Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Late Summer Update

I know that nobody is reading this (I only get a rare comment on anything I write here), but I thought I'd post an update to my last post.

Serendipity brought me to a cute apartment across town. My concern about trying to find an apartment while being "semi-retired" was quickly resolved when the manager said all I needed to do was show that I had the same amount of money as an employed person would be required to have (3x the rent), though she asked for proof of that for each month of the 6-month lease! She accepted my IRA statement as proof and assured me that she wasn't putting a lien on my money, but I'd have to show proof of income (or savings) each time I renewed the lease. I was thrilled when she told me that I scored 9.5/10.0 on the survey they use to determine whether to rent to someone ... she said most of her tenants don't come close to that! 

I like it here except for the traffic noise which I am subjected to for about 21 hours a day; it's especially bad when the windows are open! When the apartment is closed up, it's more quiet, but I like letting the fresh air in (such as it is in a big city!) when the weather permits it! It's fairly quiet between about 1am and 4am! One of the most pleasant surprises is that there are FAR fewer sirens in this area than at my last apartment!

This apartment is maybe 600 square feet, compared to 850 square feet at the previous place I called home. There is some storage space here, which is much appreciated! 

I don't think I'll ever understand how apartment complexes can get away with not showing an actual apartment to prospective tenants. The manager of this complex showed me 4 or 5 photos on her computer and handed me a floor plan. I had to put a "holding deposit" on the apartment based on that limited information. However, since I knew I could no longer afford to live where I had been, not to mention that complex had gone to hell in the 5 years I lived there, I felt I had to go for it. 

The neighborhood seems safer, unless one is a pedestrian. Sidewalks are apparently not mandatory and it seems to be the property owner's choice whether they want to build their own sidewalk. This means pedestrians often have to walk in bike lanes, even on very busy streets! I am still trying to find places to walk. I've ventured off in several directions thus far; I miss being able to walk amongst million-dollar homes, as I did prior to my move. LOL!

My sewing room is in the "dining room." I need to find a loveseat or small sofa to replace the queen-size futon which takes up tooooo much of the living room. I've had to
get back to my sewing ... for Etsy, fairs, and wholesale orders, so haven't done much decorating yet. I sold my big antique work table (a farmhouse-size dining table) to a friend for about what I paid for it 8 years ago. I am considering selling this cupboard, though I'd need to find something to keep my new fabric in. I'd like a blind-door cupboard or, better yet, an antique dry sink; definitely something with old paint!

Well, I need to get going for now. Doctor's appointment then more sewing ... and hopefully I'll get a few more things listed in my Etsy shop before the day is over!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Big Decision Time!

I got a rent increase notice this week. They're raising my rent by $75/month as of August 1st. I have until June 20th to let the management know if I'm staying here, otherwise they will charge me the month-to-month rate which is $100 more than the new rent! I have lived in this apartment for 5 years. I am quiet and, if I do say so, I think I would be considered a good tenant. But I'm not sure this apartment is worth $910/month, at least in its current condition. There are two major problems with this apartment: a diesel fuel odor that nobody can identify and the ancient carpet. Both of these issues would need to be addressed and resolved if I am to stay here.

The "big decision" from the title of this blog mostly pertains to whether it's time for me to bail on California. If I stay here another year, am I just putting off the inevitable? Will there come a time that I absolutely can't afford to live here? It feels like that time may have arrived this week.

I have a friend in East Tennessee who has a small apartment building. She will have a vacancy as of September 1st, and says the apartment is mine if I want it. It's about the same size as my current apartment, but I am sure it is taken care of MUCH better! Oh, and the rent is less than half of what I'm currently paying. It's really hard to think that I could be paying $460/month rent! But I've never even set foot in Tennessee. Everyone I know who has an opinion about East Tennessee says it's beautiful. While that would be nice, I'd be moving primarily for the cheap rent! My Tennessee friend was an antiques dealer for many years and has said that we'd do shows together if I move out there. I also have a friend in the Dayton, Ohio area who would like someone to do shows with too. I have done craft fairs (aka "shows") all my life, mostly alone, so I don't need someone to do shows with, but the prospect of being able to show my primitive folk art at antiques shows, even if it were just a few things in my friend's booth, is very appealing. Over the years I have learned that shoppers who collect antiques are some of my best customers.

Then, to throw a monkey wrench into my already confused state, yesterday I was contacted by an employment agency recruiter about a year-long temp assignment in this area. The pay isn't fantastic, but it would be a job and I could then look for a new apartment (which I really can't do locally since I don't have a regular income). Today I decided I would check in with a few temp staffing agencies that I registered with many years ago. I check in with a handful of agencies on a regular basis, but there are other agencies which rarely, if ever, placed me after I registered with them and I mostly forgot about them. So I'm trying to track some of them down. The agency I contacted this morning is very excited about my law firm experience and may have an opportunity for me. This sounds like it would be a direct-hire position and the pay would be considerably better!

Thanks for reading, and if you have any input or suggestions for me, please leave a comment. Thanks!