just me and my boyfriend. (No pets) And I am looking for an apartment in or around Boston.

I will try to be as specific as possible.

I would like to live in Boston but I'm not so sure that will be possible for me, rent seems to be out of my range there.

I would like something close (a close suburb) but nothing dangerous. I use to live in a bad part in Minneapolis and I hated it, I do not want the same to happen in Boston. I will be taking the bus so if you can recommend a city along with the route number or train I would definitely appreciate that.

I currently pay $870 for a two bedroom, I live in the suburbs outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I would like to stay under $900 for rent if possible. Now I realize I won't be getting a two bedroom and I am completely fine with that. Either a studio or one bedroom works. If possible I'm more looking for a one bedroom, I'm not sure all my belongings will fit in a studio. Or maybe a large studio.

I do not drive so I will be taking public transportation (buses or trains). So any information on the transportation will help me! Maybe a list of the buses that go to BU, I'm not sure how many there are.

That is all the information I can think of. Please help me out! I need to know where some good apartments are (under 900) that are on public route to Boston University!

Thank you!!!
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:08 PM
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You have the right idea when you're thinking along the lines of a studio for under 900, rather than a full 2br apartment. Maybe a small 1br, but I think you'd be well advised to accept the likelihood of living in a studio if you really want a reasonable number of options to choose from. Unfortunately, housing in Boston is $$$$$.

It sounds as if maybe you are a bit older than the typical college student. That possibility leads me to ask whether you would be okay with living in a student ghetto kind of neighborhood, or would prefer a quieter area. Brighton, out a little to the west of B.U., is an area with good public transit access to B.U., where you might be able to find some studios in your price range.

Parts of Brighton are also big student ghetto areas, so might not be the best for you if you are looking for a relatively quiet neighborhood. The noisy undergrad student areas in Brighton center around Commonwealth Ave. and Cleveland Circle. These are the same areas served by one of the trolley lines running to the west from the vicinity of B.U.

Farther west in Brighton, generally west of Market Street, you don't get the concentration of undergrads. There is a bus you can take from this area to B.U., though I'm not familiar with bus routes enough to tell you the route number.

As far as safety goes, Brighton is generally a solid area, though it's an area where the usual precautions which are advisable for city living would be in order.

For really safe areas with transit access to B.U., you might want to check out Brookline or Newton, with Newton being especially safe. The tricky thing there is that both those towns are very affluent, and have expensive housing. Your options within your housing budget are likely to be limited in these towns, but either town could be a good choice if you found housing within your budget. The Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village neighborhoods in Brookline and probably the vicinity of Newton Centre in Newton would be especially convenient for transit (trolley in this case) access to B.U., while also having some shopping right in the neighborhood.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:43 PM
5 posts, read 7,116 times
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Thank you so much for the info!!!

Well I'm 22, so I don't mind cities with a ton of students. By student ghettos, are you referring to "the typical loud, party type areas"? As long as it's generally safe I don't mind.

So the trolley is typically the main transportation if I looked into Brighton?

But thank you so much for the information!! I will check this out for sure.

Last edited by Owlgoddess; 08-16-2010 at 10:53 PM..
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:54 PM
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I forgot another question.

Is Water and Heat normally included in the rent? For the most part, it is in MN.

This is extremely pricey :/
I'll have to get a studio for sure, I'm thinking of maybe just staying in a dorm.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:10 AM
Location: Maryland's 6th District.
8,357 posts, read 25,248,321 times
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Okay, others will have better advice since I am a new resident, but seeing as how I moved here from MPLS by way of Maine and my roommate is from Eagan, I'lll chime in.

Heat/hot water being included in rent is about as common here as it is in MPLS. Some offer it, and others don't. Actually, it is probably more common out here. You won't have a problem finding a rental that includes heat/hot water, but don't expect every location you look at to have it.

Dorms at BU are expensive. Realistically, it would be cheaper for you to live off campus and your BF can't live with you in a dorm anyways. For the price of a dorm at BU, you could probably get a two-bedroom for less.

Uh, trolly? There is a lite rail/subway thing here. And yes, it would more than likely be your main mode of transport. There is also an extensive bus system, but the subway will more than likely take you where ever you'd want to go.

What bad area of MPLS did you live in? I lived in South MPLS for most of my time there and I thought that it was pretty tame. Then again, I am from California so even the Jordan Neighborhood seems calm to me. MPLS is the safest city of its size, but I doubt you'll end up in a bad neighborhood here. Brookline, Brighton (where I live), and Allston will all fit your bill.

A good apartment for $900 is going to be a tough call unless you get a studio. I lived in a two-story, five-bedroom apartment in MPLS and rent was only $1300. I also lived in a two-story four-bedroom house for $1400 a month and a three-bedroom two-story house for $1200 a month. Both houses had a front/back yard and garage, too. You won't find anything like that out here. The last place in MPLS that I lived in was a two-bedroom apartment in Uptown for $900. My two-bedroom here is $1600, and only slightly bigger.

So my guess is that you are either going to have budget more for rent, or expect to live in a smaller space. But like I said, off-campus housing will be cheaper than living in a dorm.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:29 AM
Location: Quincy, MA
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Even a studio could be tough for $900 in Allston/Brighton, especially with utilities included. Then again, if you are willing to commute to BU via bus instead of subway, you may be able to find something in the Brighton Center or Oak Square neighborhoods.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:29 AM
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Under $900 is not realistic for two people; under $1K might be tougher but more doable. That's extremely low on the scale so you should be prepared for what your budget will get you. Have you considered a share in a larger place? Some apartments/houses might allow a couple. I know, not ideal, but it might be good to have back-up plan.

Will you be on the main BU campus? Where will your boyfriend be working/going to school? Do you need to factor in his commute as well? Also, are you starting school in September (hope not!) or January 2011? Or some other time?

K-Luv, the above-ground protions of the Green Line are called trolleys (not a "lite rail").
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:40 AM
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I'm afraid that you're going to have to raise your rates by several hundred dollars; even a $900 studio is rare, and you're going to want much more room for 2 people...

Look in Allston/Brighton, where they're are loads of students, or perhaps check out Davis Square in Somerville, on the Red Line; no matter where you look, you're going to have to be more flexible with money..
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 PM
Location: Boston
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There are some neighborhoods a bit off the beaten path from the student standpoint that might work for you. Consider East Boston, Chelsea, parts of JP, or further out neighborhoods like Roslindale or Dorchester. Boston is primarily a safe city, most violent crime is committed by familiars rather than random strangers. You can get better rental rates in some of the less studenty, more family or immigrant oriented neighborhoods. Just be prepared for nobody knowing how to get to your apartment.

An alternative, especially if $900 is your max budget, would be co-housing. There are lots of larger apartments or whole houses that rent out by the bedroom. If you want something near B.U. and student areas, you might look at this type of arrangement in Lower Allston.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:41 PM
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We don't mind a studio. We use to live in a 400 sq ft studio (both of us) and we did just fine. I just wasn't too keen on the area it was in.

I will be attending in January. My boyfriend just applied, so if he does get accepted we were considering of just living on campus, yeah that means not together obviously but I received financial aid so that should cover it, even though it's about the same price as a studio (not a two bedroom). But you don't pay utilities.

I can push it up too 1000 a month but that is really as far as I can go with that. Busing (or trolley) is going to be the main transportation, so no car or gas bill.

Has anyone lived on campus at BU? Can you give me your intake on it?

Thanks everyone! I'm looking into Brighton and Somerville so far.
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