Accommodation in Boston
Finding accommodation in Boston is difficult. A compact city centre receives an annual influx of university students, the housing market has dried up, and prices continue to make it one of the most expensive places to buy or rent a home in the country. This is a large deterrent to potential city dwellers.
As with most cities, accommodation near downtown Boston is the most expensive, though house prices in the suburbs are unusually high as well. Increasingly, property close to public transportation is becoming the most sought after and expensive.
The best time to look for rental property is one month before arrival. Apartments near downtown are steadily snatched up by university students, but the turnover rate is high. New tenants should expect to pay four times the normal rent in the first month for the security deposit, down payment and rental property agency fees. Agencies typically charge more than a month's rent as their commission.
It is possible to rent a room in a house, although it is not typically available for families. It is economical to rent a house as a group which is generally cheaper than renting single apartments.
In downtown and the surrounding areas, a recent price drop has produced a limited selection of property. This is less true in luxury neighbourhoods like Back Bay or Beacon Hill, where house prices are continuing to climb through the housing market collapse.
The neighbourhood of Allston is more affordable and has a young and collegiate feel. Jamaica Plain and East Boston are unusually diverse and expats from all over the world will find reminders of home there. The North End and Brighton are residential and family-friendly neighbourhoods.