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So We Might Be Moving.

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This is potentially the longest stretch we’ve ever lived in the same apartment.  So we’re not sure…

Is the rent supposed to go up $50 EVERY YEAR?!

Sigh.  When we moved in, we were expected to pay $529/month.  Very doable on a graduate student stipend.  Then the next year it went up $40.  It was scary, but God provided.

This year it’s going up $50.  $619 is a very different number than $529.  I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do with that $1080 we’d save every year.  Like save for a down payment on a house.  Or a minivan.  And who’s to say they won’t do it again next year?
So it’s off to rent.com, apartmentguide.com, and even craigslist.org to see what the comparable rates are in this area.

And oooh, I’m getting excited.  So far my two favorite options are both duplexes – which we’ve never done before.

(For comparison purposes, our current residence is 965 sq ft, 2 bed, 1 bath, dishwasher, gas heat, no washer/dryer hookups (unless you count the one my husband put in...), gas heat, and we pay all utilities.  Everything is carpeted except the microscopic kitchen and bathroom.  The main selling points of this apartment are the courtyard, the huge storage closet where we can keep our bikes, the dishwasher, the bus stop, and all the work we’ve invested thus far.  Downfalls are the spiking rent, the carpeted dining room, and the lack of a dryer connection (and, of course, I could always use a bigger kitchen.)

Option #1 is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1110 sq ft duplex a few minutes north of us.  It has no garage and no dishwasher, but it has a washer/dryer connection.  It’s gas heat, and they pay water/trash/sewage.  The rent is $625/mo, but when you subtract the $30/mo in water/trash/sewage, we still come out cheaper.  There are six closets, but from the sound of it, none are big enough for bicycles.  The positives are:  more square feet, cheaper rent (when you factor in w/t/s), washer/dryer connection, dining room NOT carpeted, it appears to be on the bus route.  The negative are:  It’s still more expensive than our current rent, no basement/attic/outside storage, no dishwasher.

Option #2 is a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1,000 square foot duplex further away (maybe 20 minutes from Josh’s school.)  The good: very, very cheap – $525/month, all hardwood floors, washer dryer hookups and WASHER/DRYER INCLUDED at no extra fee (no need to buy a dryer), lots of storage space (attic AND basement), and it’s huge (the square footage does not include the basement).  The bad: it has no dishwasher, it’s further away and may not be on a bus route (Josh would have to take the car), the basement is not furnished (not that important), not much room to grow as a family (bedroom-wise), closets are small (but remember the storage space in the basement and attic!), “older house”, and the possibility that the hardwood floors would make the house colder in the already-cold winter.

And now for the catch-22.  Our current lease is not up until July 31.  However, we have to renew our lease by March 31, or we lose the right to our apartment and may have to move (even if it’s just across the hall).  We have to find a place by March 31 and hope that they hold it for us for four months, or just not renew our lease and hope that something is available at the end of July.  Breaking the lease early results in a fine of “200% of one month’s rent” (they could have just said “two month’s rent” or “a whole-lot of your hard-earned money).

So we’re going to go look at these places, and if we like one, we’ll try to sublet on Craigslist.  (The whole time praying and meditating on our lives’ verse.)

(Because, have we mentioned we have no idea where we’ll be financially in the coming year?)

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