If New York City’s hustle, hurry, clash, and clangor make you dream of a more harmonious lifestyle, maybe it’s time to consider a move. Just four hours northeast of New York, you’ll still enjoy your cherished East Coast lifestyle with all the upscale amenities but in a charming historical city that many say feels like a small town. Boston is one of the country’s most fascinating history and learning hubs, and the bustling urban core can immerse you in exciting contemporary culture. You’ll still have access to fantastic international cuisine, excellent public transportation, culture, and intellectual stimulation. This moving guide will give you an idea of what to expect, and you can also take a look at our lists of the top-rated moving companies in New York City and Boston that offer great rates for interstate moves.
What to Know About Moving from New York City to Boston
Here are some things to consider before you plant new roots in the Shining City Upon a Hill
Housing and Cost of Living
Although not quite as pricey as New York City, Boston is an expensive city to call home. Beantown is about 62% more expensive than the average US city, but about 13% cheaper than NYC. Your most significant savings will be in transportation, health, and utility costs – all more than 20% lower than in NYC. A home purchase, while still steep, will cost about 12% less than in NYC. The median home cost in Boston is $602,600 compared to NYC’s $680,500.
However, moving from NYC to Boston means you’ll probably pay more in rent. A two-bedroom apartment in Boston will average $2,238 monthly compared to an average of $2,049 in New York City. You can check out the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro area for lower rent prices. Boston landlords generally require you to pay first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit equal to the first month’s rent. So just to move in could require an average outlay of $6,714.
When calculating your cost of living expenses, don’t forget about taxes. In general, you’ll pay lower taxes in Boston, particularly in sales and property tax.
Boston sales tax is 6.3%, considerably less than NYC’s average 8.875%, and if you purchase a home, you’ll pay 0.862% property tax compared to NYC’s average effective rate of .90% (depending on borough). Massachusetts assesses income tax at a flat 5.1% as compared to NYC’s progressive state income tax of between 4 and 8.82%.
Economy and Job Growth
What is the outlook for your economic well-being if you move from NYC to Boston? With the lower living expenses and one of the strongest job markets in the nation, your financial future looks bright, especially if you work in higher education, research, technology, healthcare, or hospitality.
A 4.3% job growth bolsters the Boston economy – quite a bit stronger than NYC’s weak 0.5% growth. Boston job growth for the next ten years is forecast to be 42.5% – about 12% higher than NYC’s forecast of 30.7% and 9% higher than the US forecast of 33.5%. In Boston, you may have an opportunity to bring in a fatter paycheck. The family median income is $69,616. In NYC, it’s $64,565.
Boston is home to the nation’s first public school, and Boston Public Schools is one of the most diverse districts in the country. Students come from 139 various countries, and just like NYC schools, Boston’s public education system is varied and extensive. Both greatschools.org and bostonpublicschools.org provide excellent resources to learn more details about Boston’s public education.
With 35 colleges and universities, Boston has almost twice the number of institutions of higher learning as NYC. Higher education opportunities mean more enrolled students, which consequently creates more jobs in the education industry along with a competitive rental market.
Boston crime rates are slightly higher than what you find in NYC, although according to bestplaces.net, Boston ranks as the #1 ‘Safest Cities for Families with Young Children.’
In NYC, property crime is 25. The US average is 35.4, and in Boston, it’s 35.8. Violent crime in NYC is 28.2, compared to the US average of 22.7. In Boston, violent crime is 37.3. Some Boston neighborhoods with higher crime include Mattapan, Roxbury, North Dorchester, East Boston, and Hyde Park.
Transportation and Traffic
Just like New York City, in the “Walking City,” you truly can get by without a car. Even if you had one, you’d have a hard time finding a place to park it, and traffic can be severe. Old roads that wind around in confusing directions, often with five meeting at an intersection, make driving a challenge. Plus, reports say that car insurance is dreadfully expensive. Zipcar is an excellent alternative for the times you need to get behind the wheel.
With the variety of transit options offered by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, commuting, running errands, and going on adventures is easy. Plus, many neighborhoods are entirely walkable. Like NYC’s super high walk, bike, and transit scores, Boston neighborhoods also score in the upper 80s to upper 90s.
When Bostonians refer to the T, that means the subway, but MBTA also provides bus, commuter rail, light rail, and ferry transport. If you need to access central MA, the New Hampshire border, or south to Providence, Rhode Island, the commuter rail makes it easy. Are you going even farther afield? Amtrak runs out of three Boston stations to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and beyond.
Weather and Climate
To meet every type of Boston weather event, you’ll need the four-season wardrobe you have in NYC. Boston winters are colder than NYC’s, so you may even want to add some layers to stay comfortable and cozy. Boston’s average January high runs about 36° F and the low goes down to 19° F compared to NYC’s warmer 39° high and much warmer 26° low.
Boston summers are hot and humid, just like those in NYC. Average July highs are very similar – 84° F for NYC and 82° for Boston. But Boston nights cool down a bit more than in NYC – July lows average 69 in NYC and 63 in Boston.
Both cities get about 47” of annual rainfall, but Boston gets a lot more snow – 48” compared to NYC’s 25”. As you already know, East Coast snowfall can vary from year to year. Some years you’ll just see a dusting, while in other years, snow piles up everywhere you look.
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Although it’s hard to compete with NYC culture, for a city its size, Boston is a serious contender. Of course, NYC has over 8,400,000 residents to support culture on a massive scale, but the 700,000 Bostonians do an impressive job with world-class universities, theater, museums, parks, first-class healthcare, international dining, major sports, and so much more.
From every nook and cranny along narrow cobblestone alleyways to restored buildings that face city squares, you’ll be exposed to U.S. history. The federalist and colonial architecture, and the beautiful historic commons that bustle with activity on evenings and weekends, retell the stories of our nation’s roots. Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest ballpark in the country, and Beantowners are devoted fans. Bars, nightclubs, cafes, coffee houses galore, and a food scene that reflects the diverse cross-section of ethnicities make for a fulfilling and exciting lifestyle.
Best Neighborhoods in Boston
From a historic home facing tree-lined cobblestone streets to a condo in a sleek high rise to a cozy apartment in a vintage brick building, you can find just the right home in one of Boston’s charming neighborhoods.
Within walking distance of a variety of public transportation options, Allston-Brighton is an exciting neighborhood that artists, students, and young professionals love. The 82,000+ residents keep the fantastic coffee, restaurant, and burgeoning bar scene hopping 24/7. Here’s more information on trendy Allston-Brighton.
If you dream of living in a restored brownstone, Back Bay is the place to search, but be prepared for the million-dollar price tags. With the Charles River at the northern section of the neighborhood, sophisticated Back Bay has excellent dining, high-end wine bars, and some of the best shopping in Boston. If you’d like to join the other 22.584 people who call Back Bay home, find out more here.
Charlestown’s classic Boston environment consists of cobblestone streets and beautiful views out to the Charles and Mystic Rivers, with the cityscape beyond. This community is Boston’s first neighborhood, so you can imagine the housing is mainly historic and charming. One of Boston’s quieter neighborhoods, Charlestown, is family-friendly and a place where residents establish long-term roots. Learn more here.
The oldest ballpark in the nation forms the hub of this popular neighborhood. About 90% of the 40,898 residents hold leases, and 75% of those are enrolled college/university students, making housing competitive. The young population creates a distinctively energetic and exciting vibe, and the bar scene is lively and raucous, especially during baseball season. Check out more here.
Another large neighborhood, Jamaica Plain, has about 43,000 diverse residents. Locally-owned businesses, eclectic food options, hip hangouts, and some of the more affordable housing prices in Boston make Jamaica Plain an attractive neighborhood for young professionals and young families who hope to become home buyers. If Jamaica Plain sounds like your kind of place, click here for more info.
South End is a very walkable neighborhood, and with access to the Silver Line, your commute is convenient. You can comfortably live in South End, one of Boston’s most hip and happening neighborhoods, without a car. Residents easily stroll to convenient amenities – from cool cafes and trendy coffee houses to unique boutiques and shopping. If you have little ones, the South End has plenty of parks and playgrounds where they can meet new friends. Find out more about South End here.
Cost of Moving from New York City to Boston
On average, it costs about $1500-$2000 to move from NYC to Boston. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about four hours, or 215 miles, up the East Coast. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zips code, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best NYC to Boston movers now!