August 28, 2009

House Hunting Update Deux

I think I'm getting close on the house hunting.

I'm strongly leaning Condo - most of the single family houses in my price range need work - either interior, exterior, or both. Major stuff too - not just paint and rugs. And most are already at the edge of my price range - so not a lot of extra to invest in renovations and repairs.

On top of that, I'm closing in on 50, and not sure that I'm up for a handyman special. Between my engineering work, my yoga teaching, my yoga practice, and sundry friends and hobbies, I'm barely around much as it is. Even working out of the house (my plan, post relocation) I'm not sure I'm up for the normal upkeep (lawn, garden, etc.) forget a lot of home improvement projects.

I looked at a small cape in my neighborhood today - it was, by far, the best single family home I've looked at. But issues included:

* Roof shingles loose / missing
* Some exterior paint needed
* No kitchen appliances
* An ancient oil furmance (hot air) that seems to have been last serviced since 1987
* About 1/2 the window panes were cracked or broken
* Shower tiles missing / need replament
* Minimal and dated kitchen cabinets

Lot of work, no matter how you add it up. So I'm looking at a condo.

Of the condos I've seen, some really modern and gorgeous (inside) properties were just in fuky neghborhoods - the community was an enclave inside a neighborhood I'd worry about walking through. Too bad - great kitchens, all updated, stainless appliances. Others I've seen were pretty good - but either high taxes or high condo fees.

So I've found a place - an end unit of a fourplex (four units, one building) in New Britain. It's an end unit, and seems pretty quiet (I've been over there 1/2 dozen times in recent weeks - different days and times, to kind of get a feel for the neighborhood and complex).

It's a mixed bag that adds up to be positive. Lots of sq ft. A finished basement big enough for a pool table (would love to use this for my office, instead of the 2nd bedroom.) Big master bedroom, smallish 2nd bedroom that will do fine for (I hope) a yoga mat. Adequate closets (not overwhelming, but two big closets upstairs, a coat closet downstairs, and more storage in the basement. Big kitchen that is simply outfitted (fridge and stove, plenty of modern cabinets) with sliders to a very useable desk (room for a grill and a table, both which seem to be staying). Low condo fees. Relatively low taxes (for New Britain anyway)

On the down side: electric heat ($$$, but individually zoned, and I'm not really a big heat user). No dishwasher (not a biggie), no washer / dryer (hookups in the basement, I'm sure I'll buy these). Never enough storage, but it's way past time I did a massive purge both of my personal stuff and office stuff.

And if I go with this - well, I'm leaving Hartford. Not too far away, but being this close to Real Art Ways, Cinestudio, Theaterworks, etc., to friendly local restaurants (Tapas, Corner Pug, East West, Pho Boston, Spot Eatery, Mo's Midtown, Yanni's, Angellino's, etc.). I'll still be around (since I continue to live at the yoga studio) but it will be less like "my turf". From a blogging perspective - I feel like I'm losing something.

A bit of a drive to yoga, a bit of a drive from my friends.

Hopefully making an offer this weekend. We'll see.....

No comments: