#Renting, Now What?

So, now that we’ve decided to rent, I feel a bit of relief. To be honest, that little voice in the back of my head kept saying, this is a bad idea! I knew it was wrong, but the emotion of looking at houses and dreaming of sipping coffee from my new front porch, is very, very strong! But, let’s get real. I rarely leave my house and I would probably, rarely, if ever, sip coffee on my front porch. But a girl can dream! Now that things have settled and we’ve decided to rent, the question quickly became, should we rent a new place or stay where we’re at? Our current apartment is the best we’ve ever lived in. It has beautiful original hardwood floors, except in the dining room, where they had to put down laminate. They also put laminate tile in the bathroom and kitchen, but its a neutral gray color, so it all goes together well. It’s almost like we live in a new apartment as it was completely renovated before we moved in. Freshly painted, no carpet and some decorative features like molding were added. The big downside is that the washer and dryer hook up are in the basement. Granted, I live on the main level, of two, so I only have one flight to walk down to get to my washer/dryer, but I would much prefer them to be in my unit. Granted, the hallway is in a secured building and I don’t have to go outside to get to my basement, it’s just a pain, literally, to wash my clothes. I can still walk up and down stairs, but because of my health conditions, I don’t know that I’ll be able to do that forever.

I’ve been searching for other apartments using multiple sites and came across other updated units in my building. They are charging almost $100 more than what we are currently paying, which has me nervous that our rent was going to skyrocket. But, in closer inspection, I see that the newer units have a few more features that ours doesn’t have, like a microwave over the stove and updated tile in the bathtub; I wish we had that! We currently have that white square tile that the grout falls out of and looks black. They’re supposed to come back grout and paint again next week. Our apartment is more of a condo; I’ve lived in numerous apartments, but this one feels more like a typical condo would feel. However, with any apartment, there isn’t much of a noise barrier. Now that they’ve put in hardwood upstairs, you can hear loud walking noises when someone is wearing shoes; that’s a big negative. But, overall, every apartment has issues with noise. I’ve never lived in an apartment that I didn’t hear or get aggravated by a neighbor because of their TV or general noise.

In my search, I rarely found any apartment, in my price range, that has hardwood floors. Most apartments have carpet and from my experience, the owner doesn’t always replace it, they steam clean, which always bothered me. We currently have a two bedroom and where we live we get Uverse cable and internet, which we love. Unfortunately, Uverse isn’t available everywhere, but because my husband works from home, he has to have Uverse internet, so that’s another obstacle. We also have two cats, which some apartments either don’t allow or allow only one, or have steep monthly fees. Most apartments that we looked at that are two bedroom with a washer/dryer connection, are roughly $100 or more over what we currently pay. We also love our current location, we’re within feet of many places, including a major hospital, Walgreens, several restaurants and a grocery store. I love being so close to things and just three blocks from a major interstate; it makes travel so much easier.

I told my husband that if we can spend time decorating my current apartment, which still feels a bit like my college days of having mixed matched pieces of furniture. I’d love to get a new couch or at the very least get a couch cover for my current 12 year old couch. I think once I get a few decorations done, then I’d feel even more at home here. I’m viewing walking down the stairs to do my laundry as part of exercise and physical therapy. I suppose it’s good for me to get that exercise and keeps me mobile. So, for that, I see it as a benefit. There is probably zero chance that our apartment will get washer/dryer hookups inside the unit, so, for now, I’ll just keep walking down to the basement. It sure beats going to the laundromat! Overall, I love my apartment. It’s beautiful and the hardwood makes it easier to keep clean and is aesthetically pleasing. We get a new upstairs neighbor next Friday; keeping my fingers crossed that she she isn’t a smoker and is more of a librarian type. But, that’s the biggest negative with renting, you just never know what kind of neighbor you’ll get and neighbors come and go more quickly than they do from a house you buy.

So, our decision is that we’re going to most likely remain exactly where we are. If we move, it will be to my hometown closer to my family. But I don’t know that it will be this year; we have to decide in 3 months as that’s when our lease is up. Let the saga continue!