I found a great place here in Cambridge. I looked at it at 6:30 last night. The rent was on the high side, and so I wasn't sure if I should take it. Around 9:30pm, I decided that I really should take the apartment. But then, since it was owner-occupied and the owner had a small child, it seemed a little late to call, so I decided I would call in the morning. Besides, I decided it was important for me to walk by it again and also to walk from the place to Porter Square to see how far that would be.
Then I overslept. I got up and set out for the apartment. I verified that the neighborhood did seem great and that it was a reasonably short walk to Porter Square. I called. This was like 10am. The owners had received a call "not a half hour before" making a verbal committment to rent the place. (They had also listed the place with an agency, which they hadn't mentioned to me when I looked at it, and which if they had I probably would have called last night.)
A friend of mine, who is not unemotional but is the steady type you imagine would be good at the helm of a ship in a storm, said that searching for housing in the Boston/Cambridge area had once reduced him to tears. I was impressed with myself that I did not start crying. I did, however, walk around woozy in the rain for a half hour feeling like I had been punched in the stomach.
And, then, despite all my mental rules about never making a decision involving a lot of money when in the throes of panic or any other strong emotion, just went and opted for the most promising of the five other places I looked at yesterday. I am paying even more for rent than I would have been paying with the other place. The principal virtues of this place are that it is very close to where my office will be and it is roomy enough that I can move all my stuff out here rather than have to pay for a storage facility in Madison.
In truth, the great place did have a kitchen that was too large for what I needed, and there wasn't really enough closet space, and the basement area with the washer/dryer was a little skanky. So, really, I shouldn't overstate the difference here. I feel worse about the way that I lost the place I wanted and then took the place that I did than I feel like I'm getting a particularly bad deal compared to whatever else I was going to find. Although, eek, I am paying a lot of money.