Originally published in July 2019.
I am no stranger to moving to a different house. While I was growing, my father, who was an itinerant preacher, moved from one church to another every 1-3 years.
The longest time we spent at a parsonage (a house assigned to a church’s pastor) was six years. By the time I turned twenty, we have stayed at about 10 houses.
In 2015, my wife and I reduced our belongings, packed the essentials, and moved from Manila, Philippines to Nashville, TN USA as I started a new job.
So I do know about moving and packing things.
Late in 2018, we added a new member to our family. And we realized that the apartment we have now feels constricted. With a very active 6-year old and an infant, we need a little more room.
Currently, our apartment is 972 square feet or 90.3 square meters. We are paying about $1168 in rent monthly. If we include trash, water, and other dues, our total housing cost is $1240 monthly.
If we renew our lease, management will increase our rent to $1192 monthly. That would be about $1270 in total monthly. Housing is expensive in Nashville!
So we decided to move to a new apartment. It’s not too far away from our current apartment. Better yet, it has significantly bigger space at 1450 square feet (135 square meters). Still better is that it is less expensive!
A Cool Trick to Get Cheaper Rent
It is never easy to look for an apartment. But I have written a guide for those who are moving from outside the USA.
This time, I discovered another tactic to land a good, less expensive apartment.
The first step is to identify the apartment communities you want to live in.
My criteria included space, affordability, accessibility, facilities, and online reviews. Based on my criteria, I had a shortlist of apartment complexes to consider.
Monitor the apartment’s website daily.
This is the equivalent of camping out online. I checked daily the websites of the apartments we wanted to move to. More specifically, I monitored the price and the move in date. I chose one that is closest to our move out date in our current apartment.
When you spot an ideal apartment, reserve and apply for it.
As a result of my online campout, I spotted several good apartments to rent. The best one was a 2-bedroom townhome for only $988. But we wanted a bigger space so we ended up applying for a 3-bedroom townhome for $1053 monthly.
It was a good deal!
Just a caveat, the apartment complex we are moving to has low rating on Google Maps. But we are comfortable moving there because we have some friends who have stayed there for a couple of years.
We got to move it, move it!
Our move in date is the beginning of July 2019 so our house right now is full of boxes and stuff. We have a pretty good pile of clothes and other items waiting to be donated. It’s been four years since we moved to the US and it’s amazing how much stuff we’ve accumulated!
I am excited to move and to dispose the things we no longer need or want.
Meanwhile, here’s a poem I wrote back in 2005 on moving.
Moving to Our Tenth House in Twenty Years
Heavy boxes slide on the floor—
essential things accumulated over
the years. Empty now
are the shelves, lockers and cabinets.
of filling this space—of people living
in this seeming fortress near the church
with broken bell tower.
The weeds are tall around
the house—taller than the weeds
that litter the yard of the church
with the broken bell tower.
The plants sit quiet in front of the parsonage—
they endured the sun, they reveled
by the waters
from the sky, enjoyed the kisses
of the dew. Now
they shall be moved:
to a place they never knew.
The colors leave
this house today.
how can the trees be moved? They refuse
to leave though they want to. They cannot
unless they are cut
down to the roots.
Cabinets and chairs, the washing machine and the fridge,
the tables and racks, dividers—all
lined up on the lawn, waiting
impatiently for yet another moving—
and this is not the final one—
just a part of a tired routine,
endless moving, never setting
down on a single place for a long time.
It goes on, we move,
we arrive, only to move
again and again to another place. Today we shall arrive
to another house—
beside a church—
never our own.