Blinded by Light or Don’t Fall for Building’s Amenities

Our blogger Kate starts her hunt in Boston.

Blinded by the light (and the gym, doorman and parking…)

24/7 air-conditioned gym. Charming doorman. Spacious laundry facility. Elevators, a parking garage, smiling tenants, and a bowl full of colorful candies on a polished table in the lobby.  I was sold, following around the real estate agent smugly. “Look at me,” I thought to myself. “Getting the dream apartment on my first try.”

The real estate agent opened the door to the apartment and motioned for Kelly and I to enter. The living room was a small, windowless box, flanked by an impossibly narrow galley kitchen. Two large bedrooms faced outdoors. Moving briskly, I blew through the living room and spent my time marveling at bedroom features. Big, clear windows, a hardwood floor, and freshly painted walls.

Meanwhile Kelly scrutinized the space, testing lights and faucets and asking the real estate agent tough questions. She inquired about the living room and the sub-par cabinets in the kitchen. We finished our viewing and Kelly and I debriefed. “I’m SOLD,” I declared. Kelly didn’t feel quite the same way. She brought up details I didn’t even see– the inconvenient floor plan, cabinets that were unreachable because of the fridge, mold in the room corners and more.

I thought about it for a minute– and she was completely right. I could not have gotten a more positive first impression of the building, but it was only that– a first impression. After a month, 6 months, a year at this building, would I still notice the polished tables and candy bowls? I doubt it. I’d probably be frustrated that I couldn’t have dinner parties or lie in morning sun in my living room. Or even reach my dishes in the kitchen, for that matter.

A lesson to you hunters,  one I’m sure you’ve heard once or twice: all that glitters is not gold. And this glittery deal was certainly not sold.

Author My First Apartment

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