This is one of those places where you want a little lead time before making the move. It's not that you need a lot of time to find a place or to get all of your ducks in a row. You need some preparation because you don't want to move in winter if you can avoid it. This is a cold and snowy location. It's a great place to live but it's never fun to try and move into a new place when it's snowing and bone chilling cold! Renting a place is pretty basic, references and a credit check will smooth the process as does the willingness to hand over a decent security deposit. If you have pets, it helps to have references for them as well.
At the upper end, you are looking at around $4000-$5000 a month for a 2 to 3 bedroom place with all the amenities and around $1,500 a month at the low end. You can find studio apartments with all bills paid in Needham. In addition to a security deposit many places also require a pet deposit so be sure to check when making plans. Houses tend to rent for a bit less as their amenities also tend to vary greatly from property to property.
Living in Needham is fantastic because it is a walking community. There is a wonderful downtown historic city center that is great for walking around and enjoying the city. If you take a walk around the town square, you will find an outstanding restaurant named Joe's that serves an outstanding smokehouse jambalaya. Their burgers are also great and if you are looking for something completely unique, try the Crab Cake BLT.
If your taste runs a bit more exotic, be sure to visit The Rice Barn. The spicy miso scallops are an interesting mix of texture and flavor and the ginger chicken is a local favorite.
There is more to do in Needham than eat at Joe's. The community has events and festivals all year long and a few of the annual favorites are the Fourth of July celebration, The Harvest Fair and the Spooky Walk. The Fourth of July celebration has fireworks, concerts and activities. The annual Harvest Fair is a celebration of autumn and consists of concerts, a parade and activity booths. There are also craft items available for sale as well as local produce such as apple butter and pumpkins.
If you are a sports lover, you will find plenty of hiking and biking trails, the Charles River area being a favorite, as well as winter sports in the immediate area. For indoor activities, there are museums, art galleries and plenty of shopping.