Rooms for rent in Somerville/Medford?
January 12, 2015 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Hey Internet! I'm looking for a room near Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus. I looked through Craigslist and PadMapper. Is there anywhere else I should be looking? What rents are reasonable? Any other housing-related tips you'd like to share?

I'm looking for a room in a two-, three-, or four-bedroom apartment. I just found a job in the area (yay!), and I need to move quickly.

I've never really rented in the area before. I'd love to hear any and all tips, tricks, and advice. I did see this thread, but it's from May 2010.

Thanks MeFi!
posted by topoisomerase to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To give you a comparison for rent prices around here: 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments are $1400/month minimum. Many people choose to live in 3-5 bedroom apartments with roommates to save money. For a single room in a 3-5 bedroom apartment, expect to pay $500-$1000/month, with $700 being about average.

Medford will be cheaper than Somerville due to less public transportation. Somerville has the Davis Square subway station, whereas Medford just has buses. If you plan on owning a car, Medford has a far better parking situation (no street sweeping, free street parking for non-residents) so if you have an out-of-state car or plan to host lots of visitors, that's something to consider.

Craigslist is definitely the standard place to look.
posted by danceswithlight at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just read through the thread from 2010 you linked - it's still very accurate, didn't find anything that was glaringly out of date. Maybe mentally add $100 to any prices you see in that thread.
posted by danceswithlight at 12:54 PM on January 12, 2015

Everything danceswithlight said. Prices may be even higher. The main bus routes you'll want to look along are the 80, 94, and 96 - the 80 doesn't run that often, but it opens up West Medford and central Arlington as possibel rental markets. Arlington is lousy for parking in that there's no street parking, but the apartments are generally larger/nicer.

When are you moving? I don't know what the rental market is like this time of year, but Sept 1 is kind of insane. It's like 75% of the region's rentals. Just be aware that the pickings may be slim other times of year and overwhelming (in quantity, not so much quality) come summer.

There are quite a few MeFites in the area. If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me.

PS: FWIW, I don't think I know anyone in the Davis area (which is the fun but more expensive area to live in) paying less than $800 a bedroom for a two bed or greater. And that's including people who have been on the same unchanged lease for quite some time.
posted by maryr at 12:55 PM on January 12, 2015

My new job starts in early February, so the goal is to be all moved in by then. Or failing that, soon afterwards.
posted by topoisomerase at 1:11 PM on January 12, 2015

I agree that Craigslist is THE place to look. I've found three Davis Square apartments there.

You might also try Davis Square Live Journal, where I sometimes see housing-wanted posts. And there's also a pretty active co-op network in the area, if you're interested in a more communal roommate experience (see, e.g,. Millstone Co-op). Those listings might be on the BCN mailing list, but I haven't followed that for a few years.

I pay $700 for one room in a three-bedroom in Davis Square. I think that's on the low end, based on what we were seeing when we were house-hunting in 2012.

(MeMail when you're in town if you want to meet up. I owe you thanks for the quonsmas gift!)
posted by teditrix at 2:11 PM on January 12, 2015

There are shared apartments in Davis square where you can pay $700 for a room all in, but that's at the low end & I suspect most of these go by word of mouth. $800 is probably more realistic. By "all in" I mean including utilities - these apartments are mostly in 100 year old houses with steam heat & bad insulation, and it can easily cost $200/mo to heat an apartment.
posted by mr vino at 3:46 PM on January 12, 2015

Make sure you're looking at sublets. The market is really slow until July when people start putting places on the market for Sept 1.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:42 PM on January 12, 2015

If I can make one additional comment on this - I REALLY don't recommend being on a bus line. Buses in the Boston metro region are notoriously bad - I have 100 stories of buses flying past me, never coming (on routes where they run every 20 minutes), not running on any recognizable schedule etc. They are far worse in cold or bad weather. The T always runs and is easier. If you'll be working near Tufts campus you can take the 'Joey' from Davis Square to campus (it's the free bus - they don't check IDs), and there is a Joey-tracker online so you can time it and not wait in the cold.

Also since the T is so reliable, consider looking for places further out - Porter Square, Central Square and even Kendall Square are all options. Commute should be pretty easy. Craigslist is your friend for this.

I'm mentioning the public transit, because besides the buses it is quite good and driving a car in the city (and parking!!) is outrageous and not worth your time. Walk and take public transit for a happier life.
posted by Toddles at 9:00 PM on January 12, 2015

I take the bus regularly to work near Tufts (technically I work below and to the left of Tufts, since Tufts rents lab space in the same commercial building that we do). I won't say I've never been passed by, but the bus is reliable enough for commuting, especially with online tracking which the MBTA also has.

Rents will not be significantly cheaper any closer to Kendall, Central, or Porter than they are near Davis and Tufts is far enough from the T that you'll want a bus from Davis whenever possible anyways.
posted by maryr at 11:04 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are you sure you want to live close to that campus? There are so many great places to live in Boston, and the Red Line is a great easy commute.
posted by tiburon at 10:18 AM on January 14, 2015

I do want to live that close to campus. I'm literally working right next to the Tufts campus and I don't want a long commute.
posted by topoisomerase at 1:43 PM on January 14, 2015

That sounds like a great idea to me. The major issue is that housing is taken up by students and is therefore highly seasonal. Living close to Davis wouldn't be a terrible commute--although the walk is miserable in the winter, there are quick and easy buses.

You might also look in Medford north of campus. If you stay around the Medford Square area there are several buses that are pretty reliable, and if not, it's not the longest walk ever.

I think you might have to find somewhere unideal until the Sept. 1 places come up for rent.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:45 AM on January 15, 2015

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