Finding temporary housing and sublets in Boston, Massachusetts

Marjorie on

rowing team in front of bostonThere’s a reason Boston’s called “The Hub.” With so many schools,medical facilities and businesses, it’s a place where lots of people want to live,so it’s no surprise that the housing inventory is low (under 5 percent),and although new buildings are going up all the time,it’s hard for supply to keep up with demand.With a market like that, you have to prepare yourself for what might besticker shock -- not just for permanent housing, but for temporary housing, too.

This heat map from WBUR(Boston’s NPR station) gives a great,albeit maybe a little startling, overview of what rent looks likethroughout Boston and its surrounding area. It shows where the most and leastexpensive apartments are located with a route overlay of Boston’s public transit system.The route overlay is important because in Boston, parking is a big issue.If you absolutely have to have a car, remember that street parking in the cityis limited to residents and that private parking is expensive -- i.e.,expect to pay about $350 per month.

To get an up-to-the-minute idea of what’s going on with real estate in the Boston area,take a look at Curbed: Boston. According to editor Tom Acitelli,the most popular neighborhoods in Boston right now are Back Bay,Downtown Crossing and the South End -- all of which come with a pretty steep price tag.

A search for temporary housing in Boston, as in any other city, should start with friends,colleagues and relatives. Use social media to let people know what you need.Since Boston is the home of so many colleges and universities,see whether anyone in your social/work circle is an alum of any of them-- Boston University, Harvard, Boston College, and MIT, for starters.They may be able to access alum-only listings at their alma mater,giving you a leg up on your competition.

If you’re moving to Boston for a new job, ask the folks in your new HR departmentwhether you can post an ad for temporary housing in the company newsletter’s classifieds.

And if you need to arrange a temporary rental from afar, you can get help from the folks who will check out any prospective apartments/rooms for you for a small fee.

Where to start

You already know all about AirBnB and Craigslist as go-to sources for temporary digsall over the country, but we always like to recommend local sites:in this case, our top suggestions are and

Eric Boyer of started linking renters with owners almost 20 years ago.Now he’s become an institution. “There’s even an official bostonapartments.comday now in Boston every summer,” he boasts. Boyer says that he has listings from ownersof small properties who may not be that easy to find anywhere else.His site lists short-term rentals, sublets, corporate housing and roommate possibilities.By filling out a form describing what you’re looking for,you can instantly connect with owners who may have what you want.

In spite of’s name, the site isn’t limited to bed & breakfasts.It lists sublets, vacation rentals and corporate housing offers,all of which Marie Kemmler, the owner, explains, are checked regularly by her staff.She touts the flexibility of the listings on her site-- there’s usually just a small deposit and no lease:”You can usually come any time and leave any time.”

Boston sublets

National websites Sublet and Claz have listings in Boston,but our favorite is, a company founded in 2000 by Nadege Conger,who now runs the operation with the help of a multi-national team.Not surprisingly, Boston is one of the most popular university-richdestinations among their academic clientele.

Simple Sublets charges no fee but suggests that if you use the site,you also contribute to their local charity of the month (a recent example:the Animal Rescue League of Boston).

Boston corporate housing

Lots of large corporate rental companies have properties all over the U.S.with plenty of Boston offerings among them.Three of the largest are Oakwood, Execustay and Bridgestreet.These can be expensive options, but very easy to arrange.One Boston-based corporate housing group is AAA Corporate Rentalsif you’d like to approach the luxury of a corporate rental from a more local angle.

Boston vacation rentals

This is a hugely popular online apartment search category, and although you may not begoing on vacation, you could find a perfect temporary rentalfor a few weeks or months by using one of the many vacation rental sites out there.Aside from AirBnB and a few other aforementioned sites, the giant in the field is HomeAway,which now owns VRBO and Cyber Rentals. Another possibility is Flipkey.

Finding roommates in Boston

Four nationwide websites will match you up with a roommate in Boston.In this town of so many colleges and universities, there are lots of possibilities,assuming you don’t mind sharing a space for a few months. Take a look at OLX,Roomster, and, the last of which uses actual human“Scam Busters” to review all roommate submissions and eliminate the scams,shams and other unsavory stuff.

A Boston-based roommatefinding service,,is the oldest and largest of its kind in the city and claims that80 percent of its clients are returns or referrals.You can register online -- the form is quite detailed-- and pay a $95 fee that entitles you to their service for as long as you need it.

Whatever sort of place you end up calling home in Beantown,Moveline can get you there safely and without the usual headaches associated with moving.Instead of calling around to get multiple movers’ quotes and compare apples against oranges,we do the gruntwork for you by helping you do your inventory online and presentingyou with fair, accurate quotes from reputable, available movers.The best part: it’s free. So connect with us right now and let’s get moving.