Sometimes the pieces fall into place…

13 December 2013

A week ago I decided to reach out to my property management company, to see if I could try again to bring up the issue of possibly switching units at some point. My old landlord and I had talked about it a few times, and once a 1-bedroom became available I’d be first to know about it. Well, it’d been about 8 months since the new management company took over, so I figure I might want to readdress this issue. So I found their website and sent them an email.

Monday I got a call from my property manager. There’s a 1-bedroom available in another building they own. But it’s $850.  … Out of my budget. I was really hoping to find a place that would be less than what I’m currently paying (though I knew that might be hard). However, he said, there is a studio available as well.

I haven’t lived in a studio since my very first apartment back in 2007. It’s been 1- and 2-bedrooms since. I’ve accumulated a decent amount of furniture and general stuff since then, and downsizing to a studio would mean getting rid of a lot of stuff.

But I decided to take a look at the studio anyway. The new building isn’t too far from my current one. I’d still be close to transit. And closer to my grocery store. Further from the beach, but I could deal with that.

It was nice. Small. Definitely small. But nice, and doable. Most importantly it was a cost I could afford, not ground level on an alley, and had proper heat. So I told my property manager I’d think about it and let him know.

And over the course of the week, it seems that almost all of my concerns were just taken care of…

I’d have to put down a new deposit. So basically it’s 2 months rent, and before I’d get my last deposit back.
Not a problem. “If that’s the only thing keeping you from taking the apartment…” We found a work around. I’ll be signing over my previous deposit. So it’s just rent as normal.

Studios are small. I don’t think I can get everything to fit.
Ok. Well, let’s see what we can compromise on. How about getting rid of the full size bed for a twin? Now I can easily have a separate living and sleeping area.

So now I need to buy a twin bed. That’s an added expense.
No problem! Dad has a spare twin bed at home since my sister is at college. He’d be more than happy to store the full sized bed and give me the twin. Now I can save about $200.

The new building doesn’t have storage. What about the stuff I want to keep but won’t fit into the new place?
Again, parents to the rescue! Dad will take the bed, and also hold some stuff until I can get it to mom’s house.

Moving, even in the same neighborhood, is expensive. How are you going to afford a truck?
Hooray for friends with large vehicles! Moving date will be confirmed after Christmas.

What about the litter box? Remember that studios are small thing… yeah…
Um… IKEA HACK. Dad’s offered to take you to Ikea post Christmas, so get your DIY on and build a nice cover and hide that sucker.

Now my only main concern is how soon can I get into the unit to start moving small stuff over… Hopefully I’ll find that out soon. Any small things I can carry on my own, including the cats, will hopefully be transported before the moving date with friends. Cats will hide in the bathroom during moving, which I’m hoping will reduce kitty trauma.

It’s just kind of nice to put this idea out there and just see it come into fruition piece by piece. Almost seems too easy. Not that I’m trying to jinx it or anything. It’s just sort of crazy that in a few weeks I’ll be moving. Let’s sign the papers and get it settled!

You can also watch me ramble on about my excitement on moving on my YouTube channel!

  • Oh. My. God.

    $850? As in, you play less than $850 to live by yourself now? My God. I knew Boston was expensive, but I didn’t think Chicago would be that much cheaper. Next year I’ll be looking for either a studio or a one-bedroom, and $850 is much cheaper than anything I’ve found.

    Seriously, my mind is blown. I didn’t think Chicago was that much cheaper than Boston. I must really love living here.

    Yeah. Sorry for that rant. Good luck with the move! Seems like it will be a good change.

    • Erini

      It depends on where you live in Chicago. I’m in the furtherest north neighborhood. Neighborhoods like Wrigleyville or Lincoln Park are way above this. But you go south to Pilsen, and I can get a 2-bedroom for under $850. Same with some of the western neighborhoods. Just depends on where you’re willing to live. And I lucked out with my landlord cutting me a deal on rent.

      A interesting tool is a cost of living calculator: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ –> you can compare what you’re living on now and what a similar lifestyle would cost in other cities. Chicago’s $10K more than where my mom lives. Which is crazy.

  • Hooray for finding new places!! The last 1-bedroom duplex I lived in before leaving for Korea was $450 — I feel sad that the cost of living is so high there. I mean I understand it’s a very desirable place to live, so that’s definitely a factor. ALSO, I’ve seen some fabulous litter box in the bathroom DIYs so that’s do-able. 🙂
    xx Abby | a geek tragedy

    • Erini

      Thanks Abby! 🙂 I’m excited about “building” the litter box cabinet. (aka turning it upside down and cutting a hole in it.) But it’s also going to give me space for my own storage on top. I just can’t wait to get into this place!!

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