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Cambridge MA Apartments
Cambridge is a city in Massachusetts with a population of 110,890. The city has an urban feel and most residents stay in rented Cambridge MA apartments. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks in the city. There are many highly rated public schools in Cambridge.
Cambridge’s Real Estate Market
In Cambridge MA, the expanding high-tech industries and the presence of world class universities are major factors in the increase of property values. Cambridge has been an elite academic city for centuries. Harvard University occupies one end of the city while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), occupies the other.
Although the city was founded in the 17th century, it is a vibrant, modern city.
The population of Cambridge may be small but the universities and colleges give it the feel of a sophisticated city. The streets are lined with bookshops, coffee shops, and many retail outlets, all catering to the residents of the city.
The rise in property prices is fueled by a growing economy, especially in the city’s pharmaceuticals and tech sector. These industries bring highly skilled workers and high-paying jobs to the city, leading to higher home prices. With Harvard and MIT expanding their research facilities in the city, the workforce is expected to increase, thus increasing the demand for Cambridge MA apartments, especially in the middle and upper end of the market.
According to Boston.com, Cambridge has the highest home prices of any city or town in the Boston area.
In the first four months of 2016, the median price of a single-family home in Cambridge hit $1,675,000 which was a 28% increase over the previous year according to a report by The Warren Group.
Real estate experts say that increased demand from university professors and biotech executives, combined with a shortage of homes for sale, has driven home prices in Cambridge to all-time highs. In the face of the rising prices, home sales plunged by a significant percentage despite a dwindling number of homes for sale.
The difficulty in finding Cambridge MA apartments is reflected in the time it takes for a home to find a buyer. Most homes that hit the market have offers in about 12 days, compared to 50 days in nearby towns where the median price is a third of Cambridge’s.
A buyer in Cambridge can’t buy one of those homes even with a million dollars. He or she will need about 4 million and above. Anyone intending to buy a home will need to be making at least $300,000 annually and be able to shoulder about $70,000 a year in mortgage payments.
Recent Home Prices
Just recently, a five-bedroom house on Walker Street, built in 1880, was put up for sale for $3.75m. The owners renovated the home to give it a modern look and a converted carriage house was included.
Investors and tenants are more attracted to the condominium market according to experts. Condos are being sold at higher price points and buyers who rent them out as investments are getting great returns.
In 2015, the median price of a condo was about $624,000 according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. Rents in Cambridge are on the rise and the increase is significant in popular areas around Harvard University and MIT.
Average Prices of Homes
Here is a summary of prices of homes:
- $500,000 will get you a two-bedroom condo in North Cambridge.
- $1m will get you a three-bedroom house close to Kendall Square.
- $3m will get you a four-bedroom house in Cambridgeport.
Types of Cambridge MA Apartments
According to NeighborhoodScout, Cambridge has about 43,490 houses or apartments, and the median purchase cost of Cambridge MA apartments is $871,750.
With a land area of fewer than 10sq miles, the city is made up of densely populated neighborhoods with a lot of cultural diversity. This makes Cambridge house prices among the most expensive in Massachusetts, and in most parts of the country, as well. Real estate here is a mix of office and residential buildings.
Harvard Square, where most of the sought-after housing is located, is seen as the epicenter of this bustling city. Its streets are just a few steps away from the Harvard University and it’s filled with bookshops, theatres and cafés.
Other areas that are attractive to tenants and buyers are North Cambridge and Kendall Square, which is where Cambridge’s growing technology and biotechnology industries are located.
High rise apartments or large apartment complexes are the most prevalent housing type in the city. They account for more than half of the city’s housing units.
Other common types of housing in the city:
- Homes converted to apartments or other small apartment buildings
- Single-family detached homes
- Row houses and other attached homes
About half of Cambridge MA apartments were built before 1940. This makes the housing stock in the city some of the oldest in the U.S. Most of the remaining half of the housing units were built between the 1970s and 2000s.
Renter-occupied studio, one, and two bedroom apartments dominate the city. More than 60% of apartments are rentals. Cambridge MA, like many compact cities, has lots of street life and amenities within close proximity.
There are many vacant houses in Cambridge, as about 11% of the housing stock is classified as vacant. These vacant Cambridge MA apartments could be holding the city’s real estate prices below what their potentials would be if they were absorbed into the market and became occupied. Consideration of vacancy rates is useful for anyone who wants to buy a home or invest in the real estate sector.
Home Appreciation Rates in Cambridge
The city has witnessed some of the highest home appreciation rates of any city in the country in the last 10 years. The real estate appreciated over 81% over the last ten years, putting the city in the top 10% nationally for real estate appreciation. This gives Cambridge the record of being among the best long term real estate investment areas for homebuyers and real estate investors in the country in the last ten years.
Despite a nationwide downturn in the housing market, Cambridge MA apartment appreciation rates are so strong that the city’s real estate has continued to appreciate faster than most cities. Data from the latest twelve months show that Cambridge appreciation rates continue to be among the highest in the U.S. Many short-term real estate investors have found good fortune in the city in the last year.
Research shows that the annual appreciation rate for Cambridge is higher than 70% of the other cities in the state. Take note that these are average appreciation rates for the city. Individual properties within the city have different investment potential, and the difference can sometimes be great.
Shopping in Cambridge
Information from Livability.com shows that Cambridge has many popular shopping spots for residents and visitors, alike.
Here’s an overview of some of them:
Harvard Square is one of the most popular shopping spots in the city. It is well known for a broad range of shops, and it is very close to the university. You can find a variety of things to shop for, both local and imported products. You will find antique shops, florists, hardware stores and game stores at this popular shopping destination.
You can have a great time shopping at Porter Square in all the remarkable shops. For instance, Ward Maps carries a huge collection of antique maps from many different countries. Tibet Arts deals in jewelry, clothing and items for meditation shipped in from Tibet. You will also find Japanese gift shops and other Japanese themed shops. This all contributes to Porter Square’s well-deserved reputation as a place to find a wide range of goods from all over the world.
You will find locally owned shops here, such as Star Jewelry, as well as national chain stores, such as Footlocker.
Restaurants in Cambridge
According to The Culture Trip, Cambridge is one of the most attractive cities to visit in the U.S. It has a lively social scene and is home to some of the best restaurants in the country.
This restaurant, found right in Harvard Square, is well-known in the city for exquisite dining. It has been in existence since the 1970s, and has won many awards for its food, its wine list and service provided by its staff. The restaurant serves contemporary New England dishes.
If you want a respite from the busy life of the city, Harvest is your best choice. The decor is elegant and the ambience is very relaxing. Eminent chefs known for cooking great dishes run this restaurant. The restaurant has a nice outside space that is great for enjoying the Sunday brunch for which Harvest is famous.
Craigie on Main
This restaurant, located on Cambridge’s Main Street, has won countless awards and is a place you shouldn’t miss. The chef who runs this establishment is Boston’s Best Chef winner.
This restaurant prepares creative cuisine inspired by French bistros. Exclusively the best local, seasonal and organic products are used in Craige on Main’s dishes. There is a constant parade of new items on the menu as the seasons change. This restaurant also has a cocktail menu that is innovative, and the wine list features organic vineyards.
This spot offers live music and the excellent food of a gastropub. A bit off the beaten track, it may not look like much from the outside, but in 2013 it was selected as the winner of Hidden Boston’s Best American Restaurant. The extensive beer selection is noteworthy. The food selection includes calamari, braised beef, and, of course a variety of burgers.
This restaurant is noteworthy for its emphasis on all natural, organic, local fresh foods free of artificial preservatives. The mission of Life Alive is to have their customers feel better physically and spiritually as a result of their dining experience. The detoxifying smoothies and juices emphasized here are loaded with nutrients. This is a great place for people to come who are concerned about eating in a healthy manner and supporting both the environment and the local community. It is rare to find an establishment so concerned not only with how good the food they serve tastes, but also the benefit eating it will provide to their patrons.
Bondir is a small restaurant focused on serving the best local, fresh food its chef/owner can provide. There are meat and seafood dishes which, as well as the salads, change daily in tune with the seasonal changes of the region. Patrons rave about the phenomenal food and excellent service. This establishment has a rustic, understated vibe, which is all the better to focus on the wonderful food. Be aware that because of the twenty-eight seat capacity of this restaurant, reservations need to be booked well ahead of time. Boston Magazine awarded Bondir the “Best of Boston 2017 Award”.
Artbar is located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The walls of this restaurant are decorated with a collection of outstanding art supplied by the hotel. This restaurant offers American cuisine that is both contemporary and seasonal. Of particular note is the world-class wine list and imaginative mixed drinks. Open Table designated Artbar a “Diner’s Choice Winner”.
Catalyst has an upscale ambience and offers outdoor seating in warm weather. There is an open fireplace and modern décor. The menu is seasonal and offers organic produce that was grown locally, as well as meat and fish that is sustainably sourced. Patrons report that a good selection of craft beers is offered, and many are impressed with the wine list and daily specials. Menu offerings include Pan Roasted Blue Cod, Rack of Lamb, Slow Roasted Salmon, Herbed Cavatelli, Pan Seared Spanish Octopus, and Beef Tournedos.
Commonwealth has a market and café area in the front of the establishment and restaurant seating at the back. The décor is charming rustic. Seasonal produce is offered in the front, and the café offers light lunch options of sandwiches and salads. The restaurant in the back offers such dinner entrees as Tamworth Pork Chop, Atlantic Red Snapper, Grilled Rainbow Trout, Crispy Braised Lamb, and Andy’s Steak. Appetizers include Tuscan Kale Salad, Maine Mussels, Smoked Ribs, and Sugar Snap Peas & Cucumber Salad.
The Elephant Walk
This is a family-owned restaurant that offers diners a variety of Asian fusion foods drawn on the cuisines of both France and Cambodia. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are available. The owner is Cambodian and draws inspiration for dishes from the cultures of Cambodia. Cooking classes are available taught by the chefs of this restaurant.
Popular Parks near Cambridge MA Apartments
According to boston.curbed.com , Cambridge has nice parks you can visit. Some of them are:
Joan Lorentz Park
This big, grassy park is located in front of Cambridge Library’s high-tech main branch. It has a playground and tennis courts. It is a good place for you to have a picnic, or lounge in the sun. The park is well maintained, and many people visit it. There is enough space for people to read, do yoga and play Frisbee. Yes, there’s plenty of room for all that. You can bring your pet along to play with, too.
This 50-acre recreational facility was built on the former city landfill site, which was closed to active dumping in the 1970s. The land was subsequently reclaimed and turned into a park for the community. As a resident of Cambridge MA apartments, you can enjoy different activities such as jogging, soccer, softball and biking here.
Fresh Pond Reservation
This place is very close to Concord Avenue. There is a 155 acre lake and 162 wooded acres. The perimeter road is 2.25 miles around the park. You can explore the park and enjoy the beautiful pond views. It takes an hour or less to traverse the park. The grassy areas are perfect spots for picnicking. It also has a playground and a 9-hole golf course. There is parking for residents of Cambridge MA apartments, but the number of spaces is limited. A resident parking permit is required and no visitor permits are accepted. These restrictions are enforced every day without exception.
This is just a simple hangout spot where you can sit and watch the crowd go by. It is opposite the university. It has a lawn and a few sitting areas, and there is parking around the edge.
John F. Kennedy Park
According to TripAdvisor, this 5-acre park has 4 entry gateways with granite columns. It has a fountain in the center, with the entrance pillars carrying inscriptions of memorable quotations from President Kennedy. The paths are simple yet brilliant. It is located across Memorial Drive.
Schools in Cambridge
Cambridge is home to many great schools from elementary to the post-secondary level. Below are some of the schools in this area.
This is public school that has about 290 students in grades PK, K-5, and a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 13.
Martin Luther King Jr. School
This public school has 310 students in grades PK, K-5, and a student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1.
It has 260 students in grades PK, K-5, with a student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1.
King Open School
It has 325 students in grades PK, K-5, with a student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1.
The secondary schools close to Cambridge MA apartments are:
International School of Boston
This is a bilingual school and it’s one of the oldest in the United States. Students of this school learn to speak French and English, enabling them to thrive in a multicultural environment.
Matignon High School
This is a private, parochial school with about 460 students in grades 9-12, and a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. More than 90% of students from this school go on to attend a 4-year college after graduation.
Community Charter School of Cambridge
This is a public charter school with 410 students in grades 6 to grade12, the teacher-student ratio 1 to 12.
Universities and Colleges
Cambridge is home to famous universities and colleges. Two of the most prominent are:
Harvard University is a leading research university in the United States with over 20,000 students (including graduate and postgraduate students). According to Wikipedia, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the country. It was founded in 1636. The Harvard Business School and the Harvard Medical School are among the top ranked in the world. The library system contains the oldest collection of books in the United States. Eight of the Presidents of the United States graduated from Harvard. Harvard’s endowment is larger than any other school in the world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the premier technology, science, and engineering universities in the world. It was founded in 1861. Ninety Nobel Laureates are associated with MIT, as well as holders of over 250 prestigious science and technology awards.