Living in a condo can cause problems. For that matter, so can living in a single-family home or apartment building.

The Globe’s Kimberly Blanton has a fun story in today’s paper about people moving into newly-constructed buildings instead of the typical “brownstone”.

Brownstones and brick row houses – Boston’s signature architecture – are losing their cachet among the buyers driving the city’s busy downtown real estate market. Despite their elegance and authenticity, these older buildings don’t have the modern features and amenities of the fancy condominium buildings sprouting up all over downtown: elevators, covered parking, soundproof walls, and personalized services such as catering and concierge.

Maybe. I’d say that there is just more of a selection from which to choose, so you naturally have more people looking for new-construction. Plus, a lot of people who live in the traditional homes have been there for years, and are staying put, either because they’re happy or because they don’t feel like selling, right now. A lot of the closings over the past six months have been in new construction, because they all came online at the same time (they may have gone under agreement months or years ago, is what I’m saying).

It’s not as if new construction is without its problems, though.

From the Globe:

John McManus has a litany of complaints about the renovated brownstone he owned for three years in the South End: smelly trash in the alley, burglaries, and a neighbor’s noisy dishwasher. An idle dishwasher did not offer a respite: He could hear mice scampering in his ceiling. His most unpleasant memory was having to pour so much time into maintenance.

So he moved into Trinity Place.

Dude, owners didn’t even have RUNNING WATER when it first opened.

Bottom line? Buyer beware.

Oh, btw, “brownstone” is not an architectural style of a building, it’s a building material. It would be more accurate to call these homes “Victorian-era”, instead.

Source: Bloom’s off the brick row house – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe

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