Where would you live? *HELP!*

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    My lease is up at the end of this month, and I'm torn between 2 places. Both are the same price and include heat and water. Here is how they compare:

    -The townhouse has its own entrance with assigned parking right in front. I would have both an upstairs and a downstairs, so that's a plus. However, there isn't any outside space (patio or balcony), and it's located in an area with a lot of apartments. My view all around is apartments. The apartment is in a larger building with more tenants, but I would have a garage and a patio (note that I live in a very snowy state, so garages are a big plus!). It is located in a quiet neighborhood with nice, newer homes.
    -The townhouse is 13 minutes from work, and the apartment is 20. However, the apartment has the garage, so in the winter it will probably take me the same amount of time.
    -The townhouse is 8 minutes from my boyfriend. The apartment is 2 (just down the street).
    -The townhouse is recently updated, with new carpet and tile, and a new oven and microwave. The apartment is a newer building, but it hasn't been updated.
    -The townhouse is larger.
    -The townhouse is located just blocks from tons of restaurants, Target, a mall, and any other store you would need. The apartment is located in a quiet neighborhood out of town. It is about 5-10 minutes away from stores and restaurants.
    -The townhouse has laundry in the building across the parking lot. There is also a very nice Laundromat a few blocks away. The apartment has laundry in the hallway right outside my door.
    -The management at the townhouse seems better. The lady is very quick to answer my calls, process my application, and show me the place. She is willing to let me move in 3 days early for free. I called the lady for the apartment 3 times and left messages. She never got back to me. I eventually got in touch with her. There isn't an apartment for rent until November, so I would be homeless for a few days (I could just stay with my boyfriend).

    Which one would you choose? I'm really torn! The biggest negative about the townhouse is that it doesn't have the convenience of a garage and on-site laundry. I'm worried it's the little things that will make a big difference. I also like having some sort of outdoor space, so the patio idea is appealing. However, because my assigned parking spaces are right outside the door at the townhouse, I can use that area to cook out and stuff.

    The lady at the townhouse thinks I'm moving in (I didn't sign anything yet), but I think the apartment might be better for me.
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I would say apartment. I like walking around neighborhoods. Sounds like it's a busy area for the townhouse. I don't like traffic noise either. I love the garage and the fact it has a patio. Have you met any of the neighbors? You might want to ask them what the neighborhood is like around the townhouse and ask about tenants in the apartment. How long do tenents usually stay?
     
  4. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Either seems like a good choice. I would probably pick the townhouse, though, because of how helpful they've been, since it probably means that they'll respond to any problems you may have in the future. Good luck with your decision!
     
  5. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I would say apartment. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning knowing that you don't have to spend a half an hour cleaning off your car. That and the laundry would make me pick the apartment.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I would say the townhouse seems better. My big thing for me personally is that the less people you hv to deal w/ & live in very close proximity to, the BETTER! When you said the apt has more tenants, that's more chances of hvg problems down the road w/ all these different individuals (w/ possibly crazy views & thinking) that may cause conflicts.

    Plus, it's nice when people get back to you rapidly & you said the mgr of the townhouse gets back to you fast. An outdoor patio isn't as important to me.

    I realize that a garage is a big issue too, but you can't have everything.

    Youv'e seemed to find many pros & cons. Now, spend more time on thinking about the future. How it will be w/ the mgr, neighbors, etc. a month from now, 6 mos from now, etc. How does the garbage collection system work, how does the mail work. The less you hv to coincide w/ people & mail & trash are the 2 biggies is something to think about.

    Think about are there more chances of people blocking you in at either place, etc.

    Drive along the street/neighborhoods of both place AT NIGHT to see how it gets, how safe it seems, etc.
     
  7. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Being from Wisconsin, I'd pick the apt. because I think a garage is very important in our cimate. I would hate spending the mornings scraping windows. UGH. Plus I am like Jaime and would prefer a less congested area.
    Also, I wouldn't want to be hauling laundry across any parking lot in the dead of winter in Wisconsin!
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    This is a tough choice. I would do what someone suggested and talk to the neighbors at both locations. That may really help you to decided which place you want to live at. What about rent? Is one significantly more than the other? That would also affect my choice! I would be leaning towards the apartment (garage, less noise) but the fact that the manager isn't very helpful would drive me away.
     
  9. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    apartment. Garage, laundry, and patio. Doing laundry in the winter when you have to cross a parking lot or go down the street would be terrible. Ditto for the garage, and keep in mind that it will likely affect the life of your car.
     
  10. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    On site laundry, garage, and quiet neighborhood.
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I would pick the townhouse. I live in an area with lots of snow and couldn't find a place cheap enough to rent with covered parking (it was a difference of $300), so I am scraping away...again. 20 minutes in good weather is not bad but in the winter you could add up to 20 minutes on top of that (maybe more depending on whether or not you travel on busy roads). Does the townhouse have a common area where you could pull your BBQ out in the summer? Take your laundry to your bf's and do it for free:D. I like the fact that you are close to amenities -- you can always walk if something happens to your car.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Ok, you guys aren't making this any easier for me! :lol:

    You all bring up good points, and that's why it's so hard for me to choose! Both have their pros and cons. Can you tell I'm really bad at making decisions?!!

    I'm leaving in a few minutes to go see the apartment. I haven't looked at it yet, but I have a good idea of what it is like because I've been "apartment stalking" (as my boyfriend says). I have driven by both places a few times to see what the neighborhoods are like and to test how far they are from work. Maybe something will come up that will make the decision easier!

    At a conference once, we did a little personality test that labeled me a "thinker." The description said that I think about things a lot (almost too much) before making a decision. Can you tell how dead-on it was?!

    Thanks for your thoughts so far!
     
  13. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    How about this:

    Make a chart up for yourself that says "MUST HAVES" & "I'll BE OKAY W/O"

    and write either apt or townhome underneath with what it is and you'll prob have a easier choice.
     
  14. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    You don't want laundry outside your door unless the units are well built. Otherwise you will be dealing with laundry noise and traffic. Also, expect the entire area to usually smell like detergents and possibly be warmer in summer from dryer usage.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Well, my secretary just told me that she has seen drug busts on the news in the neighborhood that the townhouse is in. I hope I like the apartment...
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Good luck! Hey it has a garage!
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apartment.

    ETA: Oh, I just read the news. The apartment was just meant to be. :)
     
  18. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Welllll, if you are really stressed out from all of that thinking, at least you'll know of a place to get some, er, relief. :D
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Here are a couple of thigns I would consider.

    What floor is the apartment on? Ground floor? Lots of traffic. Upper floor -- good but lots of stairs. Big question -- is there an apartment OVER your bedroom???? Can you sleep with people dropping shoes, or heavier items on the floor? Can you cope if they have noisy sex on the floor, and you can hear everything? (Yep -- voice of experience -- don't even ask...)

    The nice thing about a townhouse is this -- if the bedrooms are upstairs, there can't be anyone above your bedroom, and usually you are the one below the bedroom. That is important.

    In an apartment, you may have someone on the right of you, on the left of you, above you, and below you. It just takes one who cranks the stereo up, drops things, etc. How about a teenager with a bedroom above you who keeps dribbling a ball on the floor above your head? or dropping his books on the floor repeatedly? Or a toddler who loves running across the floor (with stomping feet) while squealing loudly?

    You say the laundry room is right outside in the hall at the apartment. Does that mean lots of folks will be hanging out there, talking and such? It could get noisy. I'd ask around, show up at different times (day, evening, weekend) to see for yourself.

    Good luck in whatever you choose.
     
  20. wikteacher

    wikteacher Rookie

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    Another WI girl here, and I would definitely go for the apartment. The garage and in-building laundry are worth gold - in the wintertime, especially!
     
  21. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Can you keep looking & find something better than the townhouse & the apt? :)
     
  22. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Wow RainStorm gave you a lot to think about... I know you are running out of time, but now I'm agreeing with Ms. I. Why don't you spend the next few days looking and make your decision on Sunday.
     
  23. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Apartment. Our last 3 places have not had laundry facilities and it is a PAIN! Plus the garage and patio....Apartment.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Except for my dorm days, I've always lived in single-family homes, so I'm not sure about some things.

    I do know that I love my washer/dryer, and I love my space. I also like a garage. I miss my attached garage. (Ours is detached and my truck is too big for it, too!) With a garage you get weather protection and extra security as well.

    I wouldn't be able to handle stairs. I made sure to buy a house on one level because I was having arthritis issues in my late 20's, and I knew that wasn't something that would get better . . . but an apartment/townhouse would be easier to leave than a house if you wanted to relocate for something like that.

    The possible drug thing could be a concern, but you'll need the whole picture. MIL's house borders a historic "uppity" neighborhood, and they found a meth lab in that neighborhood. I live in a good neighborhood, too, but my goofy neighbor tried planting marijuana in the woods behind his house one summer.
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I used to be able to hear the people BELOW me having sex!!! I lived on the top floor. My sister was over the first time I heard it and we just looked at each other in shock! :lol:
     
  26. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    When I lived in a suite in the dorms, my roommates could always hear people above them. I think they somehow got their phone number and called when they heard "the noise!"
     
  27. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I've been looking for about 3 weeks now, and I can't see to find anything that is better and still affordable. I originally wanted to stay under $500 (including heat and water), but every place I looked at was really dumpy and in horrible neighborhoods. Both of these placed are $535 and include heat and water. That is pretty much the maximum price I will go, so I have been looking for things in that price range. Plus, I have to sign a lease next week!

    It's hard because Green Bay is such a big area. There are little apartment buildings and duplexes tucked into nice neighborhoods, but they aren't always advertised. So many places just stick a sign out in front, so they are difficult to find. So far these are the best 2 I can find within my price range.

    Last night when I went to look at the apartment, the lady never showed. This morning I realized that she might have been on the other side of the building (duh!). I'm going to call later today to see if I can schedule another time to look at it. (That is, if I can actually get her on the phone!)

    On another note, I was talking to another K teacher and she said she used to live in those same townhouses and so did her sister. She said they are really nice and the neighborhood is great. The secretary (who told me that they have had drug busts there) had the area mixed up with another neighborhood. I drove my boyfriend to the townhouses late last night to see what he thought and he said, "What's the problem? These places are REALLY nice." I figure it can't be too bad-Brett Favre used to live about 4 blocks away!
     
  28. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    To me, having a laundry facility right on your hallway tops anything else. I hate lugging laundry across a parking lot, and what if you want to do some laundry after dark?? ick. The garage is an added bonus also.

    I personally would prefer the quiet neighborhood - you can jump in the car and drive a few minutes to where all the action is, then retreat to your quiet place.
     
  29. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Well, I just called the lady that didn't show up. She claims she was there...We must have somehow missed one-another. She was really nice, though, and she is going to meet me again tomorrow sometime after 4.

    Such a process! Is it bad that I would feel really guilty about not taking the townhouse because the lady is so nice and accommodating? I really like her and I really like the townhouse, but the apartment seems to make a little more sense. AH, I hate making decisions!
     
  30. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Wait until you get in to see the apartment. It might be a dump.
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    What made that K teacher & sister move out of those townhouses? So this is the SAME townhouse where you heard about the shooting on the news the other day?

    Woah! $535/mo! There's no good or bad areas in my city, it's all relatively good & safe. It's either if you can't afford to live in this city, live in another city. The avg monthly rent for an apt in my city is $950+ & those are on the small side.

    Maybe I missed you posting this earlier, but what kind of time limit are you on for finding something?
     
  32. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    It wasn't a shooting-there was a drug bust. But it was in a different neighborhood of apartments. The reason they moved out of the townhouses is because they got married and purchased homes. It seems like the townhouses have a lot of young married couples. The people on the side of the one I would rent just got married and bought a house as well. I should also mention that the townhouse had a lot of nicer cars when I drove by last night. Nothing crazy, but not old beater rust-buckets (a lot of accords, civics, etc.). That usually means to me that there aren't a lot of "trashy" people around.

    I wanted to stay under $500/month, including heat and water. Right now I pay $600/month and it doesn't include anything. With all of the other bills, I pay about $730/month. It's WAY over my budget (I used to live with my then-boyfriend, but we broke up). I come up short every month. I can't afford to pay over $600/month including everything. By paying $535/month plus electric, my bills will be about $585/month. Still a little too pricey for me, but it's hard to find anything cheaper.

    There area apartments under $500 in the area, but they are total dumps. Gross carpet, HORRIBLE neighborhoods, mustard yellow appliances, etc. I have noticed that prices tend to be in the $400's, then jump to $535, and then up to $585 and higher.

    Thanks for letting me talk through everything and offering advice!
     

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