johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

Apartment Searching

We've been looking for a new place. For a variety of reasons, one of which being that S is leaving for a PhD program in Chicago in September, we need a smaller and less expensive place. But, it still has to be large enough for two of us, because she will be here for a few months yet, and will be returning a lot, notably during the summer for 3-4 months. This has proven to be tricky. If it were just me, I would cram myself into a hipster studio in a sweet part of town. I've considered staying in my current place and getting a roommate, but am leaning against that idea because I have Roommate Fear. Also because I expect this landlord to raise the rent at the end of our current lease (May 1) in an effort to drive us out due to the fact that we reported him to the Board of Health about a very silly matter that he refused to take care of.

I'm also working toward getting rid of my car, so proximity to train and bus and walkable buzzisness are a big deal.



We've seen a lot of places already, none perfect. The best two seen candidates at the moment are a one bedroom in Arlington Center --- and it really is right there --- and a large studio in Brighton.

The 1BR in Arlington is fantastic, except it's pushing the price envelope at $1100 with utilities. And, it has blue countertops in the kitchen. Bright blue. But, it has a brand new bathroom, a decorative fireplace, and these sweet rolling double doors between the bedroom and the living room. It's a cool place. My commute would be longer by about 2 minutes. I would be close to several great restaurants, and a couple of cafes. The full grocery store is a bit of a problem, as it's a long walk. However, there are several places to stop on my way home from work, so it would just mean making more frequent smaller trips, and not eating much ice cream or frozen pizza during the dog days of summer.

The studio in Brighton is _gorgeous_, in fantastic shape, with a dishwasher, disposal, and AC. Nice floors, brand new kitchen, separate alcove for the bed. Everything in it is new --- the current occupant is the daughter of the owner of the building. It's $950 with utilities. No fee. No parking. It is 2 blocks from a Whole Foods and within walking distance of all kinds of shops etc. Steps from a T stop. However, because that part of the T basically sucks, my commute would be about the same. Yes, it takes 40 minutes to go 5 miles using the B Line. Fucking ridiculous. Also, the building itself is kind of crummy. I really want to live in this place, given the cost, but I'm just not sure it's big enough.

The big disappointment was the place I just saw in Newtonville. It was 1.5 blocks from a _real_ _nice_ Whole Foods, and literally right across the street from the commuter train station. The first stop on that train is Fenway and the second is Back Bay. My commute to work would be cut in half. Not only was there the train, but there is also an express bus that goes straight to my work's front door. It's a nice area, Newtonville. Met all my location needs. And the rent --- $875! For a full 1BR with lots of space, even a separate office/study area. It's low because most people don't want to have the commuter train (not to mention the Mass Pike) as their front sidewalk, but hey, sounds great to me. Commuter rail pass would cost me some bucks over what work fronts, but we're still talking only $910. I was really sold on this place. I actually prefer asphalt to grass for a yard at this moment in life. There are some weird things about it. Like, the whole place has drop ceilings. But, then I thought about this, and all the wires I run everywhere, and so having drop ceilings would actually be pretty swank. There are no counters in the kitchen. None. But, there is lots of room for stand-alone island type things. And I do have a butcher's block already (on which I bloodlessly butcher tofu). So, that's cool.

But, there's a dealbreaker. There's fucking carpet in the kitchen.

There's more. There's fucking carpet in the BATHROOM.

What thinking person could be planning to carpet a place and say, "Hey Fred, why don't you just go on and lay that shit right into the john? Thing could use some carpet. My feet get cold in there. Oh, and don't forget the kitchen. Tile shows spills, you know." Fucking idiots.

Am I overreacting? Has anyone successfully lived with carpet in their bathroom? For those answering yes, are any of you male or do any of you have male friends?

S recoiled in abject horror when, after pondering the possibility of living with this outrageous arrangement, I said, "You know, sometimes guys miss..".

So, that place is unfortunately out I think. We already have an appointment to deliver them a check tomorrow, but we are going to back out with a counterproposal---lay some goddamn tile, or linoleum, or SOMETHING. We'll even pay another $25 a month if they will take care of that. I'm sure they will say no, because landlords don't want to do work as a rule. But, it's worth a try. Perhaps they will say, "Oh, yeah, we're going to rip up that carpet before you move in. It was crazy old grandad that laid that carpet in a PCP-heightened whiskey-laden acid stupor trip. He used a mixture of Southern Comfort and crack rock for the glue. We committed him the next morning, and have just been waiting for the right moment to throw down some 12-inch ceramic." I'm sure they won't.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to see a place on Beacon Hill that must be a coat closet. They claim it's not, but it's only $1075 and it's not in the sewers with the rats. They claim it's fit for 2 non-dwarf warm bodies not connected at the hip. That would be within walking distance from work and a lot of what's good about Boston, so if that place is live then I'm in. There's also an amazing looking place in East Boston for $1000 walking distance from the Blue Line that I'm trying to get over and see. Thing is, being close to Logan will be a huge benefit with S and I flying back and forth to Chicago all the time.

We've seen some junk in Somerville but I just can't do it. The stuff in our price range is not in such good shape, and there's just too many places where you need a car, or have to get on a bus to even get a Snickers.

We made a trek out to Winthrop on Saturday and looked at a place. Right on the ocean, and cheap. Pretty cool, but a car would be pretty necessary, and there was not a supermarket close by. Doing anything would involve taking a bus to Orient Heights, and the bus does not accept MBTA passes. Pretty fucking odd, since it's an MBTA route. Some weird public-private arrangement going on there.

That's the size of things. I'm really hoping for a couple of outcomes here 1) They'll put some fucking tile down. 2) This Beacon Hill place will rule. 3) The East Boston place will include some utilities in the $1000. Wish me luck. Don't piss on the carpet, please.
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