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The Essential Cambridge Real Estate Guide by Neighborhood

The city government of Cambridge, MA recognizes 13 distinct neighborhoods, but when you’re browsing Cambridge, MA homes for sale, how do you know which one is the right fit for you? Here are a few features of each district to help make your Cambridge real estate search simple and fun.

East Cambridge and Area 2/MIT

According to city maps, East Cambridge is neighborhood #1 of the 13 total and located on the northeast border of the city. Formally an industrial district, East Cambridge has been transformed into a vibrant, modern commercial area. The popular residential zone includes some of the oldest Cambridge homes.

Meanwhile, Area 2 sits just south of East Cambridge and is mainly comprised of MIT’s campus and research facilities. Most of the community’s residents are students in dormitories and other campus-owned housing. 

Wellington-Harrington and Area Four

Wellington-Harrington is directly west of East Cambridge and is very densely populated. It is primarily a residential area that includes Cambridge condos, houses, and townhomes. The area is undergoing an urban renewal and ongoing neighborhood study.

Area Four harbors some MIT buildings but is also primarily residential. The architecture of the area’s homes and small commercial districts include some historical features and styling. You may find white picket fences and balconies on homes, and the district also includes housing communities. 

Cambridgeport and Mid-Cambridge

Area 5 is Cambridgeport, a southerly neighborhood that serves as a transportation hub for the MTBA Red Line and multiple bus routes. This area is diverse and features new office, retail, and residential developments. You may find old Cambridge homes and churches with detailed architecture and balanced aesthetics, then cross a few streets and find a modern-looking commercial building.

Mid-Cambridge is home to several major commercial centers as well as Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave, to the residents), which connects Central Square and Harvard Square. Homes here have easy access to Harvard University, City Hall, the public library, and two hospitals.

Riverside and Agassiz-Harvard

You can find many older, historic Cambridge houses in Riverside, which is located directly south of Mid-Cambridge, along the Charles River. Riverside is home to many on- and off-campus Harvard University students and shares Mass Aves and the popular squares with Mid-Cambridge.

Agassiz-Harvard is one of the most expensive neighborhoods, as it supports many of Harvard University’s academic buildings and student housing. Many faculty members also live in this district thanks to its convenience and beauty.

Neighborhood Nine, West Cambridge, and North Cambridge

These three neighborhoods are extremely popular because they ensure quick access to the rest of the city but are not as densely populated. Many people pursue Cambridge properties in this area thanks to the varying housing options, including small and large houses and large-scale apartment buildings. There are several small parks and commercial districts in each community.

Cambridge Highlands and Strawberry Hill

East-side industry and west-side residency meet in Cambridge Highlands, which sits on the western border of the city and features both commercial and residential districts. These Cambridge homes are not as historical or charming, but are well-built and ideal for a variety of residents who work in the area.

Finally, Strawberry Hill is the thirteenth and final district of Cambridge. It is south of Cambridge Highlands and is physically the smallest neighborhood. This area is primarily residential, with a small commercial area for convenience. This area also boasts a fresh pond reservation, dog park, and golf course.

Hopefully this guide gives you a good place to start in your Cambridge, MA real estate search. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a neighborhood or two, the tour of homes can begin!


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