So here’s my (our) current conundrum:
As you all know, unless you only started following this blog yesterday, we recently moved into a new house rental on June 1st of this year. At the time we found and put a deposit on the house, we still had our dog with us, so we were limited to places that allowed pets (a rare allowance in these parts, these days, for rental spaces). Given that, the house was completely functional and met all of our immediate wants and needs:
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 full baths
- plenty of closet and storage space
- 2 porches
- 2 parking spots in garages
- walkable to work for me
- walkable to Lark Street, the prime “happening” location in Albany
- minutes from the hospital that I go to when ever my health requires it
- 10 minute drive to work for my husband
The property was available exactly when we needed to move, so we jumped on it.
Since we have moved in, we have managed to adapt to the space fairly well and enjoy living there enough that we are not unhappy. The property manager has been very good so far and handled all maintenance lickety-split: dryer repair, leak repair, stair repair, and paint touch-ups.
So, technically, it’s working for us and we are relatively happy there.
The main struggle I/we have with the house is our rent. (Aside: we are not in a position, financially, to buy a home at this time so please, no questions or advice about why we should buy instead of rent, thank you.) It costs an arm and a leg to live there. It is the highest rent we have ever paid to live anywhere. Yes, technically we can afford it, but it eats up a lot of our incoming salary every month. It can demand such rent because it is in a very popular area (Center Square) convenient to State Offices for State Workers and Colleges for Students, two of the largest communities of people that frequent downtown Albany. Also, because of the fenced in yard (rare) and the availability of two parking spots (almost unheard of with downtown rentals – we have a major parking problem in the city) it is an incredible find in that area. However, I just don’t know that I can justify continuing to pay for it another year, and we aren’t so in love with it that we don’t care about the rent or would be devastated to move out of it (like we were the last house.) In fact, we discuss the rent a lot and whether we should stay or go at the end of our lease. Neither of us relishes the thought of moving again any time soon, but it would be an incredible savings to find a new place to live.
Finding a new place would be pretty easy for us since we no longer have a pet. 90% of the rental properties that we couldn’t consider before, because they do not allow pets, are now considerable. Also, without our dog, the need for a fenced-in back yard, or any yard, is moot. Neither of us are big yard people, so although we can enjoy one when we have one, it’s not really an essential aspect of a home and we certainly like the thought of having no mowing or lawn maintenance to deal with.
We could definitely find a place for half the price and twice the space if we were willing to move out of Center Square, which might mean I could no longer walk to work, but I could still have either a very short drive or carpool with the husband; and with my health issues being what they are, we aren’t really able to take advantage of the nearby restaurants and bars on Lark Street, as we had hoped we would.
But, not staying means moving. Again. A year later. Blecch!
We have a while to think about this. We are only 3 months into our 12 month lease. It might seem too soon for us to worry about this but, as we are debating about whether to invest in some new furniture to make the space more comfortable and ask our property manager to work on some things that would make the space more enjoyable for us long term, we want to decide if we want to commit to stay or go so we can avoid spending money or asking for maintenance on a space we have no intention on staying in come next summer.
What to do. What to do.