Pondering a New Apartment

September is looming. The end of a lease is kind of like a DTR for apartment dwellers. It says, “where do you see yourself for the next six-to-twelve months?” To get the best price, you often have to lock yourself in to a longer time commitment.

Tons of thoughts are swirling around in my head. I am not in love with our apartment complex, but I know our “generous” 825 square feet is hard to find at a reasonable price. Most 800+ apartments/condos/houses are in the $1600/mo. range here in San Diego! I don’t know why I feel uncomfortable sharing how much we pay per month, but I do. I’ll just say it is certainly less than $1600.

We walked through an apartment that is 725 square feet yesterday. 100 less square feet, but over $200 less per month than we are paying now. I know that if we consider homes in the 700 square foot range, we might be able to find a few good candidates at a lower price point. Saving $200 per month amounts to $2400 per year! But can I (we) live in that small of a space?

The cons about our current place:

  • Noisy neighbors
  • Awkward layout
  • Expensive
  • Third floor
  • Little natural light
  • Inattentive management

The pros:

  • We already live here (i.e, no moving trucks!)
  • Unusually large sq. footage for a one-bedroom
  • Dishwasher
  • One reserved parking spot
  • Pool and hot tub (that is, during the rare moments when they aren’t too crowded)
  • Easy freeway access

Luckily, I have a couple of months to ponder this and troll craigslist to see if a better option opens up. I don’t really want to move again, but I do want a new place! The truth is: I want to buy a new place! With all these bloggers I follow making big moves I want to have my own homebuying adventure and start rolling some of our hard earned money into real estate equity (doesn’t that sound grown-up?) rather than filling the pockets of our property management company every month, and having nothing to show for it.

As I diligently try to squirrel extra cash into savings for a down-payment, I will continue to hem and haw about whether we need a new apartment or not.

Any advice for me?? 


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Staci blogs about travel at TheVoyageer.com and about interiors, life, and thoughts at MyFriendStaci.com.

8 thoughts on “Pondering a New Apartment”

  1. Hmmm… as a homeowner I will say, the grass is always greener on the other side! I would love to have the option to move every year or two… new places to decorate! But, yes, there’s the whole investment side of housing that looks advantageous from your perspective. I say, unless you’re super sure you’ll be in the same place/situation for the next 5+ years or so, I would keep renting!

    1. Thanks for your perspective! I lived here in San Diego during college and am SO happy to be back! Yes, I can definitely see us living here for the next 5+ years. I just want to put down some roots!

  2. I think it depends on how soon you guys might be looking to buy! If it’s as soon as possible, I would sit tight because the hassle wouldn’t be worth it. But if it’s a year or more away…I would probably move because saving $2400 a year would help amazingly towards a down payment!

  3. We’re in a similar boat… I’m just glad we have until February to figure it out! We just moved into our current apartment and I like it, but I want to own a home! It’s so hard to pay rent each month when I would much rather be putting that money into a house we own. Good luck!

    1. Thank you! Good luck to you as well. Yeah, the only answer is to be as diligent as possible at squirreling away money into savings I guess!

  4. We’re in a weird spot, too! But mostly I’m thinking, “how do I time it so that I’m giving my landlord enough notice but not shooting myself in the foot if we don’t find another place in time? –slash–All of the apartments up for rent are ready to be rented out right now, not in two months when our lease is up!” Sheesh.
    We just decided to stay put and bunk up in the apartment that is currently “mine” but will soon be “ours”.

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