Cheapest Places to Live Near Boston

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Officially known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts is in the New England region. The population of 7 million people largely contributes to the high cost of living in the area. As a result, plenty of people opt for the cheapest places to live near Boston since the city is usually the No. 1 choice for renters in the state.  

The charm of Boston and easy access to nature, both mountains and ocean, has seen the city experience a rise in rent prices by 73% during the last few years. Our guide explores the median income locations and affordable places to live in Boston for renters.

Cheapest places to live near Boston  

Salem, Massachusetts via

You won’t find a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to securing rent in affordable Boston neighborhoods. Usually, the apartment’s size, location, amenities, and other hidden costs dictate the rent price. Finding affordable living in Boston and surrounding areas is possible when you know where to look.  

Explore some places where you can start your search for cheap apartments for rent in Boston suburbs. 

Northampton, Massachusetts

The area is ideal for students, intellectuals, and artists because of its utopian history and educational opportunities with Smith College. You can walk downtown to access various grocery shops, restaurants, music venues, and art galleries. Lovers of nature are in for a treat because of the vast network of trails for hiking and cycling.  

Some of the rental rates are as follows: 

  • Studio: $925
  • One-bedroom: $1,325
  • Two-bedroom: $1,581
  • Three-bedroom: $1,995

Portland, Maine

Though not necessarily a Boston suburb, the appeal of Portland has been luring many renters seeking cheaper housing. The coastal city has a thriving downtown area where you can find apartments that evoke the beauty of Boston at subsidized prices. Further, Portland is known as a culinary capital because of the presence of sumptuous seafood restaurants. You can quickly get to Boston using the Downeaster train with Amtrak in about two hours.  

Some of the average rent prices for apartments are as follows: 

  • Studio: $925
  • One-bedroom: $1,150
  • Two-bedroom: $1,695
  • Three-bedroom: $2,396

Providence, Rhode Island

Although this city is smaller and cheaper than Boston, it is similarly vibrant. The downtown area is lively, with plenty of 19th-century homes, restaurants, coffee shops, and a trendy arts scene. Providence is only 35 minutes from Boston and three hours from New York City.   

The median rents for apartments in Providence are as follows: 

  • Studio: $1,375
  • One-bedroom: $1,600
  • Two-bedroom: $1,825
  • Three-bedroom: $1,950 

Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester is the second-largest city in New England, and it has a suburban feel because of the many 20th-century homes and leafy streets. The robust health care economy and excellent restaurant scene make it a solid rival to Boston. Families with kids will appreciate Worcester’s Ecotarium, which offers a similar experience to the Museum of Science in Boston.  

 You can get cheap apartments in this Boston suburb ranging from the prices shown below: 

  • Studio: $1,225
  • One-bedroom: $1,450
  • Two-bedroom: $1,550
  • Three-bedroom: $1,700 

Salem, Massachusetts

If you can’t afford to live in Boston, but you still want to experience gorgeous antique apartments and waterfront parks, consider Salem an alternative. Although the city is slightly pricey compared to the other cheap locations in this guide, it is the closest to Boston and a cultural treasure. If Halloween is your favorite holiday of the year, this city offers the epitome of celebrations with unmatched costumes and events for people of all ages.  

You can find excellent apartments here starting at these rates: 

  • Studio: $1,750
  • One-bedroom: $2,050
  • Two-bedroom: $2,125
  • Three-bedroom: $2,550

Median income locations in Massachusetts 

If you plan to settle near Boston, Massachusetts, you’ll find plenty of affordable options and cheap neighborhoods in Boston and in surrounding areas where the national average median salary can accommodate living costs. Consider some of the following most affordable Boston suburbs:


Allston-Brighton offers an affordable cost of living without compromising on the standard of living. The vibrant neighborhood is ideal for singles, young professionals, and students. You can find diverse apartment designs, such as brownstones, condos, Victorians, and renovated buildings, in Brookline and the Back Bay areas. 

The area has several educational institutions nearby, such as Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. Due to the relatively cheap cost of living, students often choose to stay here after completing their studies.  

The household annual family income is approximately $61,281, and the average rental rate for an apartment is about $1,850 per month. For more on Boston neighborhoods, check out our post on the best Boston neighborhoods for newcomers.

East Boston

East Boston, popularly known as Eastie, has affordable housing and proximity to the city center, which is only a 10-minute drive away. The waterfront areas such as Maverick Square, Jeffries Point, and Eagle Hill are experiencing rent increases due to the influx of young professionals and college students. However, you can still find cheaper condos and apartments for rent farther inland. 

The median annual family income is $83,352, and the monthly median rent is about $1,875. 


The population in Easthampton is approximately 16,042. If you are looking for a modest apartment to rent with a large yard in the city and an affordable cost of living, Easthampton makes an ideal location. The area is excellent for families because of the serene neighborhoods and excellent schools, such as Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, Maple Elementary School, and Easthampton High School. You can also find many small private colleges and state universities, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  

Its annual median family income is approximately $63,507, and the monthly median rent is approximately $850. 

Renting in the cheapest places to live near Boston is a suitable option for people who move to Massachusetts and want to keep their living costs low. Since the housing cost is higher in Boston than in smaller cities, you’ll want to look for an apartment located in one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the Boston area.

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