You might logically surmise that the ‘City of Presidents’ in this country would be somewhere around Washington, D.C., but you’d be wrong. It’s in fact Quincy, Massachusetts, a bustling New England city on the outer edge of the even more bustling Boston metro area. Quincy has had two former presidents grow up here, and if those guys had anything to say about it, they’d tell you Quincy is an exciting place to live. We guess it has something to do with all the “Revolutionary War” happenings and bucketfuls of fluffy white snow every year, not to mention the proximity to near inappropriate amounts of delectable, fresh seafood. These days you can still get all of those things in Quincy… well, not the war, that’s mostly over… but you can still get fluffy snow and great seafood, on top of modern things like boutique shopping, bars and rents significantly lower than its popular urban neighbor. With more and more people flocking to Boston every year, it’s best to beat the trendsetters and head to Quincy before it becomes the new Brooklyn. In any case, you’re here for an apartment, so let’s get to it!
Wollaston offers up a vibrant commercial and business district with plenty of housing, shopping and nightlife. Living here means you’ll be well connected to the red line MBTA train straight into “Bean Town” and the beach, as well. The bulk of shops and restaurants line Beale and Hancock streets, and if you want to be right in the middle of the action, the upper stories in some retail buildings have been converted to apartments, too. The surrounding side streets are tree-lined residential havens featuring historic one and two family homes, and there are also a couple of high-rise apartment buildings near the shoreline. Rents in Wollaston start at around $850 for 1BR, to as low as $1100 for a 2BR, and around $1400 for a 3BR set up. Large single-family homes will start in the $2000 bracket but as with any place near water, oceanfront views will cost more.
Quincy’s newest attraction is the Marina Bay area, now boasting restaurants, waterfront entertainment options and gorgeous views of the Boston skyline. You’ll find that a $1900/month rent in Marina Bay will get you a 1BR with a view, ranging up to $2600 . Two bedrooms will set you back nearly $3,000/month, but it’ll typically land you in some of the most prime real estate available. Marina Bay offers plenty of nightlife options and amenities.
For better connection to Boston, North Quincy, especially its Montclair area, is a popular choice. Historically outfitted with single-family homes, apartment buildings and multi-family homes are now available with new urban lofts growing in popularity. North Quincy puts you an ideal 10 minutes from Boston on the T, but maintains plenty of local retail and business options for those times when you can’t bear another minute sitting next to yet another person singing show tunes or launching a candy business on the train. A single bedroom in North Quincy will start around $900 with two and three bedrooms around $1400.
Quincy Center is undergoing the same revitalization efforts as many other downtown areas in the US. More than a few residents have chosen to call Quincy Center home and love it. Massive additional redevelopment plans are still in the works slated for 2013. Luxury lofts are already available along with Quincy’s biggest concentration of shopping and nightlife options, and connectivity to the T into Boston is easy-peasy. But, as with many redevelopment projects, it takes time. Quincy Center is definitely an up and coming ‘hood. To each, their own, it seems. One bedrooms will range between $1300 and $1800 depending on how much you want to impress people, and 2-3BR spaces will go between $1700 and $2200.
Transportation in Quincy centers on one thing: proximity to the T, the Boston metro area subway system. MBTA operates a bus system as well, but using the T is by far more preferable to Quincy residents, so well-connected apartments and houses will see higher prices than those that require a shuttle or bus to the T. Cars are not really necessary in Quincy, though they can sometimes come in handy especially if you have a morning commute and an unfavorable T connection. Rush hour commute times into Boston can get close to an hour, with off-peak times staying near 30 minutes. Having a car will take some work in Winter if you’re without a garage, so if you bring one, make sure you’re up to snuff on how to handle it when the temperature starts to bite. Be aware that the trains do not run into Quincy all night.
It must be said that Quincy isn’t really a towering destination city. Most people who bunk down here are doing so because it’s a cheaper alternative to living in Boston, but enough people have caught on that this little city of 91,000 can boast more than its fair share of amenities, including a strong local food and boutique culture. It can do well at keeping even the most adventurous spirit entertained – even if it’s just providing a T line into Boston. If an urban New England compromise is what you’re after, Quincy is it! Happy hunting!