By: Demetrios Salpoglou
Find a rooms for rent can be a tedious and unpredictable venture. It is even harder when you are looking for one in a city as big as Boston where rental units are at a premium. There are thousands of people competing for available rooms, and vacancies often get filled as soon as they become available. If your a lone wolf looking for a room to rent, it can wear you down. As such, you have to be committed and be swift to make a decision, and it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of tools at your disposal to give you a competitive advantage.
Here are some tips that will help you find the perfect room for you.
1. Have a realistic budget
Despite being a smaller city, a recent study shows that Boston has the third highest average rent prices in the country. Opting to go for room rental can save you considerably compared to renting a studio or a one bedroom apartment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carefully plan your budget. Rooms for rent in Boston can still be very expensive, especially if you plan to live close to the center of the city. When looking for a room rental, you’ll want to calculate all of your living expenses and make sure it doesn’t exceed 1/3 of your total income. We provide a free rent calculator so you can figure out a comfortable range of rent prices you are able to pay and still maintain a good quality of life.
2. Consider All Expenses Aside from Rent
A common mistake renters make is failing to calculate all expenses aside from rent when determining a budget. Make sure to tally up all other expenses in your budget such as cell phone, utilities, debt payments and transportation costs when looking for a room for rent. If your planning on renting further from the city, be sure to calculate your transportation costs into the equation as well. Location will play a huge factor in your transportation costs! Make sure you’re close to a T-Stop or a bus line so that you don’t have to lean on your Lyft and Uber apps too much during the colder seasons.
3. Know the Neighborhoods
Boston is full of vibrant neighborhoods that all offer unique vibes and culture. From trendy Jamaican Plain to Allston Rock City to Old World feel of Beacon Hill, Boston presents a variety of character. It is important to identify a few areas in the city that will be a good fit for you. Be sure to consider the average rent prices of each neighborhood, your commute to work or school, and the offerings of each neighborhood. Are you new in town? You could start off by doing some online research and setting up tours. Use our average rent price map of Boston to compare the cost of living for each neighborhood.
4. Start Early
Once you’ve identified a few areas you’d like to live in, you’ll want to get started on your apartment hunt right away. Rooms for rent in Boston are in very high demand, thus, they quickly get snatched. You’ll want to give yourself a 4-6 week cushion to find an apartment so you’ll have plenty of time to find the right place. There’s no such thing as starting too early!
5. Finding the Right Roommates
You may be a lone wolf, but renting a room will require you to live with at least one roommate. Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend, but you’ll definitely want to consider compatibility and lifestyle choices when finding someone to share a space with. Be sure to have a list of criteria to base your decision off of. If your a home-body and prefer a quiet living arraignment, you may not want to share an apartment with someone who likes to stay out late or have parties at the house. Consider things like pets, cleanliness, and work/school schedules to screen for. Many roommate horror stories can be avoided by simply asking a few questions to your potential roommate before signing a lease, and making sure that you have a strict policy on doing the dishes.
We can help you take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation with our Roommate Matching Service. When you fill out our room rental form, we can identify the criteria that’s most important to you for a potential roommate, and help match you with someone that will be well-suited. Who knows, you may like your new roommate so much, you end starting your own wolf pack!
6. Come Prepared
When you go to visit a potential room rental, it is important to be ready to fill out an application form. Write down a list of screening questions to ask your prospective roommate, and don’t be shy to ask about their lifestyle and expectations. Have your employment history, references, credit score, and deposit money ready to go. If everything goes well, you should be ready to sign the lease on the spot. In Boston, room rentals do not stay available for long, so you’ll want to be ahead of the competition!
As you can see, a lot goes into finding the perfect room rental. While it may seem overwhelming and tedious, if you follow these 6 steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding an ideal living arrangement. Our room for rent search tool is the perfect place to start if your looking for rooms for rent in Boston.