Best Places to Live 2015: Don’t Buy. Rent.

In a hot urban market, renting is becoming an increasingly attractive option for Bostonians who—like the family profiled here—want to remain in the city, yearn for flexibility, and don’t feel like parting with a down payment.

Out-of-towners and would-be buyers frustrated by the condo market are driving the construction of a spate of high-end rental projects in Boston: 1,858 new units emerged last year, and 6,348 are planned for 2015. To entice renters, these new buildings are offering great deals (see below for signing incentives). “[In the past], tenants always paid a broker fee,” says Kevin Concannon, an agent with the Steven Cohen team at Keller Williams Realty. “Now, these buildings pay my broker fee. It’s the good old classic supply and demand. They’re doing this to incentivize highly qualified tenants to choose their product in a market that’s being injected with a great deal of supply in a short period of time.” —Megan Johnson

Photograph by Dana Smith

Photograph by Dana Smith


Bryan and Charis Loveland


Neighborhood: Metropolitan Hill

Occupation: Bryan, 38, works in finance. Charis, 34, is in technology.

Rent: $2,300 monthly for a three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse.

Prior Digs: A Jamaica Plain starter condo that was tough to unload during the 2008 recession.

Why they do it: Flexibility for their five-year-old. “The city lacks a good inventory of really solid single-family homes with amenities in our price range,” Charis says. Add in closing fees, and the couple was convinced renting was the better option. With a daughter in the public school system, the Lovelands want to be prepared for any changes that may come. “We’ve been thrilled with our school and the choice we made. But given budget cuts and unforeseen circumstances, it’s another area where flexibility is key. We have no plans to move out of the city, but if a new mayor or principal came in, huge changes could happen down the road.”

Hot Incentives

Boston’s new rentals really want you to move in.

The Batch Yard, Everett
Up to one month’s free rent, plus a $1,000 look-and-lease bonus if you sign within 48 hours of touring.

Flats on D, Seaport
Look and lease: Put in an application within 48 hours and receive rental credit and a waived security deposit.

Ink Block, South End
One month’s free rent.

Portside at East Pier, East Boston
Two months’ free rent up front with a 14- to 18-month lease.

Troy Boston, South
Two months’ free rent over a 12-month lease.

Vox on Two, Cambridge
One month’s free rent, plus $1,250 off moving expenses.

Check out all of our Best Places to Live 2015 coverage.