Good apartment hunting

Good apartment hunting

A close second in the “Ugh, I have to do that again” sweepstakes behind actually moving is apartment hunting. Even with the advent of Craigslist and and and all the rest—with their photos and expanded descriptions as compared to the cryptic Enigma-like 3-line codes that used to be found in newspaper classifieds—it’s still a pain.

I understand that apartment hunting varies from place to place. In the older and more urban sections of the Boston area, like Salem, you find more converted houses that have become condos and apartments as well as houses built from the start as multi-family. Yes, there are modern (and not-so-modern) apartment complexes too, but they’re only part of the mix.

Have I mentioned how much I hate house-hunting and moving?

Melanie and I have shied away from the complexes, partly because when you’re in them, you’re surrounded on four sides by neighbors and because your front door is often so far from your parking spot and carting a child or children plus their accouterments as well as groceries becomes a major undertaking. Yes, many of them offer tempting amenities like swimming pools (in New England? Two months usability; three at best), fitness centers, business centers, free high-speed internet (bandwidth shared by the whole complex though). But still we’d both prefer a converted house.

Of course, while we’ve both apartment-hunted before, we had a new twist this time. Not only marriage, but a child. Apparently in Massachusetts, a landlord can’t rent to a family with children under 6 if the property has not been de-leaded, which I can understand, but there are a whole lot of “leaded” apartments in the Salem area. That cuts our choices down somewhat.

Is it too much to ask?

Technorati Tags: | | | |

  • Apartment hunting is bad, but house-hunting is worse.  Glad you found something you can live in!

  • Norwood?????????

    That is a far cry from Salem & Peabody!  So much for Friends and Family.  Where did that come from?

    It is 46 miles away.  Are you finally going to work for the KofC?  Their state offices are there.

  • My brothers live in Canton and Stoughton and I know a lot of folks who live in Norwood. I used to go to St. Catherine’s before moving to Steubenville. So I’m actually just moving from one group of friends and family to another.

  • Dom, you have our sympathies. We are currently looking to move this summer to a different appartment. We are also moving with a toddler and I am pregnant so I can only help so much. We found one that will do for the next couple of years but it is a 2 bedroom for $1500 per month not including utilites.

    I just keep telling myself that it is only temporary and it isn’t that place that determines one’s happiness and peace of mind.

    Good Luck.

  • My sympathies. Finding a deleaded apartment is tough. Legally, a landlord cannot discriminate on these grounds and legally, a landlord is required to delead an apartment for you. But apart from large operations, the cost of deleading an apartment is prohibitive. So whenever we try to contact prospective landlords to ask about deleaded apartments, we often get back dead silence. I don’t blame them. We have friends who rent on a don’t-ask-don’t-tell basis, knowing that their place likely contains lead paint, but also knowing that with proper care the likelihood of lead paint actually affecting their kids is very low. On the other hand, at least one apartment complex I contacted actually offered to delead their apartment for me. That’s the difference between small, independent landlords and the big operators, I guess.

    We have been fortunate to find a deleaded 3BR apartment in Arlington for $1600, a block away from our parish and across the street from the parish parochial school where our daughter will start kindergarten in the fall. Our neighbors upstairs have moved out: I wish I could have you as our neighbor, but I know it is much more expensive, being a bigger apartment.