Room Opening

July 22nd, 2022
One of the housemates we share our 8br 2-unit Somerville MA house with is moving across the street, and we're looking for another one! Their room is opening up October 1st, though they could potentially be out by September 1st if need be. We also have an adjacent bedroom that's open now but isn't as nice, and also an office-type room in the backyard. We could rent out any combination of these rooms. We'd prefer to leave the rooms empty than go with a housemate that's a poor fit, and we could potentially hold the space for someone who'd be a great fit but won't be in the area for a while.

Current housemate constellation:

  • Upstairs apartment: Our family, which is Jeff, Julia, Lily (8), Anna (6), Nora (1). This is where the spare rooms are.

  • Downstairs apartment: David, Al, their two cats. If you like to hang out with cats, you could probably visit Willow and Betsy.

  • Across the street: Ruthie, eventually probably other friends of Ruthie's.

  • There may be more kids around at some point, either Ruthie's, David and Al's, or both.

House culture:

  • We eat dinner together about 5 nights a week, with each adult cooking once a week. We plan to continue something like that (with one night happening at Ruthie's house), though the details might change. We share groceries and leftovers, though it's fine to have individual food and label it as yours. Food has been averaging $200/person/month.

  • One adult is vegan, one is vegetarian, one can't eat tomatoes or spicy things, and the other two adults are omnivores. Sometimes I'll try to cook one thing that everyone who'll be at a meal can eat, but often I find it easier (or tastier) to cook multiple things.

  • The current group has some involvement with effective altruism and folk dancing, so if you're interested in at least one of those topics you'll likely enjoy dinner conversation more! Other common topics: being a manager in a startup, silly puns, stuff the kids are up to.

  • We're all vaccinated and fairly covid-chill at this point. We've hosted indoor events with masks and/or testing.

  • Someone asked if we expected housemates to do childcare: no, we don't. One of our housemates did some (paid!) childcare for a while; if that's something you're interested in we could talk?

  • We host events 1-2 times a month inside or in the backyard (EA dinners, music/singing parties.) We'd also be open to you hosting events if loud noise is done by ~10 pm.

  • Kids make noise and Jeff plays musical instruments, so it is not a quiet household. We do keep quiet hours (no music playing, kids asleep) from 9:30 to 7am.

  • The current person in that room works from home and finds it to be a workable noise level during the day.

  • We're happy to put you in touch with our current housemates if you'd like their take.

The space:

  • There are two bedrooms plus an office: you could rent one or both bedrooms, plus optionally the office.

  • The back bedroom has three windows looking over the backyard and neighbors' yards. There is not much traffic noise but significant birdsong in the morning. There's a door to the fire escape which goes to the backyard. It tends to be pretty quiet because it's farthest from the living space. In winter this room is colder. This room is available for October, or possibly September.

  • The near bedroom could also be rented out. It has one window, and it tends to be noisier because it's near the main living space. In winter this room is warmer. This room is available now.

  • The office is a 9x15 finished stand-alone building in back of the house. It has heat, electricity, and is well insulated, but doesn't have plumbing and can't be used as a bedroom. It's the most quiet of the three, and is available now.

  • There is no central air conditioning, but we use window units or a whole house fan depending on weather.

  • The two bedrooms previously had a door between them. We walled it up it to reduce noise leakage, but could reopen it.

  • All three rooms have WiFi and ethernet.

  • There is a front porch with a loveseat, and a backyard with patio furniture and hammock. Julia has a garden in front.

  • Unfinished basement and attic for storage.

  • Woodworking tools in basement.

  • Ten minute walk to the Red Line at Davis, twelve to the Fitchburg commuter rail at Porter, and eight to the (scheduled to open late Summer 2022) Green Line at Ball Sq.

  • Street parking is relatively uncontested, but you do need to move the car for street sweeping twice a month. We have parking permits for visitors.

  • Heat, hot water, electricity, internet, etc included.

  • My rent map guesses a 5br in our location would be ~$3980/month, so we'd probably want $800/month for one bedroom. Maybe $600/month for a second bedroom and $400/month for the (backyard) office? Open to negotiation: generally our goal is to try and charge about what people would find elsewhere.

Main floor:

The bedrooms we're talking about are "a" and "b" in this floorplan.

3rd Floor:

Our family's bedrooms are up here.

Back bedroom:

Near bedroom:


Backyard office room:

Living space:

The kids make a bit of a mess of the living and dining room over the course of the day, and I tidy before going to bed. We are hoping to transition to them cleaning up after themselves as they go, but you shouldn't count on that! Just before tidying it might look like:

And then I'll tidy it to:


Let me know if you might be interested, if there's anything else you'd like pictures of, or if you have any other questions!

Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

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