Monday, February 24, 2014

My Rent Quandry

The current apartment that I have called home in Ann Arbor since April 2004, has been the one address I have lived at the longest for my entire life. In just two months, I will have lived there for ten straight years and I have become quite comfortable living there. I hate moving because I have moved a lot in the years prior to my current home. But these days, as I'm actively looking for new career opportunities in Detroit and Dearborn, I am open to moving closer to those areas so that I don't have to drive too far. Especially due to horrible winter we have experienced this year, it makes no sense to live so far away from a job. This is Michigan, not Southern California. I'm also very spoiled in being an Ann Arborite because I live and work in this city and my commute is barely 10 minutes on secondary roads.

Just last week, I was contacted by the landlord company and they informed me that my rent went up 7.5%! I looked at the new rental rate and I couldn't believe it. They have been tidying things up, new paint jobs that make the apartment building look more fresh and bright. I realize that during the housing bust that rents dropped and those years were good to me because my employment was shaky with the layoffs and part-time work. And it doesn't help matters living in a city with a world class public university because it brings in a lot of people with the money to spend on high rents. I foolishly thought that all the fancy high-rise apartments that were being built around Univ of Michigan's campus would accommodate all the students. But what about those students who can't or don't want to pay $1200/mth to share a flat with 4-5 other people? They spread out further to properties within the three mile zone of the university to apartments like mine. Some even move to apartments in Ypsilanti because rents drop significantly there, but unfortunately, crime goes up in some of those neighborhoods. But I digress.

The dilemma I'm faced with right now is making the decision to either renew for another year, look for another apartment in town, or upon getting a new job, prepare to move to the city of that new job. If I remain in Ann Arbor, it's smarter for me to just stay in the apartment I'm currently in. I live in the best area of town, and that can be determined based on the amount of traffic that is in the area. In a word, traffic is always congested here because of the access to M-23 and I-94, and loads of shopping that are literally just walking distance for me. There have been many times when I prefer to just walk up to Arborland as it's only a 10 minute walk. As I approach the shopping area, it's always congested with traffic entering and exiting. I walk past the people in their cars, just looking at some of them just sit there and wait for the traffic to move along. Life is too short to sit in this kind of crazy traffic all the time. If I were to consider moving to another apartment in town, I would be paying more, much more. I want some amenities that my current place doesn't have like a patio or balcony, but I don't want to pay another $100+ more in rent at this time. As an example, here is a link to Average Rent which shows the current rental rates in Ann Arbor -

If I get a new job within the next 6-8 weeks and if it's close to Detroit, I will certainly have to move due to the before mentioned weather related reasons. But I'll be torn inside a bit to have to move because Ann Arbor has everything for me, and after living in this area after moving back to Michigan from New York City, it's hard to find another city that can live up to A2. So for the time being, I'm prepared to renew my lease but I'm actively applying for new jobs that may position me to eventually move away from Ann Arbor. Whatever my decision, this will be my last year renting at this apartment, it'll be time to move on.


  1. Simone,

    Whatever your decision my friend; I stand at your side. I've been assisting my parents with their move - after 42 years in the same house (they're still coping), for them, long overdue, it was time to downsize. They're actually renting here in FH as they firm up decision to once and for all relocate or simply remain here in Michigan (something they're not against the idea of) - Dad is winding down to retirement - his decision as we all support him should he want to continue working. Friend, I would love that you move closer to me :) Jobs/Careers are beginning to flourish, slow but steady. Keep me posted - I'll see you soon I know. Bless and have a lovely day my friend - xoxoxo & hugs, M