Boston is one of the most amazing cities you could live in. There is a rich nightlife, a fantastic theater district, and the Boston Art Museum is a must if you’re visiting Boston. It has the vibes of San Francisco, but it is smaller and more affordable. The area is full of opportunities for young entrepreneurs looking to make it big in the city. Boston is home to 684,379 people and continues to draw people in.
Though Boston is cheaper than other major cities, there are a few more affordable neighborhoods to live in. Many people also choose to live outside of the city center due to budgets. However, look at places like Mattapan, Roxbury, and Fenway-Kenmore for the most affordable housing.
Boston is a place where the train runs for 12 hours a day, and you can easily take it to get from Massachusetts to New Hampshire or even to Connecticut. You can live a state away or take a look at these neighborhoods inside of Boston to live affordably. This is one of the greatest cities on the planet, and you should thoroughly enjoy it.
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Finding The Most Affordable Neighborhoods
For every neighborhood in Boston, we looked at places that had lower median rent, low median home value, populations, and more. Boston is not known to be the most affordable city but it is a wonderful place full of wild events and fun activities. If you can find a place within your budget it may be the best experience of your life.
- East Boston
- Hyde Park
- North Dorchester
- South Dorchester
- Jamaica Plain
The Top 10 Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston, MA
Take a peek at these ten neighborhoods in Boston that are more affordable than other areas. You may find your dream home at a good price!
- Population: 39,010
- Median Home Value: $494,164
- Median Rental: $2,113
Though the cost of living in Mattapan is 21% higher than the national average, this area is 7% lower than the Boston average. Most people choose to rent in this neighborhood because it is more affordable than owning a home. This neighborhood’s median income is $43,256, which is slightly lower than the Boston average of $55,777.
However, this is still close enough to the city where crime is an issue; the area has a violent crime rate that is 139% higher than the national average. Your chance of being a victim in this neighborhood is 1 in 30.
- Population: 63,672
- Median Home Value: $536,849
- Median Rental: $2,100
Roxbury is one of the cheapest places to live, but it is not the safest place to live if you are a young single female. This area is known for violent crimes against women and drugs on each corner. This may be a cheaper place to live, but in Roxbury, your chance of being a victim is much higher than in other places in Boston. You have a 1 in 21 chance of being a victim of crime, and this is an area you shouldn’t walk around in at night.
However, there are many beautiful things about this area. There are old gothic architecture mansions and many historical sites to see. This is also one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston, which gives it a rich culture.
- Population: 38,280
- Median Home Value: 995k
- Median Rental: 2,200
This area is actually one of the safer places to live in Boston; the crime rate is 24% below the national average. Your chance of being a victim of crime is 1 in 53, which is pretty good compared to other areas in the city. This area is 71% safer than other cities in Massachusetts.
It is the perfect area to rent an apartment but not to buy. Any houses on the market for sale are ungodly expensive. The median home income of this area is $44,500 and makes renting an apartment here pretty easy. This is also close to many restaurants and bars in the city, making it a good place to live if you like nightlife.
4. East Boston
- Population: 43,436
- Median Home Value: $540,457
- Median Rental: $1,996
East Boston is another relatively safe place to live with a crime rate that is 35% below the national average. Most of the neighbors will agree this is a safer neighborhood to live in and is much cheaper than other areas. You still get the amenities that downtown Boston provides, but you are more on the outskirts of town.
Your chance of being a victim of crime is 1 in 62, which means it is safer than all of the previous options. The other thing about this area is that the public schools are rated above average and tend to be better than the alternatives. There are also many excellent restaurants and pubs in this area.
- Population: 36,129
- Median Home Value: $603,224
- Median Rental: $1,365
Your chances of being a victim of crime in this area are 1 in 71, 43% below the national average. The median home income is much higher than Boston’s average; most homes earn around $68,209. Though this is a neighborhood still in the city, it has a more urban feel that attracts many newcomers.
It is filling up quickly, and the appreciation of homes is increasing. You still have time to get into this fantastic neighborhood; many rentals are open and available to start your new life in.
6. Hyde Park
- Population: 35,116
- Median Home Value: $522,117
- Median Rental: $1,381
Owning a home here is doable and less expensive than in other areas, but many people choose to rent in this neighborhood because it is one of the best prices in Boston. The crime rates are 25% lower than the national average. Overall, it is a pretty decent place to live affordably without worrying about crime.
This is a diverse area that is incredibly walkable, with many events going on. Hyde Park has plenty of transportation options to get in and around the city but isn’t the best area if you own a car. Almost nowhere in Boston goes unscathed from the traffic in and around the city.
- Population: 67,713
- Median Home Value: $548,371
- Median Rental: $1,750
To live nicely in this area, a family would need to earn $52,795 a year to live comfortably, which is a lot less than what is needed in the city center. This is a city that is 82% safer than other cities in Massachusetts. The crime rate is 34% lower than the national crime rate, and if you were to live here, the chance of being a victim of crime is 1 in 61.
Many people choose to live here because it is far enough from the downtown area to have less crime and better prices yet still be close enough for the activities. Many people who work downtown choose to live here and commute in.
8. North Dorchester
- Population: 27,791
- Median Home Value: $593,383
- Median Rental: $2,542
The livability score for North Dorchester is 7% lower than the rest of Boston. The rent here is much cheaper, and the homes to own tend to be more affordable. However, the crime rate in this area is very high and is rated an F.
The crime rate is 48% higher than the national average, and your chance of being a victim is 1 in 28. The median home income in this neighborhood is $56,252, making the area incredibly affordable though it is still unsafe.
9. South Dorchester
- Population: 66,765
- Median Home Value: $555,457
- Median Rental: $1,895
This is another area with a crime rate that is higher than the national average at 39% higher which is still lower than the sister neighborhood of North Dorchester. It is just slightly safer and more affordable to live. The crime rate is still 7% lower than the rest of Boston which still attracts people to this area.
The median home income is $61,578 which leaves a lot of wiggle room in the budget. It is a vibrant community with a lot of bars and new cafes, but you will need to be careful walking around at night. Your chances of becoming a victim of crime is 1 in 29.
10. Jamaica Plain
- Population: 45,158
- Median Home Value: $668,446
- Median Rental: $2,893
This is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Boston. Unlike the downtown area, this neighborhood has plenty of wide-open green spaces, and the neighbors are tight-knit. This tends to be more affordable than downtown and leaves plenty of options to rent or buy for newcomers. The median home income for this area is $94,733, which means most of the people who live here can afford to live comfortably.
Though violent crime is 20% above the national average, the total crime is 21% below the national average. Your chance of being a victim in this area is still pretty low; you have a 1 in 52 chance.
Wrapping It Up
These are the best neighborhoods to find good deals where you can enjoy the city vibe and affordably. The most expensive Boston places include Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and the South End. These three are some original and historical areas in Boston that make them really expensive.
Most of us can’t afford to live in the city, and we tend to expand outward and away. The best way to live in Boston is to live a little further away from the city and commute using the impressive transportation system.