What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of living in Boston, Massachusetts? Cream pies, Fenway, Park, Boston Pops? Or maybe you’re thinking of notable historical sights or Boston’s many exclusive colleges.
Whatever comes to mind, we are here to tell you that living in Boston is a treat. There’s so much more to this diverse and eclectic metro area than most folks realize.
If you’re considering moving to Boston, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the pros and cons of living in Boston to help make your decision easier.
Read on for an honest breakdown of daily life in Boston
Pros of Living in Boston
1. Job Opportunities
Boston is a great city to work in. The employment opportunities are endless, and the pay is competitive. Boston offers a wide range of jobs for every type of person, from entry-level positions to high-paying executive roles. There are also many opportunities for freelancers and remote workers who want to work from home.
2. Tons of music venues
If you love live music, Boston is the place for you. There are so many music venues in Boston that it’s hard to keep up with them. You can see concerts at any time of night—and even in the middle of the day.
There’s a wide variety of musical genres and styles to choose from. Whether you’re into indie rock or jazz, blues or hip hop, there are plenty of performers to choose from. And if you’re not sure what kind of music you like yet? Plenty of artists play covers of songs from different genres so that everyone can find something they want.
3. Multiple universities
Boston is a beautiful city for students. The city has many universities, including Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts. And right across the Charles River is Cambridge, MA where you can find both Harvard and M.I.T. These schools offer a wide range of degree programs and plenty of opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities.
Boston also has an impressive number of colleges specifically designed to help students who have already earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to earn a master’s degree in their field of study. In addition, the city has many state-supported colleges, such as the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Lesley College, and Wheelock College.
Many Boston residents attend these schools or other nearby universities because they offer a low cost of living with many cultural resources at their disposal.
4. Ideal Summer and Fall Weather
There’s an ideal temperature for outdoor activities all year round. In the summer, it’s warm enough to swim and play sports, but not too hot that you can’t go outside without sweating through your shirt. In the winter, plenty of indoor activities keep you busy—and if you’re looking for some fresh air, those snowstorms aren’t so bad when they happen every few months instead of every day.
5. Excellent Walkability
If you’re a city dweller, you know that walking is one of the best ways to get around. And Boston is a very walkable city. You can walk from one end of the town to the other in about an hour, and there are many shops, restaurants, and parks along the way.
This means that if you live in Boston, you won’t have to spend as much on transportation if you need to go elsewhere.
Cons of Living in Boston
1. Boston’s High Cost of Living
Boston’s high cost of living can be a turnoff for many people. If you’re looking to buy a home, the median sale price is $824.3K—the highest in the entire country. And even if you can find an affordable place to rent or buy, there aren’t many options: Boston has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the nation at 2.6%.
2. Traffic Congestion in Boston
Boston is known for being a city that never sleeps, but it can also be known as a city that never moves. The roads in and out of Boston are so congested that they can take hours to get through. This can be a real pain if you have to commute into the city daily.
One of the biggest cons of living in Boston is the traffic congestion. While there are ways to get around this problem (like public transportation), it’s still something that people should be aware of before they decide to move there.
3. Complicated apartment rental process
Renting an apartment in Boston is complicated and finding an excellent place to live can be challenging.
If you’re not from Boston, you will probably have to undergo a background check before applying for housing. You will also need to have references from previous landlords or employers. If you’re not careful, you could end up renting an apartment with a landlord who doesn’t want to let you out of your lease or raise your rent yearly.
You should also expect to pay higher rent for apartments in Boston than elsewhere due to the high cost of living.
4. Not so Efficient Public Transport
The city of Boston has an excellent public transport system. However, it is not so efficient. The subway system is only available in the central part of the city, and it is not easy to reach all areas. The buses are also not frequent and do not have a well-defined route. Moreover, they are often late and overcrowded.
10. Winter weather
The weather in Boston is not for the faint of heart. While the summers are lovely, with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures, the winters are freezing and long. The average winter temperature is about 22°F (-5°C), but there can be days when it gets as cold as -20°F (-29°C). In addition, the snowiest city in America has an average snowfall of about 48 inches (122 cm) per year, so you’ll want to invest in a good snow shovel if you’re planning to live in Boston.