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Is Cambridge a Good Place to Live?

Posted on 06. Sep, 2012 by in Everything Else

172 Franklin Street
5 Warwick Park
232 Brattle St

Spreading across just 7.13 square miles, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the smallest (geographically) of the Boston-area small towns and suburbs that we have covered.  Amazingly though, it is also the most populated, active, and well known.  The real estate market in Cambridge saw 714 properties sold in 2011—that’s more than in Needham (309), Charlestown (223), and Sudbury (154) combined!

Home of two of the world’s leading academic institutions—Harvard and MIT—Cambridge (and the people and ideas it churns out) truly is known the world over.  Often called the “city of squares,” this urban landscape is broken down by its five squares:  Kendall, Central, Harvard, Porter, Inman, and Lechmere.  Each square has a unique character and attitude—some more residential and others commercial, some best for eateries and others for shopping.  No matter how you slice it though, Cambridge is packed with more than 105,000 people!  According to the 2010 census, that number makes Cambridge the fifth most densely populated city in the US and second most in the state of Massachusetts (behind its neighbor, Somerville).

With so many people and so little space, the real estate offerings are primarily all condos or multi-families.  A few single family homes spring up from time to time, but they generally always come in at the higher end of the market, which, in our experience, can be the most competitive part of the market.  As you’ll see from the stats below, the inventory has dipped slightly in the last several years, but the average sale price has actually increased by nearly $69,000!

The college and university scene, along with an active resident base, fill the local event calendar nearly year round.  It is quite possible that you could do something different every day or night of the week by sticking around Cambridge alone.  In fact, the city’s website claims that it lays host to at least 90 outdoor events annually.

World-renowned universities, unbeatable cuisine, and the energy of 100,000+ residents–could Cambridge be the place for you?  Here are a few more quick facts to consider:

Real Estate Market Facts:

  • 1/1/2004-1/1/2005
    • Properties sold = 831
    • Median sale price was $443,232
    • Homes sold at an average of 99% of their list price
  • 1/1/2011-1/1/2012
    •  Properties sold = 714
    • Median sale price was $511,773
    • Homes sold at an average of 97% of their list price

Restaurants and Eateries:

Things to Do/See:


Rarely is there a vacancy on the Cambridge fair and festival calendar.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

Fun Facts:

  • Cambridge has the highest percentage of commuters who walk to work.
  • Cambridge is 7.13 square miles
  • Slightly more than 105,000 residents
  • Harvard is the city’s largest employer with 10,718

Notable Residents:

There are far too many to name when it comes to the world of academia, science, and medicine, but the following statistic sums it up nicely:

  • At least 129 of the world’s total 780 Nobel Prize winners have been, at some point in their careers, affiliated with universities in Cambridge.

Other famous Cambridge-ites:

  • EE Cummings
  • James Russell Lowell
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Mandy Kaling (The Office)
  • Ben Affleck
  • Matt Damon
  • Conan O’Brien
  • B.J. Novak (The Office)


  • 12 Elementary-Middle Schools
  • 3 Public High Schools

Higher Education:

Thinking you might like to call Cambridge home?  If you need more information, market facts, or just some general advice about the area, we’d love to give it to you.  Browse all homes listed here and don’t hesitate to call!


Ms. Guide

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