On the hunt for a new apartment? Chances are you’re well-aware that rents in neighborhoods previously declared “affordable” don’t seem to be as reasonable as they used to. But that doesn’t mean you have to count those growing neighborhoods out entirely. Here are a few spots in growing neighborhoods that are worth checking out.
Fenway’s Peterborough Street
Forget the Fenway neighborhood of yesteryear. The days of empty storefronts and old liquor stores are gone, while stores and restaurants like West Elm and Wahlburgers are popping up under sky-high residential buildings. Studios in luxury buildings like the Van Ness start at $3,100 a month, but that doesn’t mean the entire neighborhood is unaffordable. If you’re trying to save a buck, avoid the residential towers popping up on Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street. Instead, check out the picturesque Peterborough and Queensbury Street neighborhoods tucked inside Park Drive. You’ll certainly find a boatload of college students and a few absentee landlords, but the prices are much more desirable if you don’t need the frills of fancy amenities. Plus, having Shaw’s, CVS and City Target just around the corner certainly doesn’t hurt.
East Boston’s Eagle Hill
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: East Boston is booming. With real estate prices skyrocketing and college students flowing in like the levee broke, massive changes are afoot in the neighborhood. The most rapidly transitioning neighborhood of Jeffries Point may be out of your price range, but fear not: Head a little deeper into Eastie to the Eagle Hill neighborhood for better prices.
“Developers have barely scratched the surface on converting multifamily triple deckers in Eagle Hill to individual condominiums,” says Realtor Kevin Concannon, who works with The Steven Cohen Team at Keller Williams. “The top of Eagle Hill gets the views of the city, and the neighborhood has a lot of history and architectural charm, plus it is the next closest to the city and T from Maverick/Jeffries. Seems like the obvious next blossoming condo market to me.”
For a neighborhood once nicknamed “Slummerville,” it’s getting pretty hard to find a reasonably priced apartment. But if you are looking to put down roots there, head to the east.
“East Somerville is practically your best bet of entering the Somerville real estate market,” says O’Necia Simpson, Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Cambridge. Condos cost at least $450,000, but with units going for $1 million just a few minutes away in Assembly Square, it’s not quite as painful. Expect lots of charm, creaky hardwood floors and slanted decks in two- or three-bedroom multifamily homes.