When most people think about Boston, they think about the area's passionate sports fans at Fenway Park, the rich history that defines this area, and the many attractions that line Freedom Trail. If you're thinking about calling the largest city in New England home, there's a lot you should know before you decide where to put down roots in Beantown.
Home to many important events in the American Revolution, Boston is revered for its role in the birth of the country. Since then, it has continued to push the envelope in America. Boston Public Market is the first public park in the country and the city also welcomed the country's first subway system, laying the groundwork for other cities to modernize.
Nearly 700,000 people live in Boston, but the metropolitan area is much larger, claiming a population of nearly 4.8 million. As a result, there are hundreds of neighborhoods and small suburban communities with different amenities, layouts, and attractions, so be ready to spend some time finding the right Boston suburb or neighborhood for your family.
No matter what you're looking for in your next home, you'll find something you love in Boston. With its array of colleges and universities, Boston is a hub of innovation and growth. It is extremely welcoming to entrepreneurs, as nearly 5,000 startups are headquartered in the city. Boston has a strong public transportation system, so even if your commute requires multiple stops and transfers, you get the benefits of a very walkable city.
1. Boston Real Estate Outlook
Before you fall in love with a specific neighborhood or suburb, research the real estate and rental market in your preferred areas. Boston is currently the fourth most expensive city in the United States, so rental and purchase prices are high when compared to most other parts of the country.
If you're looking to buy a home in Boston, note that the city is currently in a buyer's market. For years, the city was dominated by a seller's market and bidding wars were common for properties just hitting the market. Now, bidding wars are much less common and buyers have more power during negotiations. The average listing price for a Boston home is $825,000, but prices are considerably higher in expensive neighborhoods like Chinatown, downtown, Bay Village, and Back Bay.
Single-family homes are relatively uncommon in Boston, simply because of space limitations and the fact that newly constructed homes are very rare within city limits. Plan on looking at the city's variety of condos. A number of properties have high-end renovations and offer residents in-demand amenities like pools, deluxe fitness centers, parking, and rooftop entertainment options.
Boston has a booming rental market, so if you find a rental you love, be ready to act quickly and lock it down. This is particularly true for apartments with parking spaces, affordable laundry facilities, and elevators. Yes, elevators are a hot commodity in this region. Since so many of Boston's buildings are historical, they cannot be retrofitted with elevators. Keep that in mind as you scale the stairs for an apartment tour.
2. Boston Communities
Located just a few miles north of Boston, Somerville is one of the most diverse cities in the US. If you enjoy culture and history, it's a great place to settle. Somerville is home to a varied mix of immigrants, college students, professionals, and blue-collar families. There are plenty of ceremonies throughout the year to celebrate the unique traditions and holidays, with many being centered around the city square. If you think you'd like to call Somerville home, explore some of our self-storage facilities to see how we can help.
Everyone knows Fenway Park is the home of the Boston RedSox, but Fenway/Kenmore is also one of Boston's cultural and academic hubs and a great neighborhood to move to. It's home to America's first public school, Boston Latin School and almost a dozen institutes of higher learning. Fenway/Kenmore is home to many undergrad students and young professionals. For things to do, there's plenty of nightlife as well as some fine arts museums and Symphony Hall. Check out our storage-facilities in Fenway/Kenmore and let us help you make a smooth transition to this great neighborhood.
If you prefer nature over nightlife, Brookline may be the ideal neighborhood for you. People of all ages and backgrounds call Brookline home, and residents are very community-oriented. Brookline is home to multi-acre parks and nature reserves with miles of paths to walk, jog, or enjoy a family bike ride. From Brookline Teen Center to the Senior Center, there’s plenty for everyone to do. If you’re ready to call Brookline home, the staff at our storage facilities are ready to help smooth the transition.
3. Things to do in Boston
One thing is for certain when you move to Boston: you'll only be bored if you choose to be. Whether you're a single adult interested in exploring the nightlife, a new parent looking for family enrichment, or a retiree looking forward to taking life as it comes, Boston has plenty to offer.
If you like to spend your free nights staying out late and exploring the city, know that Boston has a vibrant nightlife. Local hot spots include The Grand, Tunnel, Storyville, and Bijou. Beyond the nightclub scene, there are many other attractions that make for a memorable night. Boston Bowl is open 24 hours for bowling, arcade games, and dining. Adult Night at Legoland lets you relive your childhood without any children around. Every week, Boston University opens up its observatory to the public for stargazing.
Looking for ways to keep your little ones entertained and engaged? Boston delivers in that area. The Boston Museum of Science offers tons of hands-on activities for growing minds, and the New England Aquarium lets children get up close and personal with sea life from all over the world. At Public Garden, children can see where the book "Make Way for Ducklings" took place, take a swan boat ride on the lagoon, and enjoy views of the whole city. At Franklin Park Zoo, families can visit with animals from all over the world. Boston Common is another fun way to spend a day. It's the country's oldest public park and features a spray pond, frog pond, and carousel.
There is no question that Boston is a must-visit place for any foodie, and if you settle down here, you have lots of time to check out Boston's highly rated restaurants. Boston is perhaps best known for its seafood, and there's plenty of debate about where you can get the best lobster roll. Local restaurants serve up delicious pizza, unique burgers, and fare from every culture. Plan to check out restaurants like Neptune Oyster, Regina Pizzeria, Pammy's, Tasting Counter, and Mei Mei.
4. Reasons to Move to Boston
There is a lot to love about life in Boston. As one of the country's most walkable cities, many residents note that it is easy to live car-free. This limits transportation expenses and upkeep costs, freeing up money to spend on Boston's shopping, dining, and activities. You can reach just about anything with public transportation, your feet, or a bike. The city is also home to tons of highly rated health care facilities, making it an excellent choice for growing families and those with specialized health needs. Facilities in this area include Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Beth Israel, and Deaconess Medical Center.
Boston also has plenty of higher education opportunities. This is a big plus for those who work in academia or research, as well as those with children. Parents love knowing they can keep their kids close, thanks to the fact that more than 30 colleges and universities are in Boston. Top institutions include Harvard University, Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Amherst College.
Transportation is much more convenient when you live in a large city like Boston. It has a robust public transportation system and Logan International Airport, making interstate or international travel much easier.
Boston also boasts a thriving economy that supports substantial growth in many important industries. If you work in tourism, financial services, biotechnology, or education, Boston is an excellent place to meet major industry players and work for some of the biggest companies in the world.
5. Top Boston Neighborhoods
Bostonians note that every neighborhood has a unique identity, so it's easy for newcomers to find a place that resonates with them. You might look into East Boston, a diverse community with stunning bay views, Logan International Airport, and breathtaking views of the city skyline. This neighborhood is also served by a CubeSmart self-storage facility, so those making downsizing to small apartments and condos can still keep their items nearby.
CubeSmart's southern Boston self-storage facility serves neighborhoods like Chinatown and South End. Chinatown features tons of older industrial buildings that have been revamped and remodeled to become unique apartments, high-end restaurants, and shopping nooks. South End has a diverse population that's welcoming of everyone, excellent schools, and stunning brownstone homes. It has a bustling restaurant industry that's dominated by local fare and an arts scene that supports many of Boston's up-and-coming artists.
On the west side of Boston, you'll find neighborhoods like Fenway, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill. You might think Fenway is named after the famous ballpark, but the Red Sox ballpark is actually named for the neighborhood. As long as you don't wear a Yankees hat in the Fenway neighborhood, you're sure to love visiting cultural landmarks and shopping centers. Back Bay, which you've undoubtedly seen on Boston postcards, has modern, minimalist apartment buildings lining the streets. Shop luxury brands on Newbury Street. Back Bay is definitely one of Boston's most expensive neighborhoods, but once you visit it, you'll see what makes it so special. The narrow, winding streets of Beacon Hill make it a charming, quaint place to walk through on the weekends or after a day of work. Locally owned coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques create a tight-knit community.
Those interested in the exciting vibe of a student-dominated neighborhood might enjoy Allston. With thousands of students living in local apartments and dorms, residents look forward to the end of each school year, when the curbs are filled with barely used furniture that students no longer need.
If you want to feel like you're living in a historic European city, North End could be the neighborhood for you. Locals here all have their own favorite Italian restaurants, which is a great reason to try every pizzeria in the neighborhood after moving. Additionally, many of Boston's most popular historic sites are located in the North End neighborhood.
Don't forget to look into other suburban communities in the Boston area. Cambridge borders Boston to the west, has its own CubeSmart facility, and a thriving cultural and artistic scene. Like Boston, it is very walkable and has lots of neighborhoods with distinct characteristics and history. Brookline, a suburb of about 60,000 people, borders Boston. It's home to several colleges, as well as highly rated public and private K-12 schools. Just northwest of Boston, you'll find Somerville, a community known for its thriving arts industry and Tufts University.
Whether you're drawn to Boston for its entertainment, commitment to education, long history, or delicious food, we're certain it will feel like home in no time. Whichever neighborhood you decide to settle down in, you'll be referring to yourself as a Bostonian before you know it.