Living in Boston means living in one of the best cities on the East Coast and being surrounded by thick New England accents, Irish bars, college students, and lots of local pride. But it also means it’s more difficult to find affordable housing in areas with low crime rates. If, however, you’re willing to compromise and live a little farther from the city center, then finding a safe, budget-friendly home isn’t as tricky. Here are the five best neighborhoods in Boston that are safe and affordable!
- East Boston
- Hyde Park
- North Dorchester
- Home Price: $306,408 median purchase price; $1,546 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 76% of cities in Massachusetts
- Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals
If you want to live in one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston, head to Allston-Brighton! While the streets are far from quiet because of the large presence of college students, they’re safe and lined with affordable housing. You can find a mix of condos and apartments in Brownstones, Victorians, and renovated buildings for much lower prices than you could in nearby Back Bay or Brookline.
This renter-friendly area is like one big college campus, thanks to its proximity to Boston University, Boston College, and Northeastern University. Many students choose to stick around after they graduate, making Allston one of the best places to live in Boston for singles and young professionals. Not only do residents get a safe and affordable area, but they can also enjoy great local restaurants, a lively bar scene, and quick commute to downtown via the Green Line subway or commuter rail!
Things to Do in Allston-Brighton
Spend some time in the wading pools, go canoeing, or bike on the trails at Charles River Reservation. Head to Vivant Vintage to shop for a new outfit, find a retro couch, buy a hand-poured candle, and more. Catch an indie concert, sing karaoke at Emo Night, or watch a comedy show at Brighton Music Hall. Sip an artisan latte at Pavement Coffeehouse or grab store-baked granola and coffee beans to go. Eat a Cinnamon Roll Waffle, try a Breakfast Panini, or choose from more than ten options for Eggs Benedict all in a charming ’80s diner atmosphere at The Breakfast Club. Or stop by Deep Ellum to pair your craft cocktail with pork belly braised in root beer, a kimchi hot dog, or a lentil and mushroom burger.
- Home Price: $276,989 median purchase price; $1,107 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of cities in Massachusetts
- Perfect For: Singles, young professionals
Eastie is one of the best areas to live in Boston if you want an an affordable apartment in a safe, secluded neighborhood. Housing in the East Boston borough often comes with great views and a ten-minute commute to downtown. While waterfront areas like Jeffries Point, Maverick Square, and Eagle Hill have seen price increases with the influx of college students and young professionals moving in, there are still apartments and condos—especially further inland—that are reasonably priced.
Proximity to Boston Logan International Airport makes this a top spot for business travelers and locals with wanderlust. East Boston’s location near the water also makes it one of the first stops for immigrants. In the past, many Italian, Irish, and Russian natives moved to East Boston. Today, the area is seeing an increase in mixed-race and Hispanic or Latino populations. Even as the neighborhood continues to diversify, the promise of great ethnic food and friendly neighbors remains in Eastie.
Things to Do in East Boston
Take an intro to sailing class, go kayaking, or bring the kids to the floating classroom to learn about crabs and jellyfish at Piers Park Sailing Center. Head to Constitution Beach to go for a swim, have a picnic, or play a game of basketball. Cross the harbor and go shopping for new clothes, find accessories for your dog, or pick up artisan chocolate at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Eat at Santarpio’s Pizza and order a slice with Italian cheese, hot peppers, garlic, and pepperoni. Grab a drink and play your favorite song on the jukebox at beloved neighborhood bar Eddie C’s. Or sip something new at Downeast Cider House like a pumpkin beverage in the fall or grapefruit and wild berry ciders in the warmer months!
- Home Price: $324,484 median purchase price; $840 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of cities in Massachusetts
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
Tucked on the southernmost point of city limits, Hyde Park is a top spot for budget-friendly housing in Boston. Cape Cod, Victorian, and ranch-style homes can all be found here for lower prices than in nearby West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. The area is also attractive for anyone who wants to be connected to the city by commuter rail while still living close to lush greenery.
Nicknamed “A Small Town in the City,” Hyde Park has a community-centric and family-focused vibe. Historically a popular area among Haitian and Dominican populations, the immigrant influence is clear among both the residents and the local businesses, particularly in the wide range of Caribbean cuisines available throughout the neighborhood.
Things to Do in Hyde Park
Play 18 holes at the George Wright Golf Course, which was named after a local Hall of Fame baseball player. Drop kids off at Riverside Theater Works for summer workshops or take the whole family to see an all-ages play or musical. Indulge in a Caramel Fudge Brownie sundae or split an ice cream cake while you bowl with friends at Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream & Twentieth Century Bowling Lanes. Visit Fairmount Grille for Tequila Tuesday, Sunday brunch, or get American classics like meatloaf and country fried steak any day! Or grab a Guinness, try a new brand of whiskey, and watch the the big game at The Village Manor.
- Home Price: $343,331 median purchase price; $1,268 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of cities in Massachusetts
- Perfect For: LGBTQ, students, single, young professionals
North Dorchester is one of the best areas in Boston if you want to live in a trendy, safe neighborhood close to downtown! Originally a hub for Irish and Polish immigrants, many of these residents remain in the area today and are now joined by large populations of Asian-Americans, Caribbean-Americans, Latinos, and members of the LGBTQ community. Many college students also call this area home because of its location near the University of Massachusetts Boston.
This historic neighborhood has a variety of housing options. Victorian triple-deckers and Brownstone buildings can be found in North Dorchester at a much more reasonable price than in South End or South Boston. Friendly and dedicated neighbors continue to fight for affordable housing and make safety a top priority in the area, as well as embrace the local arts community and diverse residents that keep the vibrant and lively spirit of North Dorchester alive.
Things to Do in North Dorchester
Head to Savin Hill and Malibu Beach to play baseball, go for a swim, or lay out under the sun! Learn about the city’s early settlement at the Dorchester Historical Society or visit one of its properties like the James Blake House, the oldest house in Boston. Head to the South Bay Center to go shopping at stores like Converse and Nike, see a movie, or grab dinner at Wahlburgers. Sip an Espresso Martini, bite into grilled pork chops, or go dancing at dbar. Catch the latest soccer game, start the day with Eggs Benedict topped with Irish bacon, or sip a Magners anytime at The Banshee. Or stop by Reign Drink Lab to try a Vietnamese Cold Brew, sip on a jasmine tea with honey, or get an avocado milkshake.
- Home Price: $293,614 median purchase price; $1,029 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: Safer than 73% of cities in Massachusetts
- Perfect For: Families, retirees
Want to live in one of the best neighborhoods in Boston? When it comes to a balance of safety and affordability, it’s hard to beat Roslindale! Not to mention, there’s plenty to do and eat here, thanks to the Roslindale Village Main Street organization, which helped transform the main strip into a pedestrian-friendly, local business hub. Despite all of the new development, Roslindale remains a quiet escape. Idyllic homes lined with flower boxes and great schools like Brooke Roslindale and Sacred Heart School make this one of the best neighborhoods in Boston for families.
Rozzie is perfect for anyone looking to see appreciation on a multi-family, Colonial-style home or new construction. Areas within Roslindale like Metropolitan Hill and Prospect Hill offer some of the best deals. In fact, growing amenities and affordable rent prices are attracting more singles and young professionals to the area. If you’re willing to trade a 40-minute commute by bus or commuter rail for a safe, budget-friendly place to live, consider Roslindale!
Things to Do in Roslindale
Take a walking tour of the Arnold Arboretum to see 281 acres of trees, shrubs, and vines or stop by the Hunnewell Building to take in the latest rotating art exhibit. Get fresh produce at Roslindale Village Farmers Market and enjoy live music and children’s activities during the summer or winter! Head to the Rosindale Branch of the Boston Public Library to take a voice class, drop teens off for homework help, or stop in for a Crafternoon. Watch the Riot Theater Company take the stage for a night of stand-up comedy, improv, or even try a class yourself! Order Avocado Crustini, mussels with a kick, or cannoli for dessert at Sophia’s Grotto. Or eat at Effie’s Kitchen to indulge in Spinach Pie, Greek salad, or a Pork Gyro.
Moving to Boston? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities throughout the Boston metro that can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!
Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes