Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oh the Joys of Apartment Living

This is my second apartment and in many ways, is better than the first one I lived in. I've been living in this apartment for just shy of two years. The reason why we chose this apartment is that it is 20 minutes closer to my husband's train for work, the price was fantastic, and it has more space than the last one. As much as we long to be in a house, it looks like we will need to continue renting for at least another year or two until we have enough money saved in case something goes wrong in the house we purchase so we don't go broke.

Over the past {almost} two years, there's been a lot of ups and downs in this apartment. I had a lot of issues the first year I lived here and when the new property manager came, he was more than willing to help correct past mistakes, including reducing the amount of rent increase for this year. Now that we just got the new renewal and rent increase notification, it makes me wonder if it's still worth living here or should we pursue some place different.

Basically, we have a month to decide or we will have to start a new lease with a higher payment at the beginning of the year.

There have been some things recently that make me wonder if we should stay.
  1. Permit parking. My car was towed this past weekend because we forgot to put the permit from my in-laws car we borrowed for a show to my car. It was $240 + $15 {one day storage fee} for the tow. What upsets me the most is that I had no idea my car had been towed despite the fact that they have the info faxed to them to tell them which car has been towed. I thought my car was stolen and when I called the office to find out if it could have been towed, they told me they had all the information there, but that I should call the towing company to find out. Aka, they didn't feel like checking. Why did I think my car was stolen and not towed? Last year {before the new security company was patrolling} my car was ransacked in the parking lot.
  2. Laundry. It's $1.65 for a wash and $1.35 to dry. The washers are small and there's only three machines each for every 3-4 buildings. There are 12 apartments in each building which means sometimes my husband has to drive to other buildings to do laundry. Also, we have to put cash on a card and there are only two laundry rooms in the entire complex that have these special machines and sometimes they're locked.
  3. Our kitchen is tiny. We have very little counter space and literally trip over each other if we're both in there together.
  4. Utilities. We pay our own electric, but water, gas, sewage, and trash are combined with other tenants. I would like to pay my own gas and water bill since we are more frugal than others and some people have five people living in their two bedroom apartment which means more water and sewage usage that I don't want to pay for.
Of course, our apartment has some perks too which makes it difficult to decide.
  1. Price. The price for our two bedroom apartment is currently $200-$300 cheaper than other apartments per month. Yes, this is fantastic, but some other apartments have bigger spaces, laundry in the unit, and a nicer area.
  2. Maintenance. The maintenance team here is fantastic. They are super knowledgeable and are so kind. Sometimes they get backed up, but they do a great job every time.
  3. New property manager. He is super fantastic in trying to get things to be better. He always takes my concerns seriously and actually makes a point to fix the problem quickly and reasonably.
At this point, I'm just trying to figure out what is the best situation for us. We have to make a decision by November 1st or we forfeit the increase and will be paying a couple of hundred more per month for the same place {which is not happening}. I'm hoping that my email to the apartment manager about some recent concerns and to see if he will decrease the amount of the estimated increase will work. I should have a response by tomorrow morning at the latest and we will see if we need to apartment shop or not. Any advice?

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