Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't bother unpacking that box

My current apartment lease ends this summer and all the signs are pointing to me moving. Where? Don't know yet, but the current landlords have been dropping hints that they might be going in a different direction soon. (I think back in the 1980s it was called "going condo.")

The complex I live in is comprised of five buildings and some of the units are owned by individuals and the rest are rented as apartments. It was built as condos, but the market tanked about the same time and only a few were actually sold. So instead, the unsold units were handed over to a property management company to be rented. 

This past November, I found a notice attached to my door from DJ Properties, the group that owns the building (not quite as dramatically done as Martin Luther, but effective nevertheless). The flyer was an offer to current residents to buy their apartment via contract for deed. It didn't provide much details as to terms or interest rates, but I didn't care because I'm not interested in buying my apartment. Too small, no dining room and not enough storage. 

The rent is near the top end of my budget and I'd like to build up some savings for a down payment, so I can rejoin the wacky world of home ownership. It's a couple of years off, but if I don't save money, it could be much further off (or never).

If the November notice made me a tad bit suspicious, the last two days have sealed the deal. Yesterday, another flyer appeared on the door with news of a photo contest. All you have to do is send in the best picture of your apartment to the property manager and you could win $100. While it's optional, if you do submit photos, the photos MAY be used for marketing purposes. (I guess marketing could mean the same thing as listing.)

Today, another flyer was stuck on the door advising residents that a "representative of the owner will be in town on February 19 and would like to inspect all rental units." And, it bluntly states, please make sure your condo is clean. Seriously? Has my landlord morphed into my mother? 

The whole thing reminds me of medieval times when the landlords terrorized the serfs who worked their lands. Granted, my vision of medieval times have been severely warped by Monty Python and The Life of Brian, but still applies.

All this means that I have another adventure to look forward to and another opportunity to learn how to back-up a trailer. Which is why my lease end date is so generic as I don't want to give advance notice to my relatives that they "get" to help me move again. It'll be a special move - Number 25 since I graduated from high school in 1979. (Special award to my sister Sue, who has participated in at least 1/2 of the moves - Way to go!)  

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