Won’t you be my neighbor?

photo unrelated to blog. I took it yesterday and just love it.

As much as Price and I would love to get the hell out of Dodge (Boston/New England) we have been coming around to the idea of sticking around for a bit longer than we originally planned. So we calculated what we would be spending on rent over the next few years and what we realized is that is would basically suck to continue to rent. Sure there are benefits when it comes to maintenance, such as the woman upstairs from us flooded her apartment and the building management is dealing with the damage to our apartment. But at what cost does that come to?

We decided to do some online searching for what and where we could afford in the Boston area and have begun to look at places. We saw 3 places this past weekend in East Boston.

First Listing: This was actually a single family house.  It is located behind another house that has 3 units in it. This is 2 story, 3 bedroom + 2 bath house. I like this most because of the face that there is so much room in it, including a full basement and pull down attic. The kitchen layout is horrible which I really dislike but still trying to envision how we would make it work. This was the most expensive one we looked at but again, it was the largest.

Second Listing: This one looked like it could be viable option because of it’s price, it is a 2 bedroom + office, the kitchen is old but the layout would make for an easy update, and there are washer dryer hook ups in the unit. However, after further discussing it, we decided that it had a weird layout, no view (balcony looked onto a parking lot), and a 3rd story walk up. Yes, we would hire movers to haul all those boxes and furniture up there but I am more concerned with the day to day stuff requiring trips up the flights of stairs… like my heavy purse, groceries, and baby carrier.

Third Listing: Right away we dismissed this last one because of the uneven floors. It had new flooring, kitchen, bath but the bones were not good.

So it was an interesting start to our search process.

Besides looking in East Boston, we are going to drive to other areas that we are unfamiliar with this weekend so we can see if we would want to look at any houses/condos in that area. I have to admit that I am being a bit stubborn about looking in different areas. Not because of any good reason, only because of commute times. Our current commute is 35 minutes on the train so I would like to reduce that (by a lot) if possible. The train ride from Maverick (in East Boston ) is 6 minutes, but could be a longer walk. Places like Malden only have an 11 minute train ride so we are going to look there as well as Chelsea, which would only have about a 20 minute. Oh the possibilities.

These are the things I have been considering for each of the places we look at…

we are looking for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath places in the 850+ sf range

within a mile of a train station or bus stop

house > 2nd floor > 1st floor > 3rd floor

laundry in unit > laundry in building’s basement

deeded parking > resident permit parking (long shot)

old kitchen  + low price > new kitchen + high price

With all that said…

What things did you consider when buying your place? What were your must haves and wants? What suggestions do you have? What did you learn from the process? Did anything scare you that you were not expecting?

I’d love to have some input.

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