I currently live in an apartment (condo) in a very SAFE and EXPENSIVE town – Brookline, MA (rated #1 in US by Niche and Money Magazine in 2015). I love Brookline and my location. I can get on the T (train) and be in downtown Boston in 30 minutes – no need for a car. Brookline has some of the best schools in MA, and since we have kids, it’s a huge bonus. We have restaurants and cafes and food shopping, and a movie theater, as well as all other necessary amenities within a 15 minutes walk. My not so big apartment is 100 ft from Beacon St – the Boston Marathon route. It’s so well located that renting our place on AirBnB (for $250 / night) is super easy.
Almost everything is great about our place and location, but… I absolutely HATE it!
Here is why:
1) We have kids and everything that comes with them. Because of the condo association rules, we cannot leave our stroller in the common area – neighbors complain all the time. So we have to bring them in, even in the winter (with dirt / snow on wheels).
2) We cannot leave our bikes in the basement, because of stupid neighbors (again). We cannot park bikes outside either. Our thieving management company was supposed to put in bike racks 2 years ago. “Was” is the keyword here – they never installed those bike racks, so I had to park my bike on the street, and it got stolen.
3) Our super is a pain in the @$$ because his job sucks and he is always angry.
4) Our management company always comes up with some new stupid rules, to make our lives miserable.
5) Our condo fee is VERY high – $525/month. And for this amount of money we don’t get very much. Sure, the snow gets removed, and the grass is green. But nothing major ever breaks in our condos, so where does the money go? In comparison, my dad’s girlfriend lives in a much better and very desirable condo complex right on Beacon st., and they have a doorman, a swimming pool, sauna, elevators, underground parking garage, gym, etc. Her condo fee is $495 – see the difference?
6) Our condo fee is largely wasted on useless repetitive projects. For example, they stripped paint off the main entrance door, costing over $2000 x 7. They could just replace the door for under $750 x 7. There is major condo fee “theft” going on, by granting contracts to buddies for payoffs.
7) Our neighbors suck!!! They always complain about us to the super and the management company and then they smile at us like we are best friends. They are loud. The guy upstairs randomly bangs on the floors at 10 PM, or the people in the unit across have 20 people over for a party.
8) Cars get towed here. We have deeded parking spaces, and to park here we must display a parking permit. My car was towed from our deeded parking space twice, because guests came over, I gave them a parking permit and forgot to put it back in my car. The tow guy knows it’s my car, because it’s parked there every day, but he still towed it. This cost me almost $300 plus ton of anger and aggravation.
9) When there is a big snowstorm, I cannot get out of the parking lot, because my car is 40 feet in, away from the street. The plow guys take 1-2 days to clear our parking. If it was a private driveway, I would just shovel the snow myself, but shoveling 40×12 feet of snow that is 2 feet deep is not kind of fun. And where would I put that snow anyway?
10) Our apartment is rather small (780 sq. ft.), and I don’t have my own room, which I really, really need!