Living in and Around Boston
The following resources are being provided to assist you with finding and planning for housing.
- Student Housing Forum
- Resources for Boston Living
- Boston Moving Guide
- Finding a Roommate
- Getting Around
- Boston's Neighborhoods
- Finding Housing
- After You've Found a Listing
- Know your Rights
- Planning Your Move
We all know how difficult it can be to find an affordable and pleasant place to live in Boston, and that it can be even harder for someone who is coming from out of state. With that in mind, we will have a Student Housing Forum unit in D2L for all students. Although we do not offer housing, we try to assist students by posting notices on sublets, rental rooms, apartments, or houses, as well as students looking for roommates. Through the Student Housing Forum, which is located under the Resources tab of Orientation 101, you can post housing listings that you may have, as well as post in the Looking for a Roommate section. When posting a housing listing be sure to include the following information:
- Location of unit
- Square feet (if known)
- Photos of the unit
- Number of roommates and gender
- Total expense per month
- Any exclusions (pets, smoking, etc.)
- Parking or public transportation access
- Contact information
Your listing will be posted in Orientation 101 for 60 days. Please notify us at Student Life when you have filled your vacancy.
- City of Boston's Guide for Students
- Learn about Boston's neighborhoods
- Student Renters Guide
- Landlord/Tenant Rights Guide
- Boston's Best Scenic Running Routes
- File a Change of Address with the Post Office
- How to get a Boston residential parking permit
- Public transportation options (bus, subway, commuter rail and boats)
- Registry of Motor Vehicles (get a MA drivers license, register an out-of-state vehicle)
- Zipcar, a by-the-hour car rental option
- Register to vote (Boston residents)
Despite a tight apartment market, it is not impossible to find the Bostonian loft of your dreams if you start early and stay focused and diligent. Before you know it, you could be moving into a one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors and a view of the golden-domed Statehouse. Or perhaps you’ll be settling into the second story of a quaint Victorian house in the diverse neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Or for baseball fans, there’s always the dream of being within walking distance of Fenway Park. There’s a neighborhood for everyone, and this information is designed to get you on the right track.
Before you start looking for an apartment, you need to make an important decision: how much are you willing (and able) to pay in monthly rent? In downtown Boston and upscale neighborhoods like Cambridge, studios are at least $800 if not way over $1,000, and one-bedrooms command between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on location. Even in the suburbs, studios go for $600-plus, and one-bedrooms usually start at $700 or $800.
But bargains are not unheard of if you’re patient. A good way to find your upper limit for housing costs is to divide your monthly budget (after taxes) by three. If this resulting figure seems unusually low, you have two options: 1) consider living in a less expensive area, like Somerville or Quincy, or 2) save money on rent by finding a roommate.
Getting yourself a roommate is one way to lower your housing costs. To find a roommate, you can find someone on your own, use Orientation 101, or use a roommate agency. Some on-line agencies include: boston.craigslist.org, www.bostonforrent.com, and the classified apartment and roommate listings in local newspapers, such as The Boston Globe at www.boston.com. If you are looking for a room-mate outside of the student body, an agency can be beneficial because they screen applicants (to the best of their ability). It may cost you a little though, depending on the agency.
Either way, it’s important to choose roommates carefully. Obviously, not all strangers make good roommates, but less obviously, not all friends make good roommates. In an effort to screen incompatible persons from your search, you should ask all potential roommates the following questions:
- Have you ever had a roommate before? What, if anything, bothered you about your past roommates? Did you fight with your roommate a lot? About what?
- Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend or other friend who will be staying here?
- Do you smoke? Drink? If yes to any, how often?
- Do you stay out late on weekdays?
- Did/do you have any credit problems?
- Do you have any pets?
- What is your occupation?
- What do you like to watch on television?
- What music do you listen to?
- What are your cooking and cleaning habits?
Whatever you ask, in the end you should feel very comfortable with your future roommate.
One last note about roommates: make sure your roommate co-signs the lease. If your name is the only one on the lease, then you shoulder the entire burden of responsibility for the apartment from a financial standpoint. If your roommate can’t afford to pay, you’ll be legally responsible for paying his/her share of the rent.
The Boston metro area is blessed with about 18 neighborhoods in and around the city, all of which are reachable by a subway, bus, and ferry transportation system commonly called the T. Towns outside Boston are also very reachable by subway and commuter rail. The T is absolutely the easiest way to get around, so when you’re looking for a place, consider its accessibility to the T.
Student Services sells discounted T passes for the Fall and Spring semesters to students. Check Orientation 101 for specific details. Faculty and staff can sign up for discounted passes year round - learn more at New Employee Orientation. The T can seem confusing for a new resident, so take the time necessary to figure it out. Visit www.mbta.com for more information.
Keep in mind when you're considering where to live that public transportation is very good in Boston and Greater Boston, and so you can live further away from the Navy Yard and find housing that is more affordable that in Boston. See maps that show where IHP students and employees live in the Greater Boston area. These are PDFs.
Some of the 18+ neighborhoods are not technically part of Boston. Be warned that you must be very specific about the area you want to go to when giving directions or taking a cab, because many municipalities have streets with the same name. Boston itself has half a million people, but the metro area contains at least 10 times that many. The city is accessible by bus, bike or T, but many residents have cars for weekend trips to nearby ski slopes, beaches, and scenic New England states like Vermont. If you decide you need a car, remember that street parking can be a major hassle as certain neighbors are very territorial about “their” spots, especially during the winter when cars have to be shoveled out.
The driving conditions in Boston can be very difficult. The city is filled with one-way streets and roadways that are too skinny. One of the most common phrases associated with Boston is “you can’t get there from here.” So give yourself plenty of driving practice if you’re going to challenge the streets on your own.
When determining where to live, ask yourself about your commute, friendliness, and familiarity needs.
- COMMUTE: The T, a bus, or your own car? If you’re going to take public transportation, make sure that you find a place that’s near a bus stop, subway station, or ferry dock. You will find it is fairly unbearable to walk 15 blocks to a T station twice a day in a Boston winter.
- FRIENDLINESS: Is it a priority to live in a neighborhood where “everyone knows your name” a la Cheers, or will you be working at school so much that you don’t care?
- FAMILIARITY: If you already know people who live in Boston, you definitely want to ask them for their opinion. But you also might want to live near them, just so that you’ll be nearby someone you know.
Next, get familiar with the city by buying a map or checking out an online resource such as Excite Maps. Two landmark streets to get familiar with are Massachusetts Avenue, which runs north/south from South Boston over the Charles River into Cambridge, and Commonwealth Avenue, which runs east/west through Boston. Determine how far you want to be from school and figure out which neighborhoods fall into that radius.
Boston’s main neighborhoods can be characterized as follows: In the heart of downtown lie the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the North End, the South End, Charlestown, and Fenway/Kenmore Square.
- CHARLESTOWN is east of Boston over the bay and features a mix of young professionals and Charlestown natives. It has apartment buildings, beautifully overhauled former Navy yards-turned-waterfront condos, and quaint townhouses.
- The BACK BAY is full of red brick townhouses next to the Financial District and Newbury Street, the chichi shopping strip. It’s very expensive to live here.
- BEACON HILL is a centuries-old historic setting with cobbled streets and gas-lit street lamps near the Statehouse and Boston Common. This area is also very expensive.
- The NORTH END is a web of tiny, quirky streets jammed with Italian restaurants and virtually no parking. The area abuts the harbor, so some apartments enjoy a waterfront view. Developers have taken advantage of this by rehabbing historic buildings and building modern condominiums.
- The SOUTH END (not to be confused with South Boston) is near the Back Bay but boasts more of a Victorian style as well as a thriving artistic community.
- SOUTH BOSTON (“Southie”) is actually east of central Boston, and is presently undergoing gentrification. Parking is scarce and the T only goes as far as the Broadway stop.
- SYMPHONY is wedged between Back Bay and Fenway, close to the world-famous Symphony Hall. The neighborhood abounds with student apartments, some owned by other educational institutions. Mostly undergraduates.
- FENWAY/KENMORE SQUARE has a diverse mix of attractions: major art museums, dance club-heavy Lansdowne Street, and Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. It also has brownstones, but residents may want to coordinate their driving with the Red Sox schedule because traffic can get snarled.
The next layer away from downtown includes Allston/Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Dorchester, East Boston, Somerville, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and West Roxbury.
- ALLSTON/BRIGHTON is chock full of students attending Boston College and Boston University, with apartment buildings, Victorian homes and some industrial buildings.
- BROOKLINE has Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village with upscale boutiques, large houses and apartment buildings.
- CAMBRIDGE has many multi-family homes and some apartment buildings. With several academic institutions, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it has a large student population, which tends to gather around Harvard Square and Central Square, both of which are shopping and transportation hubs.
- DORCHESTER is Boston’s largest neighborhood, with many triple-decker homes and Victorian architecture, and residents from diverse multicultural backgrounds. Rates vary greatly from place to place.
- EAST BOSTON has the bonus of being next to Logan Airport, which can also be a huge drawback with jets screaming above at 2 a.m., offset by an offering of multiple-family homes and cheaper rents.
- SOMERVILLE is a city north of Cambridge, and shares much of its characteristics. Its dense, multi-family housing is interspersed with squares for dining and shopping. Tufts University is nearby. Again, parking can be very difficult.
- JAMAICA PLAIN is becoming an increasingly gentrified urban neighborhood with plenty of character and quiet streets.
- ROXBURY (not to be confused with West Roxbury) is next to Jamaica Plain but closer to Boston and a source of economic revitalization efforts.
- WEST ROXBURY is miles away on the western side of Jamaica Plain and is virtually a suburb with both single-family and multi-family homes.
Other communities near Boston - but not quite the “burbs” - include Arlington, Belmont, Medford, Milton, Newton, Waltham, Watertown and Quincy. Some are more residential, some retain more of an urban feel, but all represent potential housing. Don’t overlook them in your search, especially since they are all reachable by public transportation, either via the T or by commuter rail.
When you’re reading about or visiting neighborhoods, keep the following factors in mind:
- Is the rent affordable? Are the stores, shops, gyms, movie theaters and restaurants in the area affordable? (No matter what they say ahead of time, most people spend their money in nearby establishments.)
- How close is the public transportation you will use, especially if you don’t have a car?
- If it matters, what are the nearby schools like?
- Who lives in that neighborhood? Young professionals? Students? Families?
- Where will you park your car? If the apartment you’re looking at doesn’t include parking, how easy is it to park on the street?
- Who pays for utilities? And how are they powered?
- What is the average winter utility bill for the unit?
- Does the apartment come with major appliances like a refrigerator or a washer/dryer?
Once you have a basic idea of the neighborhood(s) you want to live in, you should decide whether or not you want to use a real estate broker. A broker is a person who does most or all of the apartment hunting for you. Not for free, of course. Brokers charge fees for finding you an apartment – usually some percentage of a year’s worth of rent. In Boston, it’s usually between half and a full month’s rent.
Using a broker has several advantages. Brokers will do your legwork; they will find apartments and make appointments to fit your schedule. A broker would probably be invaluable to an individual who is unable to take time off from work or to someone who lives out of town. Brokers also tend to have a wide selection of apartments to choose from, and they have access to apartments not available to the general public. If you do decide to use a broker, there are several ways to find one. Many brokers advertise in the newspapers or in online classified ads. Some areas, like the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, have apartment brokers everywhere. One last possible resource is to visit individual real estate websites.
Choosing to look without a broker is fine, too and sometimes a lot more fun. You can actually get out there yourself, check out the neighborhoods and, hopefully stumble upon a special place you will love. However, be prepared to put some miles on your car and invest some time. There is a high demand in Boston for apartments, so be sure to bring your checkbook with you when looking, and be prepared to grab the right one when you find it. Some techniques to consider:
LOOK AT AREA SCHOOLS
Check out the schools in Boston, including Tufts, Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard, to name a few. Boston has about 40 higher education institutions, and some of those students have great houses that they need to get rid of after senior year. You also can sublet an apartment during the summer, which will give you time to find your own place by fall. Check out the college’s newspaper or walk around collegiate pizza joints, laundromats and on-campus trees for posters. Frequently, you will see posted advertisements looking for roommates, offering a sublet or a permanent place all your own.
A good way to find apartment listings is over the Internet. The benefit of the Internet is that you can search through many different venues very quickly, and you don’t have to wait for the free weekly magazines to hit the stands. There are a bunch of sites out there that you can scout out by using any Internet search engine such as Google and Yahoo.
There are many specific search engine resources for finding an apartment in Boston as well:
- Craigslist Boston
TRY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
Newspapers and magazines are good sources for apartment listings, both in print and online. Here are some examples:
- APARTMENT GUIDE – A weekly publication of apartment listings available for free at just about any large grocery store. These are often heavy on the large complexes, due to high advertising rates. See online listings at www.apartmentguide.com.
- THE BOSTON GLOBE – The classified ads section includes listings for apartments in all areas including outlying towns. It comes out daily, and the Sunday section has the biggest selection. These listings are also available online at www.boston.com.
- THE BOSTON HERALD – The Herald is a daily tabloid with the largest real estate classifieds out on Saturday. Its online site is www.bostonherald.com.
Most communities in and around Boston have their own weekly paper, such as the Allston-Brighton Journal, Brookline Citizen, Cambridge Chronicle, Jamaica Plain Citizen, Somerville Journal, South End News, Watertown Press and West Roxbury Transcript. Don’t forget these local newspapers. You often get the best deals through them.
Aside from letting you know what the area is like, driving around the neighborhoods where you would like to live can be helpful in uncovering leads. People often post flyers offering nearby apartment sublets and rentals at churches, gyms, recreation centers, bus stop shelters, schools and local campuses.
While “For Rent” signs are not common in the Boston area, often a property will have its number listed outside the building. If you like the looks of it, give them a call to see about any upcoming openings.
Once you’ve found a listing that sounds promising, call right away to schedule an appointment. If you reach an answering machine, leave a clear, concise message: say that you are calling about the apartment that was listed in X publication. Give your name and telephone number, and ask the person to call you back at his/her earliest convenience to schedule an appointment to see the apartment. Follow up with another call in 24 hours if you don’t get a call back. There are times when apartment renters are swamped and won’t return your call, but if you catch them while they’re around, you can usually get yourself an appointment.
Here is a list of general questions you should ask when you see an apartment:
- How long is the lease?
- Do I have the option to renew?
- If I live with roommates, do we have the option to sign separate leases?
- How large of a deposit is required as security? Under what conditions is it refundable?
- Are utilities included in your rent? Which ones (gas, electric, water, cable, etc.)?
- Are you allowed to keep pets in the apartment?
- Are you allowed to sublet if you go away?
- What sort of security does the building have?
- Does the building have laundry facilities?
- Does the building have a super or some sort of arrangement for repairs?
- Does anyone else have keys to the apartment?
- Do you need special permission to make superficial changes, e.g. painting or hanging pictures?
- Is the apartment de-leaded? (This is mandatory if you have a child living there.)
- Is smoking allowed?
- Is there a guest policy?
It will probably make you happy to know that Massachusetts has many laws protecting the rights of tenants. For example, you are entitled to interest on your security deposit, and you are not obliged to pay certain extra fees that your landlord may dream up. So no, your landlord isn’t allowed to suddenly create a “pet fee” or “guest fee.” When you move in, the most you should pay is first and last month’s rent, a security deposit (equal to a month’s rent) and the cost of a new lock. Anything more is illegal. Naturally, get a receipt for everything you pay.
Once you’ve found an apartment, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Your rights are best protected if you have a written lease. Avoid an oral lease. You will be much better off with a written lease. Be sure to check that the following are correctly recorded:
- All names and addresses
- Dates of occupancy
- Rent amount
- Details about the security deposit
- Parking spot specifications (if you get one)
If the landlord has made you any promises, such as painting, cleaning, etc., make sure you get it in writing. Landlords are notorious about “getting around to something.” If it’s in black and white, you have more justification if you refuse to pay the rent.
Some other facts about renting an apartment in Boston:
- In the Bay State, landlords are responsible for paying for hot water and sewage unless specified otherwise in the lease.
- Landlords must put your security and last month deposit in an interest-bearing account and pay you the interest once a year.
- You are not required to pay for expected wear and tear to the apartment, unless you have done some major damage. When you move in, consider photographing or video-taping the empty apartment in event of a dispute.
If your landlord is unreasonable, such as forbidding you from having the occasional overnight guest, here are some agencies to help you with any legal questions. They include the Harvard Law School’s Tenant Advocacy Project at (617) 495-4394 and the Employee Assistance Program at MGH at (617) 726-6976.
Moving is a stressful process that requires a lot of hard work. Not only do you have to handle myriad details of organization, but you have to do it while enjoying the murky fear of moving to a place that you probably don’t know too much about. The following suggestions are meant to provide you with some helpful hints to make the process easier.
There are tons of online resources engineered to help with relocation. In fact, there may be too many; if left to hunt amongst them yourself, you may get overwhelmed. The primary theme running through almost all moving guides, though, is a smart one: create a timeline. You want to assemble a list of the legion of items you need to take care of, so that you can stop forgetting to do things – or worse, stop worrying about forgetting to do things.
The obvious question though is, “What should that list contain and in what order?” To help you get organized, the following is a prototypical checklist for you.
Most of the tasks that confront you in a move will break down into two classes: (a) setting up life in a new place and (b) breaking down life in the old one. There are a few issues that straddle the two and some that fall outside of them, but we’ll try to cover them all.
LONG RANGE ITEMS
- Give notice to your landlord [Moving Day minus 6-8 weeks] Even if your lease is up on a specific date, your landlord will want to be sure that you are planning on vacating on that day. If you are on a month-to-month lease, this is particularly important, and you should give more than just one month’s notice. Common decency – and an outside chance of legal hassle – dictate making the phone call and letting the landlord know; at the very least, just put a note in with your rent check.
- Contact moving companies [MD minus 5 weeks] If you do decide to go with a professional mover, we’ll go over how to deal with them below. But this is the time you should contact them – they often book far in advance. For June 1 or September 1 move-in dates, call even earlier.
- Take stock of your personal items [MD minus 3 weeks] While going through personal items, discard (or donate) anything that you no longer wish to keep. While doing this, be sure to gather your important legal, medical and insurance documents and keep them in a safe space.
MEDIUM RANGE ITEMS
- Change of address notification [MD minus 2 weeks] Even if you’ve already gone ahead and changed your addresses for subscriptions and other people, it’s always a good idea to pass along your forwarding address to the post office. Get a form online from the Post Office.
- Schedule pick-up [MD minus 10 days] If you’re going with professional movers, you’ll want to check back in with them at this stage to schedule a specific time for the pick-up and/or packing of your stuff. If you’re driving your own moving van, check out Ryder or U-Haul for the info.
- Gather records [MD minus 7 days] You’ve already put aside all the important documents you have, but that’s probably not all the relevant ones you’ll need. Swing by your dentist’s office and clinic to pick up dental and medical records. Other documents you may need include ones kept by your lawyer, your school, your religious institution, or your accountant.
- Recruit moving day help [MD minus 7 days] Unless you’re using a full-service moving company, you’ll probably need some friends to help you with the move.
- Moving supplies [MD minus 5 days] You’re going to need boxes, tape, and packing material for your move.
- Arrange a place to stay on your last night in town [MD minus 5 days] Chances are your old place will be barren on the last night you’re in town, so you may want to make alternative arrangements.
- Service your car [MD minus 2 days] If you’re using your own car to transport either yourself or your belongings to the new city, you might want to have it tuned up and serviced professionally before you leave.
- Gather your travel necessities [MD minus 2 days] So you’ve put together all the big documents by now, but you want to make sure you have your driver’s license, registration, passport, wallet, credit cards all within handy reach.
- Pick up rental truck, pack & go [Moving Day] By now, you’re packing should be all done, but you’ll need to plan on saving a couple of hours to load up your truck.
- Disconnect utilities [MD plus 1 day] Although it may cost you a few extra cents to keep everything running one more day, you will probably find it helpful to disconnect utilities after you’ve moved. On moving day, you’re going to need power. And a phone. And water. Just call these places after you leave and cut off the utilities once you’ve gone.
- Moving expenses form [MD plus 7 days] Moving can be a very expensive enterprise, but the IRS has decided to exempt these costs from taxable income. After you decompress from your move, fill out the IRS’s Form 3903 while all the expenses are still fresh in your mind. And be sure to save your receipts.
LONG RANGE ITEMS - (6 TO 3 WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY)
- Find a place to live [at least 6 weeks before Moving Day] Depending on where you plan to move to, this can be the single most exasperating task of all. You may find the information we provided above (about apartment searching on the web) to be helpful.
- Reroute your subscriptions [MD minus 4 weeks] Magazines are painfully slow about changing your address and sending your stuff to the right place. Many now have websites that allow you to change your subscription information online, which theoretically should be more efficient than calling up or mailing back postcards. You should do this with the rest of your mail too – like credit card bills, car payments, insurance plans, etc.
- Book your travel arrangements [MD minus 4 weeks] You’re going to need transportation for your move. For plane tickets particularly, you should be booking at least a month in advance to avoid last-minute high fares.
MEDIUM RANGE ITEMS - (2 WEEKS TO 5 DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY)
- Set up new insurance policies [MD minus 2 weeks] You’ll need to adjust your insurance policies to take into account your move if you’ve got a car.
- New utilities [MD minus 10 days] Call the phone company and have your phone connection start a day or two before you get there. You may also need to set up gas, electricity, water, cable, and trash collection at the new place. You can get the number for all these utilities online.
- Maps You can always get maps online at Google Maps, Yahoo Maps or Mapquest. Members of AAA can get printed maps for free.
- Temporary Parking Permit You can apply for a temporary parking permit to reserve the spot in front of your new apartment, in order to accommodate the moving van. Call the Boston City Transportation Department at (617) 635-4675 and ask for a Street Occupancy Permit.
IMMEDIATE ITEMS - (4 DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY UP UNTIL YOU GET THERE)
- Sign lease [MD minus 1 day] If you want to make sure that you have a place in which to live, this is an important step.
- List of things to buy [MD minus 1 day] There is going to be an arsenal of things you’ll need to set up your new home. Before you leave your old place, you should make a list of the things that you think are key (i.e. food and cleaning products).
- Reserve the elevator [MD minus 1 day] Many apartment buildings will allow you to reserve the elevator for your own personal use, which greatly reduces the hassle and time it takes to move in. Call your new landlord and set up a reservation.
- Make sure apartment is vacant [MD minus 1 day] Call and make sure that new apartment will be vacant by the time you start moving in. This will avoid the “falling dominoes” effect, which can happen when the tenants moving OUT of your new place are late, preventing you from moving your things in.
- Make sure unit is up to code Check the fire escape, means of egress, fire alarms, etc.
- Open new bank account [ASAP after MD] You may not be able to take care of this task until you arrive and can visit the bank yourself, but you can probably make phone calls before you get there to inquire about what kinds of accounts the competing banks are offering. If possible, do not close out your old checking account until you are sure that funds are available in the new account. Even if you open the account with cash or a money order it may take several days for funds to clear. In addition, you may only receive 8-10 starter checks and that may not be enough to pay the initial bills. Or you could open a bank account in Boston online with a minimal amount of money one week before you move, using your new address, if you have one. Some websites of banks in Boston and surrounding areas are: www.bankofamerica.com, www.sovereignbank.com, and www.citzensbank.com.
- Driver’s licenses, plates [MD plus 1 day] Again, you’ll probably have to hike over to the DMV once you arrive – and you often have a grace period to get your car set up – but just remember to take care of this item. Check out the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles website for more information: www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv.
Now that you have the outline of what to do and when, you still need to decide which way you are going to move your stuff. There are a few major options and we’ve listed them here starting with the easiest and working up to the most involved.
JUST DO IT YOURSELF
IN A CAR: This option takes the least amount of planning, but the list of things to remember will still be helpful.
WITH A RENTAL TRUCK: This is a slightly more complicated option. Here are the factors you’ll want to consider:
- How far are you moving? You can pretty much drive a rental truck anywhere in America, but obviously the farther you go, the tougher it is to do. Be sure to carefully map out your trip and make sure you have people to help out with the driving, if necessary. Also be sure to check that the size of the vehicle you rent is allowed on the various portions of your route, especially if you are traveling through multiple states, crossing bridges, or encountering toll gates.
- How much stuff do you have? If you don’t have a car of your own, but you don’t have that much stuff to move, you may be able to avoid renting a truck. There’s always the three big shippers; check these sites to get an idea of their costs and services: US Post Office – Cheaper price, slower shipping, UPS – Middle ground of cost and shipping, FedEx – Higher cost, faster shipping.
- What does it cost? If you decide to go with renting a van or truck, you’re going to need a lot more information. Remember, sharing expenses with a friend is always a good idea. Try these companies for an idea of your options and costs: Ryder, U-Haul, Enterprise.
As a general tip, the cost is usually a function of the amount of time that you have the vehicle and the distance you drive it. Sometimes it costs more to drive the car one-way, but not always, so shop around.
GET SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT
It is more costly to have someone come and move your belongings for you. First, you need to know whom to call and where to begin. Start by hitting this website that contain directories to movers nationwide. From there, you can choose a mover who operates in your area and can deliver to your destination.
- Choose a mover. Obviously you’ll want a mover who can meet your budget and your needs. You can obtain this information by using the movers’ directories. But another strong element to look for is whether you mover is accredited by the AMSA, the American Moving & Storage Association. AMSA is a trade organization that holds its member companies to a higher standard of ethics than just the general law.
- Get an estimate. Before you agree to do this, you’re obviously going to want a pretty precise estimate of how much it is all going to cost you. Other than checking a mover’s general rates – which is typically a function of how heavy your stuff is and how far you plan to move it – you’ll want them to come by to see your stuff and to give you a more exact number. There are two types of estimates: binding and nonbinding. Binding just means that they can’t change their mind on you later. Not a bad idea, but it doesn’t really matter too much. To get an accurate number for either, you have to show them everything you plan to move.
- Plan your move. If you’re going full service, the mover will pack your stuff for you. But you may want to keep an eye on the process, since this is when they’ll be compiling your inventory.
Note: These are tips about moving to Boston that were collected from various websites. The ideas included are not official Institute policy or procedures and are meant solely to help point you in the right direction when moving to a new place.