I have mentioned before on the blog that we were facing a 40% rent increase here at our apartment. Since the summer started, we have been actively looking at rent houses (the 2 or so that are on the market), craigslist, and thinking about moving to other apartments. However, moving would involve significant costs (especially if it involved lease breaking, moving before August, which is a whole other issue), and there are very few options. In addition, all of the apartments here have a waitlist, so we would lose money paying a high month-to-month rent fee while sitting on someone's waitlist. And, the issue I mentioned last year is still the same: there are very few newer apartments here, and the apartments that are 30 years older are only charging about 300 dollars a month less.
So, we considered all options, discussed it, and decided we're content with our living situation and cannot justify the cost of paying month-to-month and waiting to see if a spot somewhere else opens OR paying an outlandish fee to break the lease and paying all new deposits, etc. to move before we leave on our big trip. Plus, moving is a hassle, and we were both happy to avoid it.
So, for another year, our first place remains home. And though we're not happy about the 40% increase, we are incredibly thankful to now both be employed full time. Having two salaries makes the increase manageable.
If you're confused as to why rent would be so outlandishly high (and yes, we're now paying more than friends in NYC, Brooklyn, or Hollywood), you should educate yourself about the current oil boom in Midland, Texas. It is certainly very interesting. Even friends in nearby Lubbock, Texas are experiencing nothing similar. It truly is an anomaly.
I did try writing a letter to the new owners of our apartments (who purchased the property in November 2011), but they were unable to offer us any help. Only an explanation that they are looking out for their investors. It all comes down to money, and believe me, there are many people here who have no problem paying. The other apartments here are all doing the same thing.
So, there's our story. For now, we're focusing on all the things we like. As Brendan put it, this is our best option, and frankly, we're thankful that staying was even an option we could entertain.
Here's to focusing on the positive,
<3 S, B, L&Z