Unfortunately, it seems I have to start thinking seriously about looking for an apartment again...
Background: the Friday after this I looked at a place in Bristol, and that same week I had called and left a message about another ad I saw, but didn't get a call back. The place I looked at was nice but the price was a little steep, so since it was the first place I looked at, I let it go - something more affordable and/or more ideal would come along eventually.
Since then, nothing's happened on the apartment front. I looked at the classifieds a few times, but didn't see anything good. Admittedly (unfortunately?), I was only looking for places in Bristol. It's the area I cover so it would be make night meetings and stuff a lot easier, not to mention how it would be good for me to get to know the place better, and it's closer to Burlington. (And farther-but-not-too-far from my parents in Middlebury, it must be said.) If I had been looking in the Middlebury area I probably would have found something, but since there's no urgency about this I figured I could hold out for something in the right location.
Nothing had happened until yesterday, that is. When Andy came back from his lunch break he asked me if I was looking for a place. His house also has two apartments that he rents, and he just was told that one of the tenants would be moving out.
I haven't seen it yet, but the place sounds nice. The price is a little bit steep for me — what's the rule, you shouldn't spend too much more than a quarter of your income on living space? — but for one thing it's no higher than anything else, and for another, well, I can probably afford it. No debt, no kids to feed, and I could be more frugal than I have. I should take a sandwich or leftovers to work four days a week and buy something one day a week instead of the reverse, for example. The location might not be Bristol, but it has a different strong point: it's walking distance to work. (The fact that half the women's hockey team at Middlebury College allegedly moved in next door has nothing to do with my decision, I swear!) :)
But... it's in Middlebury. Convenient, yes, and given prices these days and my income I might just have to choose between living in Middlebury or having a roommate (which wouldn't be a deal-breaker, but it's one more complication) or simply not moving out. But if distance to work is important, my parent's house is less than a mile away. I've only walked to work once so far, but I've thought about/talked about walking and biking in routinely during the summer. Is having a place of my own worth $550 a month at the very least? Because that's what I'd be paying for. Not getting closer to Burlington or becoming part of the Bristol community or exchanging short drives to the office for short drives to late nights or odd hours. A place in Middlebury has only two things going for it: whatever there is about the place itself like décor or a style of apartment more suited to a young single guy, and the fact that it's not living with my parents.
Now that I write that out, it sounds better than I thought. A place just around the corner and down the block from work, I happen to think my social life would be better without my parents figuratively looking over my shoulder constantly, games without guilt trips (it's not like they've had an effect on how much I play, just made living here more unpleasant), time with my family when I want to but able to get away when I don't...
I'm looking at the place later today. Tonight I'll update my checkbook and look at my cashflow and see how much I could cut. If it's as good as I think or better, I'll probably go for it.