Should I stay or should I go now? Part One

If you are currently leasing an apartment and your lease is expiring soon, you have a lot of decisions to make.  You are among an exploding trend of renters that want the freedom of mobility.  A 4% interest rate is not enticing enough to make an anvil feel good when it’s tied to your life. You shopped the market and made a decision. You paid your rent on-time and enjoyed your freedom but the time has come and you have to decide if you are going to renew or start anew. This event is far more emotional than people like to admit and can be clouded by unproductive thoughts.  Relax on my virtual couch, grab the tissues and lets talk about it.

Proceed with logic. Clear the static of non-essential factors and focus on the bigger picture. Photo courtesy of Robert Register Photography

Moving is something that becomes as nasty as a nasty four-letter word.  I would rather eat crickets for breakfast every Monday than to move.  Its lengthy, difficult and always costs at least twice as much as you originally thought.  The decision must be made and the best advice is to proceed with logic.

First ask yourself why you chose to live there.   For most people, the two biggest deciding factors are: location and cost.  Neither of those will matter if you can’t visualize yourself thriving in that space.  What did you want then and what do you want now?  It often looks different but is usually the same basic idea of happiness and success in many different forms.  Sometimes people think they need change to evoke progress. Staying put doesn’t mean you’re not progressing, it means you are happy progressing in your current space.

Next you should reflect on your total experience.  Qualify your experiences and eliminate those that will happen no matter where you live .  Multi-family living will always mean that you may live near people you don’t agree with.  On the other hand your future best friend or significant other could live two doors, two floors or two buildings away from you. (Side note:  Always attend community functions if your schedule permits because you never know who you will meet!)  If you are having a hard time moving past negative moments, irritants or situations, it doesn’t mean you’re a “Negative Nancy” nor does it mean your experience was bad. It just means you’re human. You are rarely compelled to tell perfect strangers about a service that met or exceeded your expectations. Let someone mess up a special order on your way to an event and you will tell anyone that will listen for the next 24 hours.  I bring this up because we often focus on common irritants and give no thought to all the things that went right. Conflict is unavoidable.  The true test in any relationship, including a landlord/tenant relationship,  is how you resolve the conflict.   How do you feel like your conflict was managed? Even if you disagreed with the outcome, were you treated with respect and given explanations that helped you understand the decision?  I’m fine with an answer I don’t like as long as I understand the process behind the decision.

Photo courtesy Robert Register Photography

Lastly, where do you want to be in 12 – 24 months? If you are waiting for the promotion, the ring, the commitment or the divorce don’t go anywhere.  Those are big factors that can change a lot. If you think moving once is expensive and painful, try moving twice!  Find out what your options are.  Camden has individual pricing that allows exceptional flexibility but rewards longer lease terms.  My advice is to take the longest lease available because a lease expiration comes faster than you expect. Only make a move when the direction of your life needs accommodating and a change of address is a necessary part of the process.  If moving is the solution, ask about Camden’s accommodating transfer policy. With communities in 19 US markets, moving to another Camden Community has a lot of advantages that will save you big bucks when you need them the most.  The bottom line is that there are enough changes in life we don’t expect.  Carefully and logically weigh your options against your resources and decide if this is the best use of your resources at the right time.

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