englawyer wrote: Zara wrote: englawyer wrote:
Zara wrote:for those of you who are pretty much sure you are going to HLS, what do you plan to do for housing?
off-campus apt w/ girlfriend. I have been in a Cambridge for a while, although we live in a somewhat sketchy studio. I might be upgrading a bit for law school to a 1BR, which will be around $1300 in Cambridge. Not cheap but not too bad for 2 people to share.
i lived 4 miles outside of boston for two years so I know the prices are pretty steep. I never lived in cambridge though and didnt really spend too much time there so can you recommend some good cheap places? I'm not against taking taking the T as long as it is not ridiculously far. any advice would be great! I have to find an apartment from Japan (won't be back in the states until August 1st) so i want to get as much information about it as possible since i can't visit.
Sure. I will assume you are living by yourself, so I will focus on roommates/studio in addition to "cool" neighborhoods that are convenient to HLS. Specifically, I will mention those that are on the "red line" for super-convenient living. Alewife
is the last stop on the red-line. There are a number of apt/condo complexes here, but not much else. It is a little cheaper than Davis/Porter I believe. 3 stops to Harvard which is still a nice commute if you find a good place. Davis Square
is on the red-line, and thus very convenient to Harvard (2 stops). It had a renaissance of sorts in the 90's after the station was put in, and is know a solidly yuppie neighborhood. It is kind of funky though because it has a weird blend with its working class roots. Prices will generally be 600-700 to share an apartment with roommates or 1300 for a 1-BR. Davis has a clean-cut even suburban feel which can be a plus/minus for you (there are a ton of strollers going around).
is also on the red-line, and is even closer to Harvard (1 stop away). It is a more "generic/shopping center" neighborhood than Davis (seems to revolve around Shaw's) but still has some stuff to do and it is easy to get to better entertainment due to the train. Similar prices to Davis:
is obviously the most convenient, but tends to be a bit more pricey than the other places (say more like 700-800 for sharing an apartment, or 1500 for 1BR). It also has the most stuff "to do" around the area. It is a more uppity neighborhood in general. The big plus would be that participating in the social scene would be very convenient. Central Square
is the most "city-ish" neighborhood of Cambridge. To me it feels like a watered-down Manhattan, complete with the dirtier streets and increased number of homeless people. It seems the most "real" of the Cambridge neighborhoods though, as the others I have mentioned are kind of fantasy-landish. One stop to Harvard (in the other direction). It is a little more pricey than Davis/Porter but not quite Harvard level:
is the MIT neighborhood. It seems a bit more dry than the other places and is very industrial (lots of businesses and whatnot). Price-wise it is comparable to Central Square, and is 2 stops in the other direction (towards Boston). A big plus of this neighborhood would be closer proximity to Boston proper, as it would be a hop, skip, and a jump to downtown Boston.
Other neighborhoods (off the Redline):"Area 4" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_4,_Cambridge
this place is the cheapest of all Cambridge, and is where I live in a studio for ~ $1000 total. There is a bus route to Harvard, and it is generally a 5-10 minute walk to Central or Kendall square. The downside is that it is dominated by low-income housing projects so it is nearly the opposite of Davis Square (socio-economically diverse, etc) and far from a "fantasy land" type place. Plenty of triple deckers, etc. There are quite a few students/grad students in the area but mostly poor/lower-income folks other than that. Inman Square
is a cute neighborhood with lots of restaurants etc and popular for young people. The downside is the lack of proximity to a train, so your commute would most likely be bus + train everyday, which could be a pain. Not sure if there is a bus right to Harvard (maybe though)Lechmere Area
would probably be inconvenient for HLS, and is not as cheap as the places above.
Final words of advice:
--> Stay near the red line if you can to avoid using a car but still have a great commute
--> if you want as cheap as possible, focus on Somerville, perhaps a place with a bus route to the T
--> if I had to recommend one place over all others, it would be Davis. I lived there for a bit and it was fun.
pricewise, you did good if:
Studio ~ 1000
Shared room ~ 600
1BR ~ 1200
2BR ~ 1400
something like that!