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Is the grass greener in another apartment?

June 2, 2009

This is driving me crazy and I don’t know what to do. Frank and I currently live in a cozy little one bedroom apartment. The landlord is super-nice, but in three years our super has never once returned our calls. We live here alone – just the two of us, and our dead roaches. Which multiply in the summer, when Frank is gone (more on that later). And the parking sucks. Like, really sucks. Sucks to the point that we don’t visit friends or family because the idea of parking when we return makes us just stay in and watch Netflix. But, it’s our first home, we’ve been here three years, the price is right and all of my magazines come here.

Our lease is up September 1st and I don’t know what to do. I like our little apartment, but I can’t help but feel that we could do better. That, and I want a dog. Like, yesterday. The building won’t allow it, and it kind of drives me nuts. I am not entirely sure we would get one right away, but knowing that I can’t is crazy making. Also, have I mentioned the giant, dead roaches? What about me living alone 2-3 months out of the year, dealing with the giant, dead roaches? And the parking. (Note: Frank suggested I tell everyone that these are giant, American cockroaches. Like, waterbugs. Because they live in drains and basements and stuff. We aren’t dirty birdies or anything.)

So, we could be like normal people – and move. But that’s a whole host of other potential problems. What if that apartment has roaches or other pests? And where do we move? I don’t want to pay any more in rent (but could pay a little bit more for an awesome apartment). Frank feels that if we move, we may as well move to somewhere less congested – like Bayside (where I grew up). On one hand, I love the idea of moving back to Bayside – living a little bit more suburban, having more space, near a dog park and my mom. On the other hand – it kind of feels like a step backward. And the kicker with Bayside is that I would be beholden to the former bane of my existence, the LIRR. Train schedules that no one else has to follow because they live near subways, and Penn Station being the center of my universe. Which may not be a bad thing, since I will have to get home and walk/feed the potential dog. But it’s a bummer, especially since I am the one who generally goes out at night, and none of my friends have to go back to Penn and catch the crazy train.  It also means an extra $200 in commuter fees, which means we have to lower the amount we should spend in rent.

We could move somewhere near where we live now, but make the caveat that we must, must have parking. And be near a subway. And be reasonably assured that there is no roach issue. And that will allow dogs. Really – anywhere we move has to fit our budget, have a dishwasher (fingers crossed!), allow dogs and have parking. This is a tall order for Queens. And I am just stressed about it.

The landlord just called to discuss the roach issue and the exterminator not showing up (again). And he really, really wants us to stay and assured us that our rent would remain the same. And I don’t know what to tell him. I want to move, but if we don’t find something perfect – staying wouldn’t be the worst thing. And at the same time, I want to do right by him and make sure that if we leave, we give him enough notice. And of course, Frank is going to MIA all of June/July -which means that I should probably start looking for a place while he is gone – but in the NY rental marketplace, that’s almost impossible – and of course now, my landlord wants some sort of answer. And I have no idea what to tell him. Frank and I just keep making lists and lists of pros and cons.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2009 8:40 pm

    Does the landlord own any other properties? I’ve moved enough the last few years (about once a year – 18 months since 2001), so after a while you get used to it. Also, it’s fun to explore a new place.

    And bugs suck. I’m in Florida, they’re everywhere.

    • June 2, 2009 8:43 pm

      Nope. He is the best place about this apartment – but this is only investment property.

      I can’t handle Floridian bugs. My dad lives in Florida and it’s out of control. Rivaled only by skeletons of lizards (the live ones don’t bug me, but knowing one lived, died and decayed under my bed freaks me out.)

  2. Rob permalink
    June 3, 2009 9:55 am

    I think your pro and con lists should help you guys decide but I think ultimately you have to hinge your decision on what is most important to you. Is it more space and a dog? Then Bayside wins. Is it cheaper rent and subway access? Then a different place in FoHi wins. Is it a quieter area and parking? Bayside or a really killer place in FoHi for that one.

    I think lumping all those in one giant requirement list for a dream apartment will make it super hard for you guys to move anywhere. You might have to take the zero on the subway access to get the room you need and possibly a green light for a pet.

    Being a Bayside resident I definitely find parking is much better than in the FoHi area for sure. The Bayside LIRR is probably the most reliable and frequently stopped at station that I have ever lived near – Every half hour departure/arrival on weekends at it’s worst (unless you are trying to go somewhere at like 2 AM).

  3. June 3, 2009 10:38 am

    Wow, I really feel you on the parking situation. The area where I live (North Park, San Diego) is great, but parking is a bitch. When I get home from work at about 530ish, I don’t want to leave the house again, unless it’s within walking distance. It’s a paralyzing fear, because I don’t want to walk 700 blocks carrying 80 plastic grocery bags that are cutting off the circulation in my fingers.

    • June 3, 2009 10:42 am

      I am so with you. And what kills my lazy ass is that I live in an area called Forest Hills – and its aptly named.

  4. Becca permalink
    June 3, 2009 10:45 am

    Don’t stress about your landlord. You only have to give him 30 days notice and you have been good tenants and don’t really owe him anything else. No need to add that to your stress factors.

    I didn’t move for 3 years because moving seemed like such an issue and you get overwhelmed by the ‘what ifs.’ On the one hand, we could have saved ourselves a lot of money and been happier had we moved earlier. On the other hand, our new apartment kicks an insane amount of ass so I’m ok with this.

    Bottom line: There’s nothing you can do about it until August 1 so try really hard to not stress (even though you will). I wouldn’t start looking until August 1 because (and trust me on this) it will just stress you out more.

    Also, I’d rank your requirements. What if you can have a dog but there’s no dishwasher? What’s more important?

    I will say that dogs are awesome and totally worth it. I’ll also say that you shouldn’t move by the LIRR (unless I can get to you from the Woodside station) because then I can never come visit and that would be sad.

    • June 3, 2009 10:49 am

      Well my dear Rebecca – since I would have a parking spot, I could just come pick your butts up. And, even if we move by the LIRR, it would also be easily accessible by all the bus lines that run to the 7. You really can’t escape me that easily.

      But here is where I need help – I can’t start looking until August 1st. And I want to move out September 1st (which is when my lease is up). Doesn’t that give my landlord less than 30 days notice? (I am assuming I won’t find my dream apartment on the actual first of August)

  5. Frank permalink
    June 3, 2009 5:02 pm

    The grass appears to be greener in our neighbor’s apartment. (it smells like they’re smoking herb next door).

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