Saturday, November 1, 2008
Well, I've had some good times in this apartment, but I'm having to move. I've lived in this unit for probably a good four years now, and been in the complex since '94. Unfortunately the complex went condo at the height of the real-estate bubble, so the units aren't worth even half what people paid for them.
My landlord is letting mine go into foreclosure. When the state sent me notice of it, I put a "stop-payment" on this month's rent check. As a courtesy, I was going to call him about this, but he's changed his number. He also changed his address to a P.O. Box, so I'm guessing I can kiss my deposit goodbye. (He only had one month's rent, so it's no big deal.)
At the rate the courts are operating at in this area, I could probably live here rent-free for awhile. I've heard of people doing it for up to three months. But I'm just leaving instead. I don't want to be here when the Sheriff's Dept. finally does come around to change the locks.
Anyway, there are so many vacancies in this area I was able to locate another apartment in about an hour. It's within walking distance of an Applebees I like to drink at, is just as nice, and is slightly cheaper to boot.
One sign of the times: to start leasing a place, one used to need to pay first-month's rent, last-month's, and a hefty security deposit, often equal to another month of rent. Now it's just first-month's, plus a deposit of $200. Also, it used to take months to line up an empty apartment; now it takes a day.
It seems as if this entire area is packing up and moving away. Some restaurants in prime locations went out of business, and their buildings have now been empty for at least six months.
And this is tourist season, which makes it even more ominous. When Summer comes back, and the daily temps are in the nineties, everything will get even emptier....