"Feel I'm goin' back to Massachusetts, Something's telling me I must go home. / And the lights all went out in Massachusetts / The day I left her standing on her own." -The Bee Gees, "Massachusetts"plant
Life in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is located in the New England region of the northeastern U.S. It's bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north. It's a tiny state but one of the most densely populated of the 50 states. Massachusetts has both the Greater Boston area in the east and the Springfield metropolitan in the west. It has a varied atmosphere with pristine countryside landscapes and seascapes, peaceful suburban areas, and bustling metropolitan cities. With main highways running through the state, it's an artery for the entire New England area and you can easily get to New York City, Philadelphia, and D.C. in a few short hours. If you're really feeling ambitious, Montreal isn't too far away either!

Moving to Massachusetts

If you're looking for a house rental in Massachusetts, congratulations! You've picked a great state to live in. Massachusetts has played a pivotal role in the historical, cultural, and commercial history of New England. The colony was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, which has become a story well-steeped in the history of all of America. It's home to the oldest university in the country and also to the town of Salem, known for the historical Salem witch trials that took place in the late 1600s. Basically, you'll find yourself existing as part of a larger history if you decide to take your apartment search here to Massachusetts.

Moving here could be tricky depending on where you're trying to find a rental apt. The Boston area is more expensive than areas in the western portion of the state, which could add time and complications to your housing search. Of course, the elite vacation communities on the state's eastern side, among these Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, have some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Here are a few things to consider when planning your move.

City or Suburbs?

Massachusetts is a small and very populated state so it doesn't have too much land that isn't occupied. This means that you'll have to choose between living in a bustling city like Boston or Springfield, or living in a suburb or smaller town. The alternative is choosing a beachside abode on the Bay. There are some rural areas around Worcester, so if you're really in need of some peace and quiet, that's the place to check out. Determining where you plan to live is largely based on personal preferences, so give it some thought before you start your hunt!

House or City Apartments?

Another factor to consider before you start hunting is whether you prefer living in a stand-alone house or if you feel more at home in apartment rentals. Some people love living in high-rise apartments with doormen and plenty of other people around, while others need more space and land to spread out and feel at home. Think about what you prefer before you head into your search.

What You Need

When you're ready to dive into your apartment search, make sure you have all the necessary documents before you start making appointments to see places. You'll definitely need to have a copy of your ID, your credit report, bank statements, pay stubs, references, letter of employment, and any other documents you think your landlord might want to see. Bring your checkbook, too, big spender! You don't want to find the apartment of your dreams and not be prepared to sign on it right away.


Massachusetts has a little something for everyone. From the high culture and sophistication of Boston to the rural towns on the outskirts of Worcester to the seaside escapes like Cape Cod, you'll find a lot of diverse lifestyles here. Here are a few of the more prominent regions to consider when you're thinking about moving to Massachusetts.

  • Berkshires*

The Berkshire Mountains are one of the most desirable vacation spots in New England. They have a vibrant tourism industry based around the area's music arts and recreation, but there are also plenty of residents who call this area home. The mountains extend down into Connecticut and to the New York border, making this an area ideal for nature lovers. There are a number of trails for hiking, biking and mountain climbing and dozens of summer camps dot the sides of the mountain range. It's certainly not easy to find property here but if you have a little bit of patience and a lot of desire, you can do it!

Connecticut River Valley

The Connecticut River is the longest river in all of New England! It's home to some beautiful farmland and is far and away the most rural part of Massachusetts. The largest city here is Springfield and the nearby Connecticut city of Hartford is a close second. Boating and hiking are popular activities around here and Springfield offers a lot in the way of entertainment and activity if you're in the mood for more urban activities.


Boston is the tenth biggest city in the United States and it is a hub of culture, entertainment and transportation for the portion of the northeastern United States. Famous for their thick accents and penchant for baked beans, Bostonians are a warm and friendly bunch. They are big on seasonal sports and know what's it's like to deal with harsh, unfriendly winters, which can sometimes drag on into the spring. Real estate here tends to be much more expensive than surrounding areas but that doesn't stop anyone from flocking to the beautiful and charming town to find a way to call it home.

Cape Cod and the Islands

Beloved for its gorgeous, rolling dunes and thatched-roof shingled houses, this area is straight out of a beautiful fairy tale. Cape Cod is where you can find outdoor activities and heaps of fun and attractions. You'll probably also have the best clam chowder you've ever had in your life! Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket provide even calmer alternatives to Cape Cod. You can access either by a ferry, but not by a car, which is probably why they have managed to remain so pristine. You'll find many out of towers and New Yorkers who use this as their off-hours playground, but it's also possible to score your own coveted piece of real estate if you look hard enough!

Living in Massachusetts

So what can you expect from living in Massachusetts? Hmm. Maybe the question should be what can't you expect? This is one diverse state. On certain days you might find yourself in a meeting in one of the Boston skyscrapers that make up its financial district, another day you could be sunning yourself on the sandy shores of Cape Cod and yet another day you might be cruising through the vineyards and farmlands of rural Massachusetts without a care in the world! One thing you can be sure of is that this state will always keep you guessing. There's tons to learn from living here. It was one of the first areas to be settled by Pilgrims and Boston and the surrounding areas have buildings that date back to the early 1600s! It's fun to brush up on your history at the area's many museums that explore its varied past. You can find plenty of ways to kick back and enjoy the good life whether you're out in the sticks or in the greater Boston area. Just be sure to wear a Red Sox cap: There's nothing they loathe more than traitors here in the Beantown state.

MA Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how MA ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Massachusetts’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Massachusetts renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories average or near average scores."

Key findings in Massachusetts include the following:

  • Massachusetts renters gave their state a C+ overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Massachusetts were public transit (A), safety and low crime rate, social life, and quality of local schools, which all received an A-.
  • The areas of concern to Massachusetts renters are affordability and pet-friendliness, which both received a D.
  • Millennial renters are moderately satisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of B-, while renters who are parents are equally satisfied, also giving it a B-.
  • Massachusetts earned similar scores to other New England states, including New York (C) and New Hampshire (C+), but earned higher marks than Connecticut (D) and Vermont (D).
  • Massachusetts did relatively poorly compared to other states nationwide, including California (A-), North Carolina (A-) and Florida (B+).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.

Surveyed Cities in Massachusetts