Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice Easter. Now that we are approaching mid-April the time has come to decide to renew or discontinue your rental leases. After living in Boston for a few years, my roommate and I have decided to leave our apartment in Brighton. Moving can be tricky in the city so I thought I would put together a blog post regarding how to prepare to move within the Greater Boston area.
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Moving in the Greater Boston Area
We all know about September 1st as the big moving day. If you aren’t a current resident and are considering moving to Boston, I would suggest you also check out the following post: Moving to Boston: What you need to know. That post offers many essential tips for those moving to Boston from out of the area.
Most residents in Boston have a lease end date of August 31st at 12:00 PM. This leaves people in a peculiar situation until they can move into their other unit on September 1st. You have to coordinate moving vans, storage, and key retrievals. This is no easy feat when everyone else in the area is doing the same thing.
Prepare Early When Moving in the Greater Boston Area
No seriously, please prepare way early. You will completely regret waiting until the last minute to research a good agent, moving company, and apartment management company. I have literally seen people camping out in apartment hallways overnight with all their belongings since they didn’t prepare ahead of time. Let’s avoid that if we can!
Do Your Research
Don’t make the mistake of rushing into moving without doing proper research. Make a list of the must-haves you need in a new place, and make sure the prospective homes meet your requirements. For example, look into area safety, apartment history, amenities, landlord reviews, and public transportation options.
What could be better than getting word of mouth advice or referrals from your local friends, coworkers, etc… Allow people to give you input, especially if they have lived in the Greater Boston area longer than you have.
Find a Good Real Estate Agent/Broker
First of all, know that you do not have to use an agent if you don’t want to. You can rummage through housing ads to find a place. However, if you don’t feel like apartment hunting on your own, you should find an agent that understands what you are looking for. Also, an agent that is responsive and timely. You can find reviews of agents by simply searching for their names.
Negotiate Broker Fees
Living in Boston, I’m sure you are all familiar with the dreaded broker fees. This can equate to a full month’s rent divided between the broker and the landlord, on top of paying the landlord the first month, last month, and occasionally a security deposit.
This can really add up! Don’t be afraid to negotiate broker fees. Either offer to split the fee, pay a percentage, or request that the landlord pay the broker the full amount. It can’t hurt to ask, right? Depending on the rental market, your potential landlord could prefer not to lose you as a tenant compared to paying the broker.
Additional Financial Expectations
Beyond all the broker fees and upfront rent, you must also anticipate potentially paying for storage, moving truck, parking permits for the moving truck, moving materials, and more.
All Neighborhoods in Boston are Different
Find a neighborhood that you love. Do you prefer quiet? Then prefer Brighton or Allston will be more your speed. Want to be right in the city? Go check out the South End, Newbury, or the North End. The prices will be steeper, but you could discover the best neighborhood for you. Check out Culture Trip’s Guide to Boston’s 23 Neighborhoods.
Inform Your Current Landlord
Don’t forget to formally inform your landlord in writing your intent to move at least 90 days prior. Management companies send our requests for renewals, but if you have a more informal arrangement with a landlord, you should probably send them a written notice to vacate.
The Application Game
Say you find a good place, now what? The time has come to put in your application and secure your place. This can be competitive due to the demand to live in Boston. There are also several requirements to rent depending on the property. Some landlords or management companies require good credit, renter’s insurance, or references. If you don’t currently have a job or have poor credit, you may need to have a co-signer for your application. These are all things that will save you a chunk of time if you plan.
In Boston, it can be tricky finding a rental that allows for pets, specifically dogs. However, it is definitely not impossible! It will just take a bit more searching. Thankfully, sites like Zillow or Trulia allow you to filter for rentals that allow for pets. Have some savings set aside for a potential pet deposit or monthly pet fee.
Where can you find proper moving materials? Use up what you already have. Shoe boxes, shipping boxes, suitcases, etc. Not enough? You can pick up free flat rate shipping boxes at your local post office. Also, you can have them mailed directly to your home for free via the USPS website.
If you want something a bit easier to handle, I would recommend these extra-large moving bags from Amazon. They are super easy to move and hold a lot of stuff. Plus, if you hire movers, they will absolutely adore you. I plan to use these to move items from my kitchen.
Something else I got to make my move easier is a vacuum-sealed bag for my memory foam mattress. Not having to contend with moving a bulky mattress is well worth the 29 bucks, in my opinion.
Get Ready for Your Move
Just some final notes on things to look out for when you are apartment hunting or finally moving. Be aware of who your neighbors will be. For example, are you a worker? Then perhaps you won’t want to live in an area filled with college students. Are you an artist? Then maybe look for an area that inspires you.
Moving Day in Boston
When it comes to the actual moving day, always have someone stay with your belongings. This is especially true in the Brighton-Allston area, where Allston Christmas mostly occurs. However, this also happens in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the North End, South End, and Southie.
Most buildings’ doors are fully propped open, so anyone can waltz in and rummage through items left in hallways. Asking friends to help you out will come in handy. I say this because my roommate and I have witnessed tenants leaving items in the hallway unsupervised while moving. One tenant, in particular, returned to find someone had taken two suitcases full of her belongings. Let’s all avoid this!
Enjoy Your New Home
I hope you will find a new home that will make you thrive. Explore your neighborhood and find all the hidden gems you were unaware of before. Plus, a new home is a great opportunity to redecorate. Be sure to check out my spring home decor post for some inspiration.
Hello everyone! I am a Boston based blogger that loves all things travel and lifestyle. You can usually find me working away at my university job, snapping pictures, thrifting, or trying out some new recipes.