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Old 02-02-2012, 08:08 AM
 
306 posts, read 654,659 times
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Hey all, I am moving to Somerville, MA. I have never been here before and was hoping I could get some info on which areas I should avoid and where I may be able to find affordable, nice apartments?

I am a young female professional and I know it's so stereotypical, but I want to feel safe walking around. My car is also going to be full of my stuff while I stay at a hotel and search for a place to live, so I don't want it broken into. So any tips on which areas I should definitely avoid would be great.

Also, I will be working in Somerville not too far from the mall, according to Google Maps. I have a car and don't want a long commute to work everyday, but I'd live in Cambridge or around Somerville if necessary. Where might I find affordable apartments? I'd prefer a one-bedroom and I am not a student.

Lastly (sorry), I read that Somerville is one of the densest cities in the country. I read that and think, "most traffic congestion and worst parking situation in the country." Anything I need to know about having a car up there?

Thank you in advance! And if this belongs in the general Massachusetts forum, let me know! Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:30 AM
 
132 posts, read 514,921 times
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A few things...

-It's a college town. It's packed with students. You can't move without tripping over them. So yes, housing is hard to find, and parking is terrible. A lot of the homes have many many students living in them, so you have the issues that come along with that in areas.

-The town will ticket the hell out of you if you park on streets where permits are required without a permit.

-I don't think of Somerville as unsafe, but I wouldn't want to leave my possessions out and visible in a car all night.

-if it were me, (and it was, once) I would look in Medford for housing/apartments. Some nice areas, some buses that will take you from Medford Square to Davis Square in Somerville, but quieter areas where it is easier to find street parking, depending on the section of Medford you wind up in.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:39 AM
 
8,106 posts, read 8,792,375 times
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Somerville is just oustide of Boston. Somerville is a densly poplulated arera. Many tripple deckers (3 family homes) with some neighborhoods single family homes and of course apartment complexes.

Somerville has 3 zip codes. Somerville has distinct neighborhoods with names like Union Square, Davis Square, Teele Square, Powderhouse Square, and more.

Somerville has won some awards lately for being a nice city. Somerville is close to all public transportation. With the proximity to Cambridge many of the rental units are taken by college students. Caroline Kennedy rented on Beacon Street while attending college.

Parking. Parking. Parking. And lack of parking. Much of Somerville was constructed when folks did not have an automobile. In some areas one small driveway is all the parking for 3 rental units. And they may be stacked one in front of other.

If you have an automobile then make sure you have dedicated off street parking. Remember during snow storms on street parking is banned.

Somerville does have some good larger apartment complexes that do provide parking.

Somerville is safe. It is the city so car will have to be locked at all times.

There are good restaurants and shopping in Somerville. If you are from or are prepared for tight urban living you will love Somerville.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 2,183,638 times
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Somerville is fine. I'm a female and wouldn't hesitate to live there. General city smarts apply (walking alone at night, etc.). Some parts of Somerville are nicer than others. What is your budget for housing? I don't really know much about the ins and outs of parking in Somerville. Just be aware that in terms of commuting to work, if your employer doesn't offer parking (and many don't), you either have to arrange your own parking or take public transportation.

If you're not using your car on a daily basis, it may be more of a hindrance than a help. Just depends on exactly where you live and what your car needs are. I know people who got rid of their cars after a few months. There are residential car rental options (like zipcar). I'd probably bring my car and see how it goes.

Leaving all your stuff in your car clearly visible while you stay in a hotel concerns me. It's not really a great idea no matter where you are. You may want to spring for garage parking, but even that is not without risk.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:05 AM
 
306 posts, read 654,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiver View Post
Somerville is fine. I'm a female and wouldn't hesitate to live there. General city smarts apply (walking alone at night, etc.). Some parts of Somerville are nicer than others. What is your budget for housing? I don't really know much about the ins and outs of parking in Somerville. Just be aware that in terms of commuting to work, if your employer doesn't offer parking (and many don't), you either have to arrange your own parking or take public transportation.

If you're not using your car on a daily basis, it may be more of a hindrance than a help. Just depends on exactly where you live and what your car needs are. I know people who got rid of their cars after a few months. There are residential car rental options (like zipcar). I'd probably bring my car and see how it goes.

Leaving all your stuff in your car clearly visible while you stay in a hotel concerns me. It's not really a great idea no matter where you are. You may want to spring for garage parking, but even that is not without risk.
I want to spend an absolute maximum of $1400. I'd prefer to be closer to $800. If I'm gonna spend on the high end, I'd like a place with a parking lot and a gym. I'm thinking that may be more outside Somerville?

My office is near Assembly Square (?) -- that mall with TJ Maxx. Is that a congested area? Will parking and traffic be a problem? Any parking lots around there?

I signed a two year car lease a year ago because I was expecting I would move to a place where I'd need a car. Now I'm back in a congested city with public transportation and I'm stuck with this car. But, do I want to walk and use the train late at night? I imagine I'll be working pretty late. Although, in D.C. (other big city I've lived in) I would not have wanted a car. Driving seemed stressful, congested, slow and annoying. Is Somerville the same?

I can bring my stuff into the hotel. Hopefully I can find an apartment very quickly though. If there is a nicest area people would recommend I get my hotel in, that'd be great.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Camberville
14,485 posts, read 19,409,891 times
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$1400 will not get you a parking lot or a gym. You might get a spot in a driveway and if you're lucky, it won't be tandem. You would have to move significantly outside of Somerville to find a complex for that price range. The cheapest you'd find a 1 bedroom in Somerville is around $1200, and that wouldn't be particularly nice.

Parking will be an issue wherever you go. Somerville is one of the densest areas in the country- parking comes at a premium. Does your office offer parking? Look into what bus routes go by there and try to find an apartment near one of the routes.

Somerville on the whole is safe. East Somerville is cheaper but also has more crime. The area is gentrifying though, especially with the promise of an expansion of the green line.

Malden (has a bad reputation but several nice neighborhoods that are inexpensive) and Medford might also be good places to look. I just moved to Medford from Somerville because it's cheaper - but you do need a car more there.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:48 AM
 
1,039 posts, read 3,292,377 times
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People here have the right idea. There is little reason to live in Somerville, especially with a car. I would look in the east part of Medford, right near your job; students don't drive up prices there. On a map, look for at the area bounded by the Mystic River to the south, I-93 to the west, Malden River/Orange Line to the east, and Middlesex Fells to the north. You will find a reasonable place for rent in this area and it should have parking. Personally, I would also stay west of the Fellsway on the Medford side, but the part of Malden that borders Medford isn't bad. Once you get to know the area, you can think about moving to Somerville or wherever else.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Look at Medford. Less dense & cheaper rent.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,479 posts, read 6,843,724 times
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Agree with the previous posts. Move to Medford - much better commute, lower rents. There are some really nice areas to concentrate on, and if you really feel the need, you can easily get over to Somerville/Cambridge for a night out. I might avoid living right near Wellington Station, though, just because that area isn't the nicest (personal opinion).
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:02 AM
 
7,228 posts, read 6,457,944 times
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I disagree with the move to Medford advice because I think it would be more boring/suburban for a young person than Somerville or Cambridge.

That said, the rental budget you state will get you something fairly nice in a roommate situation. Living alone, you will definitely be on the higher end of your budget and it may not be what you are expecting for the price.

Don't leave a car full of visible stuff anywhere, no matter how nice the neighborhood.
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