And Now For Something Completely Different

Well, not completely different. And not quite now. 

One of the few perks of renting is the freedom to just pick up and move after a year. To a completely different apartment, and/or a completely different neighborhood. That’s it on the perks. You still have to deal with landlords, the stress of moving, and the whole “you’re throwing your money away” thing. (Although how is paying to have a roof over my head “throwing my money away”? Anywho.)

I kind of dig being a little bit of a nomad. I say a little bit, because I have lived in Cook County for almost my entire life, and even when I moved out of it, I was in a collar county. What can I say? I <3 Chicago. But I like having the freedom to live somewhere “new.” Since graduating from high school, I have moved 11 times. And soon I’ll move for the 12th time. And I know it’s not the last, because we’ll still be renting. Someday we might buy.

Even though we’ve only been in our current place for a year, we’re ready to move. There were no major problems, but enough to prompt us to look. We started our search early (like 11-12 weeks before our lease ends). Apartment searching is always something of an adventure. We looked at a few places that definitely did not “feel like home” or were not “slap me on my ass awesome.” At least two places that I would describe as a dump (but we’ll just nicely refer to those as “college apartments”).

We looked at one place that both “felt like home” and was “slap me on my ass awesome,” however, it was kind of in a “dead” area – too far from the L or any places of interest (bars, restaurants, grocery stores, etc), so we decided to pass. We were starting to think maybe we should start compromising on what we want, but we were still early (it wasn’t yet the middle of April and we were still seeing more May than June leases advertised), so we kept looking.

And a couple weeks ago, we found a place that did feel like home, that did slap me on the ass with how awesome it was, and was in a great location, and with what is included in the rent, should be a little bit cheaper than our current place. Yes!

A few hours after we saw it, we emailed the owner and said we’d like to sleep on it before submitting an application, but we’re very interested. He replied to say someone who saw it before us had just contacted him and wanted to move forward. We were pretty crushed. We were already sharing all the “you know what’s going to be great about our new place?” thoughts. And suddenly this place wasn’t available.

Luckily the other people quickly fell through, so we snatched it up as quickly as we could, passed the application (credit score), signed the lease and sent in our deposit. Woo! Finally, we had our freetime back.

So, come June, we’re moving to a new ‘hood. We’ll be within walking distance of a few neighborhoods that should be fun to explore. And I will be much closer to my office – heck, I could walk home when the weather’s nice if I have an old pair of running shoes handy. Or at least Divvy home if I have my helmet.

So, different neighborhood, and different type of place. Right now we’re living on the second floor of a pretty traditional Chicago walk-up. We’re moving into a converted warehouse – which my mom tells me my grandpa took her to when she was little. Kind of love that. [I would be more specific, but I’m trying to be vague about our actual location.]

Now we just have to get through the joys of packing and moving.

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Weren’t we just doing this?

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12 Comments on “And Now For Something Completely Different”

  1. Congrats on the new place! We’re redecorating a couple rooms right now which satisfies my need for change without all the hassle and expense of moving.

    1. I do hate the process, however, I love the end result. Also, moving is always an excuse to get rid of crap I don’t need. I also really hate clutter and holding on to “stuff.”

  2. I just renewed my lease the other day. Despite the many problems w/ my apartment (flooded twice during big storms, former upstairs neighbors broke our plumbing for several weeks after flushing diapers, we now longer have a grocery store w/in a two mile radius, hour commute from my main client office), I do love my neighbors who look out for me (and cat sit when I go out of town). And I realized I’ve hit a point where I hate the stress of finding a new place/moving more than I hate my flat. (And I don’t hate it, there’s just things that annoy me.)

    Right after I gave a verbal renewal, I realized, assuming that I stay through my new lease period, I’ll have been at one address for just shy of 3 years. Which is the longest I’ll have lived at any one address since I was 7. (I just turned 38)

    The next time I move it may be because I finally bought.
    But first I have to decide while Chicago neighborhood I love enough to want to buy in. (So many choices!!)

    1. Since graduating from high school, the longest I’ve been in one place was 3.5 years. Every other place I’ve been in for less than 2.

      The neighborhoods thing is why I’m not yet ready to buy … I like the idea of living in a few different Chicago ‘hoods. There are so many great ones! 🙂 I think the one we’re leaving would be really great for raising kids. So maybe we’ll end up back here someday? Who knows.

  3. Congrats, Maggie! Even though the process of packing and moving takes a lot of time and energy, it is a great way to stay organized and keep decluttered, yes? So excited for you to get settled in and start exploring the new hood!!!

    1. That’s how I look at it! Deciding “do I like this enough to pack and move it?” is a great way to prioritize which of your stuff you hang on to.

  4. I can’t get rid of things, I need someone to kick us out and throw out our stuff, then we won’t even remember what it was.

    Congrats on the new move. I loved living in the city. I had a great experience.

  5. Well I can’t say I’m not a little bummed you’re moving out of the ‘hood (since we hung out ALL THE TIME), but checking out a new neighborhood in a sweet new (and cheaper) place sounds pretty exciting! And you’re right, this is a good area to raise kids – I read an interview with the Alderman recently, and his focus for the rest of his term (and a possible second term) is all on schools. So you could always return 🙂

    And I’m a little jealous of the opportunity to de-clutter – we’ve been in our condo for 3 years in June, which is the longest I’ve ever lived in one apartment, so I’m really itching to do some of that myself.

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