If you’ll remember from previous posts about our house hunting extravaganza, I professed my certainly that KnightlyBoyfriend and I were going to buy a house, dammit, ain’t nobody gonna stop us. Then I painted my face with war paint and ran naked (metaphorically speaking, of course) into the high rise jungle that is the Boston real estate market.
Yeah. Talk about humbling.
(Have you some. Source.)
After nearly a year of searching for our dream home closet condo, we have finally decided that perhaps renting would be a better solution for us at this time. I’m not going to lie – it’s a little heartbreaking that we waited three years to move in together because the plan was to buy a place, rather than rent it, and that we’ve spent the past year in limbo while frantically searching, but not wanting to make a bad decision. That being said, there are some very valid reasons we made this decision. Hopefully, if you’re trying to decide whether to make that leap, you’ll find them useful food for thought.
- Sallie Mae owns me, my kneecaps, and my firstborn child. KnightlyBoyfriend is very fortunate to be free of the student loan burden, but I’ve got enough to sustain the population of a small country. Yeah – money’s an issue when one of you has a super restrictive budget.
- More money. In addition to the fact that my monthly rent budget is laughably restrictive, we don’t want to move into Boston just to turn around and realize we’re house-broke and stuck in a mortgage. I (clearly) like eating and going out – I want to maintain my lifestyle. Also, shit breaks. When I’m around, shit breaks a lot. Paying for all that breaking shit will suck, especially if we’re stretching our budgets to pay a mortgage in the first place.
- Location reigns supreme. We want to live in Boston proper. Period. We were starting to look outside our preferred areas, at homes that were only slightly less expensive, and we realized we just really didn’t want to spend the money to buy something that didn’t make us happy. The condo financing rules only make finding a condo that much harder – at least you can rent anywhere.
- Location reigns supreme…but which one? KnightlyBoyfriend and I both work in Boston, and we’re pretty familiar with the layout and neighborhoods in the city. However, seeing as we haven’t actually lived here yet, we agree it might make sense to rent in the neighborhood where we think we’d like to buy. It gives us more flexibility to abort the mission if we decide we hate a neighborhood.
- Ok, so maybe size DOES matter. In theory, we’re happy to live in a closet if it means we’re no more than a block away from great bars and restaurants. In reality…it probably makes sense to test whether our time living in a shoebox turns into a real-life manifestation of the Hunger Games BEFORE we’re chained to a mortgage.
In the end, we really figure that we can get something at the low end of our budget and keep looking while we live there. At least we’ll be in the city, which is the ultimate goal anyway.
So, in an effort to remain constructive, I’m going to give you updates with our rental search. Hopefully someone will find them helpful when searching for their own apartment.
Question of the Day: We need help! Where did you go to find your Boston apartment? We’ve used CraigsList, but it’s hard when you’re only looking in certain area. Share your tips and advice for rental apartment hunting in your city!
And in the meantime, I leave you with photos of the condos we loved and lost during our search. I promised I’d show you – here are the ones that stood out as the best from our search.
This one took my breath away. Who cares if it was questionable whether we could fit my queen size bed in that alcove – LOOK AT IT. It was just as beautiful in person, but snatched up before we could act.
These pictures are terrible, I know, but trust me when I say this place was the best we saw. It had the traditional exposed brick and decorative fireplace that was just charming. On top of that, it was big (almost 500 sq/ft), and it had WASHER DRYER HOOKUPS. Y’all. Washer and dryer…IN THE APARTMENT. It’s a freaking unicorn. This is the property that we missed out on because our realtor was an asshole.
We loved this one. It was perfect in every way. Our efforts were stymied by the condo financing rules. But it was beautiful.
Good Wednesday to you lovely people. I hope everyone enjoyed your holiday weekend.
(If you haven’t shared your Freebie List, do it up! Those are always fun conversations to have with girlfriends…which I’m assuming comprise the majority of my readership because really? What dude other than KnightlyBoyfriend – who has no choice in the matter – wants to hear me go on and on about carbs, chocolate and martinis? And if he does, well, then obviously we should be besties.)
It’s really no secret that I love my cat.
He’s my baby. My partner in crime. My muffin from another mother.
One time in college, the night before hopping a plane to Massachusetts to visit KnightlyBoyfriend, I stuffed him under my sweatshirt (he was a kitten and it was a big sweatshirt) and asked my roommate, “Do you think I could smuggle him onto the plane and just tell people I’m pregnant?”
Because, you know, I do embarrassing and disgraceful things like that.
Poor Maverick. That cat is so chill because he has a crazy mother like me who makes Elmyra look like a sweet and docile animal rights activist.
Need I say more?
With the house hunt (hopefully) culminating in, you know, a HOUSE at some point….ever…we have some decisions to make, even before we select a dwelling. Decisions even more important than location and price and even flooring or wall colors.
For instance, the decision about whether we should get a second cat.
I know, right? Epic decision.
Luckily for me, I’ve found one of the few men on the planet who loves cats. In fact, he reminds me every morning that Maverick is actually his cat (yeah ok, we’ll just let him be delusional on THAT one). He plays fetch and chase with Maverick, they do this thing where Maverick rolls onto his side and lets KnightlyBoyfriend push him across the floor (freaks), and KnightlyBoyfriend gives him a kiss and some squishes every morning before getting in the shower (he’s going to kill me for announcing that). Maverick loves him in return.
So why the struggle?
I say, without question, that we should absolutely get a second cat.
- Maverick is extremely social. He was born in the SPCA and raised with his brothers and sisters. From there, he has only lived in homes with other pets, and therefore thrives on having the company of other animals.
- Maverick is a total and complete nutcase. Seriously. The cat needs a straight jacket. I know he looks all calm and serious in his pictures, but this cat has a severe and incurable case of ADHD. He’s always moving around and trying to play, pacing back and forth across the room, wrastling with Tigger, meowing at the birds outside, and (every single morning) running laps up and down the stairs, just ‘cuz. In other words, get this dude a friend to play with or we will be up all night long, having jingle toys dropped in our face. If he has a new friend, I’d rather introduce a kitten to him now (at five years old) than when he’s elderly and not as playful.
- As crazy as he is, he’s insanely codependent. If I’m not home at night at the normal hour, he’ll walk around the house calling for me. When left alone all day, he barely eats because he gets depressed. Since KnightlyBoyfriend and I work 50+ hours during a good week, it would be cruel to leave him alone for so long with no company,.
- I’m diligent when it comes to training my cats. Maverick is trained to stay off the countertops, scratch ONLY his scratching post and use the litter box EVERY TIME. His breed has a coat that sheds less, so it doesn’t require regular brushing, but if shedding were an issue I’d brush him daily. He has plenty of toys and window perches so he doesn’t get bored and destructive. I scoop the litter box at least once a day, I regularly clean out food bowls so they don’t smell and I vacuum or clean the floors once or twice a week to avoid furballs. I train my cats, and I keep my house clean, and I really don’t think two cats will be more work than one (past the kitten stage, anyway).
KnightlyBoyfriend is willing to consider the possibility of having a second cat, but has concerns.
- Our house is going to be REALLY, REALLY small (like, we’ll be happy if we get more than 400 square feet, small) and he thinks that two cats in that area will feel very cramped. He also doesn’t think it’s fair to squeeze them into such a small territory.
- He thinks that Maverick would have a heart attack if he had to share our love with another critter (which, I have to admit, is a concern of mine also).
- Even though I keep the litter box clean, he’s worried about the excess litter dust another cat might create in such a small space.
- We’re stretching our budget to live in Boston proper, and pets are expensive (especially baby kittens).
- Maverick isn’t a big shedder, but the next cat might be and again, KnightlyBoyfriend worries that the fur in the confined space will be difficult. (Maverick is an almost-purebred or possibly-purebred cat we got from the SPCA, but his breed is rare and would be even rarer at a shelter. And I don’t really feel like spending hundreds of dollars on a purebred cat when I can save the life of an unwanted kitten in a shelter for less than $100.)
My response to KnightlyBoyfriend’s arguments?
(This was a house we were looking at last year. The caption says “Hi Ryan. I’m your supercool house. I have two bedrooms and a spiral staircase. Buy me!!! PS – Ché will be able to cook you lots of dinner in my big kitchen smileyface. Notice the two cat faces in the windows. Passive aggressive? Me? Never. )
Hah. Y’all think I’m weird on my blog? You should see my email chains with KnightlyBoyfriend.
Question: Weigh in on the discussion – should we get another cat?
Question 2: What decisions did you have to make when moving in with a significant other?