Moving On Up
Posted by Jamie C. Baker
My husband and I have been in our current home for nearly four years now. I was absolutely in love with it when we first moved in, both because it was our first place together as a couple and because it was a nice looking place in a fairly quiet area. We had a blast buying new furniture and necessities and even spent our first wedding anniversary engrossed in a weekend long painting project to try to get our home as perfect as could be. Our first couch was a donation from a friend, the second was a gift from my mother-in-law that we chose in red to match our kitchen. We spent quite a while sanding and painting our balcony and storage room with the plan to buy some outdoor furniture and have a nice spot to sit out and enjoy a bit of nature. As time has passed, my husband and I have made various upgrades to ensure we’re comfortable and that we have what we believe we deserve.
Unfortunately, as we have been trying to move up the ladder, our neighborhood seems to be content edging downward. What was once a clean and quiet community has become overrun by slovenly people displaying a total lack of pride in their home. New management brought new signs and a hastily paved parking lot but failed to make any improvements aside from meaningless frills. The maintenance team replaced our dishwasher due to a leak but failed to address the plumbing problem that caused the leak and also resulted in the garbage disposal malfunctioning. We’re not big on using the dishwasher, but it would be nice to have the option to use it when the dishes pile up and we’re feeling a bit lazy. The frustration of living without a working garbage disposal doesn’t need any explanation. The other plumbing issue is in the second bathroom; for some reason the bath water will not stay hot for longer than a minute or two unless the washing machine is also running. The sink will scald you, but the tub thinks cold showers are in style.
Those plumbing problems are annoying but fixable and I would definitely be pursuing property management to call in the experts to get it repaired if not for our main issue with our place: the neighbors. Whatever wiring is shorting out the light in our kitchen can be fixed. The lack of consideration from our neighbors can not. We come home to find trash and cigarette butts scattered around our front door, often thrown in the bushes that the kids have trampled during a game of hide and seek. The one year we tried growing flowers by our front door, kids ripped them out of the ground and threw them all over the sidewalk. Our front door has been used as home base for tag, the end zone for a game of football, and a makeout spot by the teenagers across from us.
I’m not a cranky old lady trying to crush the childhood joys of all youngsters around me, but I do expect a bit of respect for my space and an attempt at parenting from the adults that are supposed to be in charge. I expect parents to tell their kids that it’s NOT okay to throw things against cars and front doors, to tear down parking signs, or to sit on the hoods of cars while waiting for the school bus. I shouldn’t have to worry about my property being vandalized simply because young adults are bored and their parents can’t be bothered supervising or disciplining. Bringing up concerns with management results in nothing more than a general notice handed out to everyone, stating the obvious of where trash should go and how people should behave. As adults, we should all have enough sense to clean up after our pets, yet my husband and I often feel like we’re the only ones who prefer not to step in a pile of doggie presents.
After one too many nights of being disturbed by the two tiny yapping dogs downstairs, we decided to take a drive and find a new place to live. On Sunday, we got to view a lovely two bedroom place with an attached spacious garage, an adorable patio and backyard, and an amazing kitchen twice the size of what we have now. The bedrooms are also bigger than what we currently have and the layout is much more appealing than what we’ve become used to. The leasing agent told us that he is quite familiar with many of our complaints from people coming from where we currently live and was very confident in saying that those problems are nonexistent in their community. The cost is slightly higher, but we’re getting an entire garage and a yard to ourselves, two things we can’t say we have now. We’ll also receive a discount on our cable and internet and have access to a wooded dog park. At least, we will if we are approved. Wish us luck!