Tips and Tricks for Apartment Hunting in Boston

Boston is one of the few cities that fascinate me ever since I was young. I dream of going to Boston just so I can set foot on the world-famous Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These are two premier educational institutions in the world and it would indeed be thrilling to visit their campuses. Well, Ralph is almost done with his undergraduate course and I hope he'll have the opportunity to study or work in Boston. So while I'm praying for this to happen, I'll do my research this early and share with you some helpful tips and tricks for apartment hunting in Boston.

Boston apartments
Photo by Mohit Singh on Unsplash

Choose your preferred Boston neighborhood

Like any other big city, Boston has a very diverse mix of neighborhoods. This is the reason why I think Boston apartment hunting should start with deciding on the kind of neighborhood you would want to live in. Think about your daily activities and list down your non-negotiables. Once you have your list ready, take  a look at the list below and choose the one that will best suit your lifestyle:

  • Cambridge - Of course, first on my list is the area where Harvard University is located. I bet the energy here is youthful and the apartments will most likely have students as residents. 
  • Back Bay - This is another popular tourist neighborhood where the Public Garden can be found. Rent here is comparatively higher than in other areas and finding a parking spot may be a challenge.
  • North End - This Boston neighborhood is for the Italian food and culture lover! It's rich in American-Italian culture so expect apartments with a European design and Italian cafes and restaurants nearby.
  • South End - Apartments and homes here have historic architecture. Most of the red-brick row Boston house photos that you've seen on the Internet are found here. But it doesn't mean that it's a sleepy neighborhood. In fact, this area is alive with pubs and farmer's markets. 
  • Charlestown - Living in this idyllic neighborhood will be any history lovers' dream. The Freedom Trail will be an absolute favorite as well as other areas that had been significant in the Revolutionary war. Aside from apartments, you may also find condos and homes for rent here.
  • Beacon Hill - This is another campus neighborhood where Suffolk University and other colleges are located. The famous Acorn Street, the most photographed street in America, can also be found here.

Check Boston apartment listings online

Gone are the days when you'd have to spend hours on the phone to inquire about an apartment listing and the rest of your time actually visiting the place. Apartment hunting can be done conveniently online. There are legit online apartment search websites where you can easily filter your choices according to your budget, preferred apartment size, and available amenities. One of the sites that I recently checked is Zumper and it's pretty impressive that millions of renters have actually used it to find their apartment in Boston. 

Boston apartment hunting through Zumper is very easy. You'll just have to submit your digital rental application and credit reports (they have their in-house screening service), check the listings and choose the apartment you like. You can do it through their mobile app, as well.

By the way, Zumper is not only for renters but for landlords and agents, too! Managing your rental will be as easy as 1-2-3 because Zumper provides free leasing tools that will help you reach quality renters, screen them, and collect rent online. 

Beware of these red flags

Be very careful when going through apartment listings online. In case you encounter any of these, you're most probably dealing with a fake apartment agent or broker:

  • Your contact offers you another unit than the one you're inquiring about.
  • The landlord charges more than four months upfront.
  • The apartment looks too good to be true!

Scammers are out there and they're always ready to rip you off your hard-earned money if you're not careful. Bottom line, it will still be better to find your new pad through a trusted apartment search site like Zumper. 

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