Frequently Asked Questions - Tenants

GENERAL QUESTIONS

How do you decide where to live in the Boston area? An excellent question, especially if you are open to living in many different neighborhoods. Known for its diversity, Boston has many great areas and those wanting to raise a family, pursue new job opportunities, relax in the comforts of a historic city, or just change things up are sure to find plenty to get excited about when exploring Boston's best neighborhoods. Here we review living and renting in South Boston, East Boston, and the storied Roslindale neighborhoods.

South Boston

One of the best neighborhoods in Boston for recent grads, South Boston offers a lower cost of living than other parts of the city while still remaining close to the downtown. Known for years as a draw for young professionals, South Boston is among the most desirable areas of the city.

East Boston

Supported by a high quality of living and known as a safer part of the city, residents of East Boston benefit from good affordability and close proximity to many excellent bars and restaurants. Working professionals and those who love to travel also appreciate the close proximity to Boston Logan International Airport. A few hidden treasures in the area, be sure to explore Porrazzo Skating Rink for a fun afternoon or relax at the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation with a calm nature walk.

Roslindale

A favorite among those with young children and working professionals, Roslindale is convenient located just south of Boston proper and is known for as a safe place to live with many tall beautiful treelined picturesque streets. Among the many family friendly destinations is the Roslindale Village Main Street with multiple walkways to explore. Those living and renting in Roslindale enjoy spacious housing with excellent schools, such as Sacred Heart and Phineas Bates Elementary School and many fun activities such as shopping at the local Farmer's Market or a visit to the Franklin Park Zoo.

When you are deciding on renting a condo or an apartment it may seem like both options are the same, at least at first glance. There are some major differences between a condo and an apartment and it is helpful that you know the differences to make the best decision you can.

For instance, ownership varies for both condo and apartment options. While a Homeowners' Association typically manages a condo building, each condo unit has its own separate owner. Tenants are allowed to purchase condos like they would with houses. On the contrary, apartments cannot be individually purchased. Rather, an apartment building has one owner who leases out each unit to individual tenants. It is common that an apartment building is owned by a large corporation that specializes in owning and renting individual residential units.

The way rent works differs as well. For apartments, rent is generally a fixed amount that is set by the market (meaning the amount of money the landlord will ask for rent when negotiating a new lease will likely increase and decrease based on supply and demand) and is applied to all the units in the building. Keep in mind that utility bills and renter's insurance are often not included in the monthly rent amount and need to be budgeted. For condo renting, most agreements involve fixed amounts as well. The individual property owner is free to decide what they want to charge tenants to rent their condo and the amounts that one condo owner and another condo owner in the same building are likely to differ. For this reason, renters have some room to negotiate when renting a condo as compared to when renting an apartment.

Finally, the responsibility of maintenance changes when you rent an apartment or a condo. One perk of apartments is that you (in most cases) do not have to pay for maintenance. Rather, when some work needs to be done to your apartment the management company responsible for the entire apartment building arranges for the repairs to be made on your behalf. In contrast, either you or the property owner must deal with maintenance related issued personally when renting a condo.

Choosing either an apartment or condo is entirely your decision and both have their benefits. Best advice is to rent a home that you feel safe and comfortable in and on that you can afford. With plenty of rentals to choose from, you are sure to find a rental that works for you and your needs and wants.

So, what is renting like in Chicago? It is no secret that the city is a beacon of development and culture in the United States. However, large metropolitan cities such as Chicago, one of the largest and most populated in the nation, life in this fast-paced city may not appeal to everyone as an option for residence. With much to consider, let us review some of the pros and cons of living in Chicago rentals.

Reasons to Live in Chicago

First off, the city of Chicago has a good public transit system and makes getting around easy for its millions of residents.

Culture is lively as ever in the city. Chicago is famously one of the best sports hotspots in the nation. Featured teams include baseball's Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, basketball’s Chicago Bulls, hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks, and football’s Chicago Bears. Home to teams in every major North American professional league, there is plenty in to cheer about when renting in Chicago.

Chicago is a large metropolis and made famous for its deep dish pizza, unique downtown architecture, sparking waterways that flow through the city and global center for finance and international commerce, those wanting a rich cultural scene with plenty of bars, pubs, and restaurants for all occasions are likely to enjoy living in Chicago.

Reasons Not to Live in Chicago

Living in Chicago is expensive. While residents enjoy a high quality of life, prepare yourself to pay top dollar when in the city. Unlike in other cities, groceries and restaurants are taxed. Property taxes are also notoriously high making homeownership a challenge for many wanting to set roots in the city. Remember that all the landlord’s costs will ultimately be reflected in the rent. At the end of the day, the tenants are the ones that have to pay these costs if they want to live in this city.

Aptly named the "Windy City", Chicago is known for some rather extreme conditions. However, residents get to enjoy all four seasons when living in Chicago. From hot summer days to snow filed streets in the winter, residents in Chicago experience it all.

So, is it worth it moving to Chicago? It all depends on your own preferences and living standards. The Chicago lifestyle may take some adjusting to but with the right place and the right attitude you can make it work.

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Known for its barbecue and rich history, Austin is among the most desirable cities for renters in the United States. Is moving to Austin, Texas, a good idea? What are some pros and cons of living in Austin, Texas?

The Pros

Living in Austin, Texas, is an enjoyable experience for many and especially for those craving that Texas BBQ. While long lines outside some of its favorite restaurants are common, street vendors often see long lines of customer every day.

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has an exceptional music and entertainment scene that showcases and celebrates all kinds of music. From sold out stadiums to pop-up performances at local restaurants and bars, the city of Austin is a draw for performers and fans across the country. It is reasons like this why many people answer the question, "what is it like to live in Austin, Texas?" by saying it is simply "amazing!"

Citizens interested in the technology industry will be delighted to know how quickly the market has accelerated in recent years in Austin. College graduates seeking good and high-paying jobs often find move to Austin which drives the local economy.

The Cons

The weather is definitely worth mentioning. Temperatures in the summer often reach into the triple digits. Those who are new to the city are well advised to find ways to keep cool during those hot summer days.

Also, homeowners who love sports may want to look elsewhere. While Austin is a cultural center, it is not particularly well known for its sports scene.

So, should I move to Austin? A beautiful place to live, work, and vacation, renting in Austin is a dream for many and worth considering.

The center for global finance, fashion, music, theatre, food, and for some perhaps most importantly – shopping, New York City is one of the most well-known cities on the planet! But does having it all make New York a good place to live? Home to millions on the island of Manhattan alone, life in New York is not for everyone. So, how do you know if moving to New York City will right for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider when thinking of a move to New York City.

The Pros

The job opportunities are a big plus. Few places offer more chances to enter the fashion, advertising, finance, marketing, or tech industries than in New York. The NYC subway system and those unmistakable yellow taxis make getting around the city reasonably easy. And despite what the many TV crime dramas may lead you to believe, the city is much safer today than it has been in years past. The "Big Apple" (as it is known) is a cultural haven for foodies, theatre buffs, businessmen and women, and vacationers from around the world. After all, New York is the city that never sleeps.

The Cons

The cost of living in New York city is high. With such high demand for properties and a limited supply of available properties (to rent or to buy), the cost of living in NYC can make life stressful at times. If considering a move to New York, be sure to budget extra money for groceries, utilities, and the occasional night out on top of your rent. Also, while the job market is large, it is super competitive which can make finding a new job difficult if you are new to the city.

After making the move to New York and adjusting to the speed of the city, you may find the hustle and bustle familiar and not so troublesome. The many tourist attractions and endless supply of events keep New York in the news and makes everyday an exciting new adventure for all to enjoy.

How do you decide where to live in Boston with a family? Several factors include restaurants, proximity to transportation services, great schools, and low crime rates are all important and should be considered before choosing which Boston rental is best for you. Here are some suggestions for where to live in the Boston area:

Charlestown

Featuring many museums, kid-friendly parks, and well-regarded public schooling, Charlestown is an excellent neighborhood to raise children. You and your family will love the affordable housing options, including a variety of condos and apartments. Plus, the Bunker Hill Museum and Boston National Historic Park offer an educational yet fun experience for the kids. You can also stop by the Warren Tavern, a Colonial-inspired spot for Fish and Chips and other delicious foods.

Hyde Park

Interested in a quiet and calm neighborhood to raise a family in? Hyde Park is your best option in Boston. Working parents can commute downtown quickly with the nearby Commuter Rail. Send the kids off to excellent schools in the area, including New Mission High School. You can even enjoy frisbee with the family dog in the large green spaces around town.

West Roxybury

Is safety your #1 priority? West Roxybury is one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston. Featuring affordable luxury apartments, condos, and homes alongside many opportunities for fine dining and outdoor recreation, West Roxybury should be near the top of your list when you're deciding where to live in Boston with your family.

What is it like to live in West Chicago? Before you sign on the dotted line for your new condo or apartment for rent in West Chicago, do some research into West Chicago and get to know the ups and downs of living in this neighbourhood by reading these pros and cons of living in West Chicago.

The Pros

Living in West Chicago gives you access to many educational and interesting exhibits many of which are within walking distance. Great examples include the museums and exhibits in the area like the Art Institute of Chicago, an interactive Museum of Science and Industry, an aquarium, a history museum, and a planetarium all right here in your backyard. For those on the move, O'Hare International Airport is nearby and your easy and convenient access will make reaching travel destinations for both business and pleasure that much easier.

The Cons

However, there are always reasons that make other shy away from living in West Chicago. The crime rates, for example, are worth mentioning. They city’s aggressive and every present media have cast Chicago, including some rather notable figures like Al Capone (among others), in a less than favorable light. Also known for its four distinct seasons, if you struggle with the cold and snow, you may want to think again about moving to the Windy City.

Moving to Chicago is a choice that people constantly make. For those that want culture, architecture, sports, and food at their fingertips, life in Chicago has it all. However, large cities are not for everyone. The fast pace of life and many people on the streets can be a lot to handle. Best you do your homework before deciding if renting in West Chicago is right for you.

Are you thinking about moving to Austin, Texas? Want to know more about what others think of the city before making the investment into a new Austin home, apartment, or condo? Consider some of the high and low points of living in the Lone Star State.

The Highs

Known worldwide for its live music scene, Austin is the capital of Texas. Thanks to the warm weather all year round, it is common to see swimming pools in most everyone’s back yard. Fitting for how hot the summers can get; air conditioning is a must in this Texas city. Fortunately, most condos and apartments have air conditioning. Outside of the heat and the music, the city boasts an active and growing technology industry. Attracting talented graduates from across the nation to live and work in Austin; if you are considering a new career than be sure to look at Austin as a place to be. With a high quality of life and a low cost of living, college graduates and young professionals are living well in Austin.

The Lows

A college town at its core, some may find the many students and their notorious ways a little off-putting. Home to the University of Texas at Austin, tens of thousands of students descend on the city every year and can be disrupting for those wanting a more quiet, relaxed way of life. Those moving to Austin are also encouraged to have a car. Austin in spread out and getting around on major highways is a near must. Home to about a million people, traffic is known to get bad during rush hour and can be a cause of stress for some.

So, should I move to Austin, Texas? Consider the pros and cons when doing your own research and perhaps before you make the move, try visiting the city to get a sense for yourself. Loved by so many, you are sure to enjoy living in the capital of the Lone Star State.

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