Where are the best places to live in Massachusetts?

2.jpg(via RealEstate.Boston) If you are not from The Bay State but wanted to move here, how would you decide where to live? A site such as Niche.com would be a great place to start, as they combine rigorous analysis with reviews from millions of people to uncover the best places to live and go to school.

They recently released their updated list for Massachusetts, assigning an overall Niche Grade based on criteria that includes grades for public schools, housing, good for families, jobs, cost of living, outdoor activities, crime and safety, nightlife, diversity, weather, health and fitness, and commute. Data sources include reviews from actual residents, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the FBI, and the Census.

Among the top ten towns and cities in the state is Sharon, Sudbury, Newton, Wayland, Belmont, Boxborough, Wellesley, and Brookline, with the town of Lexington ranked as the best place to live in Massachusetts in 2017. Lexington received an A+ grade for public schools and good for families, A grades for outdoor activities, health and fitness, and commute, and A- grades for jobs, crime and safety, and diversity.

The city of Cambridge, which landed 12th on the state’s list, was ranked 11th on Niche’s 2017 Best Cities to Live in America list, receiving top marks for public schools, good for families, outdoor activities, nightlife, and commute.

The city of Boston, ranked 262nd on the state’s list, received an overall Niche Grade of B+, brought down by its poor grades in crime and safety, cost of living, public schools, and housing.

Although these type of sites are a good initial resource, a local expert in the leasing market can provide invaluable insight. Rental Beast is partnered with some of the best-trained real estate agents in the business who can help their clients make more informed decisions and find the perfect place to rent or buy.

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Tips & Tricks to avoid Rental Scams

1Rental scams are at a fever pitch right now, and protecting yourself and your money while apartment hunting should be your number 1 priority.

In most cases, using common sense will help you stay out of trouble (we’ve all heard of the Nigerian Prince who will wire you a Million dollars as long as you cover the transaction fee) but even a street smart consumer can be fooled by a believable scam. Here are some tip & tricks to avoiding being duped.

1. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is…

1That newly renovated townhouse with all new stainless steel appliances, a small outdoor patio complete with a finished garden, and large three car garage that just happens to be in the heart of the city, and is going for a fraction of average rental? Yeah, thats too good to be true. Business Insider’s tip #6 is great advice – “Trust your intuition.” If the apartment of your dreams is at a price you didn’t even think possible, it is most likely a scam.

2. Never, under any circumstance, wire money to someone you have never met.

1Boston.com details the nightmare situation of finding out you have been duped online. If a landlord “had an emergency come up” or is “out of state working another property” do not wire them money to secure the apartment! Wait until they they are back (if they are actually coming back) and see the listing then. In the meantime, start your search up again. I can guarantee you, starting your apartment search over again is much less of a headache then wiring a few thousand dollars you will never get back!

3. See the listing in person!

1This is easily the best advice you can take to ensure you are not getting duped online. Schedule a showing, tour the apartment, and then you can start the process of actually applying for the apartment. If you physically cannot be present for the showing, make sure someone you trust is. Touring the apartment is your best way to ensure you are not getting scammed. Not to mention, actually seeing the apartment you will be renting for at least a year is a great idea.

The underlying theme in these tips? Common sense. Do not get yourself into trouble by rushing the apartment rental process. Take your time, do you your homework, and actually see the apartment in person.

Rent Prices in Boston Causing Exodus?

2Boston has consistently been one of the most expensive cities in the United States to rent an apartment for a number of years, so it should come as no surprise that affordability is the top reason renters cited as the reason for wanting to leave the city.

Apartment List, a real estate listings site, surveyed around 24,000 tenants across the United States to find out why they chose to continue renting or pack up and move to a different city. In Boston, 81% of renters expressed interest in moving, which is much higher than the national average of 64%. The second most common reason for moving was “switching jobs” at 19%, followed by those who were “unhappy with the weather” at 11%.

One of the demographics most impacted by the city’s rent prices are the older residents. Among residents who are at least 65 years old, over 61% of singles and over 29% of couples can not afford the cost of living, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Since many of residents in this demographic can not receive public assistance, they have no choice but to move.

Top cities in the world for quality of life includes Boston

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Deutsche Bank puts out a report every year called “Mapping the World’s Prices” that lists the best cities in the world in regards to quality of life. They look at a number of variables including climate, pollution, traffic commute time, property price to income ratio, cost of living, health care, safety, and purchasing power.

Boston is ranked eighth on this list, behind Wellington, New Zealand (1), Edinburgh (2), Vienna (3), Melbourne, Australia (4), Zurich (5), Copenhagen (6), and Ottawa (7). Boston is the highest ranking city in the United States that made it on the list, which also includes the cities of San Francisco (18) and Chicago (22). Purchasing power was the main factor behind the lofty ranking, according to Business Insider.

Boston was also named the best city in the Northeast by Money magazine in 2016, as well as the fifth healthiest city in the country last year by The American Fitness Index.

Homes you can rent in Boston for under $2000 right now!

Rental properties are becoming the norm in almost every market across the United States. Those seeking a new home are making the decision to rent at an increasing rate; so much so that the supply is having difficulty keeping up with the demand. Though the market is expanding and catering to the renter, it can be a challenge to get a handle on the ideal price. Because of this, we’re happy to provide you with a glimpse at what under $2000 in rent will get you in one of our most popular markets! —RentalBeast.com

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Cambridge joins Boston as most expensive cities in U.S.

shutterstock_82722607A new report from RENTCafe, a real estate research site, has listed the most expensive cities to live in the United States by averaging the rents of buildings with at least fifty units.

Among the top five are two cities in the Greater Boston area: Boston and Cambridge. According to RENTCafe, Boston was number three on the list of Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rents with an average rent of $3180, topped only by Manhattan, NY, at number one, and San Francisco, CA, at number two. Cambridge was number five on the list with an average rent of $2957, which was only slightly less expensive than San Mateo, CA.

Perhaps a direct result of urban areas demanding such high rent, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that urban renter household renter growth has been overtaken by suburban renter household growth in nineteen of the top twenty largest U.S. metros. Boston is number five on this list and around sixty percent of renters are in the suburbs where they can save an average of around $800 a month compared to the city.

RENTCafe expects to see an increased number of suburban construction projects in the new few years as experts are saying that the next trend in multifamily is expected to happen in the suburban apartment markets.

Rental Beast‘s coverage area in the Boston market includes Greater Boston and the surrounding suburbs, as well as the rest of Massachusetts, and the states of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.