Residents name privacy as reason for living alone

Boston Postcard. Photo by Tichnor Bros. Inc.

By Colin Daniels


Moving to a new city is not that easy, like some millennials who move halfway across the country for school or a new job. When moving to a new city, it’s like starting life over by having to find new hangouts, restaurants and places to go. Trying to find an actual place to stay, and whether to live alone or with roommates can be the hardest. Many young people find living alone has its benefits.

Young person sitting alone listening to music. Photo by Je Shoots.
Young person sitting alone listening to music. Photo by Je Shoots.

The Boston area housing market has its spots that are affordable and places that are not. In the past, popular areas for millennials and young professionals were the North End and Beacon Hill. Kaitlyn Nangle, a Goodrich Residential real estate agent, said these days more millennials are looking to East Boston because “rents are a lot cheaper.”

Price plays a major role when a person is deciding to live with roommates or live alone. Nangle shared how the current trend in Boston is how there is not much of a price difference between having roommates or choosing to live alone. Other reasons have to deal with millennials not wanting to get stuck with people that they might not get along with. “I opted not to because the selection of people that I  was meeting didn’t seem to vibe with my style, ” said Lora Martinez, 23, who is currently taking classes online. Having issues with roommates and not feeling comfortable in your own home is very important to millennials, especially students and working professionals who rely on their homes to be a place of peace and quiet.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a plan in March to create more affordable housing stating,  “We are committed to creating a Boston where everyone who wants to live here, can afford to,” Walsh said.“I thank our local, state and federal partners for these housing investments that create good jobs and fuel our economy.” 

Living alone also may be something millennials are comfortable with because of their upbringing. Bella DePaulo, a project scientist in psychology, noted that “children have been growing up with an unprecedented amount of privacy and choice.” This lends support to the

Downtown Boston. Photo by Public Domain Pictures.
Downtown Boston. Photo by Public Domain Pictures.

idea that millennials who grew up with their own room as a child, went on to college and had their own apartment or bedroom in a shared apartment are used to that singular living and want to continue that after they graduate and move. DePaulo added that  “people who live alone stay in touch with others using modern communication” such as  social media like Facebook and Twitter. She added that  ”online time does not substitute for real time “ as in those who live alone still socialize with others in person. DePaulo believes the trend of millennials living alone will continue ”even if the trend flatlines.” 

About Colin Daniels 4 Articles
Colin Daniels is a current journalism graduate student at Emerson College pursuing his Master’s degree. His background is in communications and media relations. After graduating, Colin is looking to pursue his career in communications and journalism.