I put together a list of requirements -- more than one bathroom (with three girls in the house, this is only barely negotiable), red line access, etc. I also had some nice to haves -- on-premises laundry, Living Room and Dining Room, off-street parking, etc.
Jess was able to quickly find a place that met all the criteria I had set up, at $300 less than the max budget that I had established, *in Cambridgeport* -- and which ended up being an *entire house* rather than an apartment in a bigger building.
After a month of working with a house organizer to get rid of all the crap you usually move just because it feels wrong to throw away (she took the stuff away and donated it to worthy people); after two weekends of carrying both things out of the basement and all the 'little stuff' that you don't really know how to pack; and after two days of sprinting through boxes and filling them with everything from books to blankets, photos to pasta strainers, we have now moved into the new place.
And I love it.
I love the fact that we have a real pantry -- not some rack attached to a wall that gets in the way of everything. I love that we have storage in the kitchen -- all kinds of cabinets. I love that we have bedrooms which are up against the roof and windows that stick out of dormers and a *desk* in my bedroom where I can actually sit down and work and keep stuff.
I love that I will no longer have to feel like asking for the landlord to fix a toilet backing up sewage will take multiple days to get resolved. I love that she actually maintains the yard, so we don't have a jungle of poorly maintained weeds as our only yard space. (The new landlord lives next door; I expect we'll be seeing her almost daily given evidence so far.)
I think it's neat that bedrooms are actually upstairs. That was the case in our house on Erie Street, but Allston Street was all one level.
I love that I moved into a basement that was ... empty. Not filled with 10 years of crap, from recycling left behind from opening cardboard boxes to bikes and air conditioners to file cabinets full of incorporation and business documents from General Java Programming Corporation. (Now in Brookline, apparently.)
I look forward to having a stove with a range hood. To not having heat that is electric in one room and gas in all the rest.
There are many things I will miss about 236 Allston St. But after having lived there for 8 years, I think I'm ready to move on. New adventures await.