Thursday, December 09, 2004


I'm seeing other condos today. Lots of them. While I love my current condo—I really do—I feel it's time to move on. I want something with more long-term potential. I want to—as they say on all those reality dating shows—take it to the next level. I want my own washer and dryer.

I took today and tomorrow off so I could be fresh and ready for this weekend's show. (Got your tickets yet? You'd better. You wouldn't want to have an incomplete Christmas would you? WOULD YOU?) So Keith is meeting my mom and me at 10 for my first round of lookie-loos. On the docket today: two units in my building (and I'm all but giddy at the prospect of moving without having to rent a truck) and a handful of vintage rehabs (which theoretically have lower association fees because they don't have doormen, elevators and pools).

• The view Have I gushed about my view yet? It's specatacular! 24 stories up with an unobstructed panoramic look at the city that twinkles endlessly to the horizon at night.
• The location There's an express bus that gets on the drive a block from my front door and takes me almost directly to work. I'm half a block from the lake and the lakefront trail. I can walk to TWO grocery stores, TWO awesome pizza places, a cute little coffee shop, a haircut store and even a Payless (in case I need new shoes for Starr Jones' next wedding).
• The construction Yes, it's essentially a shoebox in a bland 1980s highrise—with all the character of a suburban Holiday Inn—but the building is solid, the rehab was done relatively well, and I feel very safe and cozy in it.
• The parking It's indoors. It's right next to the building. It cost me $20 grand, but I don't regret one penny of it.
• The utility bill I pay $18 a month in the spring and fall and never more than $40 in the summer and winter. ’Nuff said.

• My own washer and dryer I'm SO tired of scheduling my life around my dirty underwear. (Granted, I own enough underwear and (jeans) that I could go two months without doing laundry, but I'd really rather be able to do laundry when it's convenient for ME.)
• More room I want a second bedroom for the guests that seem to drop by at least one weekend a month. I want room to throw lavish parties and not feel like I have to exclude people because of space. I want an office where I can hide all the bills and crap that are trying to bury me alive. 750 square feet just isn't cutting it for me anymore.
• Outside space of some kind I want a porch. Or a courtyard. I want the fucking American Dream, and I want it right ouside my door, damnit!
• Sidewalk culture I'd love to open my front door and be instantly surrounded by people and excitement and cute little foo-foo shops and restaurants. Right now all I have is a lonely bus stop and a dry cleaner nobody seems to use.
• Real neighbors I thought living in a highrise would give me an instant community of friends. I was wrong. Nobody in this building makes conversation. Or even eye contact. I want fun people who drop by to borrow a cup of sugar and end up spending the day watching movie musicals on DVD with me. I want people who live down the hall who aren't afraid to ask me to help them paint a bathroom or install new plumbing. I want a building filled with supermodels who wander around in towels demanding that I kiss them.

One grave concern I have about moving—and I hate to even bring it up, but I feel I have to—is that there's a whole lot more city south of Foster than there is north of it. Which does not bode well for the NoFo thing. It's almost too much to bear.


Jeff said...

Fret not, I think we'll keep reading even if you have to rename it SoFo.

buff said...

Don't fret. It will all work out. To make a community, it takes committment. I live in a fantastic community, and I find myself that when I mow shirtless, the neighbors are more friendly. Yea, I even get to do some faux painting for some of my neighbors. My painters bib is always ready hung and ready to wear.

Todd said...

Your current building sounds great! I have to agree about the washer/dryer thing though. It's very convenient. Highrise living is the best! (For me, anyway!)

Lance said...

Neighbors??!?? Be careful what you wish for. My move brought new neighbors. One is an alcoholic retiree who spends his day thinking of ways to annoy me. He has too many firearms for me to be mean or overtly rude to so I am constantly on the look-out trying to avoid him. I too was hoping for towel-clad frat boys and instead got him. I'd recommend thoroughly checking out the neighbors before any move.

Derek said...

Real Estate is fun!

A friend of mine just bought in a really good section of Roger's Park (Yes one exists) and got a two bedroom condo with washer/dryer (stackable unit) a deck, fireplace and a view of the lake. He's actually right off the lake which is really nice. You can see the lake from either bedroom window and from his deck you not only see but hear it (he's probably about 200 feet away from it) nice nice nice. He paid a fair amount for it though (like most anywhere with a Chicago address)

My condo in Palatine didn't cost too much and I got two bedrooms, a huge bathroom that I'm debating on adding a whirlpool to at some point, a fireplace, full laundry room (with heavy duty sized washer/dryer) and the usual condo benefits (workout facility, jacuzzi, indoor/outdoor pools, tennis courts, basketball courts etc. I didn't have to pay extra for parking. There's usually a ton of spots open, I've never had a problem parking reasonably close to the door.

All this and I'm right by quite a bit of stuff . . . A bunch of grocery stores (Dominicks, Jewel, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods etc . . .) Discount Stores (Wal-Mart, Target and KaMe-ApaRT) Homo Depot, etc etc etc and yes even a Payless I believe. Unfortunatly none of it is easy to walk to which annoys me . . .

One day I'll probably either move into the city or at least closer but for now I'll just build up equity here and hope the association isn't lying when they say that the new perimeter fence, siding, security doors and roofs will raise the value a good amount in the next few years. Now to replace the 1985 cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom that are falling apart . . .

Derek said...

Forgot to mention, washer/dryer . . . If you find a place that doesn't have one or standard connections for one they have washer / dryer combination units that use regular dishwasher hookups (or use an adapter for a faucet) Some are made to be installed under a kitchen or bathroom cabinet. They sell them at the following website. (look for the Washer Dryer Combo link)

When I was condo shopping I debated on getting one of these if I couldn't find a place that had a washer/dryer or at least connections for it. Most people that have written reviews seem to rave about them.

Sven said...

mofo for your nofo!!!!

Anonymous said...

Move less than a mile west to Andersonville. You will lose the view (no hirises) but you can get all the rest. Trains are nearby, the neighborhood is great, vintage building charms, outside space, trees, and neighbors. Can still walk to many shops and resturants. It will be more expensive certainly but after that certain promotion... grins :-D

Oh and break a nail!


Anonymous said...

Oh and I almost forgot - you can still (easily) walk to the Payless.

Couldn't forget that! :-D


Anonymous said...

Ok that is weird. Your description of your building is the same as my friends 24th floor apt. over by McCormick Place and whatever that hospital is. I did love her view, but she faces North, so you do get to see the skyling and every North of her. I was there in August, and the first night I spent there was amazing. Navy Pier, Millenium Park, Sears Tower, Hancock Tower...Of course that new Hyatt Regency ruined everything. Oh well, It really made me fall in love with the city. Just ignore everything West of Canal Street.