Sunday, June 21, 2009


Dear friends,
I would like your help! I found two places in Baltimore and can't decide which to live in. I want your opinions, but time is of the essence, since I promised them both a response soon.

Things they have in common:
~price is about the same
~location is essentially the same. Same neighborhood, two blocks from my department, less than 10 minutes walk to the library, 15 to the gym. They're a block apart on opposite sides of the main street that goes through campus.
~great kitchens. big, nice, modern, clean, totally functional, with gas ranges! 
~washer and dryer in the house
~neither has central air, window units only.
~They're old row houses, late 19th century. At least one dates to 1886, and the other is likely pretty close to that date.

House A:
~small rooms
~new windows and lots of new things. new door, etc.
~gorgeous decor-- house is owned by a designer, lots of framed art, etc.
~pretty formal. Formal living room (with TV, couches, etc though) and formal dining room (complete with china cabinet!) not sure how easy it would be to have other people over.
~a cat
~cute little deck, container gardens, grill
~partially furnished bedroom (which means that I dont have to buy everything right off the bat-- bed, dresser, etc)
~possible off street parking spot
~3 more unknown roommates, probably not students, probably mixed genders
~live-in landlady who knows her houses/maintenance, etc
~storage in the basement

House B
~ tons of space. i would get two rooms (a bedroom and an office, likely) and a private bath. The bedroom has south facing windows.
~house inhabited by 4 (i would be the 5th)  students-- all in the sciences or med school, all girls
~relaxed atmosphere, they have Sunday bbqs and a pig roast (!) in the fall. it's like students live there-- not partiers, i think, but students.
~eh deck, but a little yard. one of the girls is trying to grow things (herbs, tomatoes).
~my rooms are not furnished at all
~small closet
~street parking only
~somebody lives in the basement (one of the 5)
~ADT security system
~ a bit drafty, but not too bad.


Erin said...

Although the first certainly sounds appealing, I would go for the second one. There is something to be said for having extra space to yourself within a house setup--that's one of the reasons I ended up going for a house rather than an apartment--and if you're worried about the costs of furnishing all that emptiness, think of it this way: if you end up staying there another year, you can buy more furniture next year, but if you leave when your lease ends, then by not buying it all now you save some moving hassle. Plus, I think a setup in which you know who your housemates will be (if not know them personally) is generally preferable, particularly if they're social people who are interested in having fun and comfortable relationships with the other folks in the house (as they seem to be) and especially if they've already been in the area for a year or two; they may be able to offer some guidance with respect to neighborhoods that you should frequent/neighborhoods you should avoid, local attractions and eateries, etc. It should combine the comfort of having an immediate social/going out group early in the year with the sense of privacy, and the sense of personal space, that comes with doing your own homemaking. :)

Long-winded response, I know, but I had to think over a lot of the same issues when I househunted last week; hope this helps!

Steve said...

And I say this with all the love in my heart for you: since when can you live in a place with four other girls?

Steve said...

Though with that said, I still say House B just because it's more social and hey, you're gonna have to buy stuff anyways.

Jon Markman said...

Second one! Who needs a cat anyways?