As some of you might remember, I moved from NYC to the suburbs because I was opening an office there. So far, my main business (tutoring) is going well. The extension isn’t doing as well, because it’s taking MUCH more time and money to get going than my business partner and I had anticipated.
When I gave up my apartment in Manhattan, I moved into a room in a house in the suburbs, reasonably near the office. The room is cheap ($790/month, including utilities and laundry) but lousy. My roommate/landlord is basically a decent person with good motives, though he’s a little odd. Because we have very different hours, we don’t see each other much. But there are some major drawbacks to staying here.
By some miracle, I found a semi-reasonably priced apartment that’s a 10 minute walk to work. It would double my total costs for rent, utilities, and laundry, though. It would be a major, positive change in my life to get to move into this apartment, but it would make emergencies and major business purchases harder to handle, for at least the next few months. My income can vary from month to month. Right now, things are going well, but there’s no guarantee that will continue through December, January, and February. (Unless I really screw something up, I’ll be insanely booked by March. If I incur extra expenses in winter, I could probably pay them off in spring, though I don’t know that I want to count on that.)
I think I’m moving into the apartment, but I haven’t signed the lease yet. I’d love to know your thoughts. Here are all the reasons I want to move:
My landlord/roommate refuses to heat the house above 50F (10C) during the day and 40F (4.5C) at night. Because the windows in my room are drafty, the temperature in my room is often even colder. Getting out of bed and taking a shower both take immense amounts of willpower.
For the last couple of months he’s been refusing to make what I’d consider essential repairs to the kitchen, so I no longer cook or eat there. (The dishwasher leaks. A lot. It floods the whole kitchen floor. The dishwasher obviously isn’t cleaning the dishes, but he’s still using it and demands that I use it, too. Old food and grease has built up in the dishwasher, to the point that it makes the kitchen smell.)
Parking and commuting have also been issues. In theory, this house is a 30 minute bike ride from the office, but you’d be suicidal to actually apply that theory to practice, thanks to traffic and road design that’s hostile to pedestrians.
And what should be a 10 minute drive to the office can frequently become half an hour. Not exactly what I’d bargained for. I expect this will get worse in winter, especially since I have to park my car outside. That means adding extra time for defrosting, scraping, and sometimes shoveling.
This house doesn’t have a sewer line. When there’s lots of rain–which has happened several times this fall–you can’t shower or flush a toilet. If it rains enough, water backs up into the drains. (I assume it also backs up into the unfixed dishwasher. Fun!)
My roommate/landlord recently lost his fight with local government and has been told he has to put in the sewer line. Supposedly, construction is going to start in a week or so. That means there will be lots of noise during the mornings, when I’m often sleeping.
Finding a better room to rent has proven challenging, as has finding a non-owner-occupied roommate situation. As far as I can tell, it’s either: stay in my room and keep looking; move into this miraculously located apartment, or; move into a room somewhere else, that’s probably more expensive, with a much longer commute, and pray that it turns out better than what I have now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.