Housing near Lexington
September 14, 2012 8:01 AM   Subscribe

I need housing for a job starting November-December Lexington, MA. Can you advise this single nerd?

I have a well-paying job in Lexington, MA that will be starting soon. It'd be nice to get it right the first time, so I have a few requirements for my new place:

* 1 or 2 bedroom
* No yardwork
* Real kitchen hood-vent
* Super-powerful dishwasher
* Large wood-floor space for living room
* Space for grilling outdoors
* Parking for 1 car

* Public transit to downtown Boston [though I have a car]
* No-hassle laundry

I have only ever found a very-next-month apartment. Should I assume that is doable as well, or is there any point in me running around neighborhoods with no viewing appointments this weekend? [I live in CT]. Should I enlist a broker?
posted by tintexas to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Check your MeMail (also forgot to add in-unit laundry to that list!)
posted by floweredfish at 8:16 AM on September 14, 2012

Lexington is a very very pricy town. And one that doesn't have a lot of rentals near the town center. Most of the rentals are in large developments around the outside; Which might be closer to your work if you're at Nuance, Vistaprint, Raytheon ETC but not walkable to much else. Village center is where all the 'stuff' is and It does have a commuter rail stop right in the heart of it.

I would enlist a broker, to get what you want you are going to be paying a mint anyway. Every city next to lexington is a little cheaper if your willing to commute.
posted by French Fry at 8:18 AM on September 14, 2012

Lexington does not have commuter rail service. Are you planning to drive to work or do you want to live close enough to walk? If you really want the city life, I would suggest looking for a place in Cambridge/Somerville - it's a very easy drive to Lexington (15 minutes, tops) and you're on the Red Line which will take you downtown. You can also bike into Lexington from that area (about six miles or so).

If you do want to live closer to work, there are buses from Lexington that will take you to the end of the Red Line.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:24 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Was going to suggest Arlington. More rentals (Lexington has very little), has an oft-running bus that goes right to Harvard Square on the Red Line. (Buses in Lexington don't run nearly as often.)
posted by Melismata at 8:28 AM on September 14, 2012

If you bike, and you are comfortable with heavy bikeway traffic, Lexington has a ton of bike paths, many of which connect to the Minuteman bikeway. Something else to keep in mind on transportation. The bike path goes to Bedford (west of Lexington) and Arlington (to the east).

For these requirements, I think you'll have more luck looking at apartments in newly developed multi-tenant complexes. (Part of my job involves visiting residential multi-tenant real estate in the Boston area. You see very few of these amenities in older buildings -- only the post-1980 developments or buildings that have been rehabbed.)
posted by pie ninja at 8:46 AM on September 14, 2012

It does have a commuter rail stop right in the heart of it

The closest commuter rail stop is actually in Waltham, which isn't very convenient as there's not any direct bus lines between Lexington and Waltham. Lexington does, however, have the 62 and 76 bus lines to Alewife Station in Cambridge, which run somewhat frequently on weekdays, a bit less frequently on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays. It's about a 25-minute trip via bus between Alewife and Lexington center.

I rent in Lexington in an apartment complex within walking distance of the town center & bus stops that is very nice but doesn't meet all of your criteria (mainly the kitchen/grilling stuff). Any other rentals in Lexington are going to be further from the center and thus car-dependent for most things. I agree that you might want to consider looking at Arlington. It's probably even a little bit cheaper, despite being closer to the city, and you'll have much better public transit options 7 days a week.
posted by Nothlit at 9:04 AM on September 14, 2012

As people have mentioned, Lexington is very expensive. Also, in this area, leases tend to coincide with the school year. So, if you're looking to get into an apartment right now, you're in competition with a billion students. If it's a few months from now, less active competition, but also less housing.

Lexington: public transport into Boston and Cambridge exist in the form of a bus line to the T, but it's not going to be all that quick a trip.

Arlington: Parts of it are a fast bus ride to the red line, some are a bit further out and will take longer, but there will be more to choose from. It will still be pricy (but not as bad as Lexington).

Medford: Don't rule out Medford*, because although it will add some time to your commute to Lexington, Medford Square has a number of buses that will take you into Boston or Cambridge. It will also be easier to find somewhere with parking. West Medford has some very nice areas. *On the other hand, if you're planning to take public transportation to get to work -- rule it out. There's nothing direct, it will take hours.

Belmont: I don't know as much about it personally, but it's a fairly nice area, has commuter rail stops and bus lines, and isn't too far from where you need to be if you are planning to drive to work.

Some of the items on your list are just going to make this a harder search, and therefore, you shouldn't waste time.
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:05 AM on September 14, 2012

It does NOT have a commuter rail stop right in the heart of it

I need to be more careful about having coffee before I post.

Your budget is really key. I flirted with living in Lexington for work for a while but could find anything for less than like $1900 that fit my needs.

Found places in both west newton and bedford that did work out for between $1100-1300
posted by French Fry at 9:33 AM on September 14, 2012

I don't think I'm interested in living *IN* Lexington -- part (tiny) of my calculus is gauging how likely people in Boston are to come all the way out to me, and so there's no need to live at the extremum.

Arlington, West / North Cambridge look good... Somervilles seem to be 30m or more drive to work, so might be pushing it. (according to walkscore.com).

I guess I will hold off the trip until next weekend, since I don't really have a handle on any places, and can think about making appointments for next weekend.
posted by tintexas at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2012

Keep in mind traffic is... problematic in the greater Boston area. Any drive that involves crossing certain areas is going to have the potential for major delays. Somerville could be just as close as north or west cambridge depending on how far northwest in Somerville you live.
posted by French Fry at 1:26 PM on September 14, 2012

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