So You Want to Live in the South End?

Always dreamed of owning a piece of history in one of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods? Here are five things to know if you’re considering making the move.

Photo by Della Huff/Alamy Stock Photo

1. Pick Your Price Point

Among the most desirable neighborhoods in Boston, the South End market is competitive, with a median sold home price of $1.3 million in December 2022. There’s never quite enough supply to meet demand, and that could be one of the reasons many South Enders rent their homes. Much of the area’s housing stock consists of single-families or condos in 19th-century brick row houses, where it’s typical to find studios for under $500,000; single-families usually fetch between $3 million and $5 million. There are also units in amenity-filled newer buildings.

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2. Plot Your Commute

One of the South End’s best attributes is its walkability: It’s an easy stroll to Copley Square and the Financial District. Need to hop on public transportation? The Green and Orange lines can both be picked up nearby.

3. Take in the Vibe

At more than 300 acres, this neighborhood is the largest intact Victorian row-house district in the country. These buildings have a welcoming charm that appeals to families, along with the neighborhood’s residential parks, community gardens, and pocket parks. Since the area doesn’t usually get overrun with tourists, local baristas, bartenders, and boutique owners get to know their regular patrons, and on residential streets—which run perpendicular to the South End’s commercial hub—there’s a real sense of community, with many blocks hosting annual parties. Come Halloween, everyone’s front stoop is decked out in spooky style.

4. Check out the Culture

Home to young (and older) professionals, families, immigrants, and a large LGBTQ+ population, the South End is proud of its diversity. Destination-worthy restaurants abound, but locals still stand in line for tapas at Ken Oringer’s Toro. The 1884-built Cyclorama is home to the Boston Center for the Arts, which serves as a cultural epicenter. And, of course, if you move here, you’ll have the artist studios of SoWa right in your backyard.

5. Scope out the Schools

BPS has a large footprint here, with multiple elementary schools and a combined middle and high school. Looking for a private option? Cathedral High School is a co-ed Catholic middle and high school on Union Park Street, and there’s buzz around the new Croft School: The independent Washington Street school—there’s also one in J.P.—opened last September as a preschool and kindergarten, with plans to expand one grade level each year until it reaches grade 6. Local parents of young kids, we hear, are thrilled.

First published in the print version of the March 2023 issue with the headline, “So You Want To Live In… The South End.”