Boston has it all -- culture, transportation, waterfront, inland, medical, theaters, higher-learning institutions -- but it can be a rough place to find affordable rent. Here are a few alternative areas in the Greater Boston area that can give you that Boston feel without the Boston price.
Brighton. In the northwest corner of Boston, this neighborhood of 44,000 is on the shores of the Charles River. The area is attracting small businesses and giving grants to renovate existing storefronts. Live in Boston while enjoying lower rent than most other neighborhoods. There are many housing choices in this quiet part of Boston and rents range from $1,400 to $3,500 (for a five bedroom/one bathroom)
Revere. Almost 5 miles north of Boston, this waterfront town is mostly residential with some industrial and commercial usage. Yet, the town has left 900 acres as open water or wetlands, adding to its charm. Boasting convenient access to Logan Airport, Boston, train service, and major roads, along with colleges and universities, museums, theaters and medical facilities, this town of close to 43,000 is in an excellent location. History shows that Revere even had the first public beach. Rents now range from $1,250 to $1,850.
Watertown. The first off-the-coast Massachusetts settlement with ties to Paul Revere, who once lived here, Watertown is only 6 miles from Boston. Once functioning as the temporary government seat during the Revolutionary War, the population is over 33,000 and has both easy access to Logan Airport and commuter rail lines. Prices are more affordable than much of the Boston area with rents running $1,500 to $3,300 (for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom with parking).
Canton. Located 17 miles south of Boston, this town of over 18,500 residents has direct access to Massachusetts' main highways and commuter trains. With its small-town charm and wetland conservation areas, this is a good town to escape city life yet still be close enough to commute to Boston for work or play. With a number of options, rents in Canton start at around $1,200 and go up to $2,000.
Quincy. This birthplace of two U.S. presidents has a sizeable population of 90,000 with lots to do and both coastline and inland rental options. There are a number of home choices in this historical city located 10 miles from Boston. Quincy rents runs from $995 (studio) to $2,700 (three bedroom/two bathroom)