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Old 04-12-2006, 01:19 AM
2 posts, read 7,655 times
Reputation: 25



I am about to accept a job offer in Boston. I am an accountant and my starting salary will be somewhere around the $60k area. I am married with two kids.

Can someone please help me answering the following:

- we will be looking to rent for at least a year. We will be living on an approx. $60k. Is the rental market limited to apartments, or can you rent houses (ideally in a nice suburb (Swampscott, Salem(????) just outside Boston)? and how much do you have to plan for rent if you want a 3 to 4 bedroom house.

-Can you advise what safe and nice areas there are again what typical rents would be and if all that what we have in mind is actually affordable with the budget.

- How is the commuting time into Boston how are the train connections.

Thanx for your help

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Old 04-14-2006, 10:08 AM
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Hi Ollie,
I live in Peabody, and about 5 minutes from Salem, MA. The commuter rail system is really good. There is a train that goes from Salem to Boston almost every 15 minutes during rush hour. The train ride is about 25-30 minutes. I think it's a great location because of the proximity to public transportation, not too far from Boston, Route 114 has a lot going on, etc.

That being said, I don't know much about renting, as I own, but I think you would struggle. A 3 to 4 bedroom house for $60,000 a year? I don't know if it is different renting, but if you were to buy a house like that in a "nice suburb" you are talking at least $600,000. My two bedroom townhouse was 325k. What other areas are you thinking of? I just would say be cautious of Lynn. It is not a nice place, unless you are close to the Lynnfield line.
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:12 PM
4 posts, read 22,454 times
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Default Welcome

Hi Ollie,
I can not really speak about living in the Boston area. However, welcome to the Bay State. I live in Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. It is really beautiful here with open space, theater, cpa's. I never really liked visiting big cities let alone living in one. There are some more rural places not too far from Boston. My sister used to live in Dudley, MA which is a lot like living in the country. Be prepared for the gas prices, I am not sure how much it goes for in the UK but I just paid $2.69 per gallon this morning. I am sure that would certainly be a consideration when factoring how far you will be willing to commute.
Best Regards,

Jeffrey Torres
Sales & Administrations Manager
Cartridge King of Western Massachusetts
346 Wahconah St
Pittsfield, MA 01201
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:38 PM
Location: Athol, Ma
3 posts, read 19,538 times
Reputation: 26
Hey Ollie,
I agree wholeheardly with Jeffery on West. Ma. I live in Athol, and the median home price here is right around 225,00. The taxes on a 4 bdrm home with 3 acres of land is about 2400 a year. We are renting right now in the hopes of both of us going back to school, and buying a home in the next five years, and we have a great place and its a 2 brdm, washer and dryer included, and a huge kitchen, and we pay 575.00 a month. Our landlord is WONDERFUL, so this works for us. I have seen homes for rent here in our town and that would run you about 1000 to 1200 a month. And Athol is about 20 miles from the NH boarder, so that is incentive, tax free shopping up there. I just put gas in my teeny tiny little Mazda protege, and it has a 10 gallon tank, and I threw 20 bucks in it thinking it would almost fill it, like it used to, and I was horrified to see only a hair above the half a tank line. I belive the price around these parts is 2.91 a GALLON!!! OUCH!! Of course we spend six months in Dresden, Germany, and my god, we paid almost that a liter there. But in any event, check out the local papers, The Recorder covers the Greenfield area, and The Sentinel covers Fitchburg and our area. I would go with West. Ma if I were you, it is a nice area to live, and very likeable. cheers!
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:07 AM
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Reputation: 11

$60K may be a bit tough for a family of 4 near Boston if you want to rent a 3-4 bedroom house, depending on how old your children are and what their needs are. In Waltham, this could cost you around $1,600 a month minimum for a 2-3 bedroom 'appartment', exclusive of utilities. I have lived in the UK so I appreciate the differences - but you will find the rent very high in this area of the US. I will recommend a 3 bedroom 'appartment' (a 'flat' in English). The houses are huge around here, and expensive. The closer to Boston, the more expensive the rent. The equation is perturbed by the presence of posh towns/cities west of Boston (eg Sudbury, Lincoln, etc.)

Waltham, like Watertown, Newton and Weston, are west of Boston and are very nice to live and raise children. The commute by train is very fast, (about 20 minutes), but not as regular as you would think. The fare is around $4 each way, but monthly or yearly travel passes are obviously a better bargain.

There are buses too, especially the Express Buses in the morning, where the fare is around $3 each way. Again, there are monthly passes.

Gas prices are slowly climbing to $3 a US Gallon (=3.78 litres). Now unless my arithmetic is going rusty, that comes down to a ridiculous 54 p a litre!!! 54 p a litre and these people are complaining (I know you are laughing your head off here). Cars, food and clothes are cheaper than in the UK. There are no sales tax on clothes in Massachusetts, so a $40 dollar pair of denim jeans costs you exactly $40 at the counter. However, there is a 5% sales tax on electronics and other goods. I presume you know that you are expected to tip about 10-20% of the bill in restaurants, even if you didn't like the service! Same goes for taxi rides.

If you are a Liverpool fan give me a shout.

Last edited by Vinay; 05-02-2006 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:22 AM
2 posts, read 7,655 times
Reputation: 25
Hi guys

been a bit hectic the last couple of weeks so I haven't had time to be on here much.
Thankx for your words of welcome and your advice. I am looking forward to coming over there, but the rent situation is a bit dis-heartening, but maybe we have to re-consider location until we will be able to afford more. The plan is that my wife will go back to work and we will buy soon after that as we own a place over here. Having said that I heard that we don't get credit until three years after we arrived. apparently US banks do not take UK credit records into consideration.

I think my wife is very keen on renting property with a garden/yard which would be great for the kids.

any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Take care

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Old 05-20-2006, 08:05 PM
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stay out of Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester all "boroughs" in Boston.

www.bpdnews.com will show you the current murder/robbery/assualts going on and it is pretty bad and high
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:30 PM
1 posts, read 3,823 times
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Default Good news and Bad

Dear Ollie

The first thing I would do is try to negotiate a better offer. If this is a temporary move (i.e., they are sending you for a year or 2 with the idea that you will come back to the UK eventually) you might have some leverage there. If it is a company recruiting you on an open-ended basis you may have less flexibility. But you should at least be able to get the employer to pay for a relocation agency to help you.

The good news is that:

1. Boston is cheaper in every respect than London and probably no more expensive than anyplace else in the UK.
2. Right now it is cheaper to rent than to buy in Boston, because a real estate bubble has bid up puchase prices.
3. Petrol (we call it gasoline here) costs half as much as in the UK

The bad news is that:

1. Boston is still expensive;
2. To find a house that could accommodate the 4 of you at a price you can afford will be nearly impossible unless you are willing to drive 50+ miles each way to work.

It depends where exactly you will be working, but if it you are working in Boston itself you should try to find a decent sized 3-bedroom apartment in Somerville, Allston, Brighton, Cambridge or maybe Arlington and with some searching you should be able to get something for about $1500 a month, which is 1/3 of your income, but I doubt you can find anything for much less.

If you are working outside Boston you can look even farther outside the city, so if you are somewhere along Route 128 or even a bit farther out you can look near or beyond Route 495 in places like Groton, Pepperell, Holliston, Attleboro, Foxboro, Marlboro. There you might even find a house. Another place to look: Maynard. Former HQ of Digital Equipment Corp, a middle-class/working class place amidst high-priced suburbs, it's got some character and also some grit and housing is relatively cheap.

Good luck
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Old 06-04-2006, 01:26 PM
Location: Charlotte,NC, US, North America, Earth, Alpha Quadrant,Milky Way Galaxy
3,771 posts, read 7,432,879 times
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depending on what you are used to $60K might be a bit tight. However if you have low debt and can dedicated much of your income to a mortgage you could probably get an okay place for about $550K. Renting? Two bedroom apts are going for like $1300/mo. But if you are realstic about it, and don't expect to get a 3000 sqft home for $1200/mo then I guess you'll be okay.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:55 PM
232 posts, read 716,932 times
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-Can you advise what safe and nice areas there are again what typical rents would be and if all that what we have in mind is actually affordable with the budget.

- How is the commuting time into Boston how are the train connections.

Thanx for your help


Hi, I would avoid Salem. It's way to congested. Check out Beverly for rentals. The commuter rail is about 35 minutes into Boston.
Or even Melrose- for renting. Cute downtown, too much traffic but very close to Boston. Easy commute- to town. But after a month, you will think the grass is greener on the other side. The long haul of commuting will take a toll...believe me- i did it for years
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