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Moving On Up (or maybe, down.) - Tenth

Date: 2009-01-05 13:29
Subject: Moving On Up (or maybe, down.)
Security: Public
Location:Not Jersey
Music:28 Weeks Later: Theme 7

While I have enjoyed a very fancy apartment for almost two years now, circumstances have encouraged me to look for newer, cheaper places to live.

On the one hand, I was pleased to see that there are quite a few apartments in and around the Boston area that are more affordable than my current one. On the other hand, quite a few of them are ass nasty.

Here's a good example of a Pro/Con list I made this weekend for (Address Omitted):

Spacious Living Room and dining area
Two Bedrooms, one full bath
Front balcony (with sitting room!)
Rear balcony! (also with sitting room!)
Access to fenced back yard
Funky retro conical lighting fixtures in the stairwells
Less than $1400 / month!
Overpowering sickly-sweet/seafood odor throughout (?)
Steady leak of foul smelling water through kitchen light fixture (!!!)
Sputtering, sparking light fixture (from the leak)
Big puddle and warped floor in kitchen (from the leak)
Mysterious, viscous yellow buildup on ceiling (from the leak?!?!)
Cracked windows, torn screens, holes in walls (fixable)
Rusted out front gate, windowsills, and fixtures (less fixable)
Approximately 1.5 miles from any non-defunct businesses

So, yeah. At least I'm feeling retroactively lucky about how lucky I was to land my current apartment and keep it for so long.

I could probably turn this into a fun series of posts... I was going to add something like "baleful, one eyed landlord", but actually she was really nice to us. Though "friendly" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

So, some other things I'd rather not see on my Cons list:

Landlord reserves half of basement storage space for "ritual use"

Neighbors exhibit unusual family resemblance, macrostomia, ichthyoid eyes, and other shared abnormalities

Unpleasant civil war era daguerreotypes to be displayed prominently as per terms of lease (Portraying mass executions, red-hooded figures amidst large tangles of bodies, etc.)

"Cold spots", electrical and magnetic interference, some gravitational lensing, expected background radiation doses between 20 and 50 millisieverts/year

Pulsating, hairy mold formations/cocoons visible along garage baseboards and along rear porch supports

Unusually high incidence of strokes, seizures, xenoglossy, heart failure, and malignant synesthesia among previous tenants

Soundless bursts and flashes of blinding blue (or gray) light from drywall cracks and gaps between walls/floors

Local and wireless phone calls frequently interrupted by hoarse, buzzing, unintelligible voice

Blasted heath, meteorite craters, the presence of a pale, outre colour or blend of colours which I can neither place nor describe

Syrupy black discharge from pipes and conduits leading below ground level

Distant, half-heard, low pitched but ceaseless howling roar from sealed attic space

Flying Polyps

I think that's about it.

Post A Comment | 9 Comments | | Link

User: ship2shore
Date: 2009-01-05 19:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yipes. What area are you looking in?
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Tenth: Prince Of Sky
User: tenth
Date: 2009-01-06 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Prince Of Sky
Originally I was looking for anything reasonably near a T (and I used to walk three miles to work every day, so "reasonable" is a fairly large radius for me, personally), but with my prospective roommates, it's become more of a North Of Boston dealie.

Our third round of apartment viewings went a lot better, though, and we're starting to see some places that I wouldn't be afraid to live in.
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User: geekpixie
Date: 2009-01-05 20:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It also gets frustrating as you view the proximity to T/rise in rent/lowering of quality ratio.

But if you look at the right time, when the students aren't looking, you can find some gems.

Good luck :)
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User: tenth
Date: 2009-01-06 15:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks! We'll need it. ;-) But things have started to look less depressing. The places that are closer to a mile from a T (but on/near a bus line) are much nicer and more spacious in the dollar range we're looking at, and hopefully one of them will pan out (and not reek overpoweringly of off color shrimp-poop).
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User: hippygoth
Date: 2009-01-05 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good luck! It's always "exciting." Reminds me of when we were looking at houses (god, that seems so long ago, we wouldn't even dream of moving to a house now!) and being filled with the realization that if we bought the house, the Con list would be our responsibility. Yeah.
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User: tenth
Date: 2009-01-06 15:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, I did look at buying something... There was a time when you could buy a house for $50k, but those days have long since passed the torch to an age where a decent condo is in the $500k+ range.

Every once in a while, my parents bug me about why I haven't settled down yet (in privately owned property, they mean), and I read them some of the prices they've been quoted, and we all miss the early 70s.

I was hoping that maybe I'd just been getting bad quotes, but there was recently a Globe article (and I think also an NPR thing?) about how you basically can't buy anything for less than 300k around here, and that's pushing it.

At least I'll be saving up a lot more money at a cheaper place, and in a couple years (or perhaps I should say, "by the time it's possible to get a mortgage again"), I may be able to afford something.
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User: thedoubleduches
Date: 2009-01-06 01:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good luck! There are great places out there, you just have to look a bit. On the pro side it won't cut into your quality of life hugely if you go a little farther from the T. Regardless, your commute will still remain what, 5 feet?
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User: tenth
Date: 2009-01-06 15:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh, yeah, my commute will be awesome regardless, but I really like being less than half a mile from six different restaurants, two convenience stores, a grocery store, etc... And being able to hop right on the T is a plus when I do need to get somewhere in a hurry.

But after squinting at Google Earth for a while, it looks like the next best thing to living on the Red Line in Quincy is living on multiple bus lines (connecting to the red line) in Somerville or Medford, which is the direction my roommates and I are leaning now.

We just looked at a nice place last night; It's in Medford, quite a ways over from where your old Somerville place, but it has a very similar floor plan, back porch, and the obligatory North Boston Apartment Wall Cabinet for booze and glasses and stuff, and the owner has taken good care of it and painted everything recently.

Do they accept lolcats? I guess we'll find out soon...
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User: asmenoth
Date: 2009-01-06 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Medford, why does that sound so familiar? Not the house that's in the link. Just the town.

Still going to be living with your current roommate(s)?

Just give me a call when you're moving. Happy to help as usual.
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