Blog :: 2017

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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Top 15 Hotels in Boston Named in Conde Nast Traveler's 2017 Readers' Choice Awards

Boston has been getting a lot of attention lately.

With its well-established rapport in higher education and professional industries, as well as the growing opportunities in technology and business, Boston welcomes a positive influx of change that has revived the historical city center and the surrounding neighborhoods. According to the 2016 Boston Housing Report, greater Boston has experienced an even higher growth rate with young professionals moving to the area.

In addition to voting for the top 15 favorite hotels in Boston, Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked Boston as No. 5 for Top 15 Large Cities in the United States.

If you live already live in the city, or greater Boston area, it’s always good to know the hot spots in Beantown for family and friends who plan to visit or check out chic hotel bars, restaurants, and spas nearby.

Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2017

Here’s the list of top Boston hotels that impressed Condé Nast Traveler readers this year:

 

  1. Mandarin Oriental, 776 Boylston St

  2. XV Beacon, 15 Beacon St

  3. InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave

  4. Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, 25 Edwin H. Blvd, Cambridge

  5. Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Ave

  6. The Boxer, 107 Merrimac St

  7. Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf

  8. The Langham Boston, 250 Franklin St

  9. Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont St

  10. Hyatt Regency Boston, 1 Avenue de Lafayette

  11. The Ritz-Carlton Boston, 10 Avery St

  12. W Boston, 100 Stuart St

  13. Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter Street at Boylston

  14. Four Seasons Hotel Boston, 200 Boylston St

  15. The Liberty, 215 Charles St

 

The New England city has plenty of offer visitors who want to stay downtown, but Boston residents appreciate the how each neighborhood reflects its own unique character—there’s plenty to see beyond Faneuil Hall or FiDi, such as Brookline or Cambridge.

Read Condé Nast Traveler’s full list of 2017 Readers’ Choice award winners online.

A Buyer's Guide to Luxury Condos in Boston, MA

luxury condosWhat you need to know about renting or buying a luxury condo in Boston, Massachusetts and the greater Boston area

Luxury condominiums present a desirable and practical living arrangement for individuals and families living in a vibrant urban center like Boston, Massachusetts. A popular destination for students, intellectuals and professionals in healthcare, business and technology, the city of Boston has a rich American history with a bright, global future ahead.

Here are some things to consider while searching for the perfect luxury condo in Boston:

Find out which neighborhoods you would want to live in

There’s a lot more to Boston beyond Haymarket and Downtown Crossing! Whether it’s historic Beacon Hill within walking distance to Boston Common and the Botanical Gardens or artsy and diverse Jamaica Plain, there is a neighborhood to suit every taste and lifestyle.

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Get a look at the median condo prices in Boston and surrounding areas

As a major urban city, the competitive real estate market correlates with Boston’s higher cost of living. However, there’s no reason to be discouraged—the right amount of research and the help of a professional realtor will go a long way to help navigate the Boston real estate market.

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Examine all of your living options

You may think that a condo is right for you, but depending on your budget and your location, it’s important to explore other possibilities. There are plenty of other living arrangements in Boston—renting an apartment, renting a home, or even researching rent-to-own arrangements, may better suit your situation.

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Pet-Friendly Apartments in the Boston Area!

Your pet is part of your family, so you'll naturally want to take him or her along when you move to a new apartment. However, finding pet-friendly apartments in Boston or Brookline isn’t always easy. It’s not impossible, though. You'll just have to keep your expectations for pet-friendly rentals realistic.

What to Expect When Searching for Rental Homes That Allow Pets

It’s common for apartment and rental housing managers to limit the number of pets a tenant may have. This is typically one or two pets. Additionally, management might impose a weight or size restriction on the pet. They may also disallow certain breeds, such as Great Danes, Pit Bulls, or German Shepherds. The reason for this is that some dog breeds are too large, or considered too aggressive or potentially destructive for apartment living.

Even cat and dog friendly apartments usually charge additional fees to tenants for keeping pets on their property. This typically includes an extra deposit and more money added onto the monthly rent. It’s important to understand all fees before you sign a legally binding lease. You should never have to pay any extra fees if your pet is a service animal.

Show That You’re a Responsible Pet Owner

Bringing proof of your dog or cat’s vaccines and health history can help a landlord feel more comfortable about renting to you. You may also want to consider getting insurance for your pet, or letters of recommendation from previous landlords. These can be helpful, even when the building already accepts pets.

Longwood Residential Wants to Help

Whether you desire to rent an apartment, private home, or condo that allows pets, you can start your search here. We think you will find that pet-friendly apartments and houses- for-rent which allow dogs are easier to find than you imagined. Feel free to contact us with any of your questions, and we'd be happy to help you find your dream home.

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.

Condos for Sale in Boston and Brookline!

Do you want the satisfaction of owning your own place without all the responsibility? Then purchasing a condo may be right for you. Condos for sale by Longwood Residential are individual units located within a building or multi-family home. You must get approved for a mortgage just as you would when buying a private home. You pay association dues in addition to your mortgage. These fees are mostly for maintenance of common areas. While you’re responsible for maintenance inside your unit, your condo association takes care of things such as landscaping and shoveling snow.

Luxury condos, such as those operated by Longwood Residential, are run by a board of directors. The board votes on, and enforces, rules that affect residents. You will want to learn about the condo board’s reputation before buying a condo. Also, you should know how much of a reserve fund the association has on hand to handle exterior upkeep.

Mortgage Rates and Luxury Accommodations

In January 2017, Curbed Boston reported condo rates ranging from $263 to $1,467 per square foot. You will find that prices for Longwood condos typically fall into this range. We mostly operate luxury condos with amenities that you won’t find at many others in the Boston area. Some of the amenities at Longwood condos include:

  • Private fitness clubs
  • Concierge services
  • On-site, underground parking
  • Rooftop swimming pools
  • Party rooms
  • Business suites
  • Package services
  • Private balconies
  • Valet services
  • In-unit wash machine and dryer
  • On-site retail stores
  • On-site play areas for children

We offer one, two, and three-bedroom condo options as well as limited studio-sized units. Most of our condos are in neighborhoods that are within walking distance to many of the things you need. Our buildings are also located in areas with excellent access to public transportation.

Which Boston Neighborhood is Right for You?

Deciding you want to buy a condo is just the first step. It can be a bit more challenging to find the amenities, price range, and neighborhood, that is just right for you. Longwood Residential offers condos for sale in more than a dozen Boston neighborhoods. Whether you have your heart set on Back Bay, Roslindale, or The Fenway, we can help you find the best Boston condo for you and your family. Feel free to start your search here or contact our office for assistance. We look forward to working with you.

What is the Cost of Living in Boston?

cost of living bostonAccording to a June, 2017 report released by Best Places, Boston scored a 169.90 for overall cost of living. A score of 100 is the baseline for cities across the United States (the higher the better). High housing costs seem to contribute the most to this score. Although Boston scores high in several other areas as well, it’s the housing costs that really drive it up. They are highest in Boston proper as compared to the Boston/Cambridge/Newton metro area and Massachusetts as a whole. Setting down roots in the right neighborhood can make all the difference in housing costs.

Other Cost of Living Scores for Boston

Boston also scores above 100 in several other cost of living categories. These include:

  • Utilities, 149

  • Miscellaneous, 131

  • Health, 125

  • Grocery, 122

  • Transportation, 105

Many residents consider the cost of living in Boston worth it. The city offers excellent public transportation and a rich history, among other things. You always have the option of getting in on the tiny house craze to reduce your housing costs.

Average Rental Costs in Boston

cost of living bostonThe June 2017 Best Places report indicates that the average rent for a studio apartment in Boston is $1,245 per month. This compares to $898 for the rest of Massachusetts and $712 average for the entire United States. Other rental rates by size include:

  • 1 bedroom: $1,395 in Boston, $1,067 in Massachusetts, and $825 in the United States

  • 2 bedroom: $1,716 in Boston, $1,335 in Massachusetts, and $1,027 in the United States

  • 3 bedroom: $2,130 in Boston, $1,668 in Massachusetts, and $1,379 in the United States

These high rental rates might encourage some people to become homeowners sooner than they would have in a different area. At Longwood Residential, we offer competitively priced apartments, condominiums, and private homes. We may have exactly what you’re looking for, so give us a call or click to contact us and discuss your needs today!

 

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.

Where To Rent In Boston

Boston has several distinct neighborhoods, each with its individual benefits. So, it can be kind of challenging to choose the appropriate place for you to call home. For example, if you’re a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center employee; Brookline, Fenway, and Jamaica Plain could all make ideal places to live.

Brookline is near several reliable public transportation routes, and is home to Coolidge Corner, a premier shopping area. Fenway is closest to the hospital and offers a vibrant nightlife with bonus points if you’re a Red Sox fan. Jamaica Plain is the most affordable of the three neighborhoods, and offers numerous parks and recreational areas, if you have a dog and wish to be social.

Popular and Attractive Boston Neighborhoods

Perhaps living near a hospital in the Longwood area isn’t a concern for you. If not, you may want to consider the neighborhood of Roslindale. You can find single-family homes, condos, or luxury apartments here quite easily. You may even want to save up to purchase a multiunit property, and rent out the space you don’t need.

Brighton is another up-and-coming neighborhood for young professionals in Boston. Several two-story homes here have been turned into condos. This makes an attractive option when you want your own space without the full responsibilities of home ownership.

Enjoy the Unique Combination of Luxury and History

Do you enjoy having all of the modern amenities within a building with history and character? If that’s the case, you need to check out Garrison Square in Boston’s Back Bay. The building itself sits in one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city. You will love the surrounding brownstone homes and the historic cobblestone streets you’ll travel daily. Protip: invest in comfortable walking flats.

The 105 units of Garrison Square have all the features you would expect in a luxury apartment complex. A rooftop terrace, private balcony, and breathtaking landscape features, name a few.

Whether you’re looking for luxury or practicality, we’re here to help. Longwood Residential offers our experience dealing in all sorts of rental properties within the parameters of Boston Metro. Please contact us today for a complimentary assessment.