Upstairs Neighbor Drama

I’m very cranky today. It’s probably more appropriate for this Cancer sign to say I’m crabby today, both fit. Why? Well, I am going on a bit of lack of sleep. Not the typical kind where my body doesn’t allow sleep because of chronic pain and fatigue. This lack of sleep is due to a rude upstairs neighbor. My new neighbor moved in roughly last weekend, and has made her presence known quick. I can’t be 100%, but I believe she may be in trouble with the law, at least she was last year. I googled her last name, which is a very unique, not common name, and found a very interesting mugshot. It did look a lot like my neighbor, granted, from what I could see from my peephole. Her mugshot was from last year and was for petty larceny. Granted, I don’t know the full story or situation, I just know that a woman with my neighbors name, has a mugshot for petty larceny and she was, according to the website, at age 30. My husband got a good look at her as she was walking the dog and when I showed him the mugshot, he said, wow, that looks a lot like her. So, again, I’m not sure, but I think it’s most likely her. Granted, anyone can have a back story and I’m not judging, because, all of us have found ourselves in trouble of some kind in our lives. Some of us get caught, while others don’t. However, I certainly wasn’t doing any of that activity when I was 30. I was a career woman, with a steady job and income. But, I don’t know the full story.

I say all of this because it gives you some idea of what my mind has been going through. Not only am I bit concerned with leaving things out, like the washing detergent I leave sitting on my washer and dryer, which is downstairs in our shared basement. Should I now start putting that away? Which would be a great pain, let me add. I suppose I’ll play it by ear. Should I notice that I’m going through it quickly, then maybe I’ll put it away. I recall when I first moved in to this apartment and told my former coworkers about the shared basement where our washer and dryer are placed. My one very negative coworker mentioned, well how will you know if they’re using yours or not? I just shrugged her off, now I’m wondering! Prior to this new neighbor moving in, there was an elderly lady living upstairs who, was a saint, compared to this new one. Granted, she had annoying, did I say annoying, grand kids, that would come over roughly every other weekend. They liked to push the buzzers, not doorbells, but buzzers, which are quite alarming and startling. They’re more like that Operation game buzzer going off, but much louder. Their father, who I assumed was the son of the elderly neighbor, was often over, and I think was living with his mom towards the end of her living here. He was a smoker, I hate, I mean HATE, cigarettes, so I was always annoyed going into my hallway to smell the smoke after he walked by just a mere hour before. However, he was always polite, his children, not so much.

This new neighbor has a dog. I love animals, of course I love cats much, much more. The other day she left and her dog was sobbing and howling after she left. I honestly just felt so sad for the little baby. I wanted to hold him and tell him his mommy would be back soon. I honestly did not mind hearing him cry. Honestly, I’d much prefer an animal as a neighbor, well, as opposed to the human kind. I’d put up with her dog howling all night long, over the banging doors, at 4 AM, that I woke to this morning. Our bedrooms are in the same position, so at 4 this morning I heard her opening and closing, opening and closing her closet doors, slamming them shut. Perhaps it wasn’t slamming, but if I can hear her doors closing, it’s loud! If any door shutting wakes me up, it’s too loud! Granted, my husband and I are TV junkies. She probably hears our TV’s going. I realize there are noises that all tenants have to deal with. I get it, I’ve been a renter since I was 19. I have lived in many, many apartments, She ranks about the top 3 worst neighbors. I say this so far because every day she has lived here, I’ve heard her stomping across her newly uncovered hard wood floors, which I know create much more noise. She’s a heel walker folks. A loud ass heel walker. I suppose ballet wasn’t in the cards for her as a child, maybe that’s why she has a mugshot? She supposedly lives alone, but I hear her talking very loudly to someone, whether it’s in person or on the phone, I don’t know.

The other night I kept hearing a slamming door in my hallway. Come to find out she was bringing chairs from her upstairs apartment and putting them in the basement to store in her storage. I have opened and closed that basement door many times, there is a way to close it gently. It takes a bit of finesse. I realize that some people don’t slowly roll their cars to a stop and gently brake, to a perfect unison of smoothness. I pride myself that I can brake without any slight movements. I realize I may be a bit too much of a perfectionist. When I’m watching TV, I turn it down to about a 13 volume level, unless there is music, then I turn it down closer to a 10. My hand is always on the remote just in case the actors get carried away. I don’t feel like I’m given the same respect. I know it’s apartment living and you can’t expect the same with each renter. There are definitely some that treat their apartment like a home vs. just a place to live. My apartment is my home. I love peace and quiet and to feel safe. I hate hearing someone stomping above me, talking very loudly, slamming closet doors at 4 am, and slamming basement doors in the evening. I am a bit nervous about her record. Granted, I know I could be living next to people with much worse records, but now that I am pretty sure she has one, it does give me concern. I would never be rude to her because of it, I just will keep my guard up until I know her, if I ever do.

So, like I wrote, I’m very crabby today. I don’t like being woke up by loud noises. If you rent, be courteous of your neighbors. I should probably be living on the top floor. I don’t wear shoes in my apartment, I don’t have kids, my cats don’t make any loud thumping noises, and overall, the only noise you might hear out of me is a TV or me yelling at my husband! However, even though I have a TV in my bedroom, I now only watch during the day. I would never watch my TV at night knowing I have a neighbor upstairs possibly trying to sleep. Now that there are hardwood floors, I realize how much insulation the carpets provided. I miss those carpets! I wish the landlord put in more insulation so that you can’t hear as much. I did get nervous about the noise because I could hear my former neighbors when they were peeing in their bathrooms! These apartments need better insulation! However, if my neighbor would take off her shoes, walk a little softer or wear socks/slippers, and stop slamming doors, we may be able to cohabitate. Otherwise, I’m seriously looking at moving.


#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!