Tee who has had experience in studying Law at Boston University gave an advice about how to find housing at Boston and in the vicinity of Boston. However, please read it carefully and make your own decision upon doing a research about how to find housing. We hope this information will be useful for all of you who want to go to Boston. (date 05-23-2010)
Many Thai students come to Boston nowadays. Some of them have strong intention of further education at renown-institutions as BU, BC, MIT, Harvard, NU, Berkeley, U Mass; while some of them come for ESL study and plan to work at Thai restaurant along with. As of now ASC, Approach, and GEOS are at risk because many Thai students who study at these school work at Thai restaurants, and have very low attendance.
Housing lease in Boston is pretty higher than the other cities in the US; however, due to economic crisis, the rent is slightly lower than it was during 2007-2009. I talked to many rental agents when I first came to Boston last year (Sep 2009), they said the market was down, thus, the rent generally had not been increased since Sep 2008. Many apartments I shopped last September offered me some discounts or a free month. However, this year, starts Sep 2010, we expects slightly increased in rental cost krub. My 1BR-apartment unit was increased from $1150 (discounted cost) to $1200, the actual cost as it was in the past.
Boston area consists of many residential area such as:
1. Back Bay and Beacon Hills (luxury, most desirable)
– studio rent $1500-1800
– 1BR $1800-2500
– 2BR $2500-3500
2. Allston/Brighton/Newton(Chestnut Hills)
These areas are on Train (aka T) Green Line B which runs from Boston College >> BU >> Downtown >> Government Center. These areas are practical living for BU, BC students.
– studio $800-1000
– 1BR $1000-1400
– 2BR $1400-2000
* For Allston/Brighton, the tenants who own cars need to be careful of very high (up to 3 times) insurance premium because there are very high claims due to student areas, and few garage-parking.
3. Cambridge (Charles River side, Memorial Drive) for MIT Sloan students
– Studio $1500
– 1BR $1800-2000
– 2BR $2400
– 3BR $2700
4. Cambridge (general), Somerville area for MIT, Harvard, Tuft
– studio $800-1200
– 1BR $1200-1500
– 2BR $1500-2200
5. Boston on Commonwealth Ave (BU’s Properties)
– studio $1000-1500 (grad dorm)
– 1BR $1400-1600
– 2BR $1600-2000
6. Boston (Downtown, and Financial District) most of them are serviced apartment, and condos. Not popular for students.
– studio $1500-2000
– 1BR $2000-2500
– 2BR $2500-3500
7. Wellesley Hills for Babson College, and Wellesley College students
– 1BR $1200-1500
– 2-3BR $1500-2000
Most of them are apartments in a house, devided by floor.
8. Brookline (NU, Berkeley)
– Studio $1000-1200
– 1BR $1200-1500
– 2BR $1500-1800
Most of all apts in boston are **unfurnished** krub. The standard lease is 1-year, starts from Sep 1 to Aug 31 the following year.
Other areas such as Charlestown, North End, South End, Quincy, Watertown, Waltham, Roxbury Crossing, Malden, Everett are not practical for students krub.
Remark: Quincy and Malden are good areas to live with very comprehensive cost, however, the transportation is not so convenient krub.
The closest university to Chinatown area is Suffolk.
Another good way to do research on housing market in US cities is www.craigslist.org
From the main page, students can choose US City they are interested in, then choose apt/housing -or- sublet/temporary krub. There are many housing agents, realtors, landlords, and also individuals who advertise their places on this website. Craigslist, along with google map, may be the best place to start in order to get an idea of geographical area and housing cost krub.
However, there are also many scam postings, and fraudulent transaction on this site. Thus, students need to be careful of making an advance payment, or deposit from Thailand.
I forgot to mention about housing agent fees in Boston area. Agent service is very common in Boston. Upon arrival, student who shop around for apartment can visit housing agents (usually they located near the location of property they represent). The service fees can be 2 months rent (common in NYC, but rare in Boston), 1 month, or split (means tenant pays half month, and landlord pays another half month fee), or no fee (means landlord will pay fee to agent = the fee is already include in monthly rent). Student might also need to factor the fee in calculation of monthly rent. Three ways students can avoid the fee is 1) to sublet from previous tenant then extend or swop the lease with previous tenant of that apartment unit; or 2) by reference of friend who lives in that property to his/her landlord; or 3) by renting from the private owner of the unit. It is very hard for newcomers to contact the landlords directly in Boston area krub.
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