As many of you may know, I recently accepted a new position working at Harvard University in their International Advancement Office! I'm very excited about starting this position - and as long as the job search took, I feel like the apartment search is going to take even longer! I'm under a lot of restrictions though as I look at apartments - I need something available soon, because otherwise I'll have probably a 2 hour commute each way between NH and Cambridge each way with rush hour traffic. I also have a budget I need to stick to and don't want a difficult commute between my apt and Harvard Square, where I'll be working. Originally, my thoughts were to look at one bedrooms in Quincy and Arlington, because they're red line and Cambridge accessible - and much more affordable than being right in the city.
As I'm sure you can guess, the first thing I want to see when I look at a prospective apartment is . . . the KITCHEN!!! So yesterday we went to look at four apartments - and it is amazing to look at some of these apartments thinking someone would actually feel okay living there. I'm probably pickier than some - but I also know that with my budget I can't expect granite countertops and walk-in closets!
I'm realizing that this picture looks way better than this kitchen actually was! You can see it a little - but above the stove there, the wall was chipping and cracking. All I could picture was cooking on the stove and having paint chips fall into my pans! Everything needed to be replaced in this apt - it was $1,200 a month and didn't include anything. We opened the fridge and it started making the loudest rumbling noise ever. The cabinets needed to be replaced or at least washed - and there was no counter space. VERDICT: No thank you!
I had been talking to a Harvard Ph.D. student about possibly living together in Harvard housing - which I knew wasn't ideal, but the price was good and the location would have given me just a 15 minute walk to work! Unfortunately, upon looking at the apartment I realized it was really, really dorm-y. For those of you that have lived in dorms before, you know what I mean - those burlap sack like curtains, built in fake wood furniture, pipes showing all over the place. Most importantly - it was a HALF-size oven/stove!! I opened the stove and said - "How am I supposed to bake and cook here?! I couldn't even fit a chicken roaster or cookie sheet in there!" Yes, there was a normal size fridge and a dishwasher, but I'm sorry - the kitchen fails my inspection. VERDICT: No thank you!
Heading 20 minutes south of the city, I visited this apartment complex about 1.5 miles from Quincy Center. They had a 1 BR special running - $1,252/month and I fell in love with this apartment (until I realized I had to take a bus to the T to get to work, making the commute over an hour each way). The kitchen totally passed - gas range, updated appliances, dishwasher, plenty of counter space, separate dining area, lots of cabinet space. Plus it had its own washer/dryer in the closet off the kitchen, walk-in closets and a small patio! Now I just need to pick up this apartment complex and move it either closer to the T or closer to the city! So as sad as it makes me ... VERDICT: No thank you!
Just 10 minutes north of Apt. #3, we headed to this 3-family house near the Wollaston T stop, still in Quincy. I knew pretty quickly that the location of this apt wasn't for me and then seeing the "kitchen" my thoughts were confirmed. It's definitely a make shift kithen - it's an older house and this apt is considered an "attic apt." Another half-size oven/stove!! and it's way over there to the left, far away from the rest of the kitchen/counter space. Almost no cabinet space and no closets in the whole place. Inexpensive at $950/month, but not worth the savings! VERDICT: No thank you!