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The one where we buy a home

You may have noticed a lack of real estate posts lately. Or any posts, for that matter. Yes, I know. We’ve been over this before- I’m a terrible blogger. But I’m trying! I swear! At least, in my mind I am. Well, partly, this has been because I’ve been a little busy between work and personal stuff. Work is picking up in advance of the 10th anniversary season with lots and lots of big fundraising plans. I’ve started going to the YMCA regularly and this frees me up in the evenings to cook, which has been great. Gordon and I went on vacation to Maine. I’ve also been making a concerted effort to shop only once a week and meal plan for lunch and dinner and use all the food we’re purchasing. I’m usually guilty of going to the grocery store every other day. This is really easy to do when it’s around the corner. However, very soon we won’t have this luxury. We’ve also been packing. BECAUSE WE’RE MOVING!!

Yes, we finally found a place we love and it’s been a roller coaster ride of attorney and mortgage broker emails since mid-July. Not like it was too terrible- we had a fantastic team in our agent Norman O'Grady, our mortgage broker Matthew Scott and our attorney Ellie Vining. We'd recommend them any day of the week!!

We closed on Thursday and when we returned after, Gordon literally carried me across the threshold. Silly sappy husband :)

Let me introduce you to our new home:

It’s on Hyde Park Ave in Jamaica Plain. This might not mean much to you, but to us, that means leaving Cambridge and going across the river to the Boston side. We’ll officially be Boston residents. We’ll be near the end of the Orange line subway. This also means a super easy commute for me and a somewhat longer commute for Gordon. But he works early hours, so we’re not worried about him.

Though we’re on a major thoroughfare, we’re not in the middle of things. We’ll be a few minutes away from the center of JP and that’s ok. By being outside the “cute” and “hip” area, we scored a good deal: three bedrooms, large back porch, off-street parking, enclosed front porch, in-unit hook-up for washer/dryer, basement storage, walk to the T. Also, the best part of this whole thing? The building was just converted to condos. So everything is brand spankin’ new. And to top it off, we love what they did! The home inspector even said he was impressed with the work. This makes more work for our attorney, but I absolutely love that we don’t have to do any work on the place. It was not something we were looking for- we were willing to put in some work. But it’s a bonus that we don’t have to.
Here’s a few of my favorite things about it.

The Kitchen

Yes, House Hunters, the countertops are granite. And I love that they’re neutral and not so in-your-face. All the cabinets are those quiet-close kind. The stove top is gas. GAS!! Thank the housing gods. The kitchen isn’t huge, but it’s at least three times the size of my current kitchen. I’m so excited to be able to keep the KitchenAid mixer on the counter!

There is this odd little space here in the kitchen.

The inspector says it was probably some sort of pantry and they had to close it up when they expanded the bathroom behind it. Right now, I’m thinking about (obviously) taking those useless shelves out, tearing down the cork, putting up a sheet of galvanized steel and painting it with chalkboard paint. Then I can list our weekly meal plan as well as store my spices in those neat little steel containers. You guys have any other ideas?

Enclosed front porch

I’m imagining this space as a cozy reading nook! A couple of comfy chairs and some blankets (it’s not heated) and I know where Gordon will be on the weekend mornings.

Back porch

We have outdoor space. Next spring, I envision a cute little set up out here, complete with a law-abiding grill. WE CAN GRILL THINGS. I MEAN.


Again, ALL NEW. I love the fixtures. And the subway tile. And the fact that we have windows in the bathroom. Anyone who’s been in our current bathroom will know how much we will appreciate this. However, this does provide us with a conundrum: the window in the bathtub is a normal-height window. I’d planned on covering the window with shaded window film. The inspector recommended putting a shower curtain liner across the wall to protect the tile. I kinda hate the idea of having all that plastic all the way around the tub. I was thinking of simply putting a smaller plastic curtain covering the window. Any recommendations?

We have a few challenges with this new place. The bathroom window. The odd cubby space in the kitchen. There’s also the challenge of where to put a dining table. We don’t have a designated dining room and there’s not quite enough space between the kitchen and the living room- they’re not entirely open to each other, either. Next to the fridge is a big column-sort-of-thing that houses the old chimney and our fuse box. We could put a table next to the column; the sort that folds down and can be expanded to accommodate more guests.

There’s also some other options. Maybe we put it in the living room and find a way to separate the living area from the dining area? The living room isn’t very big, though. Gordon had the idea to use the third bedroom at the front of the house as a dining room as well as an office/activity room. I thought about turning the living room into a dining area/office/crafting area and then using the front bedroom as a “den.”

What do you think? Any ideas for how we should lay things out?

There’s some other stuff to work out, but I’m sure we’ll get there in time. We’re just super excited to own our own little piece of Boston and finally have a little more space! We're sure the kitties will love their new home as well :) It’ll be hard to leave Cambridge, where we’ve been for five years now, but we’re looking forward to exploring our new neighborhood and starting the next chapter!



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Corinne Bourgoin
Sep. 15th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
Dining options?
It's hard to get a real idea for the space in photos, but my first thought would be: Is the livingroom area big enough/situated in such a way that you could arrange the furniture to walk into it looking at the back of the sofa? I like this set up because I feel like it defines the space a little more and you're not looking out into the hallway/kitchen. I also wonder if this would allow you to place a small scale table along the back of it that could function as a dining table for the two on a daily basis, and open up when you have guests. Something with a drop leaf on both sides?



Wish I could see it in person!
Sep. 15th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Dining options?
Ooh I like the C&B table!

I'm definitely thinking that way- something that's adjustable in size. The living room isn't all that big. I did have the same thought you did- to separate the area by facing the couch away from the kitchen.

Thanks! We'll be here a long time, so when you finally make it back to Boston for an extended visit, you are more than welcome :)
Alison Beach
Sep. 15th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
I absolutely adore the idea of a murphy bed dining room table on that tall wall where the electric box is. You could flip it down for dinner parties, and flip it up when it's not in use. You could paint the underside with chalkboard paint or secure a great piece of art on the bottom and no one would ever know!

I wouldn't cover up the tile in the bathroom - tile is supposed to get wet. There are lots of cleaning solutions that I saw on Pinterest that would keep it clean without losing the great aesthetic of the subway tile. I would stick to the shaded film in the window to preserve the clean lines. A curtain in a shower seems a little weird.

Totally digging your new place!!!
Sep. 16th, 2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Dining
Thanks! We are too :)

It's not so much the tile I'm concerned about as the window. Because the sill is flat, water could get into the frame eventually. Hanging a shower curtain liner the size of the window could help to keep water out, but like I said, I'm looking for other options.

The murphy bed table is a really interesting idea!! I'll have to do a bit more research on that. Thanks!
Camille Eshak
Sep. 17th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
Wow, its GORGEOUS!!! The floors are in great shape and looks like it has lots of open space - congrats!!!

The kitchen does not look small at all from the pics - you could probaly have a small rolling island/cart or butcher block in there. my only other idea for the kitchen is, if you need more counter space you can pretty easily install a fold out counter in that cubby hole (plywood that you varnish and latch at the top with some sort of support 2x4 that swings out to support it when its down - and you can still put the chalkboard on the back so you can use it as your weekly menu :)

also, the bathroom - you can buy "frosted" window stickers/decals at home depot and most craft stores and cut to size - this gives you some light in there but also privacy.

can't wait to see your book nook when you set it up!! :)

Sep. 17th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: !!!
Thanks, Camille!!

Yeah, the kitchen's a decent size. It's at least twice the size of our current kitchen!! We've got a rolling island now, so we're gonna see how that fits into the new space.

A murphy bed-type counter is a great idea!
Emily Diaz
Oct. 12th, 2012 01:33 pm (UTC)
Bathroom Tile
As much as you wouldn't want to be wrapped around in plastic.. unfortunately you need to somehow protect the tile. It's mostly on the window sill that's a major issue. We have beautiful tile in our bathroom and we had heard about doing the plastic liner also but didn't do it. Now, our beautiful tile picked up lots of water and is popping right up. Joel tried to fix it himself and cracked one of the tiles. What a mess. :(

Try cutting a plastic liner and just putting a small piece of it on the window sill. Just to protect that area.
Oct. 15th, 2012 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Bathroom Tile
Yes- you are smart. We ended up cutting a shower curtain to slightly bigger than the window and hanging it with a tension rod. It sticks to the wall tile and protects the sill. Sad to have it, but I know it's needed!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )