Thursday, March 24, 2011

the one where we buy a condo

For the past few months, Scott and I have been debating - should we buy a condo? Should Scott move in to my apartment? Should we rent a new apartment? What neighborhood should we live in? What do we need in an apartment?

We crunched the numbers and decided that if we could reasonably swing it, we'd really prefer to buy. Rental properties are very expensive in Chicago, especially when you also rent a parking spot (for instance, a parking spot in my current building runs over $200 a month!) so we quickly realized that by adding just a few hundred dollars a month, we would be able to cover our monthly mortgage.

So we put the spending on lockdown. We had some savings, and we wanted to add to that - just in case we found a condo and needed a down payment.

We found a realtor. We set our criteria. We dug through hundreds (literally) of apartments online that met them, factoring in previously unconsidered terms like "assessments". We considered "deeded parking spot" vs. "street parking" vs. "nearby rental parking". We visited 30-40 condos, focusing on the actual unit, the building, the neighborhood. We discussed our commutes, our expenses.

And eventually, we found it.

We went back to the unit a second time. We drove around the neighborhood during the day. We walked around the neighborhood at night. We researched proximity to public transit (for me) and accessibility to the expressway (for him). We became grownups by researching washing machines, and the possibility of installing one. We discussed price per square foot, the health of the building, the upgrades we'd require.

In short, we fell in love - we could see ourselves living there, and moreover we wanted to live there. We wanted it.

We put in an offer.

It was declined.

They countered with an offer that was obscenely close to their original ask. We countered. The countered. We countered. They countered. We countered. They countered.

And then, yesterday, we agreed. Pending an inspection and lawyer review, we close April 29th.

Fact: the apartment condo needs updating. The kitchen is old, the walls are ugly colors, and it needs a facelift from a couple of 26 year olds. While I don't know much about the current owners, they have lived in the unit for 15 years, and I think it's safe to say that we don't have similar taste in decorating. Eventually, as our budget allows, we plan to redo the kitchen and hopefully put in hardwood floors in the living room, and maybe bedrooms.

Decorating aside, the unit has, as Scott put it, "good bones". It's much larger than the apartment I live in now, and has room for both of us, along with all of our stuff. Happily, it is also in a doorman building (you know how I feel about that) and has an accompanying parking spot. Excitingly, it's also on my favorite street.

I'm very excited about our new place, and getting it put together exactly how we want it. More than that, I'm so excited for our new life together - for living with a BOY - my (almost) husband (!!) - for the first time - and for making this jump in to homeownership together.


  1. YAY!! Congrats =)

    is your title a friends reference?! love it!

  2. Nice catch, J - it sure is :)


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