What Does It Really Cost to Live in Boston?

Apartment Therapy's Cost of Living Report: Boston 2012

Setting up a new home is hard enough in your current city, but what if you're planning an out of town move? We're here to help, and our first insider report is on Boston. From necessities to entertainment, from renting to buying, here's what it really costs to live in the Hub.

Essentials & Entertainment

Milk: $2.99/gal regular; $3.79/half gal organic
Monthly MBTA pass: $70 (subway & local bus)
Gas: $3.61/gal regular
Movie ticket: $12/adult
Restaurant Dinner: $33.56/person
Beer (draft pint): $5.50
Cocktail: $12

Note: I chose homes in Back Bay, Somerville, and Brookline because they represent three different price points and vibes, and many of greater Boston's neighborhoods can be compared to these three in terms of cost (Beacon Hill is similar to Back Bay, Jamaica Plain is similar to Somerville, etc).
Housing for Rent

Studios:

Median Rents:
• Back Bay: $1,400
• Somerville: $1,100
• Brookline: $1,150

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 1 bath, 420 square feet, $1,400
• Somerville: 1 bath, 300 square feet, $1,025
• Brookline: 1 bath, 350 square feet, $1,200

One Bedrooms:

Median Rents:
• Back Bay: $1,950
• Somerville: $1,200
• Brookline: $1,600

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 1 bath, 750 square feet, $1,950
• Somerville: 1 bath, 850 square feet, $1,200
• Brookline: 1 bath, 700 square feet, $1,600

Two Bedrooms:

Median Rents:
• Back Bay: $2,800
• Somerville: $1,400
• Brookline: $2,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 1 bath, 950 square feet, $2,850
• Somerville: 1 bath, 945 square feet, $1,500
• Brookline: 1 bath, 757 square feet, $1,950

Luxury Buildings:

Median Rents:
• Back Bay: $3,500
• Somerville: $2,400
• Brookline: $3,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 1 bed, 1 bath, 700 square feet, $3,295
• Somerville: 1 bed, 1 bath, 604 square feet, $2,400
• Brookline: 2 beds, 1 bath, 789 square feet, $3,030

Housing for Sale

One Bedrooms:

Median Prices:
• Back Bay: $445,000
• Somerville: $307,000
• Brookline: $356,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 1 bath, 627 square feet, $424,000
• Somerville: 1 bath, 630 square feet, $329,000
• Brookline: 1 bath, 708 square feet, $385,000

Two Bedrooms:

Median Prices:
• Back Bay: $754,000
• Somerville: $386,000
• Brookline: $594,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 2 baths, 1,008 square feet, $679,000
• Somerville: 1 bath, 978 square feet, $399,000
• Brookline: 2 baths, 1,313 square feet, $549,000

Single Family Homes:

Median Prices:
• Back Bay: $3,400,000
• Somerville: $555,000
• Brookline: $2,275,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 7 beds, 3.5 baths, 4,440 square feet, $2,895,000
• Somerville: 5 beds, 1 bath, 1,801 square feet, $539,900
• Brookline: 6 beds, 4.5 baths, 5,379 square feet, $1,999,000

Luxury Buildings:

Median Prices:
• Back Bay: $2,100,000
• Somerville: $695,000
• Brookline: $835,000

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Examples:
• Back Bay: 2 beds, 2 baths,1,372 square feet, $2,050,000
• Somerville: 2 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,025 square feet, $689,900
• Brookline: 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,141 square feet, $850,000

Bostonians, feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

(Images: Lead image via Shutterstock, Property for sale photos MLSPIN via Rob Cohen, Property for rent photos via Zillow)

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