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Moving from NYC to Boston: Everything you need to know

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Ross Sapir

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Things may probably become more intimidating if you’re moving from NYC to Boston. However, the relocation process will be much easier and smoother with the correct information and knowledge. When moving to a new city, you’ll have to consider several things, particularly the costs associated with living in Boston. Here’s what you need to know when relocating from New York to Boston.

Moving from NYC to Boston

What makes Boston a great place to live?

If you’re fearing leaving New York, one of the most famous cities on earth, then your situation is quite understandable. However, it’s not fair to say one city is better than the other as it all depends on your priorities. Boston offers many advantages that are unique and difficult to find in NYC. Let’s see what makes it a great place to relocate.

1. Housing

Purchasing or renting a home in Boston doesn’t require you to spend tons of money because the houses there may not be San Francisco or New York-style expensive. And like any other city, Boston has a wide range of housing options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for apartments, condos, townhouses, or single-family homes, you can probably save on housing when you undertake an NYC-Boston relocation.

2. Public Transportation

Unlike in York City, the percentage of wait times for buses and trains are much lower in Boston. Even if both cities operate with wide-ranging public transportation systems, the transportation rates in Boston is lower than in New York. This is one of the reasons why moving from NYC can be the right decision.

3. Utilities

The primary utility package in Boston is also cheaper than in New York. From electricity, garbage, heating, and water, the price may approximately range from $150 – $200 per month.

4. Entertainment options

Having a quality of life isn’t only limited to the basics. Some extras can improve your day-to-day undertakings. And the good thing is that the prices of amenities in Boston, such as baseball tickets and other entertainment options, are also lower compared to New York.

5. Cost of Living

Overall, Boston’s cost of living is much cheaper than in New York City. You can get more savings in the categories of housing, transportation, and food. For instance, Boston has a variety of food to offer. From Italian pastries to steaming bowls, you can order a three-course meal with an average price of more or less $60.

6. Hiring of Professional Movers

A long-distance move can be a tricky thing. Thus, when you’re relocating from New York to Boston, you should always opt for professional moving to make the process less stressful for everyone involved. However, hiring a professional moving company may cost you some money. You’ll need to consider the services you’re going to use for your move to Boston. If you want to save more money in your wallet, compare some price estimates from at least three moving companies. Also, don’t forget to check what constitutes other charges.

Living in New York vs Boston: Which one is better?

ParameterNYCBoston
Cost of LivingNew York is the most expensive city in the country. 

The living cost is $3284 for a person and $7239 for a family.
The living cost for a person in Boston is $2758 and $6136 for a family. Overall, it’s pretty affordable compared to NYC.
House PricesThe median home price in New York is $737,699.The median house price in Boston is $703,403, almost the same as in NYC.
WeatherNew York averages 224 sunny days, 46.6 inches of rain and 25.3 inches of snow every year. 

The weather in NYC is pleasant, but the Winters can get harsh due to snow.
Boston witnesses 200 sunny days, 47 inches of rain and 
48 inches of snow on a yearly average. The winters can be severe compared to NYC.
Per Capita IncomeIn 2020, NYC’s per capita income was $74,472.Boston had a per capita income of $85,724 during the same period, which is higher than NYC.
Crime RateThe crime rate in NYC is less compared to Boston.Boston has a higher crime rate compared to NYC.
Unemployment Rate11.2%6.2%

What’s it like to live in Boston? Here’s New Yorkers moving to Boston have to say

Here’s what Mackey Craven, a Boston resident who moved from NYC, has to say about his transition and his take after seven years:

“I have lived in Boston for seven of the last nine years, the remaining two I spent in Manhattan, where I also split my time growing up (divorced parents, father has lived in Manhattan nearly my whole life). While many of the things that will stand out to you have been mentioned by others, the single biggest difference is that New York is a global city of the highest order, whereas Boston is a regional hub (of New England, not the Universe as many Bostonians believe). Everything else that makes New York so special, it’s scale, density, diversity, and economic & cultural vibrancy, stems from this. Frankly, if you love New York City, you will likely feel more at home in London or Hong Kong than in Boston in the long run.

So, what will you hate? Almost everything … at first. When I flew into Boston for the first time, I remember looking out the airplane window and thinking “oh, that must be Providence.” Then the plane landed. I happened to fall in love with MIT the same day, so decided to make the move, but it took a full two years to get over the fact that I could stand in the middle of the Harvard Bridge, which connects Cambridge, MA with Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, and see everywhere I was likely to go in the city and be able to walk there in 30 minutes or less. While this does make the fact that the subway system shuts down before 1 AM most nights easier to deal with, something I learned after returning to Boston from New York City at 2 AM and having an MBTA attendant run after me down the escalator at South Station saying the trains were closed for the evening, as a New Yorker, it’s still a hard concept to accept.

How then, you might be wondering, can someone who loves New York City be happy in Boston? The answer is that Boston has a number of things going for it, your dollar will go 50% farther, it’s an easier place to raise a family, and most importantly, it has incredible intellectual density. The influence of over 100 colleges and universities and the technology, healthcare, and life sciences communities that have grown with them is unparalleled for a city so small (it’s only the 24th largest city in the US by population, right behind Memphis and ahead of Nashville – 13x smaller than New York City). That’s why I’ve chosen to make it my home, and the rest, well, I’ve gotten used to it.

If intellectual density doesn’t hold a special position on your checklist of things you want in a city, then I would not consider Boston if you love New York City.”

Stephen Colwell is another one who made the great move from NYC to Boston. He sums up both the cities quite well:

“I’m originally from NY state but have lived in Boston for the past 33 years.

There’s a joke I tell friends from out of town. In NY, bigger is better. In Boston, older is better.

New York has the bigger/biggest: Art collections, population, city size geographically, subway, roadways, neighborhoods, universities, seaports, airports, etc.

Boston has older/oldest: University, public school, public library, hospital, subway, ballpark, etc.

Both cities are proud of their place in the world: NY, the world capital for finance and live entertainment; Boston, the “world capital” for education and health care.

NY never wants to be Boston and vice versa. NYC compares itself to Paris, Tokyo and London. Boston sees itself as similar to SF, Vancouver, and Barcelona. All are great cities with different roles in the world.

For me personally, I love Boston because of the world class amenities (the Symphony, the museums, the sports teams) with a small city feel. At most, I’m a one hour walk from anyplace I wish to be.”

Moving from NYC to Boston: Hire an NYC moving company or move by yourself?

When you decide to move from New York to Boston, you can hire professional NYC movers or do it all by yourself. There’s not much thinking required if you have only a few boxes to move. The decision can get tricky if you’re moving with your family.

Hiring an NYC moving company will cost you some money but relieve you of all the stress. You probably know this, and the thought of saving money is lucrative. Let’s see both options to come to a fitting conclusion:

FactorHire MoversDo it Yourself
Stress & TimeYou can be free from all the physical and mental stress if you hire a local NYC mover. They’re experts and will do all the thinking, packing heavy lifting, and loading. 

You will need to invest only a few hours in directing the movers.
Moving by yourself is a stressful experience – physically and mentally. Not only you will be doing the heavy lifting, but you will also need to plan, pack, load, and drive.

You should be prepared to take days off work if you decide to do it yourself.
Moving Tools & EquipmentNYC moving companies will come with adequate tools, materials and gear. These tools make their jobs much more manageable.You will need to purchase everything, and it will take time for you to learn and adapt.
Comparative Moving CostYou will need to pay good money for the moving service. However, you will not need to invest almost any of your time.You will be saving money, but your family will need to spend days after it as it’s not a one-day or one-person job.
Additional ExpensesYou won’t need to do any other expense except the truck gas.Apart from moving material and gas costs, you will need to consider food expenses along the way.
Moving Costs (in numbers)Local Moving: $1,100 to $2500
Long Distance Moving: $5,000 to $8,000
Local Moving: $1,300 to $1600
Long Distance Moving: $4,000 to $7,000

How to make an NYC-Boston move successful

Moving between two metropolitan areas such as New York and Boston can be exciting and exhausting. With more than 200 miles away, you’ll have to plan, prepare, and organize your upcoming relocation in advance. To make the moving process more manageable and smoother, here’s what you need to do from the very start.

1. Get to know your new city

Before you start packing your stuff, be sure to plan a visit to Boston for a few weekends. Be familiar with your new area and explore some housing options near your new workplace. Once you find a new home, walk around your new neighborhood and identify some establishments near your place.

2. Allocate some extra planning time

Moving a few miles away requires you to plan the process carefully. Under these circumstances, you should start preparing at least a few weeks before the moving day. With a long-distance move, make sure everything is ready from the beginning to save yourself from headaches.

3. Invest in appropriate packing materials

With your valuable possessions going their way to Boston, it’s essential to keep them safe throughout the move. Make sure to purchase durable moving boxes and other packing supplies. You can visit some local liquor or grocery stores to get hold of some boxes. These establishments tend to give boxes at a low price or for free.

4. Pack strategically

You may be encouraged to pack your boxes as soon as you’re ready for the relocation. However, doing it may cause you some stress and inconvenience. Allow yourself more time to pack all of your belongings strategically. Think about what you’ll need for your move and what should be tossed. A few boxes to move, the better.

Remember to box all the items that are no longer required first. As the moving day comes closer, you can begin packing more essential things. Moreover, it’s necessary to prepare an overnight bag, so you’ll have your essentials in hand once you arrive at your new home.

5. Create an inventory and label those boxes

Moving a few miles away requires you to be organized. After packing up all your boxes, take an inventory, so you’ll know what you’re precisely bringing with you. Also, make sure to label those boxes accordingly. Besides, nothing is worse than knowing you’ve missed something out. The better you label your moving boxes, the more convenient it’ll be when you begin unpacking.

6. Seek help from experienced movers

Again, hiring movers for your NYC-Boston move always makes a lot of sense. The entire process of moving takes more energy, both mentally and physically. Fortunately, licensed movers can help minimize the stress and anxiety that relocation may cause you. Check their license and insurance options when looking for the best moving company. Also, read their client reviews to get to know them more and make a sound hiring decision.

The bottom line

Going through NYC-Boston relocation can be a challenging experience. Without careful planning, you can make things worse for everyone involved in the transition. Use this article as your guide if you don’t want to mess things up on your moving day. The information presented above can help you approach the process of moving in an organized manner.

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