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Cheapest Neighborhoods in Boston

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May 4, 2021
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There are a lot of reasons why you should move to Boston. Boston is known as one of the best cities in the world, boasting a thriving business scene and a top choice for startups. It is also known to be one of the top places in the USA for those seeking higher education, and indeed is home to the fourth-ranked educated workforce in the country. If you love going to sports bars and spending an evening cheering on the hometown team, you won’t find more passionate fans than Bostonians!

Boston also boasts amazing museums, restaurants, and a selection of great dog parks around the city.

However, there is one tradeoff that comes with renting an apartment in Boston. The cost of living is 48% higher than the national average, making Boston one of the most expensive cities to live in the US. On average, a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $2,667 per month, and a 3-bedroom apartment costs around $4,176. If you opt for an apartment outside the city center, it is a bit cheaper. A 1-bedroom will cost around $1,934, while a 3-bedroom will cost around $2,871.

If you’re looking for the cheapest places to live in Boston, you’ve come to the right place! Here are the top five most affordable Boston neighborhoods.

What are the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston?

  • Allston-Brighton
  • Dorchester
  • East Boston
  • Roslindale
  • Hyde Park

Allston-Brighton

(Average monthly rent: $1,840 for a 1-bedroom apartment)

Allston-Brighton is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, with a crime rate that is 24% lower than the national average. The majority of the population is composed of college students and graduate students, thanks to its proximity to Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. Allston-Bright is also popular with young professionals thanks to the affordable housing options.

What Vibe Will You Find?

Since the population of this neighborhood skews towards the younger crowd, you will find a busy and lively atmosphere. There are many local restaurants and bars that cater to the college crowd, so don’t be surprised if you keep stumbling into Happy Hour! The best way to describe the atmosphere is like “one big college campus”!

Great Things to Do

Allston-Brighton offers a great mix of indoor and outdoor activities for the locals. Brighton Music Hall stages indie shows from the local theatre groups, and Vivant Vintage is a must-visit for bargain hunters looking for retro and vintage finds. If you’re in the mood to explore outdoors, head on over to Charles River Reservation where you can go biking, hiking, or canoeing.

Dorchester

(Average monthly rent: $1,950 for a 1-bedroom apartment)

Dorchester has a large Irish-American and Polish-American population, largely due to the fact that it was once a hub of European immigrants. Today, this neighborhood has one of the most diverse populations in Boston, with Asian-American, Latinx, and Caribbean-American communities making their home here. Dorchester also has a large student population because of its proximity to the University of Massachusetts Boston.

What Vibe Will You Find?

Considering its diverse population, Dorchester has arguably the most culturally unique atmosphere in Boston and it is reflected in the community spirit of the area! You will find numerous types of cuisines being featured in the local restaurants, so if you’re a foodie, you will love staying in Dorchester. This neighborhood is also known for being LGBTQ+ friendly, making it one of the liberal areas in Boston as well.

Great Things To Do

Fancy spending time at the beach? Head on over to Savin Hill and Malibu Beach where you can go for a dip, play some beach volleyball, or work on your tan. Afterward, learn a bit more about the history of Boston by paying a visit to the James Blake House, which is the oldest residential structure in Boston. If you need to do some shopping, South Bay Center is home to both global brands and local boutique stores.

East Boston

(Average monthly rent: $1,900 for a 1-bedroom apartment)

East Boston is hugely popular with singles, young professionals, and families who are just starting out for two reasons. First, it is the 4th-cheapest neighborhood to live in all of Boston when it comes to the cost of living. Second, it is the 10th-cheapest when it comes to median rent prices. When you take these two factors together, East Boston is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Boston.

What Vibe Will You Find?

One of the best things about East Boston is that it has the best of both worlds. It is a ten-minute commute to downtown Boston, so it is quite removed from the hustle and bustle of the main city. The neighborhood is quiet and calm, and you will feel the tight-knit community spirit. However, it is still close to Boston Logan International Airport, so you will still find a thriving restaurant and entertainment scene that caters to tourists.

Great Things To Do

The Pier Park Sailing Center is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon if you want a taste of Boston’s waterfront community life. You can go sailing or kayaking, then grab a bite of some of the freshest seafood you will ever taste. If you want to sample more of the local gourmet fare, pay a visit to Faneuil Hall Marketplace where you can taste locally-grown produce or even do a bit of shopping.

Roslindale

(Average monthly rent: $1,675 for a 1-bedroom apartment)

Living in Roslindale is similar to East Boston because it has the same cost of living, but Rosindale has a slight edge because apartments in this neighborhood are cheaper. The affordable rent makes Rosindale highly attractive to families and retirees. This neighborhood also boasts a low crime rate and great schools, such as Sacred Heart School and Brooke Rosindale. Roslindale also has affordable housing options that cater to families such as 2-bedroom apartments or even duplexes.

What Vibe Will You Find?

If you’re looking for a friendly community and a neighborhood that you can call home, look no further than Rosindale. The residents take pride in their tight-knit community, and the Roslindale Village Main Street organization works hard to foster that feeling of togetherness and camaraderie. You’ll often find community-led initiatives such as bake sales, block parties, and other group activities that aim to unite the people living here. Perhaps the only downside is the distance from the downtown Boston area, as the commute is 40 minutes one-way.

Great Things To Do

Many of the activities around Roslindale are centered on the closeness of the neighborhood. The Roslindale Village Farmers Market is a great place to get fresh produce as well as listen to live music from local bands. The Riot Theater Company offers improv classes as well as hosts stand-up comedy nights. Finally, the Roslindale Branch of the Boston Public Library is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon!

Hyde Park

(Average monthly rent: $1,775 for a 1-bedroom apartment)

When it comes to affordable apartment rental options, Hyde Park takes the top spot. Although the neighborhood is located in the southernmost point of the city, you won’t have trouble moving around because of the nearby commuter rail.

What Vibe Will You Find?

Hyde Park is home to a large population of Haitian and Dominican immigrants, so you’ll find authentic Caribbean cuisine on almost every block. The community has a family-focused vibe, so this neighborhood is popular with families and retirees alike. Since it is located a fair distance from downtown, you will find a calm and idyllic atmosphere here.

Great Things To Do

If you love a slow and relaxed pace of living, then Hyde Park is the perfect place for you. Spend your weekends perfecting your golf swing at the George Wright Golf Course, or head on over to the Riverside Theater Works with your family to catch a musical. If there’s a big game coming up, you can be sure that The Village Manor will be packed with fans cheering on for their home team.

How Can I Find My Dream Apartment?

Now that you know the cheapest neighborhoods in Boston, it’s time for you to find the perfect apartment! Make the job easy by checking out the best rental websites to find an apartment in Boston. You can also connect with Alex the Alpacabot to narrow down your filters. Whether you need a cable-ready apartment or an apartment with a quick lease-start date, Alex will find the best apartment for you.