I have lived in this house for what's coming up on 4 years now (hard to believe) and I can't say enough great things about it. Yes, it definitely has it's drawbacks, but overall it's a great place to live. It's not really an apartment in that we have all 3 floors of the building. It's only connected to another unit on 1 side - we are the end unit in a unit of 3. Below are some of the main PROs and CONS.
- very close to Harvard Sq (7-10 min walk), but also close to Porter (10-15 min walk), and about a 3 min walk from Mass Ave.
- it is on a one way street which makes it especially quite, plus it's kind of tucked away in a corner which adds even more privacy and sense of security. I have left my bike unlocked next to the house for days and nothing's ever happened to it.
- general neighborhood/location. It's in a lovely, family neighborhood that is very quiet and peaceful, but at the same time super close to great restaurants/bars in Harvard Sq, Central, and a short T ride from downtown.
- it has a good sized basement which is very helpful for storage.
- free washer and dryer RIGHT IN THE KITCHEN! this is an awesome perk, especially because the washer and dryer can just double as counter space when you're cooking or in need of space.
- a pretty good size backyard and space in the front of the house too.
- great landlords! they live next door, and are very responsive to any problems we might have or things that need to be fixed. they are a couple in their 80s - very sweet and still very capable of carrying out their landlording duties or hiring people to do so in a timely manner. they've also really never bothered us about having parties or excessive noise, which is nice. AND they backed up a homemade pie for helping them shovel their driveway - AWESOME!
- nice big kitchen, living room, and dining room downstairs. we have room for a smallish table in the kitchen and also a long table in the dining room, as well as 2 coaches in the living room and a large TV and upright piano.
- dishwasher in the kitchen
- big closet on the ground floor for coats, boots, skis, etc.
- it's a super old house so some things are just never going to be totally spotlessly clean (stove top, nooks and crannies) and some things are just rough around the edges (many of the wood floors are painted dark gray, which shows scratches/chips a lot).
- it can get very drafty in the winter. we put up plastic on the windows downstairs but it is still pretty chilly - you generally have to wear sweatshirts/sweatpants or jeans/sweaters. the upstairs rooms are fine, though. and this is the dead of winter we're talking about.
- 1 of the rooms on the top floor doesn't have a closet. the 1/2 room on the top floor also doesn't have a closet.
- there is only 1 bathroom.
- the appliances in the kitchen are pretty old and not necessarily super precise (especially the oven). They are still all very functional, though, so it’s never been a problem.
- no garbage disposal in the kitchen sink
- mice have been an issue in the past. you basically have to have everything wrapped up tightly and in some sort of tupperware (the mice can chew through plastic bags). It's only been a sporadic problem, but can be a pain in the butt. we haven't really been active in fighting it (setting traps) except for just keeping out stuff packed up more diligently, which seems to have kept them at bay pretty well.