Boy, that is awfully low for rent in this area. You could look in Sommerville for some small one bedrooms that might be under $1000. Going further out mught get you cheaper rents and bigger places, but the commute will drive you nuts. I think you might be best with Grad student housing if possible until your Husband finds a job and then search for a place to live that is conviniet for both of you.
I would avoid these places since they are considered dangerous: Roxbury, Charlestown (certain parts), Dorcester (certain parts) Mattapan. The parts of Boston that are always in the paper for shootings and robberies.
Lots of grads and undergrads live in Allston and Brighton, usually the apratments are bigger and there are four or five to a place in order to pay rent. You might have some luck with a small place there.
You could definately find those rents in Lawrence and Metheun, but you are looking at an 1 to 1.5 hours of driving to get into the city during rush hour. The train (commuter rail) will take you over and hour no matter what. On the weekend, you can get to Boston from Lawrence in about 30 minutes on Route 93.
Again, I would suggest see what the college can do for you for housing until your Husband finds a job and you learn the area a little more to see what you like and can afford, or are willing to afford.
Otehr places to consider that have some nightlife: Cambridge, Waltham, Medford, Brookline, Malden, Newton
Check bosotn.com, it is a good local Boston paper and has links to aprtment rentals.