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A Must See Apartment Guide For Cambridge Area Renters

apartment guideIf you’re looking for rental properties in Cambridge and Boston, you may have noticed that your options are both extensive and varied. The many distinct neighborhoods are filled with a combination of century-old homes, renovated classics and chic new apartment buildings, offering a variety of styles and conveniences for every budget. So how can you avoid analysis paralysis if you’re new to the rental game, or if you want to upgrade to a rental that better matches your lifestyle? Here’s a quick pocket guide that will help you be sure you’ve asked the right questions, considered every important factor and selected the perfect Kendall Square rental.


Convenient proximity to work, family and friends is of utmost importance when identifying rental properties, and it’s often the best place to start your apartment search. Though the area has a reliable and well-connected public transportation system, it can be difficult to travel more than a couple of miles in heavy traffic or bad weather. So if you work in Cambridge and like to frequent the hip establishments in Kendall Square or Somerville’s Davis Square, you’ll likely want to focus your apartment search on neighborhoods just northwest of downtown Boston – Cambridge, Somerville, Charlestown and Allston / Brighton.


There are certain consistencies you’ll see in most neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge – rich history, a population diverse in both age and ethnicity, and a strong affiliation with nearby universities. But each neighborhood has its own unique identity and it’s important for a renter to be able to identify with the style of their neighborhood and the interests of other residents. Areas like The Seaport in Boston are very cosmopolitan in feel, with shiny high-rises, perfectly planned landscaping and swanky restaurants. Neighborhoods like Kendall Square are appealing on a different level – less grandiose but with a remarkable energy created by some of the most innovative people and companies in the world. Once you’ve determined the type of neighborhood that appeals to you, you must identify the style of home you want to live in – an apartment or condominium, single-family or multi-family home. There are benefits to each type of rental – like the amenities and conveniences enjoyed by those who choose to rent in apartment buildings – but it’s a personal decision that each renter must make based on their lifestyle.

Living Space

Determining your ideal location, neighborhood and type of home will really help to narrow your search. But there’s more to consider, like how much living space you’ll need. Many apartment complexes offer a number of different apartment layouts with a wide rage of square footage. Proto Kendall Square for example, has over 50 different layouts that include studio, one bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments. With these types of options, it’s important to consider whether you’ll have a roommate or frequent overnight guests, how much time you’ll be spending at home, and if you’ll be doing a lot of cooking or entertaining.


Access to communal space and amenities are imperative for some – especially those that choose a smaller living space – but are not so important to others. An apartment building with a fitness center and collaborative work space might be the perfect option for an active renter with frequent meetings or group projects. Alternatively, a smaller building or multi-family home is likely a better fit for someone who prefers a more secluded environment. In some parts of Boston and Cambridge parking can be tricky, particularly during the winter months, so rentals that offer parking (especially covered parking) can make all the difference in the world to some renters. Look closely at the amenities an apartment complex offers, some are incredibly useful or fun, so make sure to factor those into your decision making.

When it comes to colleges and universities, Boston and Cambridge are two of the most prolific cities in the nation. Couple that with seemly endless employment opportunities for post-graduates and young professionals, and you’ve got an area as rich in rentals as it is in history. Check out this previous post to learn more about the advantages of renting around Boston.

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