August 12, 2018

Moving to Boston? Here’s What You Need to Know

Getting ready to your relocation to Boston become much easier with Lexel

Boston is absolutely unique in comparison to other U.S. cities. It has centuries-old architecture, a captivating waterfront, wide-ranging dining options, a vibrant theater district, an arts community, and rich history dating back to the American Revolution. These may be solid reasons to start planning a relocation to Boston. Whether you are moving from across the state or country, there are several things you need to know about “The Hub of the Universe.”

Moving to Boston? Here’s what you need to know

Housing is pricey, but there are affordable options available

Boston’s cost of living is high, ranking among the top 20 most expensive cities. Still, Boston is a city of neighborhoods. Each of them is different in terms of affordability as well as its character, diversity, and environment. Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and the North and South Ends are the most popular ones. Yes, homes and apartments are not cheap in certain areas, but you’ll be likely to find the one that won’t bust your budget. If you can’t find a neighborhood that’s right in terms of cost and culture, look into some of Boston’s adjacent towns, such as Cambridge, Somerville, or Watertown.

Get the renter experience

You may want to rent before you purchase property to get a sense of whether the neighborhood or the city is right for you. Many apartments are in two or three-unit houses that are owner-occupied. Having the landlord in the building can be a benefit, assuming they are an expert knowing what they are doing. However, make sure that you are aware of your rights before signing a lease.

If you decide to use a real estate agent to make the apartment search easier, bear in mind that you’ll probably need to pay them a fee equal to one month’s rent. You will also have to pay your first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit.

Most Boston apartment buildings are walk-ups

Search for appropriate accommodations in Boston in multi-floor buildings, not in apartment complexes. Many of those buildings do not have elevators due to their age. Typically, only modern luxury high-rise buildings have them. Thus, tenants can find themselves walking up three, four, or even five flights of stairs to their living quarters. This would be something to think about if you are preparing to move to one of these “walk-ups.” If you can’t pack light and know you’ll be transporting heavy stuff, it would be wise to consider involving a team of family or friends to help you move. Alternatively, hire professional movers in Boston to get things done quickly.

Weather conditions

Like the rest of New England, Boston gets several inches (sometimes even several feet) of snow each winter. However, there are certain peculiarities that you should take into consideration. Conditions are rather harsh due to the damp North Atlantic winds. They can make the cold downright bone-chilling. For the rest of the year, you can find the weather shifting from chilly and rainy to hot and humid and back to chilly, even in the course of one day! Thus, locals dress in layers and prepare themselves for a weather change at any time. Weather is one of the reasons why some people move from Boston to Chicago and other places with more predictable weather.

Consider different means of transport

There are a few noteworthy things you should learn before making up your decision about relocation to Boston. Keep reading to find out what they are and only then hire a New York to Boston moving company. Life will be different at your new place of residence. Unlike New York City, where most people hop into cabs, Boston residents usually get to work by taking the “T” (as we call the subway, above-ground trolley, and commuter rail system operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.) The T stops operating around 12:30 – 1:00 a.m. (depending on which line you’re on.) Since Boston bars are open until 2:00 a.m., you’ll need to grab a cab or call Uber or Lyft to get you home.

How to avoid traffic jams

Many people also walk or ride a bike to get to their destination point. Fewer and fewer residents drive cars in Boston. Moreover, many of them don’t even own a car. That’s mainly because of the city’s chaotic road system. Most of Boston roads are crooked rather than organized in a logical grid pattern. As the locals say, Boston’s roads are like the old cow paths they replaced. You will also find rotaries, one-way streets, and random dead ends — enough to get anyone lost or lose their mind.

Because of this situation, traffic jams occur more often than in other U.S. cities. You’ll also be likely to have arguments with Boston drivers. Many of them are brave but very fierce. If you decide to drive a car in Boston, be careful and allow plenty of time to get where you’re going. Such an approach will help you not to lose your cool from traffic, making you late.

Parking in Boston is challenging

If you move to Boston with a car, the question of where you are going to park it is as important as where you are going to live. With its narrow, winding streets offering parking only on one side (if at all), Boston has a dreadful lack of on-street parking spaces. Also, many apartments don‘t offer off-street parking. Even if you acquire a resident parking permit, there’s no guarantee you will find a space when you need one. Although parking garages are available around the city, they can be very pricey (from $40 to $85 per day.)

If you park your car on the street, you may be required to move it during a blizzard to allow for snow plowing. Unique to Boston is the post-snowstorm custom of shoveling out a parking space for your car and reserving it by leaving a chair or something similar in the space. If you have shoveled the space, it is yours for the period agreed with the neighbors (typically 2-4 days). However, if you decide to steal someone else’s shoveled and reserved space, be prepared to find your car with a nasty note or even a flat tire.

Boston’s parking situation is another reason why many city residents forego owning cars and commute by walking, biking, or taking the T.

Boston is a very walkable city

It is easy to get from one side of the city to another on foot. The experience can be truly pleasant as Boston boasts numerous green spaces throughout its many neighborhoods. A walk from Back Bay to the North End can take you through the Public Garden and the Boston Common. Those are beautiful, large parks with tree-lined pathways. Each of them is filled with flowers in spring and summer when the Public Garden offers its Swan Boat rides. The Common’s Frog Pond is set up as a popular skating rink in winter.

Boston has a sports-crazy culture

In case you didn’t already know this, Bostonians take their sports very seriously. Each of the major sports teams has achieved championship status at least once in the past 10 years and has a decades-long record of success. The century-old Fenway Park (where the Red Sox play) and the Garden (which is home to the Celtics and Bruins) are beloved landmarks steeped with history. The sports scene is also rife with rivalries, and none more heated than the one the Boston Red Sox have with the New York Yankees. Any new resident daring to wear a Yankee baseball cap had better be prepared for some serious ribbing from the locals.

Choose the best time to move to the Athens of America

If you are moving to Boston to attend college in the fall semester or you just happen to be planning your move for September 1st, begin your apartment search at least a few months in advance. Boston’s colleges and universities attract a large student population, so this time of year is the busiest (and often craziest) move-in period in the city. Take this into account while moving from Boston to NYC or vice versa. The fall’s influx of new and returning students typically creates total mayhem in the streets. Droves of moving trucks, vans, and other vehicles come to Boston and line up to unload students’ possessions. You will want to avoid Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive because there will always be someone with an oversized truck that gets stuck under one of the overpasses, creating a traffic jam. If you are not a student, we recommend you to plan your move for a less busy time of the year.

Reduce your relocation’s potential stress by hiring a professional mover who knows the city, its neighborhoods, and the streets. At Lexel Moving, we can help with your packing, provide you with supplies and temporary storage, and assist with scheduling. We’ll make sure that your move will take place at the best time and under the right conditions when traffic is lighter, and parking is less of an issue. We can also get a parking permit and reserve a spot for the moving truck. Plus, we’ll select the right-sized truck for your needs and take your possessions to Boston without getting stuck under an overpass! Dial 855-605-7755 to request our services or ask any questions regarding the upcoming relocation.

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