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4 hours ago, allisonsmith said:

Hi there!

I've recently been accepted to Brandeis for a PhD program and was wondering if anyone had advice about Brandeis and/or the Waltham area.  I'm currently finishing up my Master's at UMass in Amherst, so I know a fair bit about Massachusetts generally, but very little about the Waltham area.  

What are some good bars/restaurants?  What is the best way to find affordable living (I'll be living with my husband)?  How good is public transport?

Thanks!

 

I've spent some time on Brandeis' campus (for a summer program) and in my opinion, it's pretty isolated. You have a commuter train that goes into Cambridge/Boston, so that's definitely a perk. Many people I knew lived in Somerville and commuted to Waltham, but I've heard rent has skyrocketed lately, so that might not be feasible anymore. I really love the MBTA, but Bostonians complain about it. I think it's efficient and I sold my car when I lived in the Boston area and used it for commuting. I'd say if you're at Amherst, take a weekend (if possible) and walk around the campus, get a feel for the area, and then try to find a real estate broker to help find an apartment. 

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Hey y'all! Looks like I'll be moving to Boston next year for my Master's at Boston College. :) From looking over this thread, it seems like most people recommend starting the apartment search for september as soon as possible. I wanted to ask - how hard will it be to find a good place if I wait until June? I'm actually living abroad until the end of May, so I was planning on taking a trip to Boston in June for a week and seeing as many apartments as possible then. Would it be better to just choose based on online listings in April? Thanks in advance!!

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On 3/4/2017 at 1:43 AM, hanndema said:

Hey y'all! Looks like I'll be moving to Boston next year for my Master's at Boston College. :) From looking over this thread, it seems like most people recommend starting the apartment search for september as soon as possible. I wanted to ask - how hard will it be to find a good place if I wait until June? I'm actually living abroad until the end of May, so I was planning on taking a trip to Boston in June for a week and seeing as many apartments as possible then. Would it be better to just choose based on online listings in April? Thanks in advance!!

Congrats! Finding a room in an apartment with other people who are looking to fill a spot will definitely still be available in June. Looking for your own place will be tougher, but it's still doable (more doable if you get a realtor). I'd just recommend watching Craigslist/any listings that BC provides starting around April and if you don't see anything before you plan to visit just go with your original plan. If you do see something you like though don't hesitate to jump on it since there's no way a room/place that you see available in April is going to be held for you until June without a firm commitment. 

 

On 2/27/2017 at 12:26 PM, HaleyWantstobeaTherapist said:

Hey, everyone. I will be attending BC in the fall also, and I'm coming from a college town in FL so I'm not really sure how one looks for housing in the real world. I'm likely going to have to book a bunch of viewings for the same week when I can visit. When should I plan on visiting to view apartments? When will the best deals become available for an August move in? I plan on living in the Brighton/Allston area

Most listings for places around here will go up anytime between now and end of May, so late Spring (around late April) is the best time to be shopping if you are able - depends a bit on the specific neighborhood and the arrangement you want. August move-ins to non-university sponsored housing arrangements are sometimes difficult because the vast majority of leases have 9/1 start. However, I've known several people who negotiate an arrangement with the previous tenants/the landlord in some form. Another option I've seen is to crash with friends/get an airbnb for the time difference between when you need to arrive and when your lease starts. Your grad program administrators will also likely be able to help you out in some fashion in terms of finding an arrangement that has worked in the past for people coming into your program.

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A lot of leases (outside the hardcore undergrad areas) seem to go up 90 days before the end of the lease. So I'd expect a lot coming up at the end of May/beginning of June for Sept. 1 leases. But if you're looking to fill a room in an existing place, that's a lot easier.

(Also, I got an awesome place with a June 1 lease! I'm stoked.)

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For people who live in Boston/Cambridge and take the commuter rail to Waltham, what do you pay monthly for the commuter rail pass? I tried to figure out the chart on the MBTA website but, well, their website isn't exactly user-friendly (like most aspects of the T).

I think I'll end up getting a car-- it seems like a better option than paying for public transit. I currently live in Dorchester which would be a 40-minute drive without traffic, or about 1.5 hours on red line + commuter rail. With what I'm paying for my apartment, it might make sense to stay here. Just curious about other people's experiences with commuting to Brandeis from the city. 

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 7:21 PM, nevermind said:

I've spent some time on Brandeis' campus (for a summer program) and in my opinion, it's pretty isolated. You have a commuter train that goes into Cambridge/Boston, so that's definitely a perk. Many people I knew lived in Somerville and commuted to Waltham, but I've heard rent has skyrocketed lately, so that might not be feasible anymore. I really love the MBTA, but Bostonians complain about it. I think it's efficient and I sold my car when I lived in the Boston area and used it for commuting. I'd say if you're at Amherst, take a weekend (if possible) and walk around the campus, get a feel for the area, and then try to find a real estate broker to help find an apartment. 

I'm moving back to Massachusetts in three months and am waitlisted at Brandeis. Moving there regardless of what happens with school, but I'm getting a place in Worcester. It is 45 minutes away from Campus but I grew up near there and the rent is incredibly low for really really nice places.

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On 3/1/2017 at 2:35 PM, allisonsmith said:

Hi there!

I've recently been accepted to Brandeis for a PhD program and was wondering if anyone had advice about Brandeis and/or the Waltham area.  I'm currently finishing up my Master's at UMass in Amherst, so I know a fair bit about Massachusetts generally, but very little about the Waltham area.  

What are some good bars/restaurants?  What is the best way to find affordable living (I'll be living with my husband)?  How good is public transport?

Thanks!

I know less about Waltham than I should, especially since I live one town over.  That might tell you something all by itself. :)

My general impression is that it's a town that hasn't quite pulled itself into affluence, but is gentrifying a bit.  There are a lot of ethnic restaurants in the downtown section.  Although I've been to that part of town, and have been to the Brandeis campus, I have no idea how to get from one to the other.  It could be walking, biking, a bus, or a circuitous car ride for all I know.  From what I can tell, Brandeis is in a little pocket just off the highways and doesn't feel especially connected to anything else.  For that reason, you might do just as well looking for options looking a few miles away in a cheaper town, if such can be found.  (Not Weston or Wellesley.)  Your best resource will be other grad students, more than likely.

 

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anybody have any insight on this:

i'm highly considering attending UMass Boston for my masters but have no idea where I should be looking specifically for housing--my sig. other and I want an apartment of our own and I don't want too bad of a commute because I'll have classes daily. does anyone have suggestions as to what parts I should be looking into/near UMass Boston? I'm an out-of-state-er so I don't know too much about boston. things of importance to us are socialization/lgbt friendly areas and again the commute to UMB. any insight at all would be greatly appreciated!!

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On 3/4/2017 at 2:43 AM, hanndema said:

Hey y'all! Looks like I'll be moving to Boston next year for my Master's at Boston College. :) From looking over this thread, it seems like most people recommend starting the apartment search for september as soon as possible. I wanted to ask - how hard will it be to find a good place if I wait until June? I'm actually living abroad until the end of May, so I was planning on taking a trip to Boston in June for a week and seeing as many apartments as possible then. Would it be better to just choose based on online listings in April? Thanks in advance!!

You'll want guidance from a current student or two, but absent that, get to know the Green Line of the MBTA.  If you don't want to drive to campus or be a biker, this is what will probably make your life easiest.

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Hi everyone!

I will be joining MIT's City Planning program this fall. I am an international student who has never lived independently before and have never been to Boston but I have heard amazing things about it. I think on-campus graduate housing will be the most convenient for me, at least for the first year, because I am legally blind and I use a cane so I need to live somewhere that is very accessible and super close to the campus - this will minimize the hassle of commute. (I still haven't received my MIT ID or the web certificate, my department said they will be sending out these details in early April so I am still waiting - is there anyone else who still haven't received them?!)

I have some questions about on campus housing though: which building has really good lighting - in the kitchen, bathroom and the room, and in the surrounding area as well?

The orientation is on 28th August and I want to move in by 1st August so I have plenty of time to get familiar with the area. When are we allowed to start moving in the on campus housing?

I am looking for an efficiency/1 bedroom apartment on campus (I have heard really good things about Sidney Pacific and Ashdown) because my mom is going to stay with me for the first few months till I settle in and an apartment mate(s) in a 2/3 bedroom apartment might not be cool with that. But an efficiency apartment is definitely more expensive than a 2/3 bedroom apartment on campus. Do I have any other options? Any idea if an off campus arrangement would be convenient for a person with low vision? I am really tight on the budget and it would be great if I could cut down on any expense!

Also, how long can a visitor stay with me? I am in touch with the MIT Disability Service Office and they have forwarded my case to the housing office so that they can permit my mom to stay with me for the first few months but I haven't heard back from them yet.

I haven't really heard good things about Tang Hall but it is the cheapest option on campus. Can anybody tell me how bad it is?

Would really appreciate your suggestions! And if anyone on here or knows of any student with a disability who has gone to MIT, let me know! I would love to hear their experience. 

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On 4/4/2017 at 9:11 PM, tanm55 said:

anybody have any insight on this:

i'm highly considering attending UMass Boston for my masters but have no idea where I should be looking specifically for housing--my sig. other and I want an apartment of our own and I don't want too bad of a commute because I'll have classes daily. does anyone have suggestions as to what parts I should be looking into/near UMass Boston? I'm an out-of-state-er so I don't know too much about boston. things of importance to us are socialization/lgbt friendly areas and again the commute to UMB. any insight at all would be greatly appreciated!!

I'm finishing up my undergrad at UMB right now. I suggest looking in Dorchester or Quincy-- make sure it's accessible to a subway station (or at least bus stop) if you don't have a car. My partner and I were lucky enough to find an affordable (relative to other apartments in Boston, that is) apartment in Savin Hill, basically walking distance from campus. If you're on Facebook, I recommend joining the Queer Exchange Boston group and asking around there for both housing and events/social stuff! 

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Any advice regarding living in the Sommervile area (studying at Harvard)? How far away is it? Is the public transport reliable? Is it possible to go by bike?

 

I've heard its a cheaper alternative

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Depends on where you are in Sommerville. In general, lots of Sommerville is cheaper because it's not on the T, but the busses are pretty good unless the weather gets atrocious. It's definitely bikeable, though in the winter that might get messier.

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And let this be my first post in the Cafe...

Coming to BU this fall. I've gotten things down to Allston, potentially Back Bay, maybe even the other side of the river. I keep hearing that people love Allston because apparently it's where large swathes of BU live. Any ideas?

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I've been living in Boston area for a while, and I still haven't really explored other schools except for mine. Do you know where I can find MIT, Wellesley, etc. lovers and connoisseurs? I would like to know more about different schools' history, culture, traditions, atmosphere... Is that possible?

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Hello everyone! I will most likely be moving to Boston in June.

Need to find a pet-friendly apt. under the $2,000 range (1 bedroom) and close to Tufts. It can be outside Boston as long as it's any easy metro ride.

Any recommendations? :)

 

Edited by nesasp
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@nesasp, congrats on your coming move! I lived in Boston for awhile and rented several apartments there. Finding an apartment is tough, but not as bad as somewhere like NYC. You are unlikely to find anything along the T that's affordable, unfortunately. You could probably find a studio or maybe a small 1-br for under $2000 in Somerville, just not in the area right by Tufts. My tip would be to look along Broadway, in the Winter Hill or East Somerville neighborhoods, which are further east on the other side of town but will be cheaper.

For something more spacious, look in Medford (South or West Medford neighborhoods) or Arlington (ideally near Broadway/the 87 bus so you can easily get into town).

If it's at all possible for you, my #1 piece of advice is to visit here beforehand and stay in an AirBNB or with a friend and spend each day of your visit searching, or have someone in Boston complete the search for you. It is very difficult to rent an apartment here without physically being ready to go see something or sign a lease. Also, use the for rent by owner section of Craigslist, because you can sometimes find below-market rentals without the non-refundable broker fees. Also, always call, never email. :) 

Edited by sideeye_emoji
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Hi!

I'm new to this forum, I have recently been accepted into Northeastern, and as it was one of my top choices, before I make a final decision I would like to know about renting in Boston.
I have an external scholarship so I'm looking into options around $1,700, preferably studios, as my partner will come to visit and stay for a few months.
I am an international student and I don't know if that would be a feasible option or if I am being too ambitious.

Any insights appreciated! :)

Thanks!

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On 2/5/2018 at 8:13 PM, sideeye_emoji said:

 

 

@nesasp, congrats on your coming move! I lived in Boston for awhile and rented several apartments there. Finding an apartment is tough, but not as bad as somewhere like NYC. You are unlikely to find anything along the T that's affordable, unfortunately. You could probably find a studio or maybe a small 1-br for under $2000 in Somerville, just not in the area right by Tufts. My tip would be to look along Broadway, in the Winter Hill or East Somerville neighborhoods, which are further east on the other side of town but will be cheaper.

For something more spacious, look in Medford (South or West Medford neighborhoods) or Arlington (ideally near Broadway/the 87 bus so you can easily get into town).

If it's at all possible for you, my #1 piece of advice is to visit here beforehand and stay in an AirBNB or with a friend and spend each day of your visit searching, or have someone in Boston complete the search for you. It is very difficult to rent an apartment here without physically being ready to go see something or sign a lease. Also, use the for rent by owner section of Craigslist, because you can sometimes find below-market rentals without the non-refundable broker fees. Also, always call, never email. :) 

Thank you so much for the detailed response! :) I will hopefully be in town April or May to take a look at apartments and get a feel for the hoods. It's always great to receive tips beforehand! I have been checking out Craigslist and there are great deals indeed! 

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Hi everyone, it's looking likely that I'll be going to Boston in the fall and need much advice!! I was really looking forward to having my own space, but a few days of scrolling in craigslist and zillow have popped this happy bubble and I'm just very anxious now.

I'm really worried about housing esp since I'm an international, and there's a high chance I'd have to do house-hunting via the internet. Is this a really bad idea? Should I just empty my savings account to pay for the overpriced Harvard housing studio for a year and then search for rooms in my second year?

Or, if it's not a terrible idea, should I try to find fee-free deals on craigslist, or for safety's sake pay the fee and work through a realtor? What are some good, reliable sites with a lot of listings?

Also, I have no idea how much my stipend is worth in Boston, i.e. what price range of houses I should be looking at. How much does cost of living for a single grad student minus rent amount to? 

I sound absolutely clueless, yeah.. sorry about that:(

Any advice is much appreciated!

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Hi all!

I recently accepted an offer for the PhD program in social psychology at Boston College. I'm looking for any and all advice about what to expect for the surrounding area and am open to tips about best places to search for an apartment/room. I am moving from Los Angeles (most likely in August). Thank you!

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On 2/21/2018 at 1:07 PM, cal03 said:

Hi everyone, it's looking likely that I'll be going to Boston in the fall and need much advice!! I was really looking forward to having my own space, but a few days of scrolling in craigslist and zillow have popped this happy bubble and I'm just very anxious now.

I'm really worried about housing esp since I'm an international, and there's a high chance I'd have to do house-hunting via the internet. Is this a really bad idea? Should I just empty my savings account to pay for the overpriced Harvard housing studio for a year and then search for rooms in my second year?

Or, if it's not a terrible idea, should I try to find fee-free deals on craigslist, or for safety's sake pay the fee and work through a realtor? What are some good, reliable sites with a lot of listings?

Also, I have no idea how much my stipend is worth in Boston, i.e. what price range of houses I should be looking at. How much does cost of living for a single grad student minus rent amount to? 

I sound absolutely clueless, yeah.. sorry about that:(

Any advice is much appreciated!

Hi there, I moved to Boston last year for grad school and did my apartment hunt entirely via internet. I started really early (like, in early March) looking through Craigslist and the MIT/Harvard Housing Group of Facebook for a place to move in August [EDIT: we were able to arrange for a subletter over the summer and I moved in in August]. Great news: it turned out perfectly for me - I love my roommate, apartment and neighborhood. We emailed back and forth and then had a long and very honest Skype session about pet peeves, living habits, house tour, etc. before deciding to move in together. I don't think that house-hunting online is necessarily a bad idea - but DEFINITELY take the time to make sure the place and people will work well for you. What's more, CL and the various university housing facebook groups WILL have options with no broker fees. And if you want to message me directly, I'm happy to chat about cost of living for a grad student in the Boston area. Good luck! 

Edited by fantods
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16 hours ago, fantods said:

Hi there, I moved to Boston last year for grad school and did my apartment hunt entirely via internet. I started really early (like, in early March) looking through Craigslist and the MIT/Harvard Housing Group of Facebook for a place to move in August [EDIT: we were able to arrange for a subletter over the summer and I moved in in August]. Great news: it turned out perfectly for me - I love my roommate, apartment and neighborhood. We emailed back and forth and then had a long and very honest Skype session about pet peeves, living habits, house tour, etc. before deciding to move in together. I don't think that house-hunting online is necessarily a bad idea - but DEFINITELY take the time to make sure the place and people will work well for you. What's more, CL and the various university housing facebook groups WILL have options with no broker fees. And if you want to message me directly, I'm happy to chat about cost of living for a grad student in the Boston area. Good luck! 

Thank you! I'll message you. 

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