New Digs

29 April 2011

A couple of weeks ago I moved from the old farm-house I was renting to an apartment in the town where I work. I had several reasons for moving after 6.5 years in the same place. Most notably, the rising fuel prices. In March, I spent over $500 in gasoline, and that was just driving to work and church. For the last several years I haven't driven much extra than necessary in order to conserve fuel and consequently, conserve dollars.

I had a few other reasons as well that contributed to the decision to move. Where I was I couldn't get any Internet service faster than a Sprint cellular air card. While it was good for general web browsing and email, it couldn't handle any heavy downloading or uploading, and it couldn't stream video or Netflix. Also, as I have mentioned in an older post, Gooser Monkey would harass me about the use of the air conditioning in the summer which even if the temperature outside was in the 80's, he didn't feel it was hot enough to run the air conditioner.

I also had a bit of an issue of him bringing the skunks and their babies into the house in the spring to help them "get used to people" and stink up everything for weeks. I have a difficult time accepting skunks in the house; call me crazy!

Then there were the sheep. They probably have about 75% of the 10 acres to roam and graze, yet he would allow them in the front yard to eat a small amount of grass. This would then give them access to the driveway which he would have to close the gate. Plus they could wander into and around the garage near my vehicle. Then I would often have to dodge sheep poop to get from the house to the garage. This never made me happy.

In the winter the Gooser Monkey would go south and would leave me to care for the animals. He would cut me a nice break on my rent for these months and it was always gratefully appreciated. However, I have grown weary of having to go out in the cold and snow to care for the sheep, skunks and pheasants. Also, I had to feed an outdoor wood burner 2-3 times a day to heat the house. This was installed to save him money on propane. While I didn't mind too much in doing all of this, it does get tiresome, especially after working all day, spending time at the gym exercising and then going home to do chores.

Despite these grievances, I am very grateful to the Gooser Monkey for allowing me to stay at his home all these years and to provide me with a very reasonable rent. He has been a real blessing to me and I pray God continues to bless and keep him.

Now on to the new apartment. It is only 2 miles from the office and I am getting a bicycle to ride to work on nice days, further saving money on fuel. The apartment complex is over 30 years old, but my apartment has been almost completely redone. The previous occupant was handicapped and had a wheelchair and motorized scooter. Both of them tore up the tile in the kitchen and bathroom. They also tore up the interior doors and drywall. In addition to that, the occupant was a heavy smoker and lived here for 7 years. So the complex managers had to replace the carpet, fix and repaint the drywall, replace the tile in the the bathroom and kitchen, and replace all the interior doors. They also put in new vertical blinds and replaced the electrical outlets, their covers and the light switches and their covers because they were stained with nicotine and tar.

Today the apartment looks and smells brand new. It is very nice and enjoyable to live in. I plan on taking a video and making a virtual tour and will post it here online.

I prayed a lot prior to and during this move asking God to make it easy and bless my action; and bless He did!

First off, the complex managers cut $200 from my security deposit as a discount. Then to bring a pet cat into the apartment it would have cost me $20 per month more on my rent or a one time fee of $300. I prayed and then called the veterinary office and had them fax me a copy of my cat's medical records showing that he had been castrated and declawed. I planned on bartering with managers and asking to pay only $150 since my cat cannot spray or scratch. When I did, she looked at me, paused a minute and said "I'll waive the entire fee." I got to have my cat live here for free!

Then because of all the renovations, I couldn't move in on time and had to wait 2 weeks longer, they decided not to charge me for the remainder of April and thus I paid my security deposit and the rent for May.

I had wanted a first floor apartment on the south or west side of a building so I could get plenty of sunlight. When I asked, they had only 1 apartment coming open that was a 1 bedroom and it just happened to be on the west side a building; just like I wanted.

God blessed me very much in this move and I am very thankful for it.

Also, last summer when I went though my minimalist phase (which continues) I cleaned out and sold a lot of things in the summer yard sale. That made me a good amount of money and also made it much easier to make my move as I didn't have as much stuff to carry around.

Now I have high-speed cable Internet access at 25Mbps which I have seen burst to over 50Mbps at times. The upload is only at 3Mbps, but its a lot better than I what had with Sprint. Now I have Apple TV with Netflix for $8 per month. This is very nice as I can stream endless amounts of movies and TV shows over the Internet for only a few dollars a month. I can now play XBox 360 online when I want and not worry about lag, though I don't play very much at all. I turned it on once so far just to make sure it worked and connected online.

Here you can see the slow speed I had with Sprint.

Sprint Speed Test (see pdf below)

Now here is my fast speed with Charter Cable. In this test, it had bursted to over 50Mbps for a second then leveled out at the 41Mbps you see.

Charter Cable Speed Test (see pdf below)

I have 750 square feet of living space with two big walk in closets, one in the bedroom and one near the entry door. I have a good-sized living room and a nice area for the dining room which I use for my computer desk. There is a nice storage room and a big bathroom, because this is a handicapped accessible apartment. The kitchen is a bit smaller than the one at Goosers house, but has an 8x8 breakfast nook which is nice. The bedroom is a good size and is comfortable to sleep in.

I also picked up a couch and recliner that is Amish made for only $150 and they're still like new. Then I had spent $400 on an end-table set, 3-lamp set and a table with two chairs from Bed Bath & Beyond. Then I bought a TV credenza from Wal-Mart for $120.

All in all, I am very pleased and thankful for everything and I have a very nice apartment.

Download the pdf version with pictures here.