What You Need to Know About Renting an Apartment in Boston

At the start of the year, Boston.com ran a story called “Why Boston Rents Won’t Ever Go Down.” The premise was that even though Boston already can claim its spot alongside San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles as one of the priciest locations in the U.S. to rent an apartment, the Boston rental market won’t be falling anytime soon due to an ongoing apartment and condo crunch.

With half of 2014 now behind us, recent reports suggest that the January prediction is now coming true. Despite the fact that construction continues throughout the Boston area with an increasing number apartment towers and luxury condos springing up, rents still aren’t going down.

Part of the reason for this — as Boston Real Estate Now reported earlier this month — is that the housing boom forecast by former Mayor Thomas M. Merino is not on track to meet the goal of 30,000 new housing units by 2020. In fact, Boston is expected to start construction on 3,200 new residential units this year—a large number to be sure, but not as high as the initial numbers suggested. Plus, many of those new buildings are deluxe condos and other luxury rentals, which prices out many would-be renters who require more affordable options.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that while many prospective renters have traditionally relied on online search tools like Apartmentguide.com and Forrent.com to help locate rental properties, fewer buildings are advertising rentals on these sites as the Boston rental market has gotten tighter. “The majority of our luxury rental buildings are not included on these sites,” says Marcy Frankel, a relocation consultant for William Raveis Real Estate. “Often units listed are outdated and used as ‘bait and switch’ ads. The only way to find them is to Google around until one discovers that they exist.”

Changing Trends in the Boston Rental Market?

Yet Frankel and other industry insiders suggest an end may be in sight to these trends. “One might think that the huge increase in these luxury units throughout the city would reduce rents by sheer competition, but that has not come to fruition,” says Frankel. “Yet from my many years of rental experience, I know that if you can wait out the market, you will see reductions as the summer market passes and the fall is upon us.”

John V. Donovan,director of leasing and marketing at The Devonshire, predicts that market trends will more fully reveal themselves over the next two years. “At some point, the real estate developers will see that continuing to build rental housing geared at the $100K-plus salary range prospective residents will fall flat,” says Donovan. “If a developer decided to build moderately priced apartments, they would rent before construction is completed.” He adds that the rental structure at the Devonshire has always been priced just below its competitors, providing the edge they need to maintain high occupancy levels.

Temporary Furnished Rentals Are a Solution

Many in the housing industry point to temporary furnished rentals as a more cost-effective way to get situated for those relocating to the Boston area. According to Frankel, “this affords one the opportunity to bide one’s time for the fall rental market and it’s somewhat reduced pricing.” Additionally, an advantage to staying in a furnished short term rental is that it gives guests a chance to get the lay of the land before they commit to longer-term housing.

“Many people relocating for work are reimbursed by their employer for 30 days, 60 days, or sometimes longer depending on their position in their new company,” explains Donovan. “Many of these companies realize the difficulty of either finding suitable rental housing or purchasing a home in the Boston metro area and want their new employees to have an easier transition. Renting temporary furnished apartments provides the perfect solution. Relocation clients can literally walk in with their suitcases and be in a beautifully furnished and fully equipped temporary home.”

Donovan notes that as Boston has seen job growth across many industries including healthcare, biotech, and technology, demand has risen for furnished short term rentals. “I believe that they provide a cost-effective alternative to hotel stays,” says Donovan. “Of course the huge academic community in Boston, and their faculty and student body, also are major drivers in demand. These same factors have also driven the traditional rental market.”

Frankel agrees that prospective renters are now exploring furnished short- or long-term housing options in increasing numbers. “This circumstance affords the luxury of living in a fully furnished unit in one of the luxury buildings one may be contemplating,” says Frankel. “A potential renter is now armed with the experience of making an educated decision whether this particular building or location is the right choice.”

Are You Looking For a Short Term Boston Apartment Rental?

Furnished Quarters can help. We have numerous furnished short term rentals in Boston that are loaded with amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Call us today at 800-255-8117 or visit our contact page.

Family Relocating to Boston? What You Need to Know

With summer just around the corner, it’s high season for family relocations. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy in Boston, families “on the move” are wise to think ahead. Summer is an ideal time to choose your new location and get settled before kids go back-to-school in September.

But if Boston is where your family’s moving truck is bound this summer, there are a few things to consider. Moving is almost always stressful, regardless of the circumstances. Family relocations can be especially challenging, so it’s important to seek support when you need it. Partnering with a corporate housing expert on the front end to help guide your decision-making process can save many headaches on the back end. As you start your moving preparations, here are three tips to consider, along with some resources to help facilitate the process:

Don’t “Go It Alone”

It can be tempting to want to take the lead when deciding where your family’s residence will ultimately be located. Yet unless you’re already very familiar with Greater Boston, you’re unlikely to fully appreciate the important distinctions between Boston’s many neighborhoods. Each section of Boston proper has it’s own unique personality, and different parts of the city might appeal to you for different reasons.

Back Bay, for example, is a target destination for many who move to Boston. As famous for its Victorian brownstone homes as for its world-class shopping and proximity to cultural institutions such as Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, the neighborhood is considered one of the top sites of 19th-century urban design in the nation.

The Boston Seaport District on the city’s waterfront is another popular neighborhood for newcomers. The Seaport was dubbed “the hottest neighborhood in town” by Boston magazine, as it continues to attract a wide range of residents to an area that’s bursting at the seams with new development. The prime location near downtown, coupled with its explosive growth, make the Seaport a great choice for families who want to avoid a commute from the suburbs.

These are just 2 of more than 20 neighborhoods in the City of Boston—not to mention additional choices in Greater Boston, including Cambridge and Brookline. This is where corporate housing experts can help you more effectively choose a neighborhood that will best match the needs of your family.

Know What to Look For

A corporate housing expert can also help you think through your family’s specific needs and preferences to help hone in on an ideal location. Take the time up front to make sure that a corporate housing expert understands your job location, school needs, and your family’s lifestyle.

Your temporary housing provider may ask you “lifestyle” questions like these to help narrow your search for housing:

  • Where is your company’s office located?
  • Would you prefer to live in a city or suburban setting?
  • What do you and your family like to do in your free time?
  • Do you enjoy outdoor activities?
  • Are there particular types of restaurants that you prefer?
  • How old are your kids and what grades are they in now?
  • Do your children play sports?
  • Do your children have any special school needs?
  • Does your family participate in specific religious activities?

Take a “Test Drive”

Want to really get to know a locale and find out if it suits your family before making a permanent move? The best way to do so is to try out one or more temporary housing solutions before putting down roots. If you’re relocating with an employer, your human resources department may be able to work directly with a corporate housing provider to place your family in a few different locations. Then your whole family can “test drive” various neighborhoods before committing to permanent housing.

During these trial runs, you’ll be able to compare different neighborhoods in Boston to see what it’s like to live in them. Some furnished apartment providers even offer deals and discounts on local services, allowing guests to really experience each neighborhood as local residents experience it.

If appropriate prior to your relocation, ask your HR manager if the company’s corporate housing provider could tour you through multiple corporate apartment examples during any of your business trips to the area. This will allow you to explore what types of temporary housing might make your family most comfortable long before the moving truck arrives.


Check out the following resources to help you prepare before, during, and after your family’s relocation:

  • City of Boston, provides extensive information by neighborhood about communities and services, searchable by address.
  • Visitors’ Information, City of Boston, provides detailed information on transportation, things to do, culture, recreation, and weather in the Boston Metro area.
  • Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, provides a Boston Travel Guide listing hotels, restaurants, and activities in the Greater Boston area.
  • Furnished Quarters, corporate housing provider with Boston neighborhood information and corporate apartment listings.

Choosing Short-Term Rentals in Boston: Hot Spots 2014

Looking for Boston furnished apartments, short-term rentals in Boston, or a corporate apartment? There are a few top neighborhoods to keep on your radar screen.

With nearly all job sectors continuing to add to positions, ongoing widespread construction continues throughout the Boston metro to meet the growing demand for apartments in 2014. Close to 4,000 new apartment rentals will be made available in Boston’s core this year—at levels “near the pre-recession peak,” according to research from Marcus & Millichap.

This year’s hot spots center on the urban core submarkets of Boston’s Financial District and Cambridge, which are slated to roll out the majority of the new units. Boston’s waterfront—known as the Seaport District—is also seeing rising demand for housing as companies continue to relocate thousands of employees to the region. Boston’s desirable Back Bay neighborhood also makes the A-list for one of the best locations to visit (and to live).

If you’re looking for short-term rentals in Boston, here are some quick tips for travelers to these in-demand locations, including suggestions on where to stay:

Short-term rentals in Boston’s Financial District

The metropolitan submarket that encompasses both the Financial District and Seaport District—all the way to North End in downtown Boston—is ripe with housing development. Visitors to the area can enjoy convenient access to Chinatown, Boston Common, and Boston Harbor, as well as world-class shopping, restaurants, and historic sites like Faneuil Hall. Stay at the Devonshire at the center of the Financial District for unbeatable views of the city skyline.

Corporate Housing in Seaport District

Corporate apartments are in high demand in Boston’s Seaport District, with local businesses expected to relocate more than 6,000 employees over the next few years to the waterfront area alone. For an enviable location right on the Boston waterfront, stay at Park Lane Seaport, which features floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.

Back Bay Housing

Another hot spot with plenty of furnished apartments in the downtown vicinity is Back Bay. Just a few miles from city center and home to the Boston Public Library and Public Garden, Back Bay allows convenient access to the bustle of Newbury Street, which is brimming with shops and cafes. For one of the best stays in Back Bay, try the luxury apartment complex Avalon at the Prudential, which features spectacular views and private terraces in select apartments to enjoy this enticing neighborhood.

Cambridge Furnished Apartments

In Greater Boston, Cambridge is at the “center of a real estate boom” according to the The New York Times. This is largely due to the explosive growth of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the area. In fact, according to the City of Cambridge, while the life sciences have been an important focus of Cambridge’s economy for over a decade, the past year has seen exceptional growth.

For visitors to this historic yet dynamic region, no destination blends “quaint” with “cultural” like Cambridge does. Just 10 minutes from downtown Boston, this college town (home to Harvard and MIT) hums with activity, from unique shops and cafes to museums and entertainment venues.

To be in the center of all that is Cambridge, stay in a furnished apartment at the Holmes Building near Harvard Square, located in the heart of the city’s world-famous Central Square. Another appealing building is Third Square, located in Kendall Square—a premier destination to be near the biotech buzz. Here, you’re well-positioned to take advantage of the best of the city’s business and leisure activities during your visit.

Boston Sees Boom in New Apartment Buildings for 2014

Last spring, the City of Boston announced “Housing Boston 2020,” an ambitious initiative to add as many as 30,000 new housing units to the metro area in the next six years.

As he unveiled the plan back in March, Mayor Thomas Menino stated, “We can literally see the fast speed at which our housing market is growing. New units are springing up across our city, bringing new residents and new vitality to our neighborhoods.”

The Mayor added that the housing supply in Boston has rocketed faster than at any other time over the past five decades, with the creation of 20,000 housing units between 2000 and 2010. This growth is needed to keep pace with the city’s escalating population, which topped 600,000 in 2010 for the first time since the seventies.

Entering 2014, we can already see dramatic evidence of the initiative’s efforts. It seems everywhere you look construction is in progress or new apartment buildings have just been raised. According to the Boston Business Journal (BBJ), ribbons were scheduled to be cut on at least nine major new real estate developments in Boston in 2013, with many more on the horizon for 2014.

New Developments Include Furnished Apartments

The website for Downtown Boston lists a wide range of in-progress development projects with estimated completion dates in 2014, including both renovations and new creations. Corporate apartments and other temporary furnished apartments are in the mix, offering renters more choices to “fill unique housing needs” through short-term rentals, as reported by NY1. Furnished apartments also offer resident guests a more economical alternative to pricey hotel stays, with Boston among the top four cities seeing the highest hotel hikes nationwide, according to USA Today.

The new development is spread throughout key areas of Boston, from the Seaport District to the Back Bay and beyond. The BBJ noted Boston’s real estate boom includes “a Downtown Crossing renaissance,” as buildings with hundreds of units spring up east of Boston Common and west of the Financial District. Among the construction projects is a 58-story residential tower that in 2014 will become the third-tallest building in Boston’s skyline.

Raleigh Werner, co-founder at Jumpshell, predicted on BostonInno that 2014 will see Boston “continue to be one of the most vibrant apartment rental markets in the United States.” Jumpshell expects the year ahead to see an occupancy rate of nearly 97 percent, with demand for rental apartments continuing to increase.

Boston Real Estate Boom Makes Short-Term Rentals Appealing

The real estate market continues to heat up nationwide. But Boston is among a handful of cities where interest rates are low, rents are sky high, confidence is up, and inventory is exceptionally scarce.

Boston Magazine referred to Beantown’s market as “suddenly red-hot,” noting that Boston’s housing market (like those in New York and San Francisco) took less of a hit than in other parts of the country. Now with rents on the rise (up 6.4 percent in the last year alone), many are hoping to become homeowners instead of renters.

But it’s not that simple. There’s not enough inventory to go around for all interested buyers, a situation which is made even more competitive by the flurry of developers who are looking to make a quick profit through flips or rentals.

Boston.com just released an article showing home sales are continuing to accelerate in Greater Boston. In fact, a new Zillow survey reported that homes in the fall of 2013 stayed on the market for only 77 days—moving 7 percent faster than last year. What’s more, experts don’t expect improvement any time soon in the shortage of properties for sale in the Boston area. Construction of new homes and condos alike is failing to keep pace with the escalating demand in and around the city.

Furnished Apartments Offer an Affordable Solution

What’s a prospective Boston homebuyer to do? In some cases, an interim solution is in order. NY1 recently reported that “furnished apartments can fill unique housing needs,” noting that the hot real estate market has opened the floodgates to short-term rentals as well.

Some might find themselves turning to a temporary furnished apartment if they’re between homes, having sold one property before they’ve been approved to buy the next one. Others in Boston are relying on furnished apartments to help bridge the gap between being ready to buy and being able to land their dream home amidst the housing market acceleration.

NY1’s Monica Brown explained that monthly rentals offer several advantages to soon-to-be homebuyers. They provide a short-term stay opportunity without the commitment of signing a long-term lease, or the expense of a hefty broker’s fee. Short-term rentals also allow much more flexibility than other housing options. Guests can tailor their stay for a month, a half-year, or longer depending on their individual needs and how quickly their own home becomes available.

Temporary furnished apartments also offer home seekers a lower-priced alternative to pricey hotel stays. USA Today listed Boston among four cities with the highest hotel rate hikes nationwide.

Hotel Price Hikes in Boston Send Travelers Scurrying for Short-term Rentals

If you’re a traveler in the Northeast, it’s hard not to notice that the hotels in Boston are pricey. A recent report in USA Today pegged Boston as one of the four cities with the biggest hotel rate increases in 2012. The average daily rate hovers around $158 per night—significantly higher than the national average of $106 per night. Climbing hotel taxes in Boston are partly to blame.

The average rate is one thing, but if you’re curious just how expensive it can get to stay in a hotel in Boston with more space and a few amenities, hold on to your hat. The Boston Business Journal found luxury and five-diamond rating hotels ran anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 per night—and that’s before taxes.

What do you get for your money? In some cases, not much more than two bedrooms, two baths, and a view of Boston Common. That’s why travelers in increasing numbers are turning to temporary furnished apartments in Boston for an alternative to expensive hotel stays.

Providers of corporate apartments and other short-term rentals in Boston can offer more bang for your buck. While not all temporary housing providers offer equal service and amenities, some have been proven by industry standards to stand out above the rest.

Furnished Quarters, for example, was awarded a Platinum Award from CARTUS Global Network for the last three consecutive years, based on outstanding innovation and customer service. This provider of temporary furnished apartments goes above and beyond with both living space and amenities, at prices on average 30% to 50% less than comparable hotels.

The residences at Furnished Quarters are more reminiscent of life at home than life on the road. Fully furnished bedrooms and baths are created by an in-house design team that pays attention to the details—from furniture to wall décor and housewares. It makes staying in these apartments surprisingly different, with a distinct local flavor.

These apartments are no secret in Boston. The company reported nearly 100% occupancy of its Massachusetts-based properties during heavy vacation months in 2012, and this summer, these unique residences promise to be equally popular with travelers.

Boston Furnished Rental Apartments – Where to Stay

Whether you have travel on your mind, an upcoming business trip, or a move planned to the Northeast, there are many reasons to get to know Boston and its furnished rental apartment market. As the capital of Massachusetts and the largest city in New England, Boston offers something for corporate travelers and vacationers alike.

Some describe Boston as a city of contradictions: it’s as hip as it is historic, and as charming as it is sophisticated. Some come to explore Boston’s past as one of the oldest cities in the United States and the scene of several key events in the American Revolution. Others come to enjoy the metropolitan offerings of one of the country’s top urban destinations, including world-class dining, shopping, and museums. Boston is also home to more than 100 colleges and universities.

For those looking for temporary furnished housing in the Boston area, it helps to understand Boston’s many neighborhoods. The city is divided into 23 distinct neighborhoods that offer a range of experiences and personalities depending on the reason for your visit.

Financial District

If you’re on a business trip or are just looking for bustle, downtown Boston has what you need. This vibrant financial hub is teeming with boutiques and department stores, restaurants and parks. When your workday is done, you can take in the neighboring Boston Harbor, stroll along the Boston Common, or try out a famous restaurant, such as Cheers.

Back Bay and South End

For a more vintage feel, check out the Back Bay neighborhood, which features a wide range of unique vintage homes, unique shops, and quaint cafés. The South End is Boston’s Landmark District, where you’ll find majestic Victorian homes and picturesque row houses, as well as trendy art boutiques and “Restaurant Row” on Tremont Street.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill, adjacent to Boston Common, is considered one of the most desirable historic neighborhoods in Boston. It’s known for its brick sidewalks and narrow, gas-lit streets. The Massachusetts State House is located at the top of the hill.

When it comes to places to stay in Boston, this is the tip of the iceberg. Learn more about Boston’s neighborhoods and available short-term rentals at www.furnishedquarters.com—we have your visit covered.