Some friends and I are seeking a fine new abode... Maybe you can help?
- Aiming for September 1. Yes, that's a bit insane, in this town... but sometimes, the 80% turnover on that date plays to one's advantage. An August 1 bargain (like with a free first month's rent, or no last/security deposit) dream place, or a stupendous place available for October 1, could also be a winner.
- Max (really!) rent of $2500, unless it includes one or more significant utilities, preferably lower.
- Significant common space and at least 1/2 bath must be on first floor. 2 or even 3 floor splits are possible (even preferred), depending on how they're laid out.
- minimum of 3+ bedrooms. that plus could be an extra common room, study, sun room, etc. our ideal would have at least 4 bedrooms. at least one proper bedroom on first floor is a MAJOR plus (and very nearly a necessity).
- Nearer Davis Square, Somerville, MA, is better. We're accustomed to a 5 minute walk to J. P. Licks -- but we're looking as far as 3 miles out, given enough other plusses. One of us commutes by car to roughly the Burlington Mall; and one bikes/walks/Ts to River St at Memorial Drive, Cambridge. We'd like to keep these both at livable times and distances.
- Outdoor space -- yard plus porch/deck/patio/???. an otherwise perfect apartment without a yard might be considered, but it would have to be otherwise fantastic. More private yard is preferred to more exposed.
- Laundry in the building -- even better in the unit.
Things which are definite pluses, but may or may not be dealbreakers -
- Off-street parking for 1-3.
- Fewer, shallower stairs (or even a ramp!); entry closer to street level than one-flight-up.
- Working fireplace or woodstove.
- More than one bathroom.
OK, now, we all know that the above is a WANT list. Mostly preferences. The requirements are fairly minimal (though somewhat uncommon) -- that is, a minimum of 7 rooms, with 3+ on the first floor, and the money bits. Everything else is a mix of tradeoffs. Rarely does one get, without asking -- so I'm asking. Maybe I'll win the lottery!
The one thing I really don't want to do is waste my time seeing places that don't satisfy the basic requirements above -- and it continues to astound me that real estate professionals can't count bedrooms (they have CLOSETS, and DOORS, and HEAT, and do not have captive BEDROOMS). We've seen one place that was advertised as a 6BR/3BA, which was really a 4BR/2.75BA. That was almost OK, as it was the homeowner advertising, not an RE pro. We've seen two that were 3BR but advertised as 4BR -- both by RE pros! -- and that's just not OK. I'm seriously considering filing complaints against each RE pro with misleading advertising, once this process is over... but not until then, because even one of these bozos may be the one who brings us the winning lottery ticket.