Lease is up – should I stay or should I go?
When your apartment lease is almost up, you might find yourself not knowing what to do: renew for another glorious twelve months or explore other options. In some cases it is easy – the place is exactly what you want and you’ll sign the renewal without any doubt; in other cases it is also easy as the place is so far from what you wish to call home that you’ll count the days until your move-out date. And then are those cases when you’re just not sure about what to do: your current place is decent, but you don’t love it. How do you organize your thoughts?
I’ve always started with the thing closest to me: the building itself and the location. Answer honestly why you don’t like your current place – is it a bit too small, or a third-floor walk-up? Does it lack the in-unit washer and dryer you so much desire, or the workout facility?
With apartment vacancy rates decreasing, finding that ONE apartment is becoming more and more challenging. If you are willing to pay more, your options multiply; if not… you might have to continue living without these amenities. However, if your problems are with an untrustworthy landlord or with neighbors who party three times a week, moving is the only solution that can solve them.
When vacancy rates are dropping, availability is scarce. In other words, it might not be very easy to find a suitable replacement; the great apartments are taken quickly. On the other hand, when vacancy is high and there are new places for you to choose from, moving and upgrading sounds like the thing to do.
Compare your lease amount with what’s available on the market. You will either find that you’re getting a deal on your modest one-bedroom or that you can save money by moving to a comparable place further down the street.
Analyze the roommate-situation. Do you have them? Do you like them? Would you rather live alone? Or is it the opposite, you’re tired of living alone and you’d rather share the living space with three other people? If the roommate situation is what troubles you the most – having more or less of them, moving to a larger or smaller space is the right choice. Remember the general rule of the thumb: the more people living in a house, the less each pays per month.
Check your finances. Know that on the short-term, moving means spending more. Moving itself means expense, while staying put implies none.
Review your income – if you’ve been promoted in the past year and received a raise (or improved your financial situation somehow else), perhaps you don’t want to renew and go for a real upgrade. For example, if you can ditch the studio and pay for a one-bedroom, do it!
Review your spare time as moving means apartment hunting, planning and then the move itself – and that means some serious dedication and amount of time. If one of your constant thoughts revolves around a new place, then you should probably find the time to move.
If you decide that a new place would make your life better, you should call your renter’s insurance provider and announce the change of address as soon as possible. Otherwise, review and renew not only your lease, but also your renter’s insurance.