Off-campus housing at Harvard?

My son is considering grad school at Harvard, starting in August. His classes would be (I believe) in the Science Center, just north of the Yard. Does anyone have an idea of what price range he’d probably be looking at for housing in the vicinity? How likely or unlikely would it be for him to find a place with parking?

Very unlikely to find parking. Housing is extremely expensive even if not very luxurious. Most housing that is walkable in that area would also be competing against Harvard law students. You can look online for prices. Many young professionals and teachers also own/rent in this area so prices are high. He could look outside this area and take the train a couple of stops. Would make the prices be much less and he might get a parking spot.

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Something near another T stop is a good suggestion - thanks!

He can find housing nearby with parking, but it would be expensive. Somerville use to be a practical solution, but that is no longer cheap either - but is still less on a relative basis.

Harvard use to have actual books of off-campus living options. Willing to bet those are online now.

Also, if he’s looking for inexpensive there are many options (none of them located within walking distance of the science center). If he wants to forego having a car, there’s another set of options.
The school will have lists and many folks who want to rent to students, sublets or students who want to share an apartment etc. That’s his best bet.

So he can’t pak his ca in the Havad yad?


cahh in hahvud yaahd. The thing is, unless you grew up in MA you’ll sound like an idiot saying it. The best scenes with Boston accents are in Good Will Hunting. Both Affleck and Matt Damon grew up in Cambridge so it’s right on target.
Must be the same when people try to imitate New Yorkers saying dahwg or someone trying to imitate a Southern accent. Got to be an eye-roll in every case.
He won’t need a car much in any case.

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Most grad students live a few T stops away from campus, still not cheap, but less pricey than close to campus. Grad students would not be generally driving to campus – T ride or bike is most common.

I have lived within walking distance to Harvard in recent years and there were plenty of grad students in my buildings. I also personally know quite a few grad students at Harvard and most of them live within walking distance, either in Cambridge or Somerville.

Honestly, the prices close to campus aren’t that much more than prices further away. Even cities like Malden (relatively poor) have high rents. Might as well live close to campus.

I can PM you some property management companies and realtors. I love the old brick buildings in Cambridge, many in the law school area, and they can be affordable if shared. There are also a lot of Victorians on side streets.

Sharing with even one person can reduce rents of course. Craigslist works, but beware of scams of course. And yes Harvard has a housing list.

Oops adding that with a parking permit, you can park on the street. Everyone does. You have to move for street cleaning and sometimes for snow, depending on which street you live on. Many many people don’t have cars but if you do, it isn’t that much of a problem. It is rare for a building to have parking, but there are a few.

ps PM’ed you


Is there some reason this student needs a car in Boston? My kid was an undergrad at a different Boston university and never had a car. The public transportation was excellent (not sure how covid has affected that).

I would agree…rent for convenience. Costs aren’t going to be much different.


I will say that Cambridge is really trying to reduce cars in the city. Lots of bike lanes and the T is right in the square, both buses and subway. Most grad students do not have a car, I would say, but it is possible to park them at any rate.

Harvard offers a fair amount of university owned housing for grad students.

If you are looking for an approximate figure about $2400/month with no parking for a 1 bedroom.

A running list of the cost to rent in 22 Mass. cities (Oct. 6) (

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I don’t know anyone who rents a one bedroom! Studios run $1750 to $2200 or so. Sharing can get rent down to $1400-1500 at the minimum for two people less for more.

Each apartment gets a visitor’s parking permit and each driver gets a sticker, for a fee.

Nope he wouldn’t need a car at all. But he currently has a car, so not taking it to grad school means that Dad gets stuck having an old jalopy sitting in his front yard for two years. :slightly_smiling_face:

Wow! He currently lives in the middle of D.C. and thinks that’s pricey!

Having a car in Boston is pricey. Parking is one issue, but your insurance will also be high. If they still have zip cars, he could use those on the occasion when he needs a car for a short time. Some of the rental places also give preferred rates to students enrolled in the Boston colleges.

I know people who live in Boston who don’t own cars.

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Gradschoolkid1 was hoping to get Grad student housing, but they didn’t offer it until super-late this (while they figured out Covid). Instead she found roommates through the student fb group (somebody in the cohort set up a ‘who is looking for what kind of housing’ spreadsheet).

She is paying $1225/mo + utilities for a 4bdr / 2ba apt that she shares w/ 3 other grad students. It is a 20 minute walk to campus. She also rents an off-street parking space that she found on Craigslist (as did one of her roommates). Car is used for ski & beach trips and big grocery runs and not a lot else, but like your son it was that or leave it sitting idle in our driveway, which isn’t good for a car either.

My son kept his car while living in Cambridge. He always had roommates. For many. Years he lived in a. 3 decker house, in an apartment, which came with a parking spot. He and roommates used it for shopping and weekend excursions, but not to go to classes.

Right now the rental market in the Boston area is a bit of a bargain. Prices have come down since COVID, and you can get a bit of a break. Used to be rental agreements included up to 4 months at signing - broker fee, first, last, and security. With the softer market some landlords are paying the broker fee and not asking for as many months in advance. Does he need a room starting in August. 90% of the leases in the Boston market start on September 1? Those apartments are already being listed now (yes, over 6 months in advance).

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A fair number start in August too.