Friday, April 27, 2012

The Best Nest

Sometimes, I get discontent and start to passionately hate some aspect of my life. This happens about once every 6 months, and results in fanatical boyfriend searches, job searches, housing searches, and occasionally, drastic haircuts.

The most recent occurred about a month ago, when I suddenly realized I passionately hate sharing a bathroom and kitchen with a male, and decided I need to move out. (This was obviously much more sensible than either confronting him about his hair-shedding habit OR asking him to move out instead).

It was going to be easy. I have another, never-present, housemate who was willing to move anywhere with me, which is great because she helps me with my rent but never makes noise or a mess or even uses up my oxygen!

I had found this adorable old apartment in Old Town College Park with 4 bedrooms plus an attic plus a fireplace, yet it was so cheap that I could afford to rent it on my own with only a little help from my never-present roommate. And then, two weeks ago, disaster struck. My perfect roommate informed me that because of money troubles, she was going to officially move in with her boyfriend rent-free, and would no longer be able to rent with me.

Panic ensued as I frantically listed her room in the classifieds and started looking for one-bedroom locations and weighed the pros and cons of moving to that adorable apartment on my own and hoping to find a decent roommate. I was doing too much at once, and I was so stressed out that I couldn't eat (for like, a whole 6 hours at a time)!

But I am pleased to announce that, in case you were worried, which you were not, because I didn't tell anyone about what was going on, everything is settled and I will be staying where I am, which, I realize, is the best option for me anyway.

My current home is a great bargain. I pay 1700 a month for the whole house, which is about standard for 3 bedrooms, but my home has an added advantage in that one of the three bedrooms is actually a private suite in the basement complete with bathroom and kitchen, which means I can rent it out for a little under half of the total rent. When I first moved in, I was more concerned with getting my friend to move in with me, so I was willing to split the rent equally even though her room was "worth" more. So, thanks, friend—by abandoning me in my time of need, you're actually presenting me with the opportunity to save a few bucks!

Compared to the adorable apartment, my total storage area here is smaller, but I don't need that much space anyway, and I'd rather pay less. Ironically, I have lots of trees (and thus, firewood) in my yard here, but not a fireplace. In the adorable apartment, I would have had a fireplace but nothing to burn in it. In my current home, I'm farther away from work and a more difficult (though not longer) journey to Metro, but I have a sheltered place to store my bike, which the other place lacked. I also have a driveway to park my car and a hose to wash it, which is an almost-negligible consideration, but still a consideration.

Compared to other apartments / rooms in the area, my current situation is significantly better. Just try finding a place within walking distance of Metro and 4 bus lines, full of sun, without having to share with a whole host of other people!

Although I'm going from one housemate to three, the couple I got to rent the basement are people I consider friends. I worked with one of them when I was working at the store, so sharing a house with them will be a heck of a lot better than renting out my basement to a stranger.

But best of all, when the time is right and I feel financially secure, I will be able to afford to rent the entire upper floor on my own, meaning have my own private bathroom and mostly private kitchen, for 300 dollars a month less than I would have been able to do in the adorable apartment. Plus I would not be obligated to perform home improvements, which I offered to do in exchange for the great price I negotiated from the landlord at the apartment (I talked him down by 200 a month).

Of course, all this is contingent on my new housemates actually moving in, which they are supposed to do in June. I may be jinxing myself by posting this good news a little prematurely, so I close with a couple of knocks on wood and a pair of crossed fingers.


Geoff said...

If that couple doesn't end up moving in, let me know. I need a place to store thousands of comic books and yours would work out swell.

Valerie said...

Well, Geoff, if you're ready to spend 800 a month to store your comic books, I'm ready to tell my new housemates to bugger off!