Mar. 8th, 2011 12:43 am
goldkin: i has book (Default)
Sometimes, things unexpectedly change for the better.

On February 14th, I received my lease appraisal for the next year. I'd been expecting a double-digit percentage increase in my lease terms, and I was correct: my current lease of $1,050/mo for a one bedroom flat will be rising to $1,200 if I were to renew two weeks from today.

I say "were to renew" because I won't be. While I've enjoyed living in Archstone Redmond Campus, I've been completely priced out of the market for one bedroom studio apartments. Other apartment communities in the area aren't much better: $1,140 per month nets me a smaller unit in the community next door, whereas $1,070 would net me the same square footage, two bedroom, in Redmond Campus' sister community, Archstone Redmond Hill. However, their apartments come with an unexpected bonus: mold problems, associated with buildings that've been around since the 1980s.

Left with expensive or suboptimal options in the market for flats, it was by sheer luck that I discovered, for what I'd be paying Archstone over the next year, I could instead pick up a 780-square-foot, three story townhome near downtown Redmond.

The discovery came by way of a brilliant upsell on the part of my leasing advisor, whom tried desperately to sell me on the attached, private garage. While I'm a frequent driver, the real sell is the location and the psychological impact of living in a multitiered home again.

My new townhome faces outwards on a little gardened cloister that reminds me very much of the green at Trinity College. Only, instead of having to fly 12 hours back to Dublin, this is located in the center of Redmond, well within walking distance of the local transit center, QFC, Trader Joe's, and local favorite, Soulfood Books. The community is somewhat quiet, the area is nice and treeful again, and I'll be in easy reach of bus 545 -- which is vital, since my employer is moving to a larger building in Greater Seattle, coinciding by pure chance with the $7 tollmageddon set to go live on the 520 bridge. (The proposed structure is $3.50 each way without transponder, $2.50 otherwise. No, thanks.)

I suppose I'm surprised mostly by my fortune. I got what is admittedly a good deal a scant two days before the community closed out their one bedroom models and raised the rates. Going by the reviews, the worst I have to look out for is a minor bug problem - something I've already been informed isn't an issue by a current resident in my building - and stable rental rates year after year. This means I should look forward to paying an increased rate next year (given the closeout rate), which I'm entirely fine with.

But more importantly, my new home gives me options that I don't currently have with a one bedroom flat. With the greater physical separation and the general improvement in my mood in recent months, I'm considering willfully taking on a roommate for my first time since, well, ever. Of course, my insidious goals are to cook more and to become more social, which justifies the added aggravation coordination associated with having a roommate.

We'll see how it goes. Once I'm happily settled in, I'll try to follow up with pictures. Most likely, that will include more details behind the lock.

Oh, and hey, I do still exist! I'd recently been on another writing hiatus, which I've found is caused by sodium-induced wordlessness. It's nice to be able to think clearly again.

October 2015

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