I’m a new BA moving to Boston soon. Do you think $2k/month is too much for ~$100k salary? I’m looking at some apartments in the Fenway area and heard that parking there is crazy. Is it possible to live with resident street parking or I have to rent an off street parking spot for extra fee?

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To answer your first question, no I don't think $2k is too much based on your salary.

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I would say $2k may be a little high, especially if you’re trying to save down for a condo, which is what you mentioned. I’m a little above that salary range and won’t touch anything above $1300/mo at the moment - also saving for a large investment.

$2k is doable but are you gonna be 4 months into your lease thinking “i could’ve saved so much more this year...” It’s up to you what you value more at this point in time.

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If you’re looking at the Fenway area it will be difficult to find street parking. You have to go out of the central area of Boston with the big luxury buildings (brighton, dorchester, etc.) to find that. I grew up in the area so let me know if you have any questions

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It will be cheaper if you could get a roommate to split a 2 bed with.

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I park on the street in the south end. Definitely less convenient than a garage, but I’ve always eventually found an open spot somewhere. I have heard that Fenway can be difficult because of baseball games. I think the ticket for non-residents parking in a resident zone is less than the cost of a lot of lots for Red Sox games. Also to get the resident sticker, the car needs to be registered in your name at your address in Boston.

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Agreed - though I think street parking only worked for me when I lived in the south end because neither my husband nor I needed the car to commute for work. If we did, street parking really would not have been viable.

It's doable, but I wouldn't personally recommend it. Maybe would've dropped the money if there was no end in sight to WFH.

Honestly probably a better investment to save it for buying a place. I make slightly more and spend less than $2k rent. The one exception is if you could somehow nab in-unit laundry at $2k (half kidding, won't happen in Fenway...)!

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$2k per month seems reasonable if you have no other notable fixed monthly expenses (ie loans or car payment). Really answering this question completely depends on your financial situation. Do you have student loans or other debt? What do your spending habits look like? What do you put away each month for retirement? I’d recommend you do a quick Cash flow based on your average monthly spending and see if you’re comfortable with the net flow. On parking it’s possible to do street parking just a massive headache to search for it. Many nights I spent 20+ minutes searching. Finally just got rid of the car. More headache than it was worth.

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No I don’t have any other debt. I’m living a pretty modest Phd life and don’t expect to change it dramatically. Being an international student, I’m not so fond of putting too much money in the retirement account but may consider max out 401k for tax purpose. My immediate goal is to have enough down payment for a reasonable 2br house/condo. On the one hand, I’m afraid spending too much on rent could slow down my house goal. But on the other hand, I would also like to find a “fun” place to explore the city.

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I’ve lived in Fenway (love it!) for the last 4 years and have been using the free resident street parking throughout that time without issues, would definitely recommend to save $ (have done it both while living near Fenway Park / the target area and on the other side of the Fens closer to Northeastern, it’s all still the same sticker so can be used across those areas). Agreed with some of the points above that sometimes I have to do a lap if it’s late at night but I’ve never had any issues where I didn’t find a spot within a few minutes, and it’s only been a handful of times that I had to go a few streets over and walk an extra 5 minutes to be at a space a bit further away. That said I don’t commute daily just use it about once a week for errands or a weekend trip.
For me saving $300 a month on parking meant being able to get a nicer apartment which is well worth it in my opinion. If you’re looking at the luxury buildings in Fenway feel free to shoot me a a message- a lot are still running special discounts so more affordable than they were in the past and might be worth trying to negotiate if you have a flexible / off start date. Just went through another move to one last year and happy to help if you’re looking for any perspectives on the options! Outside of luxury buildings I paid $1,600 for a small studio and then $2,100 for a one bedroom in an old building, so $2k sounds like you should be able to find some good options if you’re willing to spend that.

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I've lived in Fenway for 2 years (nears Mass Ave and Westland) and resident parking as never been an issue. On nights that I return late, I might have to park a little farther and walk about 10minutes but it's not bad. Would not recommend paying for parking if you are trying to save.

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