Friday, September 25, 2015

A Little Update

Things with the new place are no better but we are gathering information and trying to decide whether to move or not, to re-sell (and take a huge loss) or not, to renovate (huge expenses and months of chaos for an uncertain return) or not. It's all nerve-wracking and confusing.

Secondhand smoke coming into the unit has become a "burning issue" in recent days, strongly influencing these decisions. (And yes, we asked about smoking beforehand. Apparently the situation changed since we asked.)

What a mess. We thought we'd be so happy to finally buy a place and move. Oh, well.

At least we saw a good sunset over the Charles the other night:


13 comments:

  1. This is indeed a wretched development -- the cigarette smoke, I mean. Although my previous and first-time comment stands on theoretical grounds, I could never live in a situation where I had to inhale that detestable odor, even if occasional, and know that it would incrementally bond to all my belongings ..... not to lessen the horror of having nicotine residue landing on your darlings' fur that then gets licked off by them.

    Even if the smoker vanishes into the ether at some point, it would be like living with the Sword of Damocles over your heads.

    I wish I had piped up all the months I have followed your blog, and its years-long our-next-home-hunt travails, and urged you to stick to seeking a single level detached home, such as a cape-style that has 2 rooms upstairs that can be guest bedroom and study, but a main bedroom on the ground floor. You don't need stairs as you're getting older! A green space around you would be cathartic, and if you chose the lot well, would also accommodate an outdoor cat-safe enclosure.

    If you decide on the major renovations route for the new apt, likely you'll have to contend with the not unsubstantial surcharge any contractors would figure into their quotes for your fourth floor location.

    Is the "huge loss" you speak of a cert? If its confined to 100 - 200 K, then you're still better off than many many others throughout USA -- to illustrate: a business contact of mine in Toledo, OH, bought a modest four-square home for 369 K six years ago, which was similar to other sold prices in the neighborhood for the same type of property, and after listing for over two years, accepted $144 K this summer.

    To reiterate -- your top floor apt has very good saleability prospects, and letting it go asap seems to be the best option.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes! I wish you were our RE agent.... those little houses are hard to find and a big sticking point has always been my husband's enormous scholarly library. But even he is coming to realize that his books are more of an albatross than an asset given the number of good properties that we've had to walk away from because they don't have the walls he needs. And the fact that he probably actually consults less than 10% of those books. Sigh. We are growing in wisdom and I thank you for your help in leading the way!

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  2. I'm really sad for you and your husband with respect to your new place. I completely agree with you on the "burning issue". Sending happy thoughts along with a big thank you for sharing the great sunset photo.

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  3. smoke would be a huge issue for me and my allergies. I am sorry this has cropped up.

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  4. The smoke would be a deal-breaker for me; I'm so sorry you guys are having to go through this. But, seconding wise Jan once again, I'm not sure a huge loss is a given. Now that you own the apartment, you could even paint it and make it look considerably more attractive before you put it in on the market, perhaps doing even better than breaking even. Just a thought. In any case, know that you have many fans of PB who wish you only well-being and happiness, whatever the location.

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    1. Thank you! Paint is going up on the walls right now (and it's all warm off-white and not GRAY) and we are hoping that it will be a big visual improvement! Thanks for writing!

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  5. I'm sorry to here you're having misgivings. I have followed your journey online ...quick thought: if the smoke is from within the same building, any chance condo rules could be amended to make it a non-smoking building? ENR

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    1. If only the smoker wasn't the president of the association. Even when no-smoking rules are added to the condo docs, the current smokers are usually grandfathered in. But if we end up living there, I will try to pursue this as diplomatically as I can. Thanks for thinking about this!

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  6. I don't know why I didn't think of this. You could just paint it, and rent it out. People are
    willing to pay exorbitant rents these days. You might be able not only to break even,
    but to make a nice profit that way.

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    1. Hmm, where are these people paying exorbitant rents? I keep reading that all the new "luxury" apt buildings are offering no fees and free months of rent to attract tenants. And I know I have a very jaundiced perspective right now, but I don't think anyone would pay what we are paying monthly for a walk-up with tiny old bathrooms and very skinny bedrooms... although it's true that the location, roof deck and living rooms are certainly very nice.... But thank you for more food for thought. I really appreciate all the creative thinking you are giving to solving our problem! And we need all the help we can get.

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  7. Hi. I hate it that you're having to go through this.

    I posted this the other day, but I'm not sure it went through.

    You probably won't want to hear this. But, I really think that, for your next place, you should
    get a SMALL detached private home. Someplace like Coolidge Corner, Cambridge, Somerville
    or Arlington. In 3 of those 4 locations, you'd be on top of a Trader Joe's.

    You'd have peace and quiet, complete privacy, solitude, no immediate neighbors, and no possibility of secondhand smoke -- ever! You'd also have private outdoor space. You might even be able to put in a hot tub.

    The one trade-off would be leaving Back Bay. You've lived there for decades. You have beautiful memories. Why not say, we did that already. Time to move on.

    You can't put a price on peace of mind.

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    1. Hi LR, it's always nice to hear from you. I am very much coming around to your way of thinking. I love the picture you describe and it sounds like the wisest plan. It's just that such places are often way out of our price range, especially if they are near the T, which I vastly prefer to buses. Small houses are hard to find, except in Cambridge, where they always sell for way over asking price. But, yes, you and I are thinking along the same lines. And maybe one will come along after we manage to extricate ourselves from the current mess. Thanks for thinking about this, and for writing!

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  8. As someone who has rented for many years, I am certain you'd find tenants desperate for that address--keep the price reasonable to cover costs (plus some profit) while you put it on the market.

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