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Old 06-04-2010, 04:12 PM
1 posts, read 1,906 times
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Hi, I'm going to be attending college in Boston the Fall of 2010 and will be moving to the city. I'm on a pretty limited budget so I'm looking to stay in a decent sized studio apt, hopefully in a safe and easily accessible part of the city. I can do about $1100/mnth my main concern was that I'm in a safer part of the city..I was leaning toward the Fenway (Westland Ave.) area; is that a good option? I'll be spending most of my time in Chelsea and Charlestown, is that area easy access to the T? Is it also safe at night? Does anyone know of any other places that I should look into? Would I benefit more from looking outside of the city in one of the surrounding suburbs for housing? Thanks in advance for any and all your help!

Last edited by DaveCG; 06-04-2010 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:43 PM
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Keep in mind that no place is guaranteed to be completely safe, and this is especially true in a city. Most areas in and near downtown Boston are among the safer sections of the city. This would include Back Bay, Fenway/Kenmore, Beacon Hill, the North End, and the gentrified neighborhoods of the South End.

Since you have a good selection of relatively safe neighborhoods, other criteria will play a role in determining the most suitable area. Will you have a car, and do you want to have a lot of other students around, with student-oriented businesses in your neighborhood?

If you want to be in an area with many other students around, Fenway and the western end of Back Bay close to Kenmore Square would be good options. Beacon Hill, and the nearby area around the Common and Public Garden, maybe extending south to around Park Square and the vicinity of the theater district, will have some students from Emerson and Suffolk universities, but a smaller population of students than Fenway/Kenmore. If being around other students is low on your list of priorities, then consider that the North End is the closest of Boston's inner neighborhoods to Charlestown and Chelsea.

Another consideration is cost of housing. While housing is expensive anywhere in Boston, Beacon Hill and Back Bay are especially upscale areas in the inner neighborhoods, so you may have fewer good housing options to choose from on your budget in those sections.

If you are really super-concerned about safety, that would be the main reason to consider some of the close-in suburban areas. In that case, you'd do best to focus on Brookline and Newton, especially Newton, though Brookline is generally very safe. On the other hand, following some basic safety rules should keep you reasonably safe in any of the neighborhoods I've suggested. Brookline and Newton are also on the opposite side of downtown from the areas where you say you expect to spend most of your time, so you'd be dealing with a longer commute from those towns than from the neighborhoods right in Boston which I've suggested.

If you're planning to have a car, the areas right in the city that I've suggested could all be a problem. Parking can be pretty tight in all those areas. Brookline also bans overnight parking on the street, so you'd need to find a place with on-site parking if you looked there.

As long as you follow basic safety rules, I'd say you don't have to be overly concerned about safety in any of the places I've suggested. You'll probably do well to give at least equal weight to the other factors.
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