Summer Housing Problem
February 20, 2007 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Looking for summer housing in Boston...but there are a few conditions...

1) It's just for the summer...say late May to early/mid August, so a normal rental doesn't work


2) It has to be in "I'm a college student staying in Boston for an unpaid internship and Mom/Dad probably won't help" cheap...

I've asked most of the colleges in the area about summer housing, and the ones that do provide it to students from outside universities (I'm in NY) do so at a cost that's a bit out of my means (roughly $800 a month). I'm currently checking with student groups on campus (fraternities and the like) about renting a room, but I don't have any connections, so I'm not sure if they'll even get back to me. I have one friend that is also looking to intern, but her first choice is in NYC, and she already has a friend (someone I don't know) to sublet from if she does go to Boston. My boyfriend does live in Boston, but I'd like to keep living with him to a last resort, since going from a long-distance relationship to 'living together' would probably strain the relationship.

If you have any ideas of where else I can check (besides craigslist) it'd help!
posted by azriel2257 to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1) Actually, a sublet for these months is a good option, because Boston has a huge student population, and many of them leave for the summer. Obviously, this is a check-craigslist answer, but what I'm saying is keep in mind what the local conditions are like. This is really early to look, honestly.

2) Forget university housing, and check out the fraternities. Many of them will rent to outside students during the summer, regardless of gender. The rent is SO MUCH better than apartments of any variety, and the rent often includes quality meal plans/pantry availability. My knowledge of this is mostly from MIT's fraternities, but other schools should have similar arrangements.
posted by whatzit at 4:22 PM on February 20, 2007

There used to be a short-term rental hotel with efficiency kitchens on Commonwealth Ave. I don't remember the name, but stayed there in the late 90s. It may not be around anymore (or may have significant'y changed its prices). There's also the hostel option. I've stayed in one before (again, long ago), but it was fine and well-located. Try this site for hostel listings. Frankly I think posting to craigslist for a sublet will be your best bet. There will be many, many students who want to keep their school-year housing but are contemplating leaving campus for the summer.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:27 PM on February 20, 2007

TEP fraternity at MIT rents rooms for the summer. A friend of mine stayed there and had a great time, and I think her job was either unpaid or not-very-paid. Check that?
posted by olinerd at 5:20 PM on February 20, 2007

On the frat note, I'm assuming you are in college, so do you have any greek friends? If you have one in a sorority/fraternity, they might know about their sister/brother organization offering rooms for rent during summer months in Boston. Why are you adverse to Craigslist? In Philadelphia, I found a summer sublet, rented it, then sub-subletted it a month later, all through Craigslist.
posted by nursegracer at 5:24 PM on February 20, 2007

I've had good luck with craigslist rentals, both in the Cambridge area and in Chicago. There are tons of sublets available, particularly if you're not super limited on location. In metro Boston, you'll want to look in Somerville, probably, where prices are lower. You can do well (one bedroom in a 4-5 bedroom house, often) for $500-600/month. Less, if you're willing to put up with sketchier situations.

If being on the other side of the river is important, there might be housing in Jamaca Plain that's reasonable.

The frat deal that was mentioned earlier is also quite do-able, though part of why it worked out so well money-wise for Olinerd and my's mutual friend is that she was in a triple with other people she knew from school.

If you're really hardcore about not using craigslist (which I think is a little unreasonable, but there might be something you're not telling us for a good reason), your best bet is probably word of mouth through your boyfriend. Except for the frat deal, everyone I know who's done summer sublets has done them through craigslist.

Good luck! The Boston area is a great place to be for a summer (or longer).
posted by heresiarch at 5:43 PM on February 20, 2007

Um. So I moving out around this time and you might be able to take over my joint. Maybe.

The rent is 750, its at a reculously great/bu loud place in the North End and the room is massive (think 3 queen beds plus some). I am finishing up grad school but I would stay here forever.
posted by Meemer at 5:53 PM on February 20, 2007

It's not so much that I'm adverse to Craigslist; more that I'm already working on that angle and looking for any fresh ideas that I might be missing.

Meemer: I'm not really looking for a place to keep past the summer - have to come back to school
posted by azriel2257 at 6:13 PM on February 20, 2007

Later in the semester, take a few walks through the college/university campuses in Boston, especially the student centers, and check the bulletin boards. Tons of students will post their summer sublets. This was how I found my super-cheap sublet in a great part of Boston one summer during the late '90s.
posted by bassjump at 6:31 PM on February 20, 2007

olinerd - Who was your friend, out of curiosity? I'm an MIT tEp alum and stayed there all four summers.

azriel - MIT's fraternities tend to be low-cost options for students staying in Boston and surrounding areas; though this nauseates me, many of them push for cute female renters in particular, so that's something to consider (i.e. is that a desirable disposition for a landlord, etc.). I can vouch that tEp is a safe, happy, ridiculous place to spend a summer, though cleanliness has not historically been a priority among the troglodyte residents.

The MIT Boston fraternities are hit-or-miss; have a look at each house's webpage. The desirability of each place tends to scale inversely with the number of times athletic affiliation is mentioned on the page. When I was a student (class of '01) it would run ~$400/month or so, but that tends to include snacks, laundry, a number of other amenities - including the company of interesting people, which is priceless.

Best of luck!
posted by waxbanks at 6:47 PM on February 20, 2007

Oh - and don't wait until the end of semester to make arrangements. Houses fill up fast; look around in April or May, get on whatever waiting lists you have to then.
posted by waxbanks at 6:48 PM on February 20, 2007

Definitely get your boyfriend to scout for you on local bulletin boards for sublets, and have his female friends scout for you too. I remember seeing tons of summer sublet ads inside college bathroom stalls in the ladies' rooms starting mid-spring.

You might also find useful info on some of the local colleges' websites, for example this one for BU.
posted by vytae at 9:48 PM on February 20, 2007

Check your college's bulletin board or alumni connections resources, not just those of Boston colleges. You might get lucky with an alum who now lives in Boston who wants to rent a spare room or who needs a roommate (that's how I got my apartment in Boston when I went from college to grad school in the city).
posted by marginaliana at 7:19 AM on February 21, 2007

waxbanks: not that you're still reading this, but if you are, her name was Giselle... it would have been summer of '03, I think?
posted by olinerd at 4:58 PM on February 21, 2007

Email me if you still haven't found a place. I have a studio in Allston. The lease is up on Sep 1, but I'm finishing up grad school in May and want to shuck on out of here -- I'd be happy to work something out with you for the 2.5-ish months.
posted by Marit at 9:33 AM on February 25, 2007

I work for the Conference Services department here at Loyola University Chicago and we still have a number of different housing options available for the Summer either on our downtown Water Tower campus, which is located on Michigan Avenue and E. Pearson Street, or up on our main undergraduate campus in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. If anyone is still looking for housing for single individuals, interns, corporate meetings, etc., please have them contact me at
posted by mcashman at 4:08 PM on April 24, 2007

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