Old charm or a parking spot!
February 29, 2012 2:45 PM Subscribe
Home buying: modern, super convenient, and soulless or old school charm without the conveniences and all the potential pitfalls?
posted by whoaali to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm looking to buy a decent size 1 bedroom or possibly very small 2 bedroom in DC and I've found myself at a cross roads.
I initially did not want to be in a big new condo buidling. I feel it's like living in a hotel and the very modern style looks cool in a restaurant, but I find it very cold in a home.
I wanted to get a remodeled place in a small buidling, but I keep running into the same issue in my search. The remodeled places are close to the same price as the brand new condos but tend to smaller, have no parking, usually are in less convenient locations, and have no amenities.
For the same price and maybe a condo fee $100-150 higher, I can get a place 100-200 square feet larger, everything new, underground parking, a doorman (i.e. security and I can get deliveries while I'm at work), a gym, a roof deck, and a ritzier location. And it's unlikely I will have to deal with all the things that can go wrong in a 100 year old buidling.
I never thought I'd want a big, corporate building and I still have my heart set on converted school houses, fireplaces, and crown moulding, but it's making less and less sense. I also don't really like living in doorman buildings for no other reason that I don't really like someone knowing my business, which is a weird quirk of mine I may just need to get over and I really like the idea of having a unique space. But I also really like being somewhere I feel safe (which doormen are excellent for!) and not having my apartment flood or having to replace my 50 year old windows that don't come in standard sizes and have to be custom made.
So how have other people made this decision? Are there financial considerations I'm not taking into account? Have any of you found ways to make really modern spaces warmer and more personalized? What are the big downsides of owning in a big new building (I currently rent in one, but want to know if there are any considerations specific to owning)? I really want to buy something that I will want to stay in and not just immediately want to trade up so to speak so I feel that really liking the place I buy is important even if it's on the smaller side than what I might be able to afford down the road.