House Lust

Things tend to hit me in waves.  I will feel nothing whatsoever of an inclination toward something, and then BAM, something clicks and all of the sudden it’s the only thing I can think about.  For example, this blog.  When Emily (Bayba) and I started this blog 3 months ago, she wanted a place to just hold her accountable for doing art.  I, on the other hand, got a little crazy obsessed and for a solid month I could not get sound sleep because I had so many ideas (which is why we have about 12 categories).  Fortunately, the blog was born and is now past its infancy stage, so I’m not really obsessed with it anymore.  Which has opened a vacancy in the “obsessed” portion of my heart to be filled with something else.

Enter House Lust.

For the past two years, I have lived in my Boston neighborhood with no particular fondness for my neighborhood, and particularly no fondness for the crooked, crowded homes here.


Exactly 3 weekends ago, the hubs and I went on a weekend getaway/help-a-fellow-musician-record-something in Connecticut.  We took a 2.5 hour drive (each way) and had a great long chat about our future.  For those of you who don’t know our situation, my husband Brigham, is a professional Violist.  He just graduated with a Masters Degree.  Translation, for the past two years, we have been giving our arms and legs to the Boston Conservatory to pay for tuition.  And, let’s be real here.  He’s a musician, as in, the profession that is notoriously broke. (Fortunately, he took some wise advise to get a teaching credential, and loves the idea of teaching.)  So, on this drive, we put our problem solving hats on to discuss how to get our financial arms and legs back in order (without both of us having to work for the next 10 years).

For kicks, I downloaded the Zillow app on my iphone to see how much housing really cost in our neighborhood.  I was blown away because it just so happens that our neighborhood is “up and coming” (otherwise known as urban) and that you can buy an entire house (see picture above) for what it would cost for a 2 bedroom condo 10 minutes across the Boston Harbor downtown.  And the wheels started turning.  What struck me even more was that a mortgage for one of these babies is just about what we are currently paying now for our tiny one bedroom loft on the third floor.

Lets do the math, shall we?

$1000/month = our current rent.


$1,000 month (30 year mortgage) for 3 separate rentable units in a home we get to build equity on.  AND, Two of the Three units rent for $1,000 (low end) each.

That’s (at least) $2,000/month that is not coming out of our pockets to live exactly as we live now, with just a little more responsibility.

Great idea, right?  So what’s the catch?  We have to have 20% down, and we both have to have jobs to qualify for a mortgage (at least according to one mortgage lender).  Needless to say, I’ve heavy handedly been facilitating the job-search for Brigham ever since!!  (And there are a few really good opporunities popping up, fingers crossed, prayers on our behalf welcome!)

When Brigham gets a job, it’s game over.  Every penny will go to saving for that down payment!!

Helping Brigham look for a job in this area and continuing to stalk for listings are just one small portion of the house lust, though.  The obsession really runs MUCH deeper.  These homes are in most cases 100 years old and in need of some TLC.  Translation: RENOVATIONS!

I realize that most people are turned off at the thought of that much work, but it turns me on.  I am literally DYING to get my hands on some power tools and blueprints and permits and deals from craigslist.  And, sadly, I do daily, religiously, check DIY blogs for tutorials and craigslist for cabinets I could refinish and reuse for built-ins, etc.  Premature, much?  A girl can dream.  You know, doing something like this with the kitchen:

Or, putting up wainscoting in a bedroom like this:

 Or building out my own entertainment center or bookshelves:

For so many reasons, I want this so bad I can just taste it!  It’s all I can think about!

Heaven help me.



5 responses to “House Lust

  1. Oh I love this Em! That is such a great plan, and I wish you all the best in it! I can’t tell you how happy (and surprised) when you said a few posts ago that you guys wanted to stay in Boston. A lot of our friends can’t wait to high tail it out of here and sometimes we feel like the only ones who just love it to death and want to settle down here. 🙂 And with a plan like what you’ve laid out, it seems so much more attainable. Have you seen those rental property shows on HGTV? They are fun to watch and are just like what you want to do. Fix up your place and rent some of it out. Bam-income property. Love it. Let’s talk some more about this later, I would love to hear more in depth about your plans.

    • haha, oh Rachael, have I seen those rental property shows on HGTV…hahahahaha…I practically have them all memorized! Yes, and since we are getting together this weekend (wink wink) I’ll be happy to tell you more about our plans, although, there isn’t much more detail than what I put down on this post – right now it’s just a dream!

  2. Great idea! Go for it! You can do it! Love the green house and your ideas for making it yours. Love you and Bayba, too.
    We were able to save by doing what we called, “Maximum Sacrifice.” Strict budget, shopping wisely, cheap dates, and cooking at home. It can be difficult at times but it’s so worth the effort when you achieve your goal.

  3. Love all the pics. Sounds like a lot of work, but so fun. Wish we were closer to help. That would be so fun!

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