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The Best Places to Live in Boston

Bursting with character, culture, and history, you won’t regret settling down in Boston. But before you load up the moving van and research where to get the best lobster roll, you’ll want to know the best places to live in Boston and which neighborhood is the perfect match for you.
Bursting with character, culture, and history, you won’t regret settling down in Boston. But before you load up the moving van and research where to get the best lobster roll, you’ll want to know the best places to live in Boston and which neighborhood is the perfect match for you.

Planning your move to Boston may have left your friends begging for you to stop repeatedly butchering the phrases “clam chowder” and “wicked hard.” But luckily you won’t need an authentic Bostonian accent to make yourself at home in the historic and culturally rich city. From a vibrant culinary scene and avid sports fans to world-class educational institutions and a strong job market, Boston offers a little something for everyone.

What you may need before you move, however, is some savings or a great job lined up, as Boston is notoriously an expensive town to call home with July 2019 median home value being $594,600 according to Zillow data.

So as you prepare for your move, which naturally includes watching every Matt Damon and Ben Affleck movie, you’ll need to make one of the toughest decisions — which amazing Boston neighborhood you should choose to settle down in?

Whether you settle in the old, historic areas or head to the younger, college town scene, you’re guaranteed to live in a neighborhood with plenty of character. To help you decide here are the five best places to live in Boston.

1. Back Bay

If you’ve got the cash you can’t do much better than the Back Bay neighborhood. Think old money. The area has a reputation for being home to urban sophisticates who enjoy the arts, the lively social scene, and the great restaurants and shopping in the area.

Situated on the Charles River and on the outskirts of the beautiful Boston Commons, you’ll find Back Bay is walkable with access to the T, Boston’s subway, and multiple bus stops making it simple to get by without owning a car.

While homes can go for upwards of $1 million dollars, the median rent in Back Bay is $3,000, not much higher than the Boston median rent price of $2,800. Back Bay may have the monied reputation, but in reality, you can snag an amazingly nice condo or apartment for not much more than in other neighborhoods.

2. Beacon Hill

One of the most beautiful and photogenic neighborhoods, Beacon Hill boasts some of the most character and charm with its streets lined with historic apartments and homes. And if you like to dip your toe in the more refined cultural scene you’ll be right at home and can join your neighbors at the latest gallery opening or at the symphony.

Not to worry, you don’t have to wear your opera glasses all the time as you’ll also find a great mix of casual dining spots and plenty of boutique shopping and antiquing. If you’re looking for the all-night raves, Beacon Hill may not be the right fit.

The median home value in this neighborhood is somewhat more affordable at $786,500 with median rent prices around the Boston average at $2,850.

3. South End

Officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places, South End is home to rows and rows of beautiful, historic Victorian-style and brownstone homes. The historic charm attracts many young families to the area, though you’ll also have the option to move into a more modern home as new highrises are being built throughout the South End.

Definitely suited for the family-friendly lifestyle, South End has a plethora of parks scattered throughout the neighborhood. And while you’ll be right in the heart of the city with great walkability your public transit is limited to only the Silver bus line — you may need a car.

You’ll find the median home prices in South End is $871,800 with home values expected to rise 0.6% in 2020. If you’re looking to rent, it’ll set you back around $3,300 per month.

4. Charlestown

Charlestown is a historic gem that draws in the family crowd looking to settle down in one of the many delightful townhomes and houses lining the streets. Though not to worry you won’t be too far from the action.

You’ll have easy access to downtown, North End, Cambridge, and Somerville along with plenty of activities and amenities right in the Charlestown neighborhood such as fantastic restaurants and coffee shops that have their own claim to historical fame — the Warren Tavern hosted Ben Franklin’s drinking crew and George Washington spent the night there.

Charlestown has a real neighborhood, community feel hosting tons of events such as the Halloween parade, Bunker Hill Day parade, and Christmas Trolley tour. You can trust that your neighbors will look out for you.

On par with Boston prices, the median home price in Charlestown is $672,300 with home values expected to rise 0.8% in 2020.

5. Cambridge

Home to M.I.T and Harvard, Cambridge feels like its own mini-city catering to the young professional and college crowd. On the east side of Boston, the Cambridge neighborhood encompasses Harvard Square, Central Square, and Porter Square each bringing their own vibe to the area.

For instance, if you enjoy more eclectic bars and restaurants and like listening to indie music, Harvard Square is the place for you. However, if you’re looking to escape the night-life scene, head over to Porter Square where you’ll find plenty of quiet, mellow duplexes to rent.

The median home price in Cambridge is $595,762 with rent prices around the Boston average at $2,800.

Work with a Local Clever Partner Agent

By partnering with a Clever Partner Agent, you’ll find your perfect Boston home in no time. Your Partner Agent has the local knowledge to help you find a home within your budget and will use their expertise to negotiate the best price possible.

Plus, with Clever you’ll find even more cost savings as you may be eligible for the Home Buyer Rebate program where you’ll receive $1,000 on homes over $150,000 or up to 1% back on homes over $500,000 that you can put towards closing or moving costs. Contact Clever to connect with a Partner Agent who will help you find the right home in a great neighborhood.



Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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