Allston / Brighton

High rent, bad management have a local couple looking for a new home
By Adrienne Lamplough

Four years ago, when Ana Olvera-Myers and Michael D. Myers moved to Brighton from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., neither imagined the difficulties involved in renting an apartment in Boston.

Having to work through a realtor was an eye-opener for the couple, who have always looked in the newspaper or contacted the landlord themselves.

“I like going on my own to look and see. Here they are just showing you what they want to show you,” said Olvera-Myers, 32, a performance analyst at Fidelity Investments. “It’s also expensive because they charge a finder’s fee, first month, last month and security deposit. Then you’re up to $5,000.”

Ana and Michael D. Myers with Pepe their poodle sit in their two-bedroom apartment on Washington Street in Brighton. They are just one of the many couples in Allston-Brighton dealing with the high cost of living in Boston.

The two-bedroom apartment on Washington Street in Brighton costs the couple $1,410 a month, including heat and hot water. Rent will be raised $50 in September, she said.

It was a priority for Olvera-Myers to find a place that includes heat because she is originally from Mexico and finds that she is always cold.

A mouse problem

When the two moved in four years ago last March, their rent was $1,200, twice what they’d paid for a comparable apartment in New York, said Myers, 35, an executive chef for British Airlines. And that apartment didn’t have mice.

The couple has been contemplating moving because of a problem with mice that only recently stopped after Myers confronted the management with the dead mouse, Olvera-Myers said.

Myers said they had a lot of mice and had to put up traps.

“For the money we pay, we don’t want to see mice,” he said.

“Management is only doing something because I kept calling and calling, but still nothing was getting done,” he said. “I haven’t been the nicest tenant when there are problems.”

“I was getting a mouse every day and it was getting really bad. I finally said ‘Listen, this is where they are coming from, behind the fridge and behind the heater.’ I even threatened not to pay my rent and say I’m going to the department of housing. I got a mouse last May and left it in a bag on the deck,” he said.

“ We want to move, but then we need to think of the expense of moving.”
-Ana Olvera-Myers, Brighton resident-

Myers said when his management company didn’t respond he took matters into his own hands and brought the problem to them – in a little brown bag.

Fortunately, two days later maintenance workers came and caulked the floor behind the heater and the fridge, he said.

“We haven’t had a big problem since then, but the thing is, it shouldn’t be like that,” he said.

Other options

They said they might move out of the city because the cost of living is so high, but then they’ll have to purchase a second car and commute. This is something neither is sure they want to do.

Both take public transportation to work. She takes the 501 express bus, while he said he’s content with the Green Line.

“We want to move, but then we need to think of the expense of moving,” Olvera-Myers said.

“We won’t be able to find a two-bedroom for this price,” she said.

Is it worth it, she asked, to move to a place that might be $200 cheaper but end up forking out $4,000 to $5,000 in fees?

A couple needs to make at least $80,000 to be able to live in the city, Myers said. There are people that he talks to that have never been outside of Boston and they live in houses that are $200,000 to $300,000 but could live elsewhere and pay less, although they might not be making as much, he said.

Since both took turns going to school, they are now in the process of paying it off. They want to buy a house in Brighton but said it’s been taking a while.

The couple’s income is too high for financial help, but it is still not high enough to be able to afford purchasing in the area, he said.

Although they want to have their first child in Boston, they’ve thought about moving to Miami, Olvera-Myers said.

The Myers said they have friends in Miami that just purchased a three-bedroom townhouse for $200,000. This is appealing to the couple, who said they hope to move to Florida in the future.

More Stories

Allston/Brighton Home
1) High Rent
2) Renting in Allston

3)Non Profit

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-Counseling and Support


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