Alone No More

Until about a week ago, I hadn’t seen my roommate for 4 months. During the summer and fall she was spending an increasing amount of time at her boyfriend’s until, in September, she just never came back. We still texted and I agreed to watch her boyfriend’s cat twice while they went on vacation, but I suddenly found myself living alone. She still pays rent and we are still on friendly terms, but we just don’t live together! I had expected her to officially move out once our lease ends on February 28th, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she scheduled a meeting with me last week and told me she was moving in with him permanently and wouldn’t be renewing her portion of the lease.

This leaves two months for me to either find a new place or find a roommate to move in. I have wanted to move closer to downtown Portland for awhile, but now that I am actually looking, it is going to be harder than expected! My current rent is $575 plus utilities ($15-$40 a month) but rent in my ideal location is around $800 a month plus utilities! Since the inner southeast is such a sought after location, there aren’t many availabilities. I’ve been interviewing at a couple of places, but most are the same distance away as I currently am.

Pros of Moving
Possible cheaper rent. My $575 is on the high side of average. $550 is the median.
I could find a house with a yard and no shared apartment floor/ceilings!
Living closer in = walking to the bars instead of taking the bus
Having fun and cool roommates

Cons of Moving
More expensive utilities. Most are around $100 a month per person!?
Unpredictable on-street parking
Less space for my furniture/kitchen appliances
More roommates = more noise and drama
Having to spend money and effort to move everything!

I have interviewed with 4 different apartments/homes and held one interview for a potential roommate. Unfortunately all of them were busts. Either I didn’t mesh personalities, didn’t find the home to be clean enough, or didn’t know the true price of the room. The last reason was a bummer because the advertised rent was $450 plus “reasonable utilities.” I asked how much utilities were in the meeting and she told me they are typically $150 a month. WHAT?! And this was with 3 other roommates. How can a home’s utilities be $600? Plus the room was a converted sunroom, so it would be freezing in the winter. No thanks.

Now I have pretty much decided to just find a new roommate for my current apartment. I like it for the most part (except the snoring person who lives in the apartment below me) and it is extremely affordable for the area. Now I just have to find the right person! I’ve decided to be honest with myself and advertise the room with what I truly want – a roommate who is also a friend and enjoys socializing together on the weekends. I don’t expect us to be best friends, but I want the type of friendship I had with my roommate in Denver. My last two roommates have been pretty absent and I just don’t enjoy that.

Now that I know I’m staying put (unless I find a magical place unexpectedly!), I can focus on adding improvements. I am going to fix up my rusty bar cart this week and use a tension rod to install some cute little plants in the kitchen. I can’t wait to make it cuter and even more like home!

i’ll keep you updated on the hunt!

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