Renting any place definitely comes with its challenges. I was recently talking with a friend, reminiscing on all of the different places I've rented in Milwaukee.. it has been a lot. I can say one thing with certainty: each apartment has had its benefits, and each has had its negatives--many, many negatives. Just to tell you a few...
1. Our first apartment was a studio loft. It was the only one available in Milwaukee at the time we were moving, and we weren't very familiar with the city. Before moving in, we had never actually had the chance to see the apartment, but upon walking in I knew it wasn't going to be good. We had a galley kitchen that was separated from the rest of the apartment. Some galley kitchens really work, but this one didn't. I'm not complaining that we didn't have upgrades or an open concept. I'm complaining because we didn't have a drawer. Yes, you read that right. We did not have a single drawer in the kitchen. We had one upper cabinet and a lower.. under the sink. It definitely required some creativity. We also chose to eat out a ton. Another downside to this apartment was that is was across the street from an all-girls-school, and had a bus stop out front. The noise level was beyond compare. There were consistently girls standing outside chattering away, all beginning at 6:30am. Then, at night around 8pm, the school buses would come back and drop girls off from athletic events and extra curriculars. Eventually we discovered we also had gotten bed bugs, and moved out after only 4-5 months.
2. The next apartment we had was one of our better ones. We lived in a one bedroom with a decent amount of space and a much better kitchen. There's truthfully not much to complain about here, and the only reason we moved out was to gain a guest bedroom.
3. The third place we lived was for only 6 weeks.. 6 difficult, frustrating weeks. The place was fantastic! The problem was with a certain appliance and maintenance staff. We moved into the apartment and immediately notice several things: clearly no one had cleaned it before we moved in, no one had done repairs from previous animals who lived there, and our dryer was broken. So how do you think you find out that your dryer is broken? Typically, you find out when you try to use it. And why do you try to use it? Because you have washed your clothes and they are soaking wet. Exactly. We washed a large load of clothes and then discovered our dryer wouldn't turn on. After trying several things, we decided to head to the laundromat. We notified the maintenance staff that it was broken along with several other minor repairs around the place that needed to be done. They came several times, and nothing ever got done. We waited for 6 weeks and never had our dryer replaced. Keep in mind, during that 6 weeks we were also driving to the laundromat and spending way too much money.
4 & 5. After putting up with 6 weeks, I called the president of the company and he moved us to a different property. We started out in a 2 bedroom here, and the place was beautiful. The downside: it was extremely expensive and over priced. Because of this, we downsized into a one bedroom within the same building. We put the rest of our furniture into a storage unit nearby, and finished out our lease. The biggest problems we found at this complex was the hard wood floor and the lack of space. The unit was extremely small, and our dogs could not help but scratch up the floors. At the end of our lease we had to make the decision of whether or not to move. Because the prices would be going up and we hated paying to store furniture that we couldn't use, we decided to move out.
6. This is when we moved into our current apartment. We have loved everything about the apartment. We did at one point have a broken water heater from several months, but they did their best to solve the problem. Although we still get very veryyy little warm water, we have still greatly enjoyed the apartment. However, mid way through our lease, the management company was bought out and the complex was taken over by a new company. This meant when we decided to renew our lease and needed to do so for 15 months, we could not. Because of this, we are forced to move yet again. However, that is not where this story ends.
Lucky for us, our apartment complex allows possible tenants to look at apartments when they go on the market.. even if someone is living there. They are required to give 12hrs notice before entering, but they schedule the time and you can't be there. Here's where things start to get complicated..
Not only does the place need to be spotless and look nice for people to view, but it also needs to be completely vacated, including the dogs. Do you see the problem? The apartment complex will give us 12 hours to find a place for the dogs during their specified appointment time. On a weekend, this isn't too difficult. We usually just take them with us when we go out anyways, so it doesn't change much. During the week however, this is nearly impossible. We will have to find somewhere or someone to watch the dogs because both Clark and I go to school full time as well as work.
Any volunteers to come to Milwaukee and hang out with the coolest dogs in town?
So this will now be our new way of life for the entire next two months. Absolutely not ideal.
On the plus side, we are thrilled about our new home, and understand that this is all apart of the process. Ultimately, it leads to us moving into somewhere great, and I can't complain about that. Moral of these stories: ask as many questions about maintenance protocol, moving out protocol, and anything else that you possibly can!