April 14, 2009

Renting an Apartment in Boston

Finding housing in Boston can be tough especially if you are moving from a different state. When I began looking for housing last summer I had no idea what the market was like, how brokers operated, and what questions I should ask, so for those of you who will be moving to Boston from another part of the country here is a list of tips I've learned over the last year. Some of it may be obvious already, but here it is:

-Almost all leases start Septmeber 1st and run for a year. However, you can negotiate with your landloard to have someone else take over the apartment in May or June when the school year runs out. This may be important if you have an internship or job in another area. Subletting does happen but in my experience landloards are getting tougher about it.

-If you are a full time single student you will probably need a cosigner. Yes, it seemed weird to me too since I have rented apartments for the last six years without one, but Boston is different.

-Getting an apartment without paying a brokers fee in September is tough but it can be done. Check craig's list under the "no fee" section, but be carefull a lot of sneaky brokers put apartments in there that are "half" fee.

-It is helpful to ask who the other tenants are the in building, (i.e. undergraduate students, grad students, young professions etc).

-Check out the property management company online, there are reviews on yelp that can be helpful. My management company was good for the first few months and then they started to get really shaddy. I looked them up on yelp and saw that other people have had similar issues with them.

-Finally, this BU medical campus office can be helpful. Their website gives good descriptions of different areas and neighborhoods and what you can expect to pay.

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