Cambridge

A Guide to Apartment Living in Boston, MA

Decide where you want to live in Beantown

 

Boston has so much to offer, but depending on your workplace or your situation, those factors impact your decision on which neighborhood you would like to live in. Also, it may be worth considering living outside of downtown Boston. According to an interactive map created by the founder of Mobyus, a mobile shopping service, over 310,000 commuters live within 20 miles of Boston. There are a number of towns that are easily accessible to Boston via commuter rail or the T if you want to avoid traffic.

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Prioritize the amenities you need for your lifestyle

 

Outside of your workplace, it’s important to ensure that your needs at home are met. What luxury amenities are you looking for? Would you want to have access to a fitness center in your apartment complex or would you rather go to a gym in your neighborhood? Is a shopping center within walking distance or will you take the T to run your daily errands? Do you currently have a pet (or two!) or are you planning on having a pet in the future?


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Personalize your new space

 

Once you have found your perfect Boston apartment, it’s time to add personal touches to throughout the space. Incorporating vintage accents in a modern space is a common approach to decorating Boston apartments because it brings the character of the historical New England city in your home.

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Cambridge Apartments

If you want to live in a historic city with lots of modern attractions, consider Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its roots date back over 400 years, when it was a farming community. Since then, it has transformed into a national hotspot for biotechnology and intellectual pursuits. Some of the current attractions in Cambridge include:

  • Harvard University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences

  • National Bureau of Economic Research

  • The Boston Museum of Science

  • Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

The city is also home to many historic sites. Two of these include the Abraham Watson House and the Aaron Hill House. When you rent Cambridge apartments, you’re close to everything you need. This includes restaurants for any palate or budget, history, technology, and medical centers. You’re also close enough to Boston proper to take in the many concerts and events that city has to offer.

Where to Find Apartments for Rent in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Longwood Residential rents and manages many of the area’s finest apartments. We also offer condos, townhomes, and private homes. If you know that you want to live in Cambridge, we encourage you to use our search feature to see everything we currently have available. You can search by property type, price, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and specific amenities. Common searches include those close to public transportation, shopping, parks, and public schools.

When you rent in Cambridge, MA, you can expect to pay at least $1,600 per month. The rates go up depending on the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, and amenities. Longwood Residential offers numerous luxury accommodations with features such as swimming pools, fitness centers, business centers, concierge services, and much more. We are happy to assist you with locating the perfect Cambridge apartment. If you’re open to nearby communities such as Boston and Brookline, we have properties there as well.

Studio Apartments in Boston

A studio apartment is a rental unit with everything but the bathroom combined into one main room. It doesn’t contain any separate bedrooms. You may be interested in studio apartments for rent if you’re a single person who doesn’t require a lot of space; or are simply looking to save money. However, even studio rentals can provide luxurious accommodations. Longwood Residential rents and manages several luxury studio loft apartments that we encourage you to check out today.

How to Determine What You Can Afford to Spend on Rent

Food, transportation, and housing costs, make up nearly two-thirds of the budget for most people in the Boston area. However, financial experts recommend trying to cap these costs at 60%. With the high cost of living in Boston, we recommend that your annual salary be at least 40 times your monthly rent. This ensures that you can comfortably afford your monthly rent obligation. Be sure to look at all sources of income as well as all recurring and occasional expenses when creating your rental budget. Cheap apartments in Boston are hard to come by, but Longwood Residential studio rentals are your best bet in finding them.

Decorating a Small Apartment

Just because you rent a small space doesn’t mean you must give up your decorating style. Renters with limited space or funds can get quite creative in this department. Local flea markets are an excellent place to find vintage furniture, pottery, and glassware. You can even shop fabric stores to add chic style to curtains, older furniture, and other personal items in your studio apartment.

Where to Find Studio Apartments Near Me

Longwood Residential offers studio apartments in several of Boston’s finest neighborhoods. Please view our listings to learn more, or contact us directly with your questions. We will help you find the best small apartment for your price range, amenities desired, and neighborhood where you want to live.

How Much is a Condo in Boston?

The condo market in Boston is growing quickly. According to an August, 2016 report released by realestate.com, both the number of available condos and their prices are on the rise. A big reason for the higher average price is the development of many new luxury condos. Longwood Towers Condominiums is one such example. These units have a lot of amenities not previously found in Boston condos. Some of these features might include an on-site fitness center, concierge service, and valet parking.

Condo Prices vs. Single-Family Home Prices

In late 2016, the average condo in Suffolk County was $520,000. This represented a 9.5% increase over the first half of the year. Suffolk County includes Boston as well as smaller, nearby cities like Chelsea and Revere. The average single-family home in the same county sold for $440,000. That was 4.4 percent higher than the first half of 2016.

Here are the average condos prices for Boston and nearby cities:

  • Downtown Boston (including South End, Midtown, and Back Bay) - $800,000

  • South Boston - $615,000

  • East Boston - $400,000

  • Cambridge - $651,000

  • Somerville - $587,000

  • Jamaica Plain - $478,000

These prices can certainly be discouraging, especially for a first-time homeowner. However, attending one of our first-time home buyer seminars can provide you with several resources. If you don’t see any upcoming, please contact us, or feel free to call us at (617) 396-3100, and we’ll be sure to arrange a seminar to help you soon!

How Are Condos Different?

Many Bostonians prefer condos because it allows them to own property with more perks and less responsibility than a homeowner. It also provides more freedom than renting an apartment. Someone else handles all outside maintenance such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. Since you own your unit, you’re free to decorate or remodel as you see fit. The one exception is that you won’t be able to make structural changes to common walls between your own space and a neighbor’s.

If you’re looking for luxury and convenience, speak to us today about Longwood condos for sale.

How Much Apartment Can I Afford?

Budgeting for apartment rent isn’t always easy, especially when it’s your first time renting. For most people, rent or mortgage, food, and transportation take up at least 60% of their budget. The goal of this article is to help give you a baseline knowledge of this topic to establish your own personalized apartment budget.

When adding up your income, be sure to include or subtract the following, if applicable:

·       Salary

·       Bonuses

·       Royalties or rental income

·       Alimony or child support

·       Interest

·       Proceeds from a recent sale of a large item

As you balance your budget, try not to spend much more than 60% percent of your total income on rent, food and transportation. You will still need money for electricity, cable/phone, insurance, medical care, debt repayments, and if you’re lucky savings. Be sure to consider the cost of living in your preferred location when choosing your apartment. In Boston, many people enjoy the conveniences of urban living, such as public transportation and riding or walking to their workplace.

Your Annual Salary Should Be At Least 40 Times Your Monthly Rent

There’s no question that the cost of living is high in Boston. This is why many landlords require tenants to earn an annual salary that is at least 40 times the monthly rental rate. Assume that you and your spouse earn a combined income of $100,000 per year. Divide this figure by 40 to get the maximum you should pay for rent each month. In this case, it’s $2,500.

Consider Your Move-In Costs

Keep in mind that you almost always need to pay a security deposit when you move into your new apartment. It’s common for landlords to require the first and last month’s rent when you sign a lease, too. To offset these costs, look for special deals being offered. For example, a rental property manager may offer a free month’s rent when you sign a lease of at least one year. You also need to account for costs such as new furniture or professional moving assistance. Rest assured, the management at Longwood Residential will assist you in locating money-saving deals whenever possible.

Boston and Brookline Area News and Events thru September

If it comes as a shock to you that August is already here, take heart. There are still plenty of activities to participate in while it is still warm enough to leave your home without a jacket. Summer may be winding down, but events in Boston and Brookline (or some nearby cities) are not. Here is what’s on tap for late August and the whole month of September:

Find Your Park

July 22 to August 30

Brookline Public Library, First Floor, 361 Washington Street

To honor the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this month, staff from the John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Frederick Law Olmstead historical sites are jointly hosting a public event. Some of the exhibits show the strong connection each site has with the federal national park system. A book truck will also be available with literature on each of the historic sites.

Restaurant Month in Brookline

The Fireplace Restaurant, 1634 Beacon Street, Brookline

While many nearby restaurants are celebrating Restaurant Week in mid-August, The Fireplace Restaurant is participating for the whole month. During August, diners can enjoy a three-course meal at $20 for lunch and $38 for dinner. This offer is available seven days a week.

Indignation

Opens Friday, August 5

Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard Street in Brookline

Based on a novel of the same name, the play Indignation is set in 1951 around the time of the Korean War. Marcus, a brilliant young Jewish man from a working-class family in Newark, heads to a conservative Christian college in Ohio to avoid being drafted. Once he gets there, love complicates everything. Tickets are just $11.25 for adults and $9.25 for seniors and children.

Arts on the Arcade

Fridays, August 5, 12, 19 & 26

Samuel Adams Park, 30 Germaina Street Jamaica Plain in Boston

Every Friday through the end of the month, Brookline residents can trek to nearby Jamaica Plain to leisurely look at works of art while enjoying live music from area bands.

Mamadou Diop Concert

Saturday, August 20, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1 City Hall Square

If you enjoy Mamadou’s popular songs I Am Me, Senegal, IBOU, or Sweet Susan, you won’t want to miss this event. He is well-known for West African music and his master rhythm guitar playing.

Dedham Square Coffeehouse Open Mic

Thursday, September 1, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

565 High Street, Dedham

Have people always told you that you’re funny? Now is your chance to prove it. Dedham Square Coffeehouse, located about 8 miles from Brookline, is hosting an open mic night. Get your best comedy routine ready and give it a shot.

Central Square Art Share

Wednesday, September 14, 10:00 p.m. to Midnight

The Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

This free event is open to anyone age 21 and up. You can enjoy live DJs, drinks, dancing, and viewing the work of many local artists. Contact abby@mideastclub.com if you are interested in setting up an artist’s booth at this event.

Copenhagen Beer Celebration

Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, Noon to 11:00 p.m.

City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1 City Hall Square

Beer enthusiasts will love this one. Dozens of the top names in the brewing industry will have their beers represented at this festival. You will appreciate the food and music as well.

5 Boston Venues To Catch Amazing Music & Events

Boston Venues For Music & Events

Now that summer is in full swing, you may be looking for some new venues for live music. Fortunately, Boston and the surrounding communities have plenty of them. Here are five that you won’t want to miss:

Toad

1912 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA
Toad is a small music venue and one of the last in the area to host live music with no cover charge for the audience. It attracts what reviewers refer to as open-minded musicophiles as performers. Toad tends to be packed every weekend night, so get there early if you can.

TT The Bear’s Place

10 Brookline St.
Cambridge, MA
This location for live music is a top pick of the critics. It launched the career of the guitar band Nevermind and its owners tend to select loud playing guitarists as feature musicians. It’s different on Saturdays when the DJ favors new wave music.

Club Passim

47 Palmer St.
Cambridge, MA
This place has quite the history. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and other folksy type singers played here in the 1960s. Club Passim continues to attract plenty of self-identified hippies and singer-songwriters who produce mellow, relaxing music.

The Sinclair

52 Church St.
Cambridge, MA
One of the few local music venues to get a five-star review from critics, The Sinclair has its own restaurant as well. Independent artists love performing here and there is plenty of elbow room with its two-story floor facing the stage.
Photo: https://www.timeout.com/boston/music-nightlife/the-sinclair 

Brighton’s Music Hall

158 Brighton Ave.
Allston MA 
Brighton’s Music Hall is one of the premier locations for live music in the entire Boston area. You can enjoy a variety of music styles and even take in a comedy show. Some of the bands playing here over the summer include letLive, Pat McGee, and Belly – The Band.


 

New Restaurants in Brookline and Cambridge Offer Something for Every Palate and Budget

The winter of 2016 was a busy one for new restaurants opening in Brookline and surrounding communities.  In February, Waxy O’Connor’s opened at 1032 Beacon Street.  This is the eighth location for Waxy’s, which calls itself the "modern Irish bar."  Boasting fresh food and crafted cocktails, Waxy’s offers a fun and festive atmosphere based on traditional Irish pubs.

Stoked Pizza is set to open this spring.  The pizzeria chain advertises use of a wood-burning stove to create a pizza that is soft and light on the inside with a crisp outer shell. Stoked takes its inspiration from Naples, Italy (largely credited with being the birthplace of pizza). The new Stoked Pizza will open in Brookline's Washington Square neighborhood.

In nearby Cambridge, Monroe Restaurant opened in January in the former space of 'Naga and Moksa' at 450 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square.  This upscale restaurant serves American comfort food in addition to being home to a rather funky nightclub. Some locals may recognize Youssef Boujena, the executive chef at Monroe, from his gig at Sel de la Terre.

Shanti is an Indian cuisine restaurant that also opened in January 2016 in Cambridge. Located at 250 Kendall Street in Kendall Square, the 50-seat Shanti restaurant offers traditional Indian dishes made famous at its others locations in Massachusetts.

WuBurger opened in Cambridge in the fall of 2015. This fast-food restaurant and ice cream parlor is located at 1128 Cambridge Street in Inman Square and already has plans to expand into the space left by East by Northeast. The burgers are made fresh daily with only premium ingredients.

The above are just five of the newest restaurants in the Brookline area.  To discover more, go to the Boston Restaurant Opening Guide (link is here!).

Enjoy!!