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The Top Three

This past Tuesday, my realtor and I finally went to look at what’s on the market. I met him at a place after work and then he took me around from there. We saw ten properties and out of the ten, i had a more or less clearly delineated top three. They’re different types of places in vastly different neighborhoods. This is why I’m hard to shop for. I don’t have a clear set of rules or image in my head. My needs and wants are a general idea and a balancing act of it and reality given the market and the money I have (and don’t have). I’m kind of working backwards. I have an idea of how much I can spend and then I’m trying to find a place that I can wrangle into the financial picture while giving up as little as possible. The biggest rule is it must, must be in Center City. Hence the problems because this is expensive real estate and its value has not dropped too dramatically.

One place is a top floor condo in a walkup building. It’s small but has great finishes and an amazing roof deck. It’s downsides are it’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood whose infrastructure isn’t what I’d want it to be but it’s close to one of the city’s poshest squares AND it has no washer or dryer in the unit. I’d have to go next door to use that brownstone’s W/D for free. Great entertaining possibility, though, and the finishes are beautiful but not necessarily something I’d pick for myself.

The other place is a trinity in one of the most stable neighborhoods in the city replete with markets and corner restaurants and single family homes. The trinity has all new finishes and is in move-in condition. It’s a house so all problems would be on me but it appears well-maintained and no work is needed to make it livable. The kitchen was my favorite. The problem would be getting all my stuff in it. Not only is the living space small, the corkscrew staircase makes getting anything larger than a tote bag difficult if not impossible up or down. Where would I put the bike I plan on buying? I’d have to get rid of my larger objects and start over. I could do it, but do I want to?

The last and best was a converted loft in party central though it’s on a quieter street. It was converted in the 80′s since that neighborhood was one of the first to come up. It’s a blank canvas since everything is boring white and older, cheaper materials. But it’s huge with a sunken living room, plenty of closet space, and the kitchen is huge. Added bonus is that it’s on the subway line and an easy walk to the market I love most. The city there is beautiful and you can see the river from the huge picture windows. The problem? About 40-50K too expensive. But it’s been on the market a long time. Maybe everyone wants all the new finishes and granite kitchens in the neighborhood for the same price or near to it.

My realtor (who I’m probably driving insane with my ceaseless e-mails and control-freak behavior) is going to be out of town this coming week. My mission is to make a list of properties I want to see, secure financing, read the rest of my second book and the legalese workbook he gave me. When he gets back, it’ll be August and things will really get serious. Unfortunately, steeply climbing interest rates are eroding my buying power.

Stay tuned.

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