Brandeis International Business School

Budgeting for housing, utility costs in Waltham

Resources to help you find an apartment that fits within your monthly budget

Via istockphoto

Via istockphoto

After I was admitted to the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at Brandeis International Business School, and while planning my life in the United States, one of my main concerns was housing. I knew little about Waltham, its rent levels or even the resources available to me when looking for a place to rent.

If you plan to live in Waltham and need to rent a room, the best resource available is the Brandeis Graduate Housing group on Facebook. This is where Brandeis graduate students post their available rooms within their rented apartments. You can also post details about what you’re looking for and wait for others to leave their comments. 

Moving in with friends is also a great strategy because there are plenty of multi-bedroom apartments in Waltham (anywhere from two to five bedrooms) with shared common areas, which typically include a kitchen and living room. In my experience, the two best resources to search for these apartments are Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

Facebook Marketplace
Via Facebook

Via Facebook

In Facebook Marketplace, you can search by type of housing and add any filters you feel match your search criteria (i.e. number of rooms, distance from Brandeis, number of bathrooms, etc). As you can see in the photo above, the top three picks are displayed — a three-bedroom apartment for $2,200 per month, a two-bedroom apartment for $1,800 per month and a four-bedroom apartment for $900 per month (which in this case is the price per room). 

Craigslist
Via Craigslist

Via Craigslist

Craigslist is one of the oldest and most frequently used e-commerce websites in the United States. As you can see from the photo above, you can add filters for price, distance, bedrooms, etc. You can also use a map to see where the apartments are located, which makes it quite easy to get a sense of the location. 

Expenses

In Waltham, a fair average price-per-bedroom is approximately $700 to $800 per month, not including utilities. For example, if you rent a three-bedroom apartment for $2,275 a month with three tenants, it’s approximately $759 monthly (without utilities). While negotiating or searching for housing, you should check if utilities are included. Some sample utility expenses are shown below:

Utilities

Winter Months

Other Months

Electricity (Eversource)

$35/month

$25

Gas (Heating & Cooking/National Grid)

$250/month

$60

Internet (RCN)

$55/month

$55/month

TOTAL Apartment Utilities

$340

$140

Utilities/Person (For three people)

$113

$46

On average, an apartment with utilities will cost around $900 per month.

Brandeis also makes it super easy to commute to campus if you’re living in Waltham. Brandeis shuttles cover many important streets and areas. For more information on shuttles, you can download the Branda app and easily track the shuttles and buses traveling around Waltham.

Student Insights features blog posts and videos produced by current students and recent graduates of Brandeis International Business School. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author.

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