The Porter/Davis Square in Cambridge/Somerville Real Time Apartment Vacancy Rate is 4.14% as of May 7th, 2014

Spring has sprung in Boston and Boston residents are out in full force enjoying the beautiful weather. What’s not springing up is much in the way of new apartment listings for those looking to make a move. If you’re looking to relocate to the Porter or Davis square area of Cambridge and Somerville, you’ll be interested in knowing that the real time vacancy rate for these areas is currently sitting at 4.14% This figure comes from an analysis provided by BostonPads.com – the largest real time apartment rental database in New England. At the moment, BostonPads.com has over 121,000 apartment listings in the Greater Boston Area. Of these 121,000+ listings, 1,256 of them are in Porter/Davis Square. There are 52 apartments currently listed as available in Porter/Davis. In other words, there are 47 properties that are vacant now or available to be rented between now and September 1st. This gives Porter and Davis Square a vacancy rate of 4.17%. For comparison, the overall vacancy rate of Greater Boston is 6.4%.

Porter square is located north of Boston and occupies both the cities of Cambridge and Somerville. Davis Square is located just above Porter Square and occupies Somerville exclusively. If you follow Mass Ave up through Cambridge you’ll eventually come to intersection of Somerville Ave. This area filled with shops, bars, small businesses, galleries is known at Porter Square. Keep heading north towards Winchester and you’ll find yourself in a major intersection of Holland Street, Dover Street, Day Street, Elm Street, Highland Ave and College Ave. This vibrant space filled with commercial, retail, nightlife and dining options is known as Davis Square. The types of housing you’ll most typically run see here includes privately owned homes, condos and professionally managed buildings.

In 1984, the area got a huge boost when the Red line was extended from Harvard to reach through Porter all the way up to Alewife Station. The Porter Square Station also serves as a stop on the Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line. During a period between 2004-2006 Porter square went under a huge renovation project to make it friendlier for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit commuters alike. It also got a major aesthetic overhaul that added a new circular design layout abutted by concrete paving, stone walls and selectively places boulders. A major portion of Lesley University sits on the southern portion of Porter Square, providing the neighborhood with a modest college population.

Davis Square is also served by its own stop on the MBTA Red line. The surrounding areas include Porter Square, Powder House Square, Magoun Square, Spring Hill and Tufts University. With its 10,000+ students, Tufts definitely fuels the Somerville area population and gives it a University town feel. In 1982, The MBTA developed a central plaza linking station entrance buildings or the Boston and Maine Railroads. The plaza was designed to serve as the center of Davis Square, a gathering place and center for activities and entertainment. The plaza and the station were both eligible for state percent-for-art moneys. This meant that one percent of the cost of constructing the new station entrances was used to commission several figurative sculptures, including the Davis Square statues. This new development marked a major shift for the Somerville neighborhood. Somerville has now moved away from its affordable working-class roots and now contains some of the priciest homes in eastern Massachusetts.

Porter Square is full of shopping and dining options for those looking to explore what the neighborhood has to offer. The Porter Square shopping center is a hub consisting of two large buildings connected by an ample parking lot. The main building houses shopping staples including a Shaw’s, Ace Hardware, multiple cafes, Dunkin Donuts and Panera Bread. The Mega CVS building has an Emack and Bolios Ice Cream, Healthworks gym, and several art galleries. Adjacent to the Porter Square shopping center is the Porter Square Galleria, which offers patrons an Anna’s Taqueria, Pizza Pie-er and a Walgreens. Porter Square also has a number of delicious independent dining options such as Rod Dee, Bluefin, Masa’s Sushi Bar, and the Tavern in the Square. Head over to the Newtowne Grille for the best deal in Porter – a pitcher of beer and a large pizza for $11

Not to be outdone by their neighbor to the South, Davis square also boasts its fair share of arts, culture, dining and shopping options encompassing over 200 businesses. Some of the must-visits include the Somerville Theatre, The Rosebud diner, McKinnon’s Meat Market, and the Somerville candlepin bowling alley. The Somerville theatre offers its guests an array of entertainment including movies, live performances and a gallery of bad art. You read that right – a gallery of bad art whose mission statement is “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. Davis square also plays host to several festivals during the year, including HONK! which showcases a number of traveling brass bands.

Having a knowledgeable local real estate agent on your side with exclusive listings in the Davis/Porter Square region can do wonders for making your making your apartment search successful. With databases controlling massive amounts of listings and abundant landlord relationships at their disposal, realtors have the ability to find you the perfect mix of quality, value and location in your new home. To find a qualified Real Estate Professional in Cambridge or Somerville consider visiting www.cambridgepads.com or www.somervillepads.com – these are the leading local real estate websites containing thousands of beautiful apartments. Also you can check out the Cambridge and Somerville Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/somerville.boston.apartments and http://www.facebook.com/cambridge.apartment

Top 6 Tips to Avoid Moving Home After Graduation

May is finally here and with it comes graduation season. There are approximately 250,000 college students in the Boston area, and a large chunk of them will be officially entering the “real world” in just a few weeks. As the big day approaches, many eager seniors can taste the freedom which awaits them as soon as they toss their caps in the air. But for those moving home after graduation, that excitement fades fast. After all, a twin size bed and nagging parents doesn’t exactly spell “independence.”

Often, students’ financial situation leaves them no choice but to move home, but there are ways to avoid this less-than-ideal living situation. Graduation should be a time of moving forward. Why take a step back?

Check out these top 6 tips to avoid moving home after graduation. Nothing is worse than hearing about your friends’ cool new pad in the city while you’re stuck at home in a bedroom crowded by stuffed animals and posters of pop stars. This advice will help make sure you have options once you leave campus. It’s time to enjoy the freedom you earned after four years of hard work. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Don’t go it alone. Finding a studio apartment in a postgraduate price range is next to impossible. Recruit a buddy or sibling to join you in your apartment search. With more people, you’re much more likely to find an apartment you love at a price you can afford. But be sure you choose someone you can trust – nothing is worse than sealing the deal on an apartment and having your roommate back out last minute.

2. Work part-time in college. Between the demands of classes, unpaid internships, clubs and of course your social life, it can be difficult to carve out time to make some money in college. But if you plan on flying the coop after graduation, you’re going to need a significant chunk of cash, especially to afford a place here in the Hub. Find a part-time job where you bring in a little money each week. You don’t have to dump your entire paycheck into an apartment fund. If you set aside 20 to 25 percent of your income, you should have no problem renting your own place after graduation.

3. Leave the car at home. Parking is anything but cheap here in Boston. Add in the cost of gas and auto maintenance and you’re facing a serious expense. Boston provides plenty of affordable, accessible public transportation options as alternatives to driving. Use them! Tons of affordable apartments are located along T or bus routes, making it easy to travel into the heart of the Hub. Plus, Boston is smaller than most cities. When weather permits, break out your bike and cycle to your destination. It’s likely closer than you think.

4. Spend smart. Minding your money is often easier said than done, especially in college. When your buddies are begging you to head to the bar for the third night in a row, it’s hard to say no. And how many times did you order takeout because you were too lazy to cook? All these expenses add up and can make a major dent in your bank account. While it’s okay to treat yourself every once and a while, be smart and keep the excess spending to a minimum.

5. Look beyond downtown Boston. We all would love to live in Beacon Hill, the North End, or the Back Bay. But an apartment smack dab in the middle of Boston comes with a price tag few recent graduates can afford. Consider apartments on the outskirts of Boston in Allston, Brighton, Dorchester, Watertown, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Fort Hill, Roxbury, West Roxbury, or across the river in Somerville. These neighborhoods offer some amazing apartments, and you might be surprised by what they have to offer at attractive price points. Plus, simply hop on the T, bus, or commuter rail and you’ll be downtown in no time.

6. Use online resources. Be sure to take full advantage of apartment hunting resources online. This is the best way to explore, search, and discover affordable living options in the city.
www.BostonApartmentNetwork.com, powered by BostonPads, for example, is Boston and New England’s largest apartment database and provides the most comprehensive listings of apartments in the Greater Boston area. Not only does the site give you the entire local real estate market at your fingertips, it also connects users with an agent who can provide free market analysis. Agents are available seven days a week to help users find options to match their needs.

Jamaica Plain Real-Time Apartment Vacancy Rate at 6.70% as of April 28, 2014

If you’ve been entertaining the idea of relocating to Jamaica Plain this upcoming rental season, the time is now to make a move. According to a study of data done through the industry leading BostonPads database (www.BostonPads.com) The current vacancy rate of Jamaica Plain is hovering right at 6.7% This vacancy rate was determined by utilizing Boston Pad’s massive real time apartment database of over 121,000 listings in the greater Boston area (the most of any database in New England). The Jamaica Plains area of Boston commands 1,265 of the 121,000+ total listings in the database. Out of the 1,265 listings in Jamaica Plain, only 85 listings are currently listed as being available now or available to be rented before September 1st. Luxury buildings with internal leasing departments were purposely omitted from this study to provide the highest level of accuracy. From these numbers we are able to discern Jamaica plain’s real time vacancy rate of 6.7%. For comparison sake, the real time vacancy rate of greater Boston is 6.3%

Jamaica Plain is made up of several areas including the Arboretum, Center, Forest Hills, Hyde Square, Jackson Square, Pondside, and Stony Brook. What makes JP unique is how each neighborhood has its own personality that contributes to the charm of the area as a whole. It’s boarded by Brookline to the North, West Roxbury to the South-West and by Roxbury to the East. A plethora of different housing options exist in JP, including privately owned single and multi-family homes, large apartment complexes, professionally managed buildings, high rise apartments and refurbished condos. There’s a fairly even split between long term home owning residents and shorter term renters.

Jamaica Plain commands an area of approximately 4.4 square miles. It’s often referred to as one of the greenest neighborhoods in Boston due to the high number of Emerald Necklace Parks that boarder space. Olmstead Park stretches from the Riverway south to Perkins Street and houses Leverette Pond, Willow Pond and Ward’s Pond. The lovely Jamaica Pond is a huge draw for residents who wish to utilize the space for its walking trails, fishing, rowing and sailing. Its 60 acres of surface area makes it the largest body of fresh water in Boston. The Arnold Arboretum is a 265 acre park that holds a celebrated collection of plants and is maintained by Harvard University. Franklin Park is the largest park in the city of Boston. It also is the location of the Franklin Park Zoo which is an entertaining attraction for the whole family.

Public transportation options for accessing Jamaica Plain include the Green Line, Orange Line, and Commuter Rail. The E line Green Line train makes its final passenger stop at the Heath Street Station, located just at the cusp on the Pondside section of the neighborhood. The Orange line services the vast majority of JP, with stops at Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street and Forrest Hills. The 39 bus also runs right down Centre Street and offers a reliable alternative to those who don’t live close enough to the train. The Forrest Hills station is a major hub of public transportation. There you can hop on busses that connect JP to Rosendale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Dedham, Westwood and Walpole. There are very few parking meters in JP and on street parking is free with a permit. This makes it a very desirable for the driving population. There are also a number of bicycle paths for those who are looking for a greener travel alternative.

A bustling arts and fine dining scene gives resident of JP plenty to do in their down time. The Footlight Club is the oldest community theatre in the US. Offering shows every year since 1877, the club currently resides in Eliot Hall. It currently produces 5 main shows each season including one fund raiser to insure the shows can go on. This year JP will host the first annual Porchfest. During Porchfest, friendly residents will open up their front decks to local bands that will use them as a venue to play music and entertain passersby. There are a plethora of locally owned dining options that stretch up and down Centre Street including Captain Nemo’s, Kennedy Fried Chicken, Blue Nile, Sorellas, The Haven, Canary Square, Grass Fed, The Blue Frog Bakery and Ten Tables. Jamaica Plain also lays claim to the original JP Licks, a delightful coffee and ice cream chain that has spread its way all across Boston

For anyone interested in a vibrant community that’s quickly and easily accessible to Boston’s cosmopolitan center, Jamaica Plain is an excellent option. To find the best apartment in the area, it’s incredibly valuable to contact a real estate agent with a vast network of listings and land lord relationships. A knowledgeable agent from www.jamaicaplainapartments.com can help you find the ideal mix of location, price and amenities in your new home. JamaicaPlainapartments.com is part of the largest real time apartment database in MA (BostonPads) with over 121,000 apartment listings and more than 14,760 landlords in the Greater Boston Area. Also you can check out the Jamaica Plains Pads Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/jamaica.plain.apartments