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Old 05-07-2013, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
48 posts, read 137,146 times
Reputation: 50

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Hey, I recently got accepted to UMASS Boston and now I am trying to find an Apartment around the University. I already got a job where I'll be working full time next to going to school. The amount of money I am able to spend is $500/month, absolute max $600/month. I won't be making much money, roughly 20k/year before taxes (how high are taxes in the Boston area? Similiar to NYC?). Are there any low income apartments around? I really hope I can get a Studio Apartment for around 500, worst case I would live a little out of the city, not too far. Anything near the Airport would be beneficial as well, as I am going to work for an Airline.

What areas are most suitable for my needs? Also nearby public transportation and nightlife would be great, but the later not 100% necessary.

Thanks for all your answers!

EDIT: Also how expensive are groceries for a single guy? How much am I going to look at per week? per month?

EDIT: is that monthly budet reasonable?:

Rent: $500
Groceries: $200
Internet: $40
Cell: $40
Laundry: $50
Car Gas: $120 (dad is covering insurance)
-------------------
$950 fixed costs

Last edited by Selfmade92; 05-07-2013 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,862 posts, read 12,903,033 times
Reputation: 6842
Sorry to burst your bubble, but $600/month for housing is almost guaranteed to be unrealistic. Your best bet would be to check out (probably at the Student Affairs office) their listings. Every semester there's bound to be someone on the faculty or otherwise employed by the school who's looking to rent out a bedroom for low rent in exchange for housekeeping, yard work, etc. The classic fall-back of sharing a house or apartment with other people isn't likely to work, either, given the prevailing rents even in "bad" parts of town. Studios are rarely listed for less than $1k/month regardless of location. Units with 1 or more bedrooms naturally start at higher than that.
East Boston (within the city), Revere, and Winthrop are closest to the airport and are all served by the Blue Line subway. You'd have to make two transfers in order to reach the JFK/UMass station. Nearest campus is Dorchester, a largely quiet and safe part of town east of Dorchester Ave and a patchwork of good/sketchy west of that street (the farther west, the worse it gets.) Next closest is the now heavily gentrified South Boston - the portion between Andrew Square and Columbia Rd, and the enclave off Boston St known as the Polish Triangle, are the least trendy areas and therefore more affordable. But as you may have guessed, "affordable" is a relative term.
Section 8 subsidies and public housing have waiting lists that take years to near the top of. You could be working on your third PhD before getting in, no joke.
By dodging the major chain supermarkets like Shaw's, and convenience stores, you could probably keep your food costs relatively low. Take advantage of the big open-air produce vendors at Haymarket. Watch out for the "farmers markets" that crop up, so to speak, in parking lots all over town. Although it would entail a long cross-town ride to Forest Hills or Cambridge's Central Square, join the Harvest Co-op which has stores in those locations. They have "member appreciation days" featuring automatic discounts. And believe it or not, their groceries are competitively priced as well as being "good, and good FOR you too." McKinnon's in Davis Square would also involve a journey, but their fresh-cut meats are shockingly cheap and taste better than what you can buy shrink-wrapped at a supermarket. To the chagrin of many, the local Foodmaster chain went out of business this year, but Market Basket survives as the low-cost grocery store of choice. Here again you'd have to journey out from town a ways (in this case to Somerville's Union Square, or to Chelsea) but the savings would far exceed the expenditure on gas or T fares. AND - as much as Whole Foods deserves its "whole paycheck" nickname they now feature a full line of "store brand" products that often actually wind up being cheaper than name-brand stuff.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
48 posts, read 137,146 times
Reputation: 50
Sounds bad

Thought cost of living would be much cheaper in Boston, looks like I have to find some roommates over there. Thanks though.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,862 posts, read 12,903,033 times
Reputation: 6842
Cheer up, you can probably beat 200 bucks per month on groceries (my single self does.) And most areas are served well enough by the MBTA that you wouldn't have to rely on a car much. Find a neighborhood that includes a laundromat with some of those "industrial sized" dryers and you can knock down the laundry budget too. During my phases of either not having a washer/dryer in the house or waiting out repairs I could schlep a big Hefty bag full of clothes to the place nearby, shell out for 4-6 washers but then only have to pay for the dryer one time. One trip a month was all it took.
Be sure also to pick an area where there's ISP competition. I have to pay an insane amount for phone/Internet 'cause Comcast has a monopoly in Cambridge.
Home-sharing is a Boston rite of passage, "everybody" goes through it even if they started - let alone spent all 4 years of college - in campus housing. (Of course that's not yet an option at UMB.) It would be more socially awkward in this city if you didn't have roommates! BTW, you may laugh at the thought but have you considered pledging a frat?
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,645 posts, read 4,575,492 times
Reputation: 2136
Even most rooming houses cost more than $500 per month in "just okay" neighborhoods and nearby towns.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:29 PM
 
3,755 posts, read 4,482,726 times
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I could be wrong, but I thought UMass had some sort of deal with the Harbor Point complex next door. I had a friend who lived over there and there were a large number of UMass kids living there.

I am willing to bet you could find someone, or a couple of people to go in on a place with. Have you checked with the school about this?
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