As promised yesterday, here is a list of what we’ve decided with regard to our Boston house hunt. Obviously what’s important to us may not be important to everyone, but for our situation and for our lifestyle, this is what we’ve decided. We may change our minds along the way, but we have a very fortunate living situation at the moment that will enable us to take our time. In other words, we have the luxury of being picky.
- Location, location, location – we’re looking in Downtown, the Financial District, North End, Faneuil Hall, Waterfront, Fort Point, Theater District, Beacon Hill, Back Bay and the South End. Our ideal location is in the Fenway because you get more square footage for your money, the crowds are younger, and there are plenty of bars and great restaurants. (Source.)
- Location within the location – we are willing to live on a residential street, but it must be within walking distance to bars, restaurants, shops and other amenities we’d actually use. Public transportation is great, but not when you’re feeling lazy and it’s –473029472 degrees outside.
- A separate bedroom – most condos in our price range in these areas are studio apartments, and that just isn’t going to fly. I love KnightlyBoyfriend, but sometimes I need to watch wedding shows and he needs his XBox. (This will be Maverick.)
- More than 400 square feet – pick your jaw off the ground and see “Concessions.” (Source.)
- Natural light – no dungeons or basement units for these nitpicky house hunters.
- Closet space – a reasonable amount of closet space or storage would be nice.
- Laundry on-site – we’d love to have laundry in the unit, but that’s really rare. The option to install a washer/dryer is something we’re looking at, but for now I think we’ll be lucky if we don’t have to leave the complex to wash a shirt.
- Decent-sized kitchen – I would like to have a kitchen with enough counter space to cook, and a dishwasher/disposal already installed (otherwise, guess who will be installing it…coughcough KNIGHTLYBOYFRIEND coughcough). A gas stove would be a bonus.
Concessions we expect to make:
- Space – square footage is the single most difficult compromise we’ve had to make. We have wavered back and forth on this for months, deciding whether it’s better to live a little further out to have more space, and in the end we decided that, at this point in our lives, we’d rather be in the middle of the action. We don’t have a ton of stuff, we’re not home that much and we understand that we won’t live in this condo forever. (This should say “Boston.”)
- Immediacy – as nice as it would be to find something tomorrow and get settled in our new home, we are in a very fortunate living situation, thanks to KnightlyBoyfriend’s parents. Although we’ve been looking seriously for the past six months, we’ve been monitoring listings since I moved here. Occasionally a real gem will come along, so we’re trading our excitement for patience and waiting for something close to perfect.
- Turnkey – we’re pretty ok with this one. It would be so nice to get the keys and start moving in, but this city is OLD. That means that about half the condos for sale (and the majority of those in our price range) need upgrades like whoa. We don’t want a fixer, but we’re ok with updating the kitchen or flooring, or making other minor improvements. This is where the small space comes in handy – it’ll cost less to fix up a closet than a house. AND the upgrades will boost the resale value of the property…something that is important, as it would be nice to move into something a little bigger – like maybe a WALK IN closet – down the road.
- Public Transportation – so the way Boston works is that the Green line between North Station and Copley is DECENT, but anywhere outside those stops is a joke. The Orange line is scary and completely unreliable. The Blue line only has like two stops and the Red Line is awesome but nowhere near where we’re looking. Ideally, we’d be in the city near an Orange or Green line, but we’re probably going to have to push into the “CRAPPY” territory on the Green line, and it will be at least a 10 minute walk…again, no big deal until it’s so cold your pee freezes (see kitteh above). (Hilarious Source.)
Anyway, most of the concessions are one faced by every homeowner to be. The space issue is the one that is, and probably will be, the most painful.
Question: What are concessions you’re most willing to make in a house hunt? What are your must-haves?