After living in Boston for 2 years, one thing I certainly learnt is that finding apartments is certainly a pain. I would like to give you all certain tips as to how to find a good apartment and how to go for it. Students coming to Boston, I welcome you all to the east coast and I really hope you would have a great time here, except for winters. As the clock ticks away in Boston, here are few tips that I would like to share with you all. I have been in Boston for the past 2 years and seen many of my friends struggle in finding apartments.
Thereby, some trade secrets of the game that may be helpful to you I hope.
The number one rule in looking for a house is: be sure of what you need. There is no limit on the number of parameters you can optimize. The crux of the matter is to find an apartment that suits with the group of folks you plan to live. Typically you should look at the online resources given above to shortlist 3-4 apartments. Make sure the place is still available and clarify issues like electricity, heating bills, Internet, furniture etc. Keep your queries brief on the phone. I reckon consult all your room-mates before you zero in. All houses come with a fridge, stove etc., You will have to speak about heat, hot water and A/C. Try and look for a place with laundry facilities within the building or pretty close by. Walking to the nearest Laundromat with a basket full of clothes in winter isn’t the easiest thing.
I reckon you do the following things while going through your apartment hunt:
- Decide on room-mates from INDIA itself if possible
- Email them right away and understand each others requirements
- Grocery can be divided in terms of masalas, utensils and other stuff between one and all, as apartment kitchens may not equip too many utensils
- Decide on the rent that you folks would be willing to shell out (current rate per person would be $400 – $600 per month)
- Some people prefer apartments close to the university and some prefer luxury
- For closer proximity find an apartment in the following areas – Westland Avenue, Huntington Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, Hemenway Street, Gainsborough Street, Symphony Road, Saint Stephens Street, Saint Botolph Street, Wellington Street.
- For Luxury apartments, distance would be a concern, you may have to walk 15min to the university, look out in the following areas – Longwood Avenue, Tremont Street, Saint Alphonsus Street, Commonwealth Avenue.
- Typically, 2 graduate students share a 1 bedroom house.
- Also, try to get feedback from current students about the different landlords & realty management companies, and avoid those which have bad reviews.
- Try to avoid basement apartments.
- This estimates above for rent does not include your electricity and gas bill. Some apartments might include electricity and heating, and therefore the rent might be a little more.
- Electricity is usually a small amount around $30 – 100/month.
- While enquiring about house make sure who pays the heat. Heat costs less than $80 -100/month normally, however, in peak winter it may go up to $200 p.m. (for 2 BHK or town house).
- In general, avoid large and old houses -they give you a high heating bill. Please note that these are conservative figures, it not uncommon to find people paying more than specified here.
- I hope these pointers make life a little easy for you and would ensure a comfortable transit from your home country to this new land of opportunities.