I hear a lot of chatter from admitted students that they will be kicking off an apartment hunt during their spring visit to campus. Ariel is here to help you start your search. If you have questions about local housing, please leave a comment below, and Ariel will respond!
Dear Ariel: I just submitted my confirmation that I will be attending Fletcher in the Fall! I would like to live off campus. How did you find an apartment?
Most Fletcher students live off campus in the Medford/Somerville area during their two years at Fletcher. My first step was to find my roommates, which I did through the Fletcher admitted students portal. We were all first-years — two MIBs and two MALDs. Then, because none of us were based in Boston, one of my future roommates took a trip up to Boston from DC to search for apartments. After visiting several apartments she saw listed on Craigslist, she was eventually led to a realty company. (In starting your search for an off-campus apartment, Craigslist will become your best friend.) Through the realty company we located an apartment about a 10-minute walk from Fletcher between the campus and Teele Square. Our four bedroom, one bathroom apartment is $550 per month per person, not including utilities. We signed the lease in mid-June for an August 1st start date and had to pay half of the broker’s fee.
Keep in mind: Living close to Fletcher is a great option for your studies. It cuts down on your commute and can make life easier, especially when group meetings or study sessions run late into the night. Some students do live in Boston proper, but not many. Also, expect rent prices to run anywhere from $550 – $800 per month. One-bedroom apartments are typically significantly more expensive. If you have Fletcher friends who are second years, reach out to them to see if their apartments are available for the fall.
Some other things to keep in mind when looking for an apartment in this area:
- Is there a broker’s fee? Some landlords will waive the fee or split the fee with you. It can save you a lot of money if your landlord agrees, because generally the broker’s fee is equivalent to one month’s rent.
- Is there a security deposit? Generally, you will need to pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit at the time of signing.
- Does your apartment have oil or gas heat? Oil heat is extremely expensive during Boston’s cold winters. If you find an apartment that has gas heat, it might be worth paying a little extra in rent each month, compared to paying a cheaper monthly rent in an apartment with oil heating.