Home Buying in Boston>Question Details

Eric Thompson, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Moving to Boston- need help choosing a neighborhood!

Asked by Eric Thompson, Los Angeles, CA Fri Oct 12, 2012


I’m considering moving to the Boston area but I really do not know where to begin. Ideally, I’d like to purchase a home in a nice neighborhood that has fun things to do. For example, great restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment, etc. are all important to me. I prefer being in or close to densely populated areas, such as downtown. As it stands right now, my price range is about $1,200,000-$1,500,000. What neighborhoods would be the best fit?

Thank you,
Eric T.

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Kim Glass’ answer
Hi Everyone,

Because there was some concern, we followed up with Eric directly. He's a real person who is considering multiple places for his next move. It's his first experience posting in our community and we encourage you all to give him a warm welcome. Please continue to share the expert opinions only you have.

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-Kim, Community Manager
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
As you are coming to learn Boston is a large city with many neighborhoods each with vastly different "city" and culture experiences.

Here is a link to everything on the market in Boston for >$900,000 (use the zoom buttons on the left to get you in closer to each neighborhood. It will help give you a good perspective on location of everything):

Based on your information here are my top 5 picks for you >$900,000:

# 1 South End: Awesome area close to Back Bay/Copley/Newbury St (all the traditional Boston downtown landmarks) but with more of a modern up-and-coming flare (great restaurants, coffee shops, etc ... equivalent to West village/SoHo in NYC)


#2 Back Bay: Classic downtown Boston location. Has all the bells and whistles (walking distance to Newbury St shops and restaurants and the common (park) ) Beautiful brownstone architecture.


#3 North End/Waterfront: Great commuter locations if working in the downtown financial district. Fantastic restaurants because partially located in the "Italian District" and also catering to the local financial businesses in the area.



#4 Beacon Hill: Quintessential New England charm in this neighborhood. Set on a hill this area has lots of restaurants and shopping and short walk to the common.


#5 Leather District/Financial District: Another area close to the financial district "downtown" Very dense city-like and great financial district commuter location.


Here are some hand picked properties from each location:


(minus paint colors): http://www.territory.com/mlspin/71445375/141-worcester-st-bo…









I hope this helps get you started!

Boston's Premier Buyer Brokerage
Protecting the interest of Buyer's one home purchase at a time!
Web Reference: http://territory.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2012

I would recommend that you plan a visit to Boston to see what neighborhoods fit with your personality. Many of the key neighborhoods have been listed below like Back Bay, North End, South End and Beacon Hill but each has their own feel. In some neighborhoods you will get a bit more space for your money but in others you’re paying for the best locations in the city. One thing to be aware of is that you are in a very common price point for our market so you will have competition and it is best to pick a Realtor to work with to help you in the process.

I lived in Back Bay and loved the fact I could walk just about anywhere in the entire city in 15 min. I could hoof up to Fenway, see a show in the theater district or eat in any neighborhood in the city.

Please let me know if you have any other questions I am happy to help.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2012
Hi Eric, Boston has many different neighborhoods each with it's own unique charm. It would be helpful to know more about your priorities, activities, hobbies and specific criteria about what you like and dislike. Please feel free to email me at Marthasesin@gmail.com to discuss further. Thank you
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 13, 2012
Hi Eric. Just wanted to follow up to see how your search was going. Please feel free to use my website to help in your search - http://www.jamesfurlong20.remax-newengland.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
I'm not sure if you're looking for a condominium or single family property, but there are many good options. Neighborhoods such as Charlestown, South Boston & Brookline are densely populated and offer great restaurants & bars, easy to access public transportation and shopping centers. I wouldn't be able to recommend specific areas until I knew you as a person, and then I could help determine which area is best for you and your family.

I'm happy to help if you decide to make the move.

-Mark Hand
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
Hi, Eric ~

There are many areas that have all that you mentioned, but they may vary as to age-orientation, meaning South End is a young couple/family atmosphere with tons of great restaurants, artistic events and so on but a little separate feel from the rest of the city. The North End is on the cusp of everything from great restaurants underneath you, history around you, the Boston Garden to your right and Faneuil Hall, Haymarket, downtown clubs to your left.. It's a good stepping off place. Back Bay gives you a nice residential peace-of-mind while everything you want is within a 2 block walk... perfect for the up and coming professional.

As Sandy previously mentioned, what type of home you're looking for will help determine that... altho' there is the occasional high rise, Brownstones permeate Back Bay and the South End - definitely more of a "house" feel, where downtown, Seaport, West End/Government Center lean on Hi-rises. The North End is a mix of historic brick and updated...


Stephen Bourassa
Executive Vice President
City Central Realty, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
Stephen- you mentioned West End. When I took a look into that neighborhood, I noticed that home values were substantially less than the areas immediately surrounding it (Beacon Hill and Downtown). Why is this?
Flag Mon Oct 15, 2012
Hi Eric,

I would choose Back Bay, South End & Seaport area.

If you have any questions please call or e-mail me at anytime.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
Hi Eric T.

Some other questions remain as to whether you would like a high rise, low rise, townhouse, single family detached, row house, etc. Also, whether you would like waterfront, near the various college towns where those "fun things" and more densely populated areas are at. There are also the financial district, historical areas, shopping areas, wharf, ethnic towns, etc.
If you email me, I can send you some listings for you to peruse at your leisure. Then, when you are here in Boston, I can set some appts for you to see the areas and the type of properties you may wish to consider.

My email is resandy@ymail.com

We appreciate your business!

Sandy Johnson, Accredited Buyer Agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Hi Eric,

I am a native of Manhattan, and was looking for the same things that you mentioned when I moved to Boston. I settled in Back Bay., which is also now one of the areas I specialize in. I love it here because it's very residential, yet brimming with vitality and conveniences, one short block away! Back Bay is steps away from Newbury Street, which offers every shop at every price point imaginable. Wonderful restaurants of every ethnicity, and the Prudential and Copley Malls which are home to every store you can name from Saks, Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie, and Banana Republic to Gap and Pinkberry!

I walk my dogs at 1:00 in the morning and feel safe. Probably not a great idea in any city, but I do:)
I am steps from the Boston Public Garden, and the Boston Common. They are large beautiful patches of green, beautiful flowered walking paths with ponds, bridges, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and an even an ice skating rink! You can spend an entire day there, people watching, jogging or just sitting on a blanket reading. Its great oasis in the middle of the city. Also within a ten minute walk from Back Bay, are many of Boston's cultural venues.
The theater district, the Boston Ballet, Museums, movie theaters, and the famous "Boston Pops" and Symphony Hall.

You really can't go wrong, anywhere in Boston, although I am a bit partial to Back Bay.
There's easy access to highways and the public transportation all seems to be a 5 minute walk from here. Your budget will definitely afford you an edge in our competitive market. There are luxury high rises to consider, or you may prefer the charm of a townhouse apartment with hi ceilings and lots of history! Either way, you will love it here. I cant think of a better city for both singles or families.

I tell people that it's like New York, just smaller, cleaner, and a lot more manageable.
I would be delighted to help you explore the city and determine which area would best suit your needs. I may be reached at 617-535-7906 or at susanrholden@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you and Welcome to Boston!

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Hi Eric,

I'd suggest the back bay. My real estate office is on Newbury St. (The rodeo of Boston) I know all about Boston restaurants and nightlife and would be happy to share my experience. Please contact me if you'd like my help.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
I have heard good things about Back Bay... thank you for your suggestion.
Flag Fri Oct 12, 2012
Hi Eric,

To answer your question more precisely some of the top/best neighborhoods in Boston to live are:
1. Back Bay
2. South End
3. Beacon Hill
4. North End
5. Waterfront

Just outside of Boston:
1. Cambridge (just a few steps north of boston)
2. Brookline (just a few steps west of boston)
3. Newton (about 7 miles from west of boston)
4. Winchester (about 10 miles north of boston)

I've lived in and outside of Boston my entire life.. its great to see a little bit of everything before deciding exactly were to live. You have consider a lot factors before just jumping on one place to live. Feel free to call me for a free real estate consultation.

Leland DiMeco
(owner/principal broker)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Hi Eric,

Here are just a few suggestions as to great properties to consider:

-- In Boston's Midtown, there's 45 Province. Beautiful design, tremendous rooftop deck and located near great restaurants and theaters
-- There's also the perennial favorite: The Ritz, also with superb location and nice interiors (although views are blocked in some lower level units)
-- 2 Battery Street at Battery Wharf is located near the North End and close to the waterfront and also offers nice amenities including gym, valet parking, sophisticated interiors and proximity to fine dining and cool bars

I specialize in assisting relocation clients (being a transplant to Boston myself) and would be glad to chat with you about the wheres, whats and hows of finding a great place to live in the city. Feel free to contact me at mpallares55@gmail.com. I also invite you to check out what my clients have to say about my customer service at http://www.trulia.com/profile/michaelapallares/

And remember: hire a Realtor who won't be happy until you are!

Good luck with the move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Good Evening Eric,

In that price range you have some great choices. You can get into one of the high rise buildings downtown but the HOA fees can be high. You can get into some nice duplex condo units in the South End with it's awesome choices of restaurants - The Beehive has great live music. There are some great opportunities on the waterfront with walking distance to the North End and their great food and busy excitement. I am right now working with several clients looking for similar properties and would love to help you find yours. FurChin at Re/Max Metro is "your real estate solution" and you can reach us at 617-620-0669 or jamesfurlong20@gmail.com. I hope this information helps.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
Personally I love Comm Ave & Marlborough St - beautiful locales very close to tons of shopping, great restaurants, park, lots of fun things to do, and more. There are quite a few lovely neighborhoods in the city though & it's a good idea to have someone show you around so you get a feel for which vibe & neighborhood you really like best. If you'd like I'd be glad to connect you with a colleague of mine who lives & works in the city. Please feel free to contact me at 508-904-4967 or kyle.mann@sothebysrealty.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2012
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