Boston Real Estate for Sale

Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2023

Byline – John Ford Boston Condo Broker

Have I mentioned my bedroom was in the basement?

Boston Condos for Sale


Have I mentioned my bedroom was in the basement?

This is a story of one family living in a basement condo:

After we moved into our basement condo, we learned a previous owner attempted to dig out the basement to make it a duplex. Neighbors told us that they attempted to do this without the permits. They eventually built a two-bedroom, one-bath condo in half of the basement—but the place flooded every time it rained. Eventually, after a neighbor complained, the owner sealed off the place. Apparently it was done to code, but to this day, I think about how much toxic mold could be down there. Luckily, we never had any issues.

Once everything was lined up, the renovation process went smoothly, but we had to be flexible with a few things along the way. My advice for anyone doing a renovation in the city is to be flexible. The total cost for the combination and renovation was about $200,000.

Ten months later, on April 28th, 1989, we finally moved into our 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. We added central air and an in-unit laundry, which most dream of. Having a backyard made it easy to hook up the central air and we converted the original kitchen into the laundry room. We also restored an original wood-burning fireplace, and we have many memories sitting by a roaring fire on cold winter nights. These amenities are probably what helped sell it down the line because those are big perks for brownstone condos.

Another advantage of living in the garden floor condominium was the backyard, which had a flagstone patio and eventually we added a water feature and sculptures (we brought those with us when we moved down to Beacon Hill). 

We had three kids, and dogs, so having the outdoor space made living in an basement condo easier. I really recommend garden-floor condos for families because you get the outdoor space. You also don’t have to worry about your kids (or dogs) being too loud because nobody lives below you. And it helps that you don’t have to schlep a stroller up stairs all of the time.

The only real downside to living in the garden-floor condominium was people tend to buzz the first floor for all deliveries—so we didn’t install a buzzer because I didn’t want to play the role of doorman. But, of course, that led to people knocking on our windows for our neighbor’s deliveries. 

The building itself was charming. There were four other condominiums in the building, the people on the third floor also combined apartments. For the most part, it was a quiet, family-oriented building. At one point, there was an condo that was left as a rental, and some law students moved in. They had a few rowdy parties and there was once a minor leak, but otherwise there were no issues while we lived there. 

We have many fond memories of decorating the front garden with pumpkins for Halloween, and we became known on the block for our Christmas decorations too. At the time, there were a lot of young families. There was also a sense of community so it was nice to raise a family, although I’ve heard that’s changed since we left.

Updated: Boston condo for sale website 2023


It’s tough, life in these United States.

Suppose, for example, you live on the Upper West Side, in New York City.

Suppose, for example, you own a small, 3,000 square foot, $4 million condo, with only six bedrooms, a maid’s room, and just … one living room.

How will your children feel, when trying to make friends at school, if the other kids come from bigger, better homes?

It’s painful. For your child. And, for you.

Actually, all joking aside, it can get ridiculous. Mostly, parents are the ones who stress out about it, fearing that their children will be ostracized or made to feel insecure, if their peers are wealthier (or, at least, show it more).

Most children, however, don’t really care, according to some experts. Although children may mention things such as size and location, it appears they are just stating facts, making observations, not criticisms.

Maybe. Or, more likely, in my opinion, they are just wretched children.


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Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2023

Byline – John Ford Boston Condo Broker

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