Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm a little crazy ... or am I?

I've finally come to realize and accept that I'm fickle.
I hate the word. It sounds prissy and annoying and demanding and I don't think I'm any of those things (though I'm sure some folks would disagree).
But now that I'm preparing for my third move in the two-and-a-third years since I relocated to Shreveport-Bossier City (quite a trek of its own), I see that something might be a bit awry in my mind.
When I moved to the area, I settled into a perfectly nice apartment in a not-so-nice complex in Bossier City (I won't call names). Seven months later, post-Katrina and with a new, evacuee roommate in tow, I moved into a cute house in South Highlands.
All was well until some uninvited guests arrived (the kind that can scare a small dog) and my landlord was less than helpful, nor could he even muster up some sympathy (or pest control). After a few calls to city and state offices (rental laws are not on the side of renters in this state) and a large Terminex bill, I was on the move again.
Right now, I live in southeast Shreveport (I even get Southeast Voices) and quite frankly, I've started to hate it. The construction, the traffic, the fact that I can walk to Target faster than I can drive there, it all makes me crazy. My apartment is nice enough, I suppose, but getting where I need to go is a hassle at all hours except late a night and I'm tired of it. So I'm on the move again.
I'm trying to move to north Bossier City (I guess I'll get Bossier Voices). Yeah, it's trading traffic for traffic and it's not much cheaper than where I live now, but the Wal-Mart out there isn't as crazy and Target will be done soon and gas is a little cheaper and at least there's no construction waking me up at 6 a.m.
But the craziest thing is, now that I write it all out, I don't think I'm crazy (though I might still be a little fickle), the rental market here is just really lackluster.
Mediocre neighborhoods where you can hear the 18-wheelers careen down I-20 while you lay in your bed, rodents having their run of a poorly maintained house, and waking to the sound of birds and bulldozers is not the stuff of a happy home.
Where's the love for the single (or attached) professional who's not quite ready to buy a house? Why is it so hard to find somewhere nice to live that doesn't cost me half of my take-home pay (before utilities)? What's the deal!?
Am I the only one with this problem? Or am I actually crazy and just in denial?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Why bother renting? I'm sure if you looked for a house you could buy for less or around the same as what you pay in rent. Along with the tax breaks it only makes sense.

I know, I know, you're young and you don't want to be tied down. Ok, then quit complaining. I see so many people, even within my own neighborhood, paying over $1000 a month in rent. Guess what, I'm buying my house and it's less than what they're paying.

A first time home owners mortgage is fairly easy to get. Try it out and get out of the rent cycle. You'll thank me later.

Melinda Williams said...

Well anonymous, I've actually thought about it, but to be totally honest, I find the whole home-buying thing really intimidating.
I have a laundry list of things that freak me out. What if I buy something and then get my dream job six months later and have to sell? What if I can't sell? What if I pick the wrong house? What if I buy it and it starts falling apart? What if I move in and then I just hate it?
I guess it's not that I don't want to be tied down (though there is a bit of that), it's that I'm scared of tying myself to the wrong decision. It's paranoid, I know.
And really, you're not saying anything I haven't already heard. My mother told me the same thing after she realized her mortgage on her three bedroom house(including insurance and property taxes, which she pays over 12 months) was only about $150 or $200 more than my rent on my dinky two bedroom apartment. Certainly a reality check.

Anonymous said...

This is anonymous again...

Melinda,
I bought my first house and did make a mistake. I bought in Haughton and decided that I would prefer to be closer to work, stores, etc. My biggest fault with my first purchase was that I had to buy or rent as I was taking a new job in this area. Get a realtor at least and take a look around. There's nothing that obligates you to buy. I looked at over 100 houses (online) and visited around 10 before I found the one that I loved, and still love.

Take your time though and make a decision that you're happy with, since there's no pressure you can always stay put.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Aspen Apartments? I lived in Orleans Square (HATED IT) and later moved to Aspen. We got a two bed, two bath 910 sq ft ground level with patio and appliances for $500/mo. We were allowed to have a large dog as well, with pet deposit. It's a wonderful complex with tennis court and pool. The admin is great, and the neighbors are much more quiet than at Orleans Square. It's hard to find a good apartment in a good area for cheap. While it's not the hot spot in town, it's a quiet neighborhood in Southwest Shreveport, where I grew up, as a matter of fact.

Kevan Smith said...

Walk to Target. The environment thanks you.

Terry Jones said...

Melinda, I know you and personal think you're just a little crazy! :)

Melinda Williams said...

Thanks for the tips anonymous No. 1 and No. 2.
No. 1, I've been thinking about at least getting myself mentally and financially ready for the big move, and you've given me a little extra push.
No. 2, I've already commited to my new place, but if anyone asks, I'll pass along your tip (and keep it in mind if I'm moving again in another six months).
Kevan, I've walked to other places in the area and would be willing to walk to Target except I have puny little arms and like to buy heavy groceries. I guess that's some incentive to hit the gym.
And Terry, good to see you've joined the peanut gallery. We miss you out here.