Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: Recap, Pt. 4 -- Sunday, Oct. 14

Finally M was done with her work obligations and could join the housing search.

We had an 11 a.m. appointment in Roslindale with a nice couple we had spoken to on the phone a couple of times. Rob and Jillian seemed like great people, and Rob knew how to stage a place with pictures. The pictures of their apartment were the best I'd seen. It looked spotless, and turned out to be an accurate representation.

There were many pluses to this place: beautiful, modern, and TWO bathrooms, the only one we saw with that feature. Also, the lease was short-term because they were moving, so our entry price would be about as inexpensive as possible.

M had reservations because of a single basement coin-op and the Roslindale location, which seemed from feedback and research to be a little hit-and-miss. I had reservations when I found the streets near the apartment tiny, crowded and short on parking. I'm pretty sure that there are days when you have to park three or four blocks away.

M just wasn't into this place, but when we got there, that changed. It was a bit small, but it was spectacular. In fact, it was far and away the nicest place we saw. It was indeed small, but not so small as to be unworkable. The living room was small, but the kitchen and master were great. The bathrooms were nice, and the second bedroom was at the opposite end of the apartment from the master and ideal for a home office. There was also a nice courtyard that would have been a charmer at some times.

But now we had a dilemma. We liked this and the place I'd seen Friday afternoon. In fact, we'd already decided that we were going to just jump on the Friday place. It was expensive, but it was also roomy, had the best location, and had a favorable laundry, parking and yard situation. So we'd decided to just pull the trigger and had a meeting set up with the broker to seal the deal Sunday afternoon.

Rob and Jillian's place complicated things tremendously. What to do? Now we doubted everything. We had also slated two places to see Monday in Lowell. M had been advised that being that far away from work could be a dicey proposition. In fact, initially it seemed that riding the trains would be perfectly fine, but upon further review it became obvious that there was going to be a mix of public transport and driving. Since we'd quickly learned that driving in Boston was not something newcomers might adapt to quickly, we felt like it was now imperative to stay close to the center. All of this made the decision for us. But we planned to see Lowell for future reference anyway. That turned out to also be problematic as we would wind up seeing an extremely appealing, cool and unique place the next day. In fact, we might end up there some day. But that's for the next installment.

On Oct. 14, we had to make up our minds.

We decided to go with Bill's place. So now we drove to his office, an interesting brick basement office in Allston. For anyone who winds up needing a solid, decent broker in Boston, get in touch with me about Bill. He's a good guy.

We signed the lease, wrote the check, and it was done. Just like that.

The relief was palpable. We went to eat, and found a funky, cool breakfast place called @Union. The food was great, the wait staff friendly, prices reasonable. It should be franchised but apparently it's the only one. We'll be back.

We went back to the hotel, where I could watch the rest of the Cowboys game (and I correctly predicted the precise manner of failure to come). It was over. We now had all the time to enjoy the next 26 hours or so before we headed back. We had an address.

There was a ratty old movie theater nearby; we decided to go see Argo. Not bad at all. But they didn't have any toxic orange popcorn salt. Points off.

We came back to the hotel and packed up. We had appointments at 9:15 and 11 in Lowell the next day. Then we were going to do some brief sightseeing and head back to Logan for the late flight home. Well... our home for another 16 days.

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