Apartment Hunting & Decision Making

I once took a Business Management class in college and my professor made it clear that he was going through a nasty divorce. In his lectures, he compared business models to relationships. A sole ownership is like a single person — you could make any decision you want, when you wanted, how you wanted. A glorious business venture. A business partnership is like marriage — you have to consult one another for each decision and share the assets and profits evenly. And a corporation was like one big family — everyone having opinions, pointing fingers at each other, and the leaders (parents) hording all of the profits for themselves.

I’ve come to realize that the partnership of marriage — the consulting, sharing assets, making decisions together — is my favorite thing about being married. Sure J and I don’t agree all the time, but going through life with someone that you can rely on, share the burdens and joys with, and make hard decisions together? What a joy.

Take, for example, apartment hunting.

We found out two weeks ago our rent was increasing by $65 a month, which isn’t a huge deal except that’s $190 more than what we originally signed back in January 2011. That amounts to more than $2,000 a year. Ouch. That’s no small chunk of change. It was a hard decision because we love our apartment and hate moving, but we also know that we probably won’t be able to buy a house for up to two years, and the rent would only increase from here.

I have come to love making these big life decisions with J. He’s very practical, reasonable, and ends up going with what feels best. I, on the other hand, am indecisive, put together every possible scenario, and over-think everything to the point where it hinders my sleep. I wish we could switch personality types sometime.

Over the past few weekends we put together a plan of action for evaluating apartments in the area. He searched the places, and I populated the spreadsheet with every detail we desired. Over the past week we saw five apartments, all within the same distance of both of our jobs, and put together a pro and con list. Here’s a snapshot of our spreadsheet (click to enlarge):

We fell in love with Apartment 2 — it had the most amenities (racquetball, trash pick-up), had the best layout (open kitchen, huge closets), on the first floor (we’re getting tired of walking up/down 3 flights of stairs), we were free the weekend of Sept 8, and for some reason ended up being the cheapest option on a yearly basis including all of the upfront costs. We would end up saving almost $550 a year by moving, including the moving costs and application fees.

On Saturday we got a quote for $976/month on the Sept 8 available apartment. Sunday, when we walked into the leasing office to sign the papers, we found out that the price had reduced to $959/month — $17 less a month! We considered it fate, signed the papers, and then celebrated with a mid-afternoon frappachino.

All that to say, we’re moving September 8th to a new place and I won’t be opening a sole proprietary business anytime soon (sorry professor).

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  • Sounds like you are perfect for each other, no surprise to me! Love hearing what you love about the other and how you compliment each other.

  • Great news!!! We tried selling our home and ended up renting ourselves. We also got lucky and found renters who just cover our mortgage, taxes and insurance. It was a huge blessing. You never know what’s around the corner.