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Revisiting Our List

August 18, 2012

When we started looking for a new place in June, I threw a list out into the Universe. It was a list of requirements and then some ideal qualities that might happen in an ideal world.

So… how’d we do?

Minimum Requirements

1. Location: Within a 20 min walk of the Oak Park Metra Station. Quiet building, ideally no more than 4 units.
A+: 10 minute walk to the Metra. Single unit building.

2. Cat friendly.
A+: Also includes a window with a great view for Gus.

3. Price: Less than $1200, preferably less than $1100.
C+: $1200/month plus utilities, more than we wanted to spend but worth it in the grand scheme of things.

4. Appliances: Must have dishwasher; laundry in building.
C: Laundry on the main floor but no dishwasher. However, our dishwasher at our old place never got things clean, so at least we won’t have to do dishes twice anymore. Cheaper water bill?

 5. Size: Two bedrooms, but we will settle for one large bedroom. We both have our own dressers that we’d like to fit in the bedroom.
A+: One large bedroom, one small bedroom, and one office/den. Score!

6. Outdoor space: Porch or balcony connected to unit.
A: Small space in the front, which includes a couple garden plots.

7. Parking: At least one spot included, garage not necessary but preferred
B-: No parking included, except for when the landlord goes to Florida for the winter, then we can have his space.


Ideal Qualities

1. Duplex/two flat, with two levels in unit.
A+: Single unit carriage house with two levels!

2. Hardwood floors, high ceilings, open floor plan, exposed brick, vintage.
B+: Hardwood floors, high-ish ceilings, open (enough) floor plan, vintage… no brick.

3. Garage.

4. Located 20 min walk south of Metra/Green Line. That way Joe can commute via Metra and I can commute via the Blue Line.
B+: 10 minutes south of the Metra, which makes my walk to the Blue Line about 15 minutes. Good enough for me!

5. Storage area or lots of closet space.
B: We have an attic, which is great for storage, but there is a severe lack of closet space.


Overall grade of our new place: A-

 It’s not absolutely ideal, and it’s not our dream place, but it’s darn close. Of course, I wouldn’t mind a few more outlets or a few more closets (and oh, how I’d love not to have mouse problems), but it’s far better than we thought we’d get. We definitely thought we’d be back in an apartment, but we found this darling carriage house in our new landlord’s backyard and knew it was perfect for us. Granted, it’s basically a 100-year-old barn with living quarters upstairs, but it has character. I’m simply obsessed with it.

The Backyard Bungalow
charming, isn’t it?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2012 9:51 am

    I hope to find a place that meets my requirements, or the majority of them at least.

  2. August 18, 2012 10:10 am

    The fact that this is $1200 BLOWS MY MIND. Looking at other people’s real estate sometimes makes me wonder why I live in New York City.

    • August 18, 2012 10:23 am

      It’s so crazy how much rent can vary area to area. Our apartment is spacious, 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths with a great kitchen….1200 square feet at $800 a month including a covered parking spot. (But yes, it’s in OHIO. An adorable, fun city in Ohio, but still.)

  3. August 18, 2012 10:26 am

    I just love how organized you guys are. I remember doing the same thing with Mike when we moved 2 years ago. And then making a giant spreadsheet comparing all the places. Ha. 🙂

    Love your cute little place!!

  4. August 18, 2012 1:13 pm

    If’s so adorable! 😀 We started making a spreadsheet/list for our house search. We want to be INSANELY picky about our next house.

  5. August 20, 2012 4:50 pm

    I’m charmed. And an A- is not a bad grade at all. 🙂

  6. August 25, 2012 11:50 am

    Haha, Renee, you are seriously my next door neighbor. Not even joking. The condo building immediately east of your house is where we live. CRAZY! And a lack of closet space is a notorious problem for houses and apartments in OP. When we were condo hunting, every single vintage place had a max of one tiny closet. We ended up in our building almost entirely because it was built in the 70’s and therefore has much better closet space. Anyways, when we get back home next month, I’ll definitely have to say hello sometime 🙂

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