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The Cheapest Neighborhoods in Boston to Rent

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Cheapest Neighborhoods in Boston

Boston is one of the most vibrant and historic cities in America, with countless attractions to explore and sights to see. From world-class universities and innovation centers to cultural institutions and thriving nightlife, Boston has something for everyone. The city also boasts an impressive diversity of restaurants, museums, and natural beauty that make it a great place to live. There’s even a thriving music scene here! With its rich heritage and dynamic culture, it’s no wonder people from all over the world move to Boston.

Having so much to offer and having a universal appeal means that the cost of living, including rents, in Boston is higher than many other cities. However, are still some terrific, affordable neighborhoods for you to check out. The best time to start is now; cheap Boston apartments move as fast as the local nightlife.

These up-and-coming neighborhoods, and a few established ones, have much to offer- convenience, attractiveness, coziness, and affordable rents. They have less expensive one-bedroom apartments and have two-bedroom apartments that are roughly 40% less per month than their counterparts in the more expensive areas. These neighborhoods offer great options for people who only want one roommate or want more space without shattering their budget. Visiting each different apartment and home, people are gratified to find that lower rents don’t necessarily mean lower quality. Each area has perks unique to the atmosphere of its own special corner of Boston.

What are the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston?

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Mattapan
  3. Roslindale
  4. Dorchester
  5. West Roxbury
  6. East Boston
  7. Brighton
  8. Allston

How We Arrived at this Ranking

Boston Pads has the region’s largest real-time rental database with over 209,588 apartment listings. We use this information to constantly monitor rental data, including average rent prices, availability and vacancy rates, time on market, and more. In fact, our list of cheapest neighborhoods in Boston is driven by that same real-time data. That means if you come back tomorrow, some of the averages below will be updated with fresh information.

Cheapest Neighborhoods in Boston - Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $1,829 #1
2 Bedroom $2,792 #4
3 Bedroom $2,869 #1

 

The Hyde Park neighborhood is small but mighty when you consider all the advantages it has to offer. Its lower priced rents, the Neponset River Reservoir, public transportation (MBTA Orange Line or MBTA Fairmount Commuter Line), and ample resident parking make this southernmost Boston neighborhood popular. On average, a two-bedroom unit in Hyde Park has a little more space than two-bedrooms in other neighborhoods.

Hyde Park still retains its roots as an enclave for folks who want to be near the vitality of Boston but want to live in a suburban-like neighborhood. Once a manufacturing center, it is now better known for its variety of architectural styles such as capes, colonials, and Victorians. And no matter where you live in Hyde Park, you are not far from natural beauty. In addition to the Stony Brook Reservation, residents can enjoy the George Wright Golf Course and eleven parks and playgrounds. For a night out in the neighborhood, there is a theater that provides live entertainment and has graced Hyde Park for over forty years.

Mattapan on the Red Line

Mattapan

Mattapan Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $2,000 #2
2 Bedroom $2,617 #1
3 Bedroom $3,200 #2

Bordering Roslindale and Dorchester, Mattapan is another popular choice for future Boston residents trying to save money but not sacrifice convenience and access to greenspace. Boston is easily accessible by the MBTA Orange Line and MBTA Needham Commuter Line. Greenery is abundant at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition to the picturesque and relaxing nature trails, this nature center offers a community garden. Mattapan also has numerous parking options, which are often scarce in the greater Boston area.

The main streets in Mattapan are rich with aromas redolent of the foods of tropical islands and exotic countries. No diner’s taste buds will be bored dining in Mattapan. There are eateries to delight any palate. For residents interested in the synthesis of nature, art, and history, Forest Hills Cemetery is considered one of the most renowned garden cemeteries in the United States. It comprises 275 acres and is considered an open-air museum.

Roslindale Lower Rents

Roslindale

Roslindale Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $1,150 #3
2 Bedroom $2,679 #3
3 Bedroom $2,857 #4

Roslindale is bordered by West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, and Hyde Park but retains its identity as one of the closest-knit communities in greater Boston. “Rozzie,” as it’s lovingly called by its residents, manages to be both trendy and cozy at the same time. It is only six miles from Boston and the MBTA Orange Line and several MBTA bus stops provide transportation. Because of its cohesive character, cultural offerings, outdoor spaces, local commerce, and old-Boston charm, people who move here have a tendency stay. So when a rental becomes available in Roslindale, it’s a good idea to snatch it up because it won’t be available for long.

When residents of Roslindale crave some nature connection, they can go to the Arnold Arboretum. This park is used for research by Harvard University but is open to the public and has breathtaking views. It is also the location of the first public tree garden in the U.S. Roslindale is also home to a new brewing company offering a taproom and a beer garden. Surrounded by family-run, neighborhood bars and restaurants that have been revitalized, Roslindale has maintained its identity for generations.

Cheap Rent in Dorchester

Dorchester

Dorchester Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $2,378 #4
2 Bedroom $2,751 #5
3 Bedroom $3,154 #6

Great rental deals can be found in Dorchester that might be as much as 35% cheaper than South End and South Boston! There are even some rentals available that provide parking. Dorchester is bordered by Jamaica Plain, South Boston, South End, Hyde Park, Roxbury, Milton, and Quincy. Being Boston’s largest neighborhood, it’s served by five stations on the MBTA Red Line, five on the MBTA Ashmont-Mattapan Line, and five stations on the Fairmont Commuter Rail Line. There are also bus routes available.

Dorchester has lively pubs, restaurants, and breweries. Residents are never at a loss for something new to try including traditional American, Mexican, European, island, and Asian fare. Even though it’s part of a bustling city, there is plenty of green space; Dorchester Park alone covers thirty acres. There are other sites that draw people to Dorchester including the Franklin Park Zoo, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Savin Hill and Malibu Beach, and UMASS Boston. Whether occupants are looking for interesting and entertaining activities inside or outside, Dorchester has something for everyone.

West Roxbury Affordable Apartments

West Roxbury

West Roxbury Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $1,867 #5
2 Bedroom $2,852 #9
3 Bedroom $3,354 #3

West Roxbury is often confused with Roxbury, but they are separated by Roslindale and Jamaica Plain. It also shares a border with Brookline, Dedham, Needham, and Newton. Though the neighborhood is comprised of mostly single-family homes, there are some terrific rentals when you can catch them. And transportation is never an issue; West Roxbury has three stations for the Needham Branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail. If it’s more convenient to take the bus, there are several MBTA bus lines that run through the neighborhood.

The suburban ambience and the picturesque tree-lined streets draw people from greater Boston and beyond. West Roxbury provides a suburban vibe but with all the amenities of Boston. One can really feel the community spirit during the annual Corrib Classic 5K Road Race and the Shamrock Shootout (street hockey). When you need some outdoor space, Millennium Park provides 100 acres to roam in. The neighborhood also provides restaurants with enticing foods from Italy, America, the Mediterranean area, Vietnam, Thailand, Venezuela, India, China, and other parts of the world. It’s difficult to travel Centre Street or Washington Street and not get hungry!

East Boston Affordable Apartments

East Boston

East Boston Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $2,333 #6
2 Bedroom $2,946 #10
3 Bedroom $3,382 #5

A rental in East Boston provides views of Boston Harbor and the Boston skyline that are unmatched. Lower rents and spectacular views are some of the reasons why “Easties” are so proud of their neighborhood. However, newcomers might be concerned about transportation because East Boston is separated from the rest of Boston by Boston Harbor. Not to worry. Four tunnels provide a quick ride into the city and for people who enjoy water travel, there are water taxis available. Enjoy the scenery while you glide to your destination. East Boston is also the location of New England’s major airport: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

This neighborhood is alive with coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and nightlife. Though many of the apartments are new and many of the triple-deckers have been restored, the area also has a rich history, mainly from shipbuilding. Residents can still enjoy that nautical past by visiting Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, Constitution Beach, and Piers Park. The waterfront is not the only attraction in this neighborhood. Easties have not neglected their greenspaces; there are beautiful community gardens and dog parks throughout the neighborhood.

Apartments for Rent in Brighton, MA

Brighton

Brighton Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $2,385 #7
2 Bedroom $2,931 #7
3 Bedroom $3,531 #7

Brighton is in the northwestern corner of Boston with Boston College located on its southern border. Brighton is surrounded by Newton, Cambridge, Brookline, and Watertown. Hopping on the MBTA Green Line “B” and “C” branches will easily get you from Boston to Brighton and back again. Though it only covers about 2.78 miles, it packs a lot of vibrancy into that small space.

The Brighton neighborhood is alive with activity. Whether you like skating, boxing, exercising, fishing, or rowing, you can find it here. Remarkably, for such a small area, there are beautiful greenspaces to luxuriate in. Chandler Pond offers ten acres in which to observe wildlife – fur, feather, and fin. The Cenacles provide nature trails and scenic views and there are a number of athletic fields and courts when you want to play. And after working up an appetite, pick your favorite cuisine and try one of Brighton’s many restaurants.

Allston, MA Apartments

Allston

Allston Rent Ranking
Apartment Bedrooms Average Rent Affordability Rank
1 Bedroom $2,476 #8
2 Bedroom $3,336 #12
3 Bedroom $3,828 #11

“Rock City” is where the music never stops. Bordering Allston is Brighton, Fenway/Kenmore, and Brookline. The MBTA subway Green Line provides transportation through the neighborhood. Allston often has many rentals at reasonable prices and at certain times of the year, the rentals move quickly.

There is never a shortage of entertainment in Allston and the energy is electric. There are numerous music venues, and the players are always changing. This is also a great place for bargain hunters because there are thrift stores galore and the annual “Allston Christmas”. Every September 1st, new college students move into apartments and the old stuff- furniture, clothing, housewares, etc. – much of it in decent condition – gets tossed to the curb for whoever is fast enough to grab it. Foodies are not left out of Allston’s festive offerings. Take a culinary trip around the world and try the foods of Korea, Italy, the Middle East, Mexico, China, and numerous other countries.

Use Boston Pads to Find Your Dream Apartment

There are still plenty of amazing neighborhoods in Boston where you can find great deals and affordable apartments. By utilizing our tools like our rent calculator and our Boston apartment search service, you’ll be able to find your ideal apartment within your budget in a great neighborhood. You can even find great deals on rooms by searching our database of Boston rooms for rent or signing up for our roommate matching service. We have it all under one roof here on BostonPads.com.

Working with a professionally licensed real estate agent found on Boston Pads can help you get familiar with all of your options in this tight market. Inventory matters. Boston Pads has the largest real-time selection of apartments in the Greater Boston area. With more choices, you’re sure to find a place you love at any budget. Guaranteed.


Demetrios Salpoglou

Demetrios Salpoglou

Published March 22, 2023

Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of bostonpads.com which is an information and technology based services company that provides cutting edge resources to real estate companies. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 120 agents.


Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.