Renting and Buying in Boston

by : Gea Elika

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston currently houses more
universities and colleges than any city in the country. Once the home to
those that begun the Revolutionary War, Boston today is still the city of
champions, with both the Red Sox and New England Patriots sitting high atop
a mound trophies and vanquished foes.

The city itself has only 573,000 residents and is actually geographically quite
small for a major city. But if the borders of the city were set up like New
York City or L.A.'s, then the surrounding cities of Somerville, Cambridge,
Medford, Arlington, Newton, Malden, Brookline, Revere and Chelsea would all
be part of the city, and it would have a population of about 2 million. That's
why you generally hear the phrase “the Area” about as often
as the word “Boston” itself.

Boston is also an expensive city. It's expensive to live here in general, and
a big reason why that's true has to do with the cost of buying or renting a
home. The median price of a home in the area is about $410,000. That figure
is true despite how old most of the buildings are here. The median age of a
rental building is 65 years, and that number takes into account all of the
new homes that have been built in recent years, so you know there are a whole
bunch of old buildings creaking around here.
For the most part, the Boston area sports a quality public transportation system
with a large number of buses and quality subway lines. Be forewarned however,
while most of the lines on ”the T,” as locals call it, are pretty
quick, the Green line is horribly slow. This antiquated part of the public
transport system effectively doubles the commute time for most homes in the
Allston and Brighton regions of Boston.

The occupancy rate is 95.09%. That means that it is much easier to find a home
here than it is in New York City – where occupancy rates are about 99% – but,
compared with the rest of the country, it certainly isn't easy.

That being said, the market has indeed cooled in the past year, and there are
a number of great deals to be found. They are not, however, easy to find. Residents
of the city have keen memories of when it was nearly impossible to find a reasonable
price here, and are quick to jump on homes that are good values. If you are
intent on finding a great deal, use a highly customizable search engine to
make your search process as efficient as possible. While the Boston Globe's
web page has the largest selection of homes, CityCribs offers
by far the most in-depth search engine, as well as one of the largest databases
of available homes in the area.