After 11 years in the same two bedroom apartment, we have decided to move.  Why?

Outgrew the Space–In 7 years, we have had three kids, and we have outgrown the space.  We are on the top floor, and there is very little insulation or sound-proofing between the floors.  The last woman who was in the apartment below us called to complain almost every morning because our kids get up early—5 a.m., and yes, they aren’t that quiet, though we try to keep them quiet in the morning and put carpet over the wood floor to try to muffle the sound of their toys.

Apartment Is in Disrepair–The apartment has always been a bit run down with rotting wood windows and a wood door outside that is very easy to break into.  In fact, the apartment building has been broken into twice; luckily we have never been affected, but the other two apartments in the building did have intruders.  In recent years, the landlords have put as many maintenance issues and repairs on hold as possible.  While I understand they struggled with unemployment, that hasn’t been an issue in the last 18 months.  One could argue that they are still getting on their feet, but recently, when the landlord does show up, he is in a sporty vintage convertible.

New Neighbor Troubles—The middle apartment had been vacant for four months.  Just three weeks ago a couple in their late fifties moved in.  Their children and grandchildren are over every day; we even wonder if they might live there.  The woman in her fifties, who is the grandmother, seems unable to talk to her grandchild without screaming at him.  We hear her scream and then the toddler break down in tears.  Rinse and repeat several times an hour.  It seems almost anything she says is done in a scream.  This past Saturday they kept us awake until 2:30 a.m. with the screaming, crying, and clunking around.

I went downstairs to commiserate with the man who lives in the garden apartment.  These new tenants are so noisy, he is going to move too.  In fact, one night he was in bed and screamed, “Control yourself!  People need to sleep!  Have some respect!!”  They quieted immediately, but it only lasted 5 minutes.  I spoke with the landlord today, and she said she did talk to the woman about the noise, but the woman just screamed at her too.

Our New Apartment

While we seriously debated between two apartments, we decided to go with the first apartment we looked at.  It is 1,500 square feet, which is 500 square feet more than we have now.  Plus, the landlord was willing to negotiate.  The apartment was advertised for $1350, utilities not included.  We couldn’t swing that, so after a few weeks, he came back to us and offered to pay all utilities if we pay $1,390 in rent a month, which I thought was a fantastic offer.  We signed a 2.5 year lease because that is how long my husband’s post doc will last.

I admit the cost of the apartment is a bit intimidating, but I ran the numbers, and we can afford to pay that much.  I do worry that it will affect our gazelle intensity, but I based our budget on the minimum amount of guaranteed money I will make a month and my husband’s current salary, not the raise he will get with his post doc.  We will just have to be very vigilant about tracking where we spend our money, but I do believe we are still on track to pay off the credit card debt in 12 months.

After all that has happened and the new neighbors who just moved in, I think we are moving at the right time.  Thank you to all of my fabulous readers who offered advice.  I appreciate it, and you helped lead us to the right decision.  🙂

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