January 29, 2011

To Move, or Not to Move?

When we went apartment hunting back in January of last year, we were originally looking for a place where Nathan could stay for 6 months. Then, when we were married, we would get a two bedroom apartment somewhere about halfway in between my work and Nathan's. However, every apartment we looked at charged so much extra for a 6 month lease, or even transferring to a two bedroom apartment halfway through the lease term, that we decided it would be best to just get a 12 month lease for a two bedroom apartment. I figured I could handle a 20 mile commute for 6 months until we could move somewhere in between. Well, those 6 months have passed, so we're now free to move...or not move.

Reasons to Move
  • As I mentioned, I drive 20 miles both ways to work. It could be worse, but that's still 5 hours a week (or more) spent in the car.
  • We don't have a washer and dryer in our unit, or even hookups. The apartment laundry facility is far enough away that I can't walk there while carrying two loads of laundry, so it's a hassle. And a lot of quarters.
  • We have limited counter space and extremely limited cabinet space. I know this is typical of most apartments, but my last apartment had a pantry that could hold all the food I had and more. 
  • Since we live on the second story, it's a little inconvenient to let Nenya out. The residents in the first story apartments here have a small fenced-in area and can just open the door for their dogs. (There were no first story apartments available when Nathan moved in.)
  • Parking can be a bit limited at times. The apartment I had in college was much worse (I once parked in the only available spot in the entire complex, a visitor spot, and got ticketed), but sometimes it can be difficult to find a spot.

Reasons to stay put
  • Moving isn't fun, especially in January. Just look at how Nathan's move went last year. Renting a U-Haul is a bit of an expense, but the time involved is the worst part. After living in 4 different places in the past 2 years, I'm not in a hurry to move again.
  • Other than being 30 minutes away from work for me, we're in an excellent location. Nathan gets to work in about 10 minutes. We're also really close to multiple grocery stores, other shopping, a library, and a fantastic walking/biking trial.
  • Our apartment complex pays the gas bill. We have a gas furnace, water heater, and stove, so that's huge, especially this time of year.
  • We have plenty of square footage in a layout that works for us. All our furniture fits without it feeling the least bit crammed. We have a living area long enough to basically be divided into the living room, office, and dining room, and it doesn't even look that weird.
  • Finally, the price. Our rent, including the pet fee, gas, water, and trash is around 15% of our take home pay, and all the slightly nicer places I've seen would cost a lot more. While we could afford to spend more, it's nice having the extra money to attack our debt with a vengeance.

Can you tell what we decided? What would you do?


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