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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Search is On

So, it’s finally time to move out. I’ve lived with my parents for a bit over a year trying to get my finances in order after my divorce. It seems every time I move, I get more picky. I’ve lived in some kind-of-crappy places, and some pretty decent places, but never anything too fancy (what, something other than Formica counter tops, mismatching appliances, 80’s-style cabinetry exists??) because I can’t afford much besides about the cheapest available. And by cheapest available I mean besides the 400 sq ft studio in gangsta Hilltop.

I think Washington State is one of the most expensive states to live in (I really don’t know how Seattle compares to other large cities).  Our sales tax is one of the highest in the country (9.8% in Tacoma but it varies from county to county. Fun), and we have the highest pay rate per hour at $9.32. This basically means that the apartment choices for someone in who is low on the middle-class list is you don’t get very much for your money.

I’ve checked out 3 places so far, and here is the breakdown…

$700 for 700 sq feet, a tiny-ass washer and dryer, and a kitchen from the 40s that looks like it was repainted about a dozen times. It has built-in cabinetry and no patio storage (dafuq?). At least it comes with a dishwasher, albeit a very small one. Seems almost worth the price considering the location is good, but then they tack on $70 for W/S/G, and I’m like “$770 a month for that place? Uh, no thanks…”

They have the uncanny ability of making the place look good, that’s for sure.

Another place, owned by the same company and right next door, was even more interesting. It was about 540 sq ft, but had all updated maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Yeah, I drooled on the carpet a little bit (oops!) But again, no patio storage (or even a patio! Which means bye-bye gas grill) and only on-site laundry, which was like, a mile away or something as this place was on the 3rd floor. Partial view of the bridges and the bay though; very nice. It was $645 but then $80 a month for W/S/G. Ugh. And 540 sq ft is like a tin can. I already downsized to get moved out in the first place. I’m already busting at the seams living in a “studio” aka, my old room. I just need more space!


The 3rd place seems more my style. It’s in an area of town I used to live in. Not the best, but not really the worst area either, and I know it well. It’s $725 for 675 sq ft and was built/updated in the 80’s. Full size washer/dryer, patio storage, very quiet location – and W/S/G is included.  Problem is, they only have around 36 units and not all of them are 1 bedroom. So, it’ll be a test to see if they have one when I’m ready to go!

What about you? Do you rent? How to they compare?


  1. Gosh, those prices and square feet! Urgh, the things we suffer to live in a big city...
    It stinks that you're feeling limited on your choices but don't lose sight of the fact that this is kind of a big deal and definitely a kick ass moment. Everything is a step up and out to where you want to be. I've definitely lived in some shite holes and the place I rent now is... special but it gets the job done for this time in my life!
    Good luck on the hunt!

    1. Thanks for the vote of encouragement! And true - just about anything is a step up from where I am now. Ahhh, to finally be on my own after so long! Definitely counting my blessings :)