I recently decided to move to a new apartment rather than stay in my current apartment or buy a house. It’s a bit of an upgrade for me, and it’s been a long time coming. I haven’t written much about the financial effects of this decision other than to say it will be less expensive than buying a similar condominium.
My new apartment, where I’ll be moving during the last week of June, looks great. The construction is five years old and doesn’t seem as cheap as other new construction I’ve seen. The appliances, no more than five years old, are energy efficient. This is a great improvement over my current appliances, which are most likely from the 1980s.
One great benefit is the existence of a washer and dryer, the biggest inconvenience of my current home. It will be nice to be able to do my laundry at my leisure rather than having to drag my dirty clothes down the street. This hassle has to be one of the biggest demotivators in my life right now, so I’ll be happy to be able to just throw my clothes in the washer.
My current apartment is 650 square feet, a one bedroom apartment with one bathroom and a small kitchen. The new place is also one bedroom but it also includes a loft — a perfect spot for my “home office.” The square footage is practically doubling, from 650 sq. ft. to 1,200. I’m not quite sure how that figure is calculated, because it doesn’t seem to be so large.
Next week I will sign the lease. Including a 1.5 month security deposit, the July’s rent, rent for the last week of June, the fee for my keys, minus my earlier deposit used to hold the apartment during the application process, I will be handing over a cashier’s check for almost $4,000. At least I should be getting some form of a security deposit back from my current apartment in a couple of months.
My monthly rent will be jumping from $901 to $1,425. That has been my biggest concern, as I’ll be relying a lot more on alternative income. The price increase as a percentage is much smaller than my increase in space, so if I look at it that way it doesn’t look like a bad deal. This new rent includes cable television and internet, on which I am spending $16 for television and $50 for internet.
I expect that my electricity bill will rise as I will have more space to cool or heat. It’s my understanding that since heat rises, it will be more difficult to cool down the loft during the summer. I will make use of fans to keep that cost down a bit.
In order to join the pool, clubhouse, and gym, I would have to pay $300 a year. The pool looks nice, but I haven’t decided if this is worth it yet. I may wait a year and see where I am, or beg my way into a discount for joining for just the remainder of the summer.
I’ll also have to pay for movers. I think when it comes to friends helping move, I believe we’re all past that point in our lives. I think I can get by without renting a van for moving boxes back and forth, but it looks like I’ll be hiring professionals to move the furniture. I’m not looking forward to this part of the move, considering Consumerist’s latest stories of moving company rip-offs.
Considering my increased expenses, I’ll have to come up with some creative ways to cut back in other spending categories. More cooking (which will be nice in the new, bigger kitchen with modern appliances) and less restaurants, to start. I’ll probably hold off on some vacations I’d normally take, and I’ll probably skip the Mets games for the rest of the season… unless they make the post-season.
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Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 8, 2007.