By: Demetrios Salpoglou
If you’re looking to find apartments for rent in Boston you don’t want to miss this guide. We’re telling you how to find one and what to look for. Click here.
Thinking about moving to Boston? You’ve come to the right place.
The city attracts the world’s brightest minds, and its multifaceted culture makes it a unique place to live.
Since this metropolis is as popular as ever, hunting for an apartment can be a tough task. It becomes even more competitive when hundreds of people want the same apartment.
When it comes to hunting for apartments for rent in Boston, it’s important to act quickly.
To help you out, we’ve curated the best pieces of advice to help you find the best apartments for rent in Boston.
6 Tips for Finding the Best Apartments for Rent in Boston
Here are some tips that should help you to get an apartment in Boston easily.
1. Research the neighborhood
Researching the neighborhood provides you with a vivid picture of where you want to live.
Renters who dive straight to listing without doing a preliminary research on the neighborhood often spend a lot of time going to showings in areas they don’t like.
Researching the neighborhood is an easy task. Plus, thanks to the Internet, it can be done in just a few minutes.
We now have web apps that aggregate relevant data, from rent range to walk score. At the same time, they give you a display of recommended neighborhoods.
Such web apps can also reference your commute with your preferred neighborhood amenities. This allows you to narrow down your choices to only the neighborhoods that have the amenities you are looking for.
2. Know the 36 Rule
Location and budget are perhaps the two most important factors to consider when it comes to looking for apartments for rent in Boston.
A picturesque apartment may be too tempting, but can you afford it?
Boston is approximately 30% more expensive than the national average for all expense categories. These include housing, healthcare, transportation, and utilities.
So if you are considering moving to Boston make sure your income can accommodate the higher cost of living here. Rent on average runs a total of $2,200 a month.
To keep your search realistic and focused, follow the 36 rule. Statistics show that Boston spends a third of their salary on rent. That’s the unwritten number than landlords normally use.
To see what you can afford, divide your annual salary by 36. If you are a student or a foreigner, the 36 rule may not apply. In such cases, an institutional guarantor can be of great help.
3. Know How Many Roommates You’ll Need
If your budget is low, you will have to make one of these two choices: Live away from the Metro Boston area or find roommates. Most people prefer to add roommates.
Knowing your roommates before you embark on the house hunting mission is very important. Remember, Boston apartments get snatched up quickly.
If you are looking for an apartment for rent in Boston, you are looking into one of these three possible scenarios.
- You’ll be living by yourself
- You plan to move in with family, friends, existing roommates, or a partner
- You’re looking for new roommates
Landlords often ask every applicant to submit an application and be on the lease.
So if you happen to find a perfect apartment, and you have no roommates, the apartment might get rented before you can find them. But if you have roommates all lined up, you’re likely to get the apartment in time.
4. Visit the Unit
Craigslist is one of the best options for searching apartments.
But even the best listing sites are not perfect. Redfin, for example, conducted a study of Trulia and Zillow, (top apartment listing sites) in 2012. It was found that about 36% of the listings that appeared as “active” were not actually available.
It’s very important that you visit an apartment before making any prior preparations. This seeks to ensure that the apartment exists and that the features and display match what was shown on the listings.
When visiting, come prepared to ask a lot of questions and take your time to check out the space and test the appliances.
5. Start From the Outside and Work Your Way In
The large outdoor space and a peaceful neighborhood might pique your imagination. But does the interior match your style and preferences?
Start by scanning the outside of the building. What are the nearby amenities, any attractive features, landmarks? Then, move into the building itself and check out the laundry, parking, neighbors and more.
If you are satisfied with the neighborhood, move into the apartment. Once you are inside, consider all the factors that matter most to you. Is the wall insulation good? Also, check to ensure that cell reception is clear.
Most of the time, a renters “dream apartment” does not exist. To avoid the desperation of looking for the perfect home, it’s good to be flexible and ready to make concessions on factors such as price and commute time.
6. Talk with the Current Tenants
When hunting for apartments for rent in Boston, you will come across agents, brokers, landlords, and even tenants. Of all the parties, it’s only the tenant who has no vested interest in you renting the apartment.
Therefore, current tenants can give you an unbiased opinion about the apartment, neighborhood, and what to expect within the premises.
If you get an opportunity to talk to the current tenants, do not hesitate to do so. They can give you relevant information that you might not get from the broker or landlord.
7. Arrive Prepared
When hunting for apartments for rent in Boston, be prepared to fill an application form on the spot. That means you’ll have done a thorough research on the house and set everything right with your roommates.
You should also have references, employment history, credit score, and enough money for a deposit so as to prevent anyone else from renting it out.
This way, you’ll have committed to your dream apartment and ready to move into your new home.
Finding an apartment for rent in Boston is never easy, but prior preparations can help you to pull it off.
Getting a referral from someone you know can make things a lot easier. Referrals can not only save you time spent looking into the listings and going into showings, but can also save you the brokerage fee.
If you are looking into moving to Boston, check out our listings of the average rent prices in Boston by town.