Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just the Facts, Ma'am

As hinted at a bit more than a week ago, here's an update on the real estate situation...

After a week of casual research, it's becoming more clear that if I'm going to buy something it's not likely to be a single-family, detached dwelling. It's not completely out of the equation but it's on the remote edge of what's possible at this point. Never say never - but let's be realistic, shall we? And isn't that the best way to view the world, with a heavy dose of realism? Particularly when it involves money. As they say, it doesn't grow on trees. Trust me, I've been looking at alot of trees, lately. There's nothing there.

So, with that, my mental net has been re-cast a bit. Now I have to decide if I'm willing to go short and get into some sort of condo/townhouse situation. Way back when, I lived in a townhouse with an ex-girlfriend. It was a two-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, with access to an attic and an unfinished basement. It wasn't bad. The worst I recall of it was the electric bill - as the heating system was all electric. Well, that was the worst of it, technically. Personally, it was a terrible nightmare it turns out.

Though, every grey cloud... so, that's rule #1 for me if I'm going into something like that... I won't buy anything with electric-based heating. Not in New England.

There are a few other 'must-haves' (at least right now they're 'must-haves') I'd prefer to have before I venture back into something like that.

I don't want 100 neighbors. I can't set a maximum limit right now because I haven't even seen what's out there, yet. I just know that I'd rather a small group. Better yet, a simple, stand-alone duplex, before a giant 100-unit complex.

I want limited - or no - restrictions on what I can do for interior alterations. If the outside is going to be somewhat generic and nondescript, I'd like the option to alter the inside to suit my individual taste. More on this, later.

I'd prefer an end unit, if possible. Always better to have only one neighbor sharing a wall than being sandwiched in between two.

Definitely need an external entrance. I'm not sure I could handle one of those places that the first entrance to the unit is through a shared main entrance. Not too fond of the shared hallway with hotel-like doors to the unit. Again, never say never... but this would definitely be last-on-the-list material. Especially if I'm buying it.

In-unit washer/dryer hook-ups. No question.

{side note : ESPN sucks. I've got the Red Sox game on and Matsuzaka is pitching in the first. They're playing the Yankees. These announcers blow. The old dude just refered to the 'gyro ball'... Everyone, by this point, knows it's absolute rubbish. There is no such thing. Yet, there it was. Pathetic. Give me Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo... PLEASE!! This is going to be painful to watch. I may not make it through the entire game.}

I'd like a garage, if possible. More likely in a duplex but I've seen some condo/townhouse places that have single-car garages. That'd be sweet.

There's sure to be more but, at this point, the only other criterion I'm looking for is the commute-value ratio. Basically, that's the trade off between how close the place is to where I work against the quality of the unit. For example, I'd gladly give up 10-20 minutes of commuting time for a newer place that satisfies more of my wants than take a beat-down place in a lousy location that's closer to where I work.

Now to address the aforementioned ability to alter the interior to my taste. I don't claim to be a professional decorator by any stretch of the imagination... but some of the photos I've seen of the interior of houses for sale are, to be put plainly, astonishing. Not in a good way. What is wrong with these people!?

I understand styles change with the times - but I'm not even talking about 'dated' interiors. Some of the decor I've witnessed can't be described as anything better than hideous. Especially rooms 'designed' for children. Whoo! These poor kids. I fear they'll be scarred for life by the garish surroundings they're forced to live in.

Suffice to say, I'm well aware that no matter what, if anything, I end up with - my best tools will be a phalanx of good scrapers and paintbrushes. At the same time, I won't let a visciously disgusting pink second bedroom dissuade me from an otherwise promising place.

{Holy shit : Manny, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, and Varitek just smashed back-to-back-to-back-to-back solo ding-dongs to take a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-0. Un-frickin-believable!! If Wily Mo Pena knocks one out... I might jump out a window. Nope, he K'd. I'm safe.}

That's the up-to-date at this point. It might take me a while to settle into this type of market but it seems to be the best way to go from here. Hey, I've been where I am know for 8.5 years (which seems like 5), so 3-4 years in a townhouse should be a breeze...

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