Our Move to Boston & our love for Marina Bay

I cannot believe it’s been over a year since CJ and I moved to Boston together. We moved July 1, 2018 and it was by far the fastest year of my life. Because I’ve been an inconsistent blogger, I haven’t written about our move. Why we moved, where we moved to, tips for those making the move, etc. So I figured the one year mark was a good excuse to finally do so. I did a lot of research before we moved and looking back I would’ve loved if there was a blog article that would’ve shared tips in a more digestible and friendly way than Reddit – so hoping maybe I can help someone out at some point with this one.

Oh, Boston… I grew up about an hour and a half from Boston in western Massachusetts and we came to Boston relatively often. Every year my dad would take us to a Red Sox game or two and it was pretty common for our grade school field trips to be Boston based. I have some family that lives out this way and when my nana was sick her doctors were out here so I’d often take the drive with her and my mom. As a kid I loved Boston, it was a city and it had WAY more going on than western Massachusetts. I always thought I would come here for college seeing it has the best schools in the world, but I ended up going to school in Fairfield, Connecticut which made my standards for a city become New York or well… New York.

When I got an incredible job opportunity to come to Boston I almost wanted to turn it down because well I wanted to go to New York… but the job was exactly what I wanted to do and I knew it was an incredible opportunity that would spring me forward into my dream career… so I came to Boston. At first CJ wasn’t going to move with me, but things seemed to all fall into place as he briefly looked and ended up with a job opportunity here as well.

Now we’ve been in Boston over a year and I’m actually very happy I’m in Boston. I’ve gone back to New York a few times since the move and while I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for the Big Apple, I’m really happy living in Boston and would pick it over New York now any day.

I thought I’d share some details on our move and our experience here thus far.

Where in Boston did we move?

Boston is a city and it’s big – but for the most part it is like 20 minutes to get anywhere (by car) which is nice. I rarely turn my GPS on and it says something is more than 30 minutes away (unless it’s rush hour, then that’s a different story).

My job is in the Seaport which is also sometimes referred to as the South Boston waterfront. So for convenience, I looked south of the city when it came to finding a place for us to live. Some of the best neighborhoods south of the City: South Boston (aka Southie), the South End (sits between Southie and Back Bay), Dorchester, and I’m going to put where I live on the list – Marina Bay which is just over the Boston line in Quincy.

CJ and I chose to move to Quincy as we lived our entire lives in suburbs and enjoy the convenience of having a car, free parking wherever we go and the ability to not live the city lifestyle if we do not want to. Quincy is very much a city in itself but Marina Bay is a nice little community that is removed from both Quincy and Boston. It has a boardwalk with restaurants and businesses and is built on a marina a mile from Wollaston Beach so the summer and just being outside when it’s nice out is so ideal.

We’re also ~3 miles from Boston. It is so quick and cheap to get into the city which is amazing. We’re right near a Red Line T station so I take the T to work every day and days like this week where I’m sick and want to drive (although goodbye to the $60 I spend in parking this week 😩) I can get in WITH traffic in about 35-40 minutes. Off hours or on weekends, I can be Downtown in 15 which is great.

I also have the South Shore at my hands which I love as well. There’s a great mall in Braintree which is only 10 minutes from me and I don’t have to deal with any city traffic or parking. There’s also the Shipyard in Hingham that I love, The Derby Street Shops, and Legacy Place which is one of my faves! Also, if you’re like CJ and like to golf there’s golf courses EVERYWHERE.

I have everything I could possibly need within 20 minutes of me so I’m super happy that we chose to move to Marina Bay.

How did we find Marina Bay?

When we first moved to Boston, we had transferred a lease from an Avalon in CT to an Avalon building in Quincy. I think we always kind of knew we wanted to try being outside of the city first, so it worked out that Avalon let you transfer from one Avalon to another. However, Avalon prices in the Boston Area are a different story than Connecticut and I think this was our first wake up call on the cost of living differences. So, we transferred to the Eaves in Quincy which is a lower end Avalon community.

The community was kind of gross, the neighbors were kind of gross, and it sometimes just didn’t feel that safe around the property at night. The people in the office also weren’t that great and maintenance sucked. Our apartment also had this weird smell to it that we could not kick. I think we were only paying $1700 for a 1 bedroom with all utilities included which is unheard of but you know the saying you get what you pay for?

I was talking to someone at work about Quincy and they had asked if I had ever been to Marina Bay? She told me it was amazing and we should check it out. I told CJ and we decided to go for dinner that night. We were a bit confused driving in as when you first pull in the community is all residential – condos, apartments, an assisted living center – so we almost turned around and went somewhere else. However, we kept driving and found the boardwalk with all the restaurants. We immediately fell in love with the vibe of the community and the views of the harbor and city and were both thinking we had to live here.

I Googled the building right across from where we were sitting and the prices were a bit of sticker shock at first. So we thought maybe after our current lease in the dingy apartment building was over…

A week later I returned to Marina Bay to visit the hair salon that was here. I had the day off and thought since I’m here with a day off, why not just go in and see the building and talk to them. I immediately fell in love and told CJ we had to move here. We looked at our budgets and realized it was something we could actually comfortably afford. The price just seemed pretty hefty compared to prices we were used to seeing.

I found a loophole in our current lease contract that we had 30 days to get out of the lease if we were unhappy. The next day I went and gave our notice. The new building in Marina Bay also was running a special where they were giving your first month free, meaning we wouldn’t have to pay double rent during the transition between buildings. Things were falling in place!

Fast forward a year later and we’re still here and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! Our building is SO amazing and the people we’ve met will be friends for life. We love our little community of Marina Bay and all of the restaurants here. I love walking Malcolm around the neighborhood and to the beach. I have my car (in a garage) and can drive anywhere without worrying about parking. I can also take the T (or the ferry) to Boston and be in the city in 15 minutes. Marina Bay isn’t one of the communities on many people’s list when they think of moving to Boston and I’m hesitant to tell you to put it on yours just because I like it being my little secret, but I would highly recommend. ☺️

Thinking about moving to Boston?

So Boston still isn’t New York, but now when I go back to New York for work or to visit friends I realize… I really don’t want to be in New York anymore. Boston is a really great city. I don’t want to say it’s up and coming because it’s always been “up” but it continues to innovate and grow.

There is so much going on in Boston and for young professionals it’s a great place to grow a career. I also think it’s a fun place for young couples but have many friends who have so much fun single in the city as well.

There’s always something to do no matter what your interest and I really am happy that we made the move.

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