2012 changes continue

February 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm (house, Improving Financial Health) (, )

In January I lost my ex’s share of rent due to him packing up for greener fiscal pastures (see my post on his move to ND). What to do, what to do? Get a second job? Not so easy and a big pill to swallow. Move to a new residence? Looking pretty necessary.

So I discussed with my bff and former roommate and she expressed interest in sharing a house together. Roommates/sharing expenses/high cost of utilities are a common theme in our discussions. We even went to look at a few places.

Thursday she came over and told me she wants to stay where she is, to keep her gym and weight loss regiment stable. I totally understood! Plus, she has been making noises of possibly moving away from Seattle, and within the year. It would suck to get a house togther, then have her leave and have to find a replacement roommate. What if I couldn’t? I’d be stuck with a higher rent than I’m currently paying! So that plan was off.

We discussed what I should do and all things seemed pointed to me moving. I’ve never ever in my life considered an apartment. It seems so…clinical. I mean, come on, a beige box, cheap housing, usually on main roads, ugly views… Keep in mind that I’m sure there are very nice apartments out there, but my goal is a less expensive place that I can live in while saving money. I don’t really want to do the high-end high-cost apartments. I could also do the roommate/shared house thing. I seriously considered applying for the roommate option, but here are my considerations:

I am 40 and have accumulated furniture. I can’t fit all my stuff in the back of my car any longer. I have a couch, a buffet, 2 full-size bookshelves, a dresser, a bed, and a lounge chair. That won’t fit in a bedroom. I have a whole bunch of kitchen stuff (I love to cook). Plus I have bicycles and lots of art for art shows, and I mean a LOT (which consume a lot of space). I’d have to find a place with either 2 bedrooms (more expensive apartment), or get a place and pay for a storage unit. Plus I don’t really want the drama of comings and goings and rules of houseshares (been there, done that, it can be a lot of work).

On Thurs night I started looking for apartments. On Friday at work I decided to look again, and try and schedule some walk-throughs for Saturday. I set up 2 apointments and left a bunch of appointments.

The first one I looked at was perfect. Old historic building, lots of vintage charm, working fireplace, relatively large, with ONSITE storage available for $50 (in the shed next door, plenty big for ALL of my art and my bikes!). Only problem? It was in seriously high demand, in a very very sought after location, Alki beach, steps from the water, and he had 10 appointments scheduled for the rest of the day (he had even pulled the ad from craigslist after a few hours due to the demand). Ugh. I did my best to sell myself and be congenial. I gave him my manager’s name and phone number as a reference for employment. I was woefully unprepared. I didn’t have any of my old landlord names or phone numbers. My smartphone internet connection was not working and I couldn’t even look up a property manager’s phone number. Ugh! I left, sad and wistful.

3 hours later, he called and said it was mine if I wanted. How soon could I move in? My manager apparently really sold me to him! And apparently I’m a really good fit. And no one ever leaves this place – most people have been there over 10 years (it has 6 units). OMG. I was terrified. It’s one thing to know I have to move. It’s another to actually make it final.

I called my current landlord, broke the bad news, gave notice, and went to sign paperwork. Whew. It’s official. I can move in 2 weeks, and have to be out of my current place by March 1.

Here’s the breakdown:
Current Rent: $895
Current Utilities (averaged): Gas ($50/month), Electric ($70/month), Water/Sewer/Garbage ($80/month)
Total: $1095

New Rent: $695 
New Utilities: Electric only ($50/month is my guess)
Storage: $50
Total: $795

Savings: $300 per month!

I guess I’ll just have to get used to living on the beach instead of having a private back yard. And I get to stay in the same general neighborhood, which is what I wanted. It’s bittersweet, but will be good for me in the long run.

Here’s to achieving your goals this year…
debtmaven out.



  1. Leanne said,

    That’s great news! So happy that the housing search went so well for you. Good luck with your move, Alki is such a great area! Enjoy!

  2. Louise said,

    It will be great to be so close to the beach, and saving $300 a month is fantastic! hope the moving goes well.

  3. debtmaven said,

    Thank you both. I’m starting to look forward to the move. At least the getting it done and getting it overwith! 🙂 I think I will ultimately enjoy the new location, once I am done carrying everything I own up a flight of stairs. Updating my debt payment plans with my revised rent certainly helped me feel better about it.

  4. Mellie Joffrion said,

    Hello there, Do you know of any free Craigs’list e-books for a beginner? Regards

  5. debtmaven said,

    Mellie, I don’t! But I’d love to read one myself. I’m sure you can do a search online for tips and tricks. I’m sure the library has something too (maybe one of the CL for dummies books?). I would love to know how to post large full-scale photos, and more than 4. I think you have to pay for that option though. If you find out, feel free to let me know (post in the comments!).

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