Boston is a thriving, dynamic, and uniquely alluring city in which to live. As such, it's full of cultural destinations, historical landmarks, and employment opportunities. Of course, finding the perfect apartment for your needs and wants can be a challenge.
When you sign up with this website, however, the process of looking for an apartment will become easier and more fun. That's because this site will always give you up-to-the-minute listings as well as free access to Multiple Listing Service, Property Information Network (MLS PIN), which is Boston's most extensive real estate database.
To start, it's helpful to get a sense of the kinds of apartments that you'll find in the city. The following four groups represent some of the most common and appealing residences in Boston. One of these categories might also contain your ideal home.
Brownstones have long been - and probably always will be - hugely popular choices for urban dwellers. These tall and graceful buildings usually feature terraces, and their exteriors are covered in brownstone, which is an attractive kind of sandstone.
Brownstone life represents a proud American tradition, and some of these buildings date back decades. For example, many of the beautiful and highly detailed brownstones for which the Back Bay is famous were constructed during the period between 1840 and 1890. These apartments vary in terms of size, style, and specific features, but they often include hardwood flooring, soaring ceilings, and lavish moldings and carvings that have been lovingly preserved from earlier eras.
In addition, many Boston brownstones went through extensive renovations in the late 1900s and during this century. Such projects frequently involved gutting entire buildings in order to create new apartments and condominiums. Those living spaces now provide many of the latest technologies when it comes to heating, air conditioning, Internet access, and so on. As a result, residents get the best of two worlds. When they're outside, they can admire timeless architecture, and when they're inside, they can revel in up-to-date and comfortable modern living.
2. Luxury High-rises
In recent years, Boston has been experiencing a population boom as well as a significant increase in major construction projects. Among the structures that have been going up throughout the city are stunning high-rise apartment buildings, complexes that offer luxuries heretofore unseen in Massachusetts. In fact, from East Boston to Chinatown, this city now rivals just about any other metropolitan area on Earth in the bracket of deluxe and exciting places to live.
Obviously, one high-rise apartment building might be very different from another, but there are certain services and amenities that this kind of development typically has. That is, many of these complexes boast elaborate fitness centers, swimming pools, arresting views of the city, 24-hour concierge assistance, lounges for residents, in-unit laundry facilities, private balconies, fully equipped kitchens, lush courtyards, elevators, parking garages, off-street mailboxes, porters, door attendants, high-speed Internet, dining rooms, and bars. Some of these buildings will even supply their tenants with extras like valet parking, walk-in closets, sun decks, tennis and basketball courts, children's playrooms, expert pet care, and rooms for viewing movies and sports.
Be aware that many of these high-rises contain affordable housing, and those spaces are often filled via a lottery system. In fact, about 19 percent of Boston living units are affordable, which is a higher ratio than any other large city in the U.S.
3. Victorian Houses
Among Boston's architectural treasures, Victorian homes rank high. There are many of these houses in the city; in particular, the neighborhood of Dorchester is replete with them. Victorian homes are palatial and often candy-colored, and their dormers, spindles, and other ornate features are eye-catching. These buildings often look as though they've sprung straight from a storybook. Inside, they can be divided into grand apartments, and they generally contain an array of nooks and tucked-away corners - inviting places to read and relax.
The heyday of Victorian design stretched from the mid-1800s to the end of that century, and this style is named after Great Britain's Queen Victoria. In Boston, such houses were often built near railroad lines as cars had yet to be invented. Some of the most esteemed architects and construction firms of the time put forth their best efforts when they designed and built these masterpieces.
Keep in mind that Victorian homes can be divided into more precise groupings. For example, Gothic Revival houses recall the Middle Ages, and they look like small castles. Italianate buildings, meanwhile, reflect the architecture of the Renaissance. For their part, Folk Victorian homes are quintessentially American; they're basically big farmhouses that are enhanced with decorative trims, spindles, and other fancy touches.
4. Loft Apartment Buildings
Boston's loft apartments are chic and stylish, but they often take advantage of edifices from the city's fabled past. Now, the term "loft apartment" usually refers to a living unit that's spacious and open. In fact, a loft could take up a whole building story. What's more, since there are probably few if any dividers carving up its interior, the place may appear to be even larger than it is.
Many of these apartments are located inside historic buildings - especially industrial facilities like warehouses. Also, some lofts are positioned above retail stores, restaurants, and other kinds of commercial establishments.
A loft might be very simple inside. For instance, it could have uncovered plumbing fixtures, and its tenants might then find creative and maybe funky ways of decorating those pieces of equipment. On the other hand, a loft could be an opulent space that's outfitted with top-of-the-line features. Either way, these residences usually include large windows so that they're regularly flooded with sunlight. In fact, floor-to-ceiling windows are common in lofts.
In short, lofts are perfect for people who wish to live in the city but who don't want a cramped environment. They also offer endless options for furnishing and interior design, and they're great for home workspaces as well. Finally, many buildings with loft apartments provide terrific views and are situated near public transportation stops, and some of them will permit certain kinds of pets.