Pneumonia wrote:You can easily live in Watertown for that cheap. The trouble is that there are not very many studios. If you look you can find a 2BR for $1500 though. There are a few studios that are cheaper ($1100 ish), but since Watertown is a residential (read: non-college) area there are just not that many of them. Padmapper is your best bet.
I'd be very surprised to see even a 1BR in Watertown for under $1500 these days. Padmapper and Craigslist aren't showing much of anything even below $2000.
The other trick about Watertown is the commute, since it's not on the T. Either you drive (and pay a zillion dollars for parking near the law school, negating your rent savings), or you live close to a bus line. Several bus lines go directly from Watertown to Harvard Square (71, 72, 73, and 75 I think). The problem the bus is, if you're living close enough to a bus line AND close enough to the Cambridge side of Watertown to make your commute reliably under a half hour, then you might have trouble keeping the price of a 1BR down since those are areas where demand is higher. Cheaper areas could mean longer commutes including more walking time. You really don't want a 45 minute commute (worse in rush hour) each way, which is what a lot of Watertown will end up being. At that point, for most people, the cost savings don't outweigh the extra stress, lost time, and isolation from your social network.
Though it's relatively rare compared to Cambridge / Somerville, I know several students who live in Arlington and a number more who live in Allston. I can only think of one who did Watertown.