Two weeks ago, Husband and I received a friendly notice informing us that our lease is up for renewal in July. Would we like to re-sign? If so, here are the current rates. Such a benign letter for the surprising news it contained: the 12-month lease is $70 more than we currently pay. But that’s still less than the $200 increase I heard about yesterday at a different complex. Crazy, right?
We have lived in this apartment three years, the longest I’ve lived at an address since I left for college. Though we’ve often experienced growing pains (the amount of stuff grows, the apartment stays the same), we’ve created a little nest. We have an adequate number of bookshelves, we’ve rearranged the study at least five times, we’ve bought and given away furniture as we started sifting through the hand-me-downs and purchased our own home furnishings.
Over the past three years, our rent has crept ever higher. We almost moved last year, but decided to stay when we couldn’t find anything we liked better in our price range. Add up the costs of new deposits, pet deposits, contract fees, and the cost of hiring movers, and previous rent increases didn’t seem so bad.
But the time has come to say good-bye and move. Suffice to say, the decision has been bitter-sweet. We’re excited about the idea of moving to a place with an open kitchen, a bigger living room, maybe even two bathrooms.
But searching for a cheaper apartment in Houston is a nightmare.
Granted, finding a cheap apartment in Houston is probably easier than, say, in LA or New York. But like most metropolitan areas, we have been hit by the housing crisis, and it’s definitely a landlord’s market. In addition, older units are being replaced by newer, shinier (and more posh) digs. When I called one complex, they said that we would have to sign a termination agreement for December because they would be torn down. Other colleagues were recently given 30 days to find a new place. Their apartment complex is now a pile of concrete, wood, and steel.
I can only imagine that this construction boom is driving up rates in the Inner Loop as more people search for housing. Many of the places we’ve visited so far have been at or near capacity.
Thankfully, there are a lot of options available outside of traditional complexes. We’re exploring rental condo options and there are quite a lot of duplexes in the area. In the meantime, I’m trying to curb my book-buying compulsion with limited success. All these bookshelves seemed like a good idea at the time …
Anyone else moving this summer?