Before You Start Looking
As demand for housing in Boston – and especially in Cambridge – being consistently high, rents have steadily risen over the years. A studio apartment, that’s one room with a kitchenette and a bathroom, will cost you about $900-$1200 per month, just as much as a one bedroom apartment. And a two bedroom may set you back about $1200-$1600 per month. For starters, it also requires you to put down a deposit of one month’s rent, often also the last month’s rent as well as a broker fee of another month’s rent, easily costing you three month’s rent together before you have the key. But you may be lucky and get a room with only a deposit and the first month; often this is the case in shared houses or apartments. Often a bank statement or income statement or award letter is required to prove one’s ability to fulfill rent obligations for the coming year as landlords try to avoid problems down the road.
Once You Have Found a Place
After looking around at a dozen places (or way more), you may have to fill out an application form with arcane questions about your habits (some landlords really want to know everything beyond any privacy limitations) and put down the deposit (and the broker fee) in vain. Sometimes you need to wait for a week until you hear back, especially if the place is really nice and a lot of people have interest, when the landlord has the pick. At other times you can just put down the deposit and get the key – quick and easy. Usually you sign a contract for a year before you can move in, and only then all dues need to be paid. Beware of those who want to charge beforehand! It often pays to ask all questions on the phone and carefully preselect to save time. After all, you also choose the landlord.
Often there is a housing office at your university, school, department or organization. Sometimes there are multiple offices for various groups. As these are related to your current community, they may be the best place to start your housing search with.
You can also find places online at various websites. Feedback has been good about CraigsList and Sublet, but there are many more places to fetch your catch.
Housing Search Websites
Short Term Housing / Couch Crash / Bed & Breakfast / Hotels / Hostels
Furniture & Fittings for the Thrifty
Many who leave the area sell their utensils for fair prices and have lots of tips and hints on living in your area. Also, lots of perfectly fine stuff is put on the curb the evening before recycling day in each area. To find out when and where, look at your local community’s recycling plan.
350 Brookline St, Cambridge, MA 02139, T (617) 253-4293
483 Broadway, Somerville, MA, T (781) 395-9783 or 1-800-SA-TRUCK
402 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, T (617) 354-9159 or (617) 547-3400