A year ago, we signed the lease on our current home, the end result of a whirlwind search after an unexpected termination of the lease on our previous home. Here’s the whole saga from my LiveJournal a year ago today:
So, as those of you who’ve been following me on Facebook know, a couple weeks ago, we were notified by our landlords that our lease was being terminated as of 31 August 2016.
Now, we don’t have a formal lease in place, which under New York State law means we’re on what’s called a “month to month” lease. The advantages of this are that we don’t have to do a new lease every year, and it also means our rent hasn’t gone up in all the time I’ve been here. It also means that we can break the lease and are only obligated to give 30 days’ notice. The disadvantage is that the landlord has that same privilege — and our landlord actually gave us 40 days. Now, our apartment hasn’t been remodeled in, um, a while, and it rather desperately needs it. Our landlord can do those renovations (which would of necessity include an overhaul of the kitchen) and charge about $800/month more than we’re paying right now. I can’t really blame them for wanting to make more money off the place, especially since the apartments around us (we’re in a row of identical townhouses, so there are about a dozen apartments exactly like ours on either side) are charging that much.
As a result, the last couple of weeks have been one big stress-ball of apartment hunting. We’ve been looking both in our neighborhood and in my parents’ neighborhood, and we have looked at a lot of places.
Our first choice was in our neighborhood, through a broker. It was a bit small, but it had a huge kitchen (seriously, I’ve never seen a kitchen this big in an NYC apartment), on a ground floor, laundry in the building, a parking space, and back yard access. We thought everything was good, we gave our financials over to the broker, and we just had to meet with the owner, which we were told would just be a formality. And then the owner kept putting off the meeting, and nothing was happening, and then the broker admitted that the owner hadn’t even looked at our financials yet, and then we were told — a week later! — that the owner decided to give the apartment to a friend of his, thus screwing not only us, but the broker.
Our second choice was in our parents’ neighborhood, and it was truly magnificent. If it had been in our neighborhood, had a parking spot, and was on the ground floor, it would’ve been perfect, honestly. But the owner looked at our financials and was not impressed — we’re both freelance, and our nontraditional and inconsistent income stream made him nervous, so he turned us down.
Our third choice was actually the first place we looked at, and the one we actually got. It has several disadvantages: no parking spot, no laundry in the building, and the kitchen is not great (then again, so’s our current kitchen). It’s a duplex, taking up part of a house that’s been subdivided into three units. We have half the second floor, which has the kitchen and living room, then you go upstairs to the three bedrooms and the bathroom.
There’s a lot to like about the place, including a landlord we like very much (and who likes us — he pretty much held the place for us while we got dicked around by our first choice), and enough space for our stuff. And the cats will love it. In particular, the largest bedroom will make a great home office/guest room. Wrenn and I will set up our desktops there and we’ll put a sofa bed and the bean bag in there for guests.
Our lease starts on the 15th, which gives us a two-week overlap between the two apartments, which will make moving much less stressful.
This mishegoss forced us to postpone the wedding and for me to cancel Dragon Con, which is horrible, but at least we’ll be settled in a new place by the end of Labor Day weekend. Wheeeeeee!
Meanwhile, the deadlines don’t care about moving stress. I’m jamming to finish one project today and tomorrow, then it’s the next Super City Cops novella, then back to the thriller…..