Somerville, Medford, Malden: some thoughts on investment, rental, walkability

Some prime factors that influence rents for the Boston metro are:



*proximity to the “T” (Orange Line, Red Line .. and commuter rail). Proximity to bus routes, I think, is not as great a factor as proximity to the T.

*proximity and distance from Boston .. the overall commuting time to work in Boston

*proximity and distance to some of the large private universities: MIT, Harvard, Tufts

*walkability of the area where one lives. For example, how long does it take to “walk” to the nearest T station, bus stop, food shopping, restaurants, day care, schools, etc.


More on Walkability and Somerville:



THE PROPERTY: condition of the property and rental units.

*clean, painted, doors/windows operational

*is the house weatherized and insulated?

*updated kitchens and bathrooms?

*parking? garage?

– a parking space will have a value comparable to off-street rental parking for an area

– a garage parking space will cost at least 20% more per month than an outdoor, off street parking space

*number of bedrooms?

*storage in the basement?

*private yard, deck, or patios?

*if heat not included in rent:

– type of heating: oil vs. natural gas vs. electrical.

– natural gas is the cheapest to heat and cool with. Oil and electric are more expensive.

*if heat is included in the rent, then rental price may be higher by $75-125/month



Malden, specifically:

*the area near the Oak Grove T station

*the area near Malden Center T station

*West End and Oak Grove. Malden and Medford rents appear to be transit location specific.


Medford, specifically:

*Wellington T (Orange Line) stop area

*Tufts/Somerville area

*Ball Square area on Somerville line (which is close to Tufts area)


Somerville, specifically:

*Davis Square is one prime area of focus for many renters and buyers of real estate

*West Somerville/Tufts area

*any parts of Somerville that border the Cambridge property line (Inman Square, Porter Square, North Cambridge)

*Union Square/Inman Square parts of Somerville .. proximity to Harvard, MIT and Boston

*Spring Hill in Somerville (between Porter Square and Union Square)

*Winter Hill and East Somerville have pockets to consider. Prices for rents and real estate may show a discount to areas such as Davis Square. The future of certain parts of Winter Hill could be changed positively with the Green Line Extension coming (Magoun Square, Gilman Square). East Somerville may be positively impacted by future developments from projects at Assembly Square (if Ikea ever moves in).


You can get a very good feel for the breakdown of these areas/neighborhoods on the MLS map search on my web site:


There are other factors as well that are important such as access to major routes for vehicle travel (Rt. 93, 95, Mass Pike).












Willard D. Cunningham
Willard Cunningham, Broker/Principal
(617) 921-4758
MA License# 9077116
1953 Massachusetts Ave.
Ste. 400775
Cambridge, MA 02140
MA License: 9011


“Your referrals to me will get the best of many years’ residential real estate experience

– and my heartfelt thanks.”

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