The Decision to Move or Not: The Journey Ahead, Part Two
by Betty Soldz<< Part One
In early May we headed off to Boston to investigate moving to that area. Our experience was one of total shock. We were under the impression that coming from California, an area of very high priced real estate, we would not have a problem finding a comparable house. This was naive on our part. Homes in the same price range were not comparable.
We went with our list of what we would like to find in a home and soon found that we would have to make compromises. We preferred a newer home as we felt it would need less upkeep. We discovered that to find such a home we would not be able to secure our second preference, to be on the subway (T) line. The subway was built long ago to accommodate the residential area that existed then; the homes near such transportation were quite old. (In fact we looked at some homes that were over 150 years old.) On investigating the public transportation, system, we learned that there was public parking near some of the not too distant subway stops where we could park all day very inexpensively. We decided this would be our first compromise. The compromise I was not willing to make was an attached garage. Since I have Osteoporosis and live in fear of falling, it did not seem wise to have to walk outside in the ice and snow to one's car. Therefore, throughout the process I would insist on an attached garage.
We had planned to be in Boston for 10 days. On the 8th day we purchased a home. Wisely, we decided to have the home inspected by a professional home inspector before the sale was final. We were surprised to find that problems exist in a house that one might not think of; imagine our surprise when the inspector found that two of the bedrooms did not have heat vents and one of those rooms was the master bedroom, the other being the room we intended to use as an office. We returned home to California very discouraged and requested that the sale of our home be canceled and our deposit on the Massachusetts house be returned.
We had just about reconciled ourselves to the fact that we might not move this year when our son Stephen, who lives in Boston, called to tell us he had located a house for us that had most of the items we had hoped to find in a home. So, the next morning we flew back to Boston.
Stephen had indeed found a home for us. It was a brand new house which was not quite finished. We learned upon visiting the house that it was one of five single family homes being build on a joint piece of land, thus it was really a condominium. We were somewhat disturbed that this had not been revealed by the real estate listing but after investigating further we decided that this might be to our advantage. The condominium association will be responsible for snow plowing and taking care of the landscaping even though each family has "exclusive use" of a certain portion of the land. We learned from this experience that one has to ask a multitude of questions before purchasing property. We signed a purchase agreement the day after we arrived in Boston.
After running around picking light fixtures, appliances, etc., for the new house we returned to California and listed our home for sale. Always before when we sold a house, we moved out and then did any painting or repairs. Since we wanted to sell this house before leaving California, this would not be possible. Most of the repairs were completed before we first traveled to look in Boston, which worked out well because we were now rushed to get this house up for sale. Selling the house would be quite an experience.
I plan to share this with you in the next chapter of this saga in the hope that others can learn from our experience.