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Not everytwhere has a Sept to Sept lease, but anything less than one year is most likely an "at will" tenancy, which are rare enough that I wouldn't hold out any hope of finding one. This is why there are so many summer sublets in Boston.

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I want to be clear, my apartment is a freaking unicorn. Don't expect to find a studio anywhere outside of Allston or JP for under at least $1100 (which I would still consider a great deal.) I scoured

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Logistical question about September 1 being the most common moving day: How does this work? If everyone moves on September 1 how do people manage to move out of their old apartment in time for the new tenants to move in? Do landlords/outgoing tenants not need time to clean the apartment in between? Even without that it seems like there'd be chaos if you tried to move before the tenants had quite left your new place, or weren't done moving by the time the new tenants arrive at your old place.

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Logistical question about September 1 being the most common moving day: How does this work? If everyone moves on September 1 how do people manage to move out of their old apartment in time for the new tenants to move in? Do landlords/outgoing tenants not need time to clean the apartment in between? Even without that it seems like there'd be chaos if you tried to move before the tenants had quite left your new place, or weren't done moving by the time the new tenants arrive at your old place.

Answering in order:

1. There is sometimes a few days of slack--someone moves early, apartment is vacant, etc. The lease may say Sept 1, but you can often move in early if it is vacant. Also, not everything is Sept 1, just a lot of it.

2. Landlords with Sept 1 lease dates rarely clean--they require the tenants to do so when they leave. So in practice, this doesn't happen at all. Plan to clean your new apartment thouroughly, who knows what crud the last folks left.

3. There is chaos. Plan to have your stuff packed the night before, and coordinate with the people at either end of the move. You may be able to work out a deal where they help you load, you help them unload, or vice versa at the other end.

Important! Reserve your moving truck at least 2 months in advance, or you will have to drive way outside the city to get one. Lots of folks cant get a truck, so they abandon much of their furniture on the curbside. In the student dense area of Allston, this phenomenon is known as "Allston Christmas." Anything on the curb is free for the taking, but may have bedbugs or other nasty surprises. This is why bedbug infestations in Boston spike in September.

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Thanks for your reply, Usmivka, even though it was not what I was hoping for.

You could try getting a May or June lease, then subletting your place for the summer. Or you could move into a room in a house someone else is leasing, then you'd never be responsible for the lease and the time you aren't there. But many leases forbid sublets, so you could find yourself evicted on short notice with few rights if you don't check with the landlord first.

Also, if anyone is looking for an apartment in Boston this Fall:

My noisey upstairs neighbors are not being permitted to renew their lease. Great news for me! To avoid getting similarly crummy neighbors in the future, I thought I'd advertise here. It is a two level 3 bedroom (one is a master suite, big enough for 2 people on its own) unit in Jamaica Plain, available this Sept 1 or earlier. It is super convenient to Longwood Medical, the VA, two T lines, and shuttles to Harvard and the BU Medical campus/Boston Medical Center. It is also convenient to the bike trail, and I bike to MIT in 25-30 minutes. PM me if you want to know more about the unit, landlord, whatever. I'd love to find good neighbors, and love the area, so it is worth my time to talk it up to you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Answering in order:

1. There is sometimes a few days of slack--someone moves early, apartment is vacant, etc. The lease may say Sept 1, but you can often move in early if it is vacant. Also, not everything is Sept 1, just a lot of it.

2. Landlords with Sept 1 lease dates rarely clean--they require the tenants to do so when they leave. So in practice, this doesn't happen at all. Plan to clean your new apartment thouroughly, who knows what crud the last folks left.

3. There is chaos. Plan to have your stuff packed the night before, and coordinate with the people at either end of the move. You may be able to work out a deal where they help you load, you help them unload, or vice versa at the other end.

Important! Reserve your moving truck at least 2 months in advance, or you will have to drive way outside the city to get one. Lots of folks cant get a truck, so they abandon much of their furniture on the curbside. In the student dense area of Allston, this phenomenon is known as "Allston Christmas." Anything on the curb is free for the taking, but may have bedbugs or other nasty surprises. This is why bedbug infestations in Boston spike in September.

I can verify ALL of this. September 1 is absolutely crazy, and the only way around it is to either find the rare apartment that has a different move-in date (the likelihood of which is astronomically higher outside of the city), or to try to arrange something with the old tenants. For instance, I just moved from Beacon Hill to Natick, and in order to avoid the September 1 craze and to be moved into my new apartment before grad school starts in the fall, I had my realty company contact the new tenant and ask if he would be interested in moving in two months early. Thank GOD, he was able to move in on July 1, and I even got out a few days early so that he could start moving his stuff in because my new apartment complex has monthly leases that don't all start in September because it's a commuter area rather than a student-heavy area.

And indeed, the landlords don't clean the apartments in between- it's totally up to both the old and new tenants. It's expected that the old tenant will clean thoroughly before they leave, but you can't rely on that- expect to clean your old apartment when you move out, and then your new apartment when you move in. If you don't clean your old place and the new tenant complains, you could lose a portion of your security deposit, so that helps to keep people somewhat accountable.

Also, DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY try to book a U-Haul waaaay ahead of time, as it is true that all of the ones in the city get booked at least two months (if not more) in advance of September 1 and the days on either side of that date. In other words, if you know where you're moving, book right now- do not put it off!!

The September 1 moving disaster definitely requires a lot of planning ahead and coordinating between tenants, because it's pretty impossible to not overlap. The best way to go about this is to try to get the contact info of the new tenants if you're moving out, or vice-versa. With my apartment when I lived in Allston (Allston Christmas is real! but beware!), the new tenants and I exchanged contact info when they were viewing my apartment- none of them could move in during the day because of work, so I allowed them to start moving in the night before, while I had my stuff all packed up and ready to move during the day the next day. It's necessary to arrange with the new tenants a time when one of you can be moving out, so that the other isn't trying to move in at the same time. If your realty company or landlord won't give you the new person's contact info, they can also serve as a go-between for you to work something out.

It does work out every year, somehow. My major take-home point for surviving it is to plan ahead, in as much detail as possible. This includes:

-Reserving a UHaul months in advance

-Figuring out who is helping you move (including someone who feels comfortable driving a truck through the city) and making sure they won't ditch you last-minute so that you can get out as quickly as possible

-Getting the contact information of the new/old tenants, and working out moving times (NOT on September 1, if possible- is it possible for one of you to move some of your stuff a day or two early?)

-Cleaning the apartment for the new tenant, beginning BEFORE the day of the move

-Having everything packed up and ready to go BEFORE September 1

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Howdy (future) Bostonians and Cantabrigians:

I currently live in Cambridge but will be moving to New York to start my grad program in September. I want to use this board to advertise my room in Cambridge because my current roommates are looking to avoid the utter anonymity of craiglist, and I figure I can PM with potential roomies here on Grad Cafe first.

So here are the deets:

The room is available on September 1st. We have one bedroom open in a three bedroom apartment in Porter Sq, Cambridge. We're a 3 minute walk (at most) from the Porter Sq. subway and commuter rail station. We're one stop on the subway from Harvard Sq., three stops from MIT, and one stop from Davis Square (the closest subway stop to Tufts U.), so we're basically nestled in between all the Cambridge-area universities. We're also a 5-10 minute walk from Leslie University. The Porter Sq. station also serves the commuter rail, which goes straight to Brandeis in 20 minutes ($5). As far as Boston area schools, you can take the subway into Boston and transfer to a line that serves BU and BC, or take a bus, approximately 45 minutes. It's not the most convenient neighborhood for BU/BC, but ideal for Harvard, Tufts, Brandeis, MIT, and Leslie.

The neighborhood: Porter Sq is not the most "happening" square in Cambridge, but it is the best for living. We have the only 24 super market in Cambridge, the only 24 hour pharmacy in Cambridge, plus a bunch of amenities like laundry mat, book store, hardware store, post office, and several great restaurants. Porter is the most functionally "suburban" neighborhood, I think. That means we have all the awesome convenience of a supermarket, pharmacy, etc., plus it's relatively quiet compared to Harvard Sq., Central Sq., or Davis Sq. However all of of those "night life" spots are only a short walk or subway right away. There are one or two music venues right in Porter, plus a few pub/tavern places, but the neighborhood is never loud or rowdy. It's an ideal location to "go home to" after a hard day, but still be in launching distance of bars, clubs, movies, and restaurants.

As for the roommates: They are two men, both in their mid-20s. One is a scientist at a pharma lab and the other is an analyst at a development NGO. They're both very intelligent, social, and laid back. They're sweet and respectful people. It's definitely not a "party house" but you can usually find companionship for a night our or dinner. We like to cook, listen to music, and make conversation.

About the apartment: We're on the first floor. There is a full kitchen, living room, small back porch and small back yard where we grill in the summer. We have washer and drier in the apartment, for free, and not shared with anybody. There is one bathroom. The open room is approximately 144 sq. ft., with one window and hard wood floors. The apartment is on a pretty quiet one way street.

Please message me if you want to know more. I'm happy to share pictures and respond to any questions.

Thanks!

-SocialGroovements

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  • 1 month later...

Another shameless plug:

I'm moving from my apartment in Jamaica Plain in mid-October (5 min to E line, 10 to Orange). I really love the area, and am in fact moving to a condo 2 blocks away (couldn't pass up the offer price wise, otherwise I'd be in this apartment until I finished grad school). It is a 2 bedroom on a dead end street surrounded by parks and community gardens, currently going for $1300. If anyone is interested in that area and time-frame (up to + a month or two, I'm flexible), let me know. I have one person I know interested who needs a co-renter if you are excited but want a housemate. PM me if you want specifics, a rave review, and the dish on how this area works or doesn't work for area Universities and medical centers. Feel free to share with friends who want to move out of grad dorms or don't like their current sublets. I can partially furnish if needed.

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Hello! I am planning a move to the Boston area next summer to start grad school in the fall. My top choice school is Salem State University, and my mother lives in Saugus, MA. I, however, have lived in Texas my entire life. Basically, everything I know about New England comes from articles online. To put it simply, I need anything and everything you have to offer.

The basics:

My boyfriend of 6 years and his younger sister are coming with me (we all get along great, have lived together for the last six months, and have no problems with everyone chipping in for their share of the bills/expenses). They are both applying to Salem State as undergrads, and I'm applying for a MA in history. My boyfriend and I both work part-time in retail right now, and have been working for the same store for 2 years. Our boss has already assured us that they can transfer us to a store in our new city, and my boyfriend's sister will be looking for a part-time job when we arrive (her parents pay her portion of the bills right now, since she's the baby of the family and the only girl =P). I'll be looking for a better/higher paying job since I'll have my bachelor's degree when I arrive, but for the time being my current job will have to suffice.

What we're looking for:

Since we're planning on going to school in Salem, we'd like to live close by. Right now we live in San Antonio, TX, and it's about a 15 minute commute to school and work. The commute up north is something my mom has already warned me about, but ideally we'd like to live within a half hour of the school. We pay just under $700 right now for a 2bd/2ba 900 sqft apartment, and we have a 15 lb dachshund and a cat. Since we'll be working with roughly the same income when we move, something as close to this as possible would be ideal. However, we know that the cost of living is higher up there, and our parents are willing to help out if necessary until we can find better/higher paying jobs.

So, I guess what I'd like to know is if anyone has suggestions for what areas we should be looking in, and what we can realistically expect to pay for an apartment up there. And, of course, any info you have to share about the area in general would be more than welcome!

(Sorry for the wall of text!)

(I guess I should also add that mother owns a home in Saugus, and has a fully finished basement apartment with 2bd/1ba and a fireplace. She's offered to let us use it rent free if we just pay for the utilities. She's had it listed for sale for awhile now with no luck, but it would give us a place to live so we can take our time apartment hunting and getting more familiar with the area.)

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Are you definitely going to have a car? That's one part of the cost of living that's definitely higher than in Texas, but if you've already made the decision to have one, then you might as well live rent-free in Saugus.

Personally, I avoid having a car at all costs, and could point you to some less-expensive places along the T, but that wouldn't help much in terms of getting to Salem State-- unless there's good transit between campus and the commuter rail station?

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Hmm, I haven't thought about not taking my car. All three of us have our own vehicles, which is pretty much a given in Texas =) I've never used public transportation before as it's virtually nonexistent down here, save for an unreliable public bus. We were planning on bringing our vehicles, but if we could get around just fine without them, we have no problems selling them before we leave! What extra costs are there that we don't have down here? We have to renew our registration and inspection once a year and have valid insurance (which, for me, is about $75 a month for full-coverage).

From what SSU's website says, there is a shuttle that takes students from downtown Salem to campus. There are 3 different stops that the shuttle makes, including the commuter rail station. So, if I lived along the T, I'm guessing this means I could simply take the commuter rail downtown, then the shuttle to campus? Sorry, really have no idea how the train systems work!

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That's okay! I'm a MA native but have also lived in Texas, so I know what a big difference it is.

My understanding (and note that I don't even have my license anymore, so I'm not the best source of info, but I bet a quick web search could get you some numbers) is that the cost of registration, insurance, etc, is just higher in MA than it is in TX. Boston is also notorious for having high parking prices (think $30), but that's not the case outside the city.

The T is the Boston public transit system, which goes slightly into the suburbs, and (like the name sounds) the Commuter Rail is a slightly more expensive train that goes further out from Boston and is designed to bring people into the city. It's easy to transfer between the two, but a public transit commute is obviously a bit more time intensive!

I think there's also a good bus system in Salem, although I'm from the South Shore, so I honestly don't go there very often (there's a tad of a North Shore/South Shore rivalry). If you were interested in living IN Boston, you could commute out to campus, but that would probably be more expensive.

One thing I find helpful when moving to a new city is to play around with a site that gives you transit directions, like Hop Stop. It's a good way to see how easy or hard it would be to get from a hypothetical apartment to places I'd need to go (ie, campus, grocery store, etc.) If I were you, I'd also get an insurance quote and see how that compared to the cost of public transit.

I hope this is helpful-- feel free to ask if you have any other questions about moving between TX and MA!

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Boston area car insurance will cost you about $1000 per year for basic (not full) coverage if you have a perfect driving record, are female, and over the age of 30. If your boyfriend is on the car with you and younger than 25 or so, $1500-2400 would not be unheard of. This of course varies by zip code and other details, and could be a bit better in the North Shore. Annual license tabs will be substantially more expensive than in Texas (http://www.mass.gov/rmv/fees/20141.pdf) and will involve a number of one time fees to convert your license to MA if you become a resident (must register within 30 days if you plan to stay more than 180 days a year). I actually do think a car is useful in the Salem area (one of my research sites is north of Boston, I drive through a lot)--transit is sufficient, but not convenient, and the area is more suburban and rural, with the decreased transit availability that accompanies those areas relative to a urban environment. I just think it is a bad idea for household expenses to bring three cars.

For daily commutes living close along the commuter rail line (anywhere from Revere and Lynn up to Beverly) will be more pleasant than the car commute, but apartment prices will go up proportional to transit availability, and if you are aiming cheap you will end up in the boonies and need the car.

You should be able to get comparable housing for 30-50% more than you are currently paying. Saugus is not well connected to the commuter rail system, but you could drive to the station and park for a few dollars a day (maybe cheaper with a monthly pass). I'd think this cost would be worth it for free rent.

Edited by Usmivka
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Hey there.

I need to get up to BC for a campus visit. It's not required for the application but I want to go and make a personal impression.

So I live in New York, and would need to make this an overnight trip. However, my funds are *extremely* limited right now as I both recover from about a month solid where I couldn't work a full week at work and paying off an engagement ring. So I have a budget of, max, a hundred bucks.

I need to find a place to crash from which one can easily reach BC.

Any suggestions?

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My fiancee and I will hopefully be moving to Boston in Fall 2013, presuming I get into BC, and we're trying to start getting a feel for what to expect rentwise. We currently live in NYC, so high rents won't exactly give us sticker shock, but we don't know what our income will be once we move.

So what we're trying to find is a relatively affordable area with good access to mass transit because neither of us drives.

Thanks!

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My fiancee and I will hopefully be moving to Boston in Fall 2013, presuming I get into BC, and we're trying to start getting a feel for what to expect rentwise. We currently live in NYC, so high rents won't exactly give us sticker shock, but we don't know what our income will be once we move.

So what we're trying to find is a relatively affordable area with good access to mass transit because neither of us drives.

Thanks!

Brighton is your best bet. The Cleveland Circle area particularly as it is right at the junction of three trolley lines...it's fairly reasonable rent-wise. Brighton Center is really nice, and more neighbourhoody, but over that side the only trolley line you're really close to is the B line, which is notoriously slow for getting into town on. There is an express bus, though, that goes from Brighton Center and Oak Sq so, if you were happy with that as a transit option, then I'd say definitely look into Brighton Center and the streets on the north side of Comm Ave around Chestnut Hill Ave.

Brookline (around Washington Sq/ anywhere off Beacon St as well as Brookline Village) is also an option: it has great transport and is a really nice area but will be significantly more expensive.

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Brighton is your best bet...Brookline (around Washington Sq/ anywhere off Beacon St as well as Brookline Village) is also an option: it has great transport and is a really nice area but will be significantly more expensive.

Make sure you look around the area before you rent anything in Brighton. Plenty of it is fine, but other parts of it are little better than Allston, overrun with rowdy undergrads and thumping parties any day of the week. If you truly don't care about price, much of Brookline is really in a league of its own relative to the rest of Boston. I know a couple of doctors trying to rent the upper half of their house there (it sounded like a weird setup to me since it wasn't a separate unit, but I could find out more), and I think this sort of arrangement is becoming more common as the Brookline population ages--something like this might be a way to get there on the cheap. Also use the MBTA trip planner and look at bus routes, many are faster than the Greenline T, and they could really open up other neighborhoods to you.

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Have you checked out Lynn? It doesn't have the best reputation, but then your view on that type of thing will depend on your background, past experiences, etc. It's a typical New England mill town, i.e. plenty of apartments and cheap rent, but it can be a bit on the dreary side and a shock if you're used to a more suburban/middle class area. $700 for a two bedroom will be tough anywhere near Boston, but in Lynn you'd stand a chance, especially looking at three decker apartment houses rather than complexes or large buildings.

That said, it will be more convenient and affordable than most other options, and from Lynn to North Station is a pretty quick trip.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm considering applying for social work fellowships at Children's Hospital Boston, but the low stipend is really giving me pause. Is $26,000 even remotely enough to subsist on in Boston? For reference, I'd be looking to find a studio (probably) or 1br as I live with my boyfriend, who would probably experience a period of unemployment/job searching. Any insight would be great!

Edited by 2011 MSW Hopeful
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I'm considering applying for social work fellowships at Children's Hospital Boston, but the low stipend is really giving me pause. Is $26,000 even remotely enough to subsist on in Boston? For reference, I'd be looking to find a studio (probably) or 1br as I live with my boyfriend, who would probably experience a period of unemployment/job searching. Any insight would be great!

I think it's possible, but it would obviously have to be an incredibly tightly budgeted, no-frills time.

Rent will definitely eat up at least half of your income.

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$26,000 is totally doable for one person. It'll be hard to sustain two people off that stipend, so it'll depend on how long you'll have to do that for. You'll have to keep a very tight budget. But if your boyfriend stays home and cooks, and if you don't mind living in a less upscale apartment, then I think it can be done.

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$26,000 is totally doable for one person. It'll be hard to sustain two people off that stipend, so it'll depend on how long you'll have to do that for. You'll have to keep a very tight budget. But if your boyfriend stays home and cooks, and if you don't mind living in a less upscale apartment, then I think it can be done.

This is offtopic, but are you by any chance studying at MIT?

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