Monday, April 23, 2007

Adventures in moving, part one

Dear (my name),

It is our goal to provide each individual with a comfortable apartment home in an enjoyable environment. At the same time, we strive to uphold the highest standards and are commited to outstanding service and excellent quality.

We sincerely hope our efforts have made your experiences here pleasant and that you will continue to call (this community) home for many years!

Your current lease is due to expire (soon). We are pleased to offer you, our valued resident, several lease options to consider ...


So it's time. I'm moving out. I thought I remembered my lease being a year - not nine months as this letter indicates - but considering I asked several times for a copy and never got one, I'm very willing to believe that I remember wrong.

(Click the ... or date for more)

I've lived in this apartment for four years. I've lived at this complex for nearly six. This is the longest I've lived anywhere since moving out of my parents' house. It is a daunting idea, but I really think I'm ready. I've been looking at new places online for months now; I need more space; I'm mildly dissatisfied with the management of the place I live.

It's not a bad apartment complex. The grounds are very pleasant. Maintenance issues usually get fixed pretty quickly. The price isn't outrageous - and although the rent is going up, that's not really why I'm leaving. However ...

  • The complex has been sold at least three times since I started living here. Only on one occasion can I remember ever seeing the same person in the management office more than once. Maintenance staff has been more consistent, but I've started seeing new people again.

  • My neighbors have suddenly gotten loud. It must be someone new; mind you, the last guy let his washer overflow, which flooded down into my laundry room.

  • Things are starting to break. When I moved in, I had a problem with my dishwasher; they fixed the problem, but then it broke again, so they gave me a new one. It broke at the end of last year; the new people replaced it with one that had obviously been in another apartment that had been redone.

I'm sure that there are other things, but really none of it's that big of a deal. The place is better than it was a few years ago, but ... it's just time to go.

I spent some time last weekend visiting new places. It's still early; I want to move in approximately three months, and most places require 60 days notice, so they don't necessarily know if apartments will be available. So I didn't see any actual apartments, just talked to staff at two places.

I thought I knew what I wanted. I found a really great floorplan at a pleasant looking, new complex. But at the last minute, I decided to visit a different one first.

Place #1: Harrison Grande

This complex is on the other side of town from where I am now, but it's a small town so that's not that far away. I was immediately attracted to the unusual floorplans. This was my impulse visit, but I really liked the area and the look of the place. More so, I really liked the woman I spoke to in the management office. She was very polite, clearly had a good knowledge of the community and the people who live there, and was very nice to talk to. Unfortunately, they only have one apartment that they know will be available, and it's not much bigger than what I have now. It is also the most "standard" of the floorplans they have. She put my name on a waiting list for one of the other two (I really liked the St. James), but I don't have a ton of confidence that I'll get one. She indicated that people really like their community and that they don't have a ton of turnover.

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Place #2: The Park at Crossroads

I thought, based on their website, that I'd really like this place. I didn't.

I'm sure that it's fine for what it is, but what it looked like to me was a new place full of young professionals and college-age kids. Lots of parking, not many trees. I was immediately turned off. Staff was OK, but again - very young and not very helpful. And the price I saw online was the price they quoted for the smaller apartment, not the one I was looking at. I won't be moving here.

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I will do some more looking online for the next few weeks, then start round two in May.

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