It can be overwhelming when it comes to finding somewhere to live. There are so many things to consider! With so many options in the hub, you might need to take a quick step back and think about your life. Where do you go? What do you like to do? These are things you have to consider along with cost and location.
When it comes to choosing a new pad, the goal should be to find a place that you can call home, that you look forward to going to and can relax- because you work hard!
And since you're busy, for you we’ve compiled a list of 10 things to consider when choosing the best place- for your lifestyle!
1. Noise level.
Do you mind a lot of beeping? Well, if you're in the city you might want to reconsider that all together. But depending on how much noise you're able to handle, that should play a huge part in where you decide to go.
- Our suggestions: Like the action? Try Back Bay, Midtown or Seaport. Looking for more of a small town feel? Check out South End, Brookline or South Boston.
2. Your commute.
Ahh, that little thing that pays your bills. Anyone who says you can get from Cleveland Circle to Copley on the Greenline in under an hour is lying. Boston commuters know that living on the outskirts may help your budget but test your sanity. If your job requires you to get into the heart of the city at the peak transit hours, you may want to consider upping your living budget instead upping your patience.
- Our suggestions: If you're someone who likes an easy commute, we suggest narrowing down a list of places and, like you would a budget, analyze what your day would look like living in each. Try it out at the time of day you normally would to be safe. Choosing a neighborhood based solely on a sushi restaurant you eat at on-occasion should take a back seat to the daily struggle of getting downtown.
3. Quality vs. Quantity.
It could be the difference between an upgraded kitchen but far from work, or a spacious place with a dated decor. It all depends on what will enhance your time at home and help your life outside it
Make a list of your non-negotiables. Once you've narrowed down a few places you'd be willing to call home, write out the features of each and a number them between 1-10 on which will offer the highest quality of life for you. Add up the numbers at the end, whichever ends with the highest score may mean that is the most convenient place for you. Don’t forget that better quality or larger properties will either change your location or call for a higher rent.
4. Your social life.
Your social life plays a huge part in where you want to live. Maybe you have a specific gym you like to get to 4 or 5 times a week, or an active trivia league you spearhead. Perhaps you're a foodie that likes the fine dining Boston's downtown has to offer. Whatever the case, what you do in your spare time plays a significant role in your life- even more so than your job in some cases. Make sure you don't give up on the things you love because you found something more affordable too far away. You don't want to compromise seeing friends and family to live far with nothing to do.
Our suggestions: Really take the time to think about how important getting out of the house from time to time is. If you're someone with an active social scedule that centers around the Seaport, maybe the higher price tag will mean less in transportation in the long run.
That will make a significant impact on not only where you live, but your budget. Parking your car can add to your daily struggle in the city. Whether it's adding to your budget or driving around trying to find some, parking is at a premium in Boston.
Our suggestion: Hire someone who knows where to look for it. Agents do this for a living and often have exclusive rentals up their sleeve. Going at it alone may result in answering general ads that don't specify the parking situation. BLPRE Agents can offer tons of tips. Also, be sure to check out our blog, 10 sites to help you find monthly parking.
6. Public transit.
Maybe you don't have a car and the MBTA is your access to the world. You may find a listing online that hits all your “must have” marks but would require you to walk 30 minutes to the closest stop. (Don't forget about winter.)
Our suggestion: Consider yourself lucky you don't have the added expense of a car in the city! And base part of your search around transit. Start by targeting the area you’d like to stay within and contact a sales or rental Agent to help you navigate which streets and buildings are close to where. Going at this search alone can prove to waste a lot of your time and patience.
7. Length of lease.
With the majority of lease terms around 12 months, if you are only going to be in the Boston area a short time, the availability becomes limited. Longer? You may want to consider buying!
Our suggestions: If you are unsure about your time commitment to the city, talk with your Agent about proactively looking for someone who may be able to take over your apartment at least 90 days prior to your desired end date. They may even have someone in mind already.
We know your pets are important to you, but Boston can be less than accommodating when it comes to them in their buildings (read our blog on living in Boston with a dog here).
Our suggestions: Most Luxury buildings now cater to pet parents. You can have the benefit of grooming, daycare, dog walking- the list goes on. If they may be out of your price range, check with an Agent who may work with pet-friendly rentals.
9. “Where’s the closest…?
This may sound a little strange, but you run errands.
How often do you eat out? Where is the closest grocery store? How far of a walk is the dry cleaner? Is there a laundromat nearby? There’s nothing worse than moving somewhere only to realize the closest pizza place is a 45 minute walk. And they don’t deliver.
Our suggestions: Think about the past month. What errands have you HAD to run, some multiple times. While it hopefully won’t make or break your move, but make a list of what you typically do in the week and make sure you’ll still be able to do those things in the area. Check out
10. Your financial goals.
Above all else, this will help you determine whether buying or renting could be the right thing for you. With the market the way it is, it may be a more sound investment in the long run to buy than rent.
Our suggestions: Either way, call us! We can work with you to get pre-qualified for a mortgage or if you’re renting, help you view exclusives that only our Agents work with.
Remember, it’s only you who has to live where you live. The factors that all play in will also play into your life. Let us know if you need a guide through the process!