rion91 wrote:How are you guys going to look for housing? I'm not from the area and hiring a realtor seems like a big hurdle
I know this is a late reply to you, but brokers and realtors are a real money suck unless you have a family and/or are willing to spend that much. For a grad student who will likely only be at that location for 1-3 years depending on how much you plan on moving and/or whether you plan on staying in the Boston market, I really don't think it's worth it.
Honestly, Craigslist is the best. Even if you use Zillow or Padmapper, they usually link to Craigslist anyways. It's not as sketch as Craigslist's reputation tends to be, and I've only ever found my housing that way.
Ask current Bostonians where they like to live, but I know the area and knowing the transport, try living on the green line that runs to BU because it'll be a headache if you live far away (especially in the winter).