Recently I moved to another apartment, and I just want to note down what I went through and whether it is a reasonable choice for me.
It was a great choice. Both in financial and mental aspects.
- Financially: saving on rent per week, and it is actually a lot.
- Mentally: soft reset on life, and re-evaluate the items in my possessions.
Since I am more attracted to numbers, this is normally the first point of view that I consider.
With the rent price going down across Melbourne CBD, I did some research and decided that I currently pay a bit more than what the market has to offer. Therefore I decided that it is time to do something.
What did I do first? Well, I asked the current landlord to drop the rent down. They didn’t go down to the level I expected, and they were going to sell the apartment anyway, so I realized that I need to find what I want elswhere. I sent my 1-month notice to the property manager and started to find another apartment. It is necessary for me to do so since now I have a deadline to adhere to.
It is easy to find something good in the CBD with the budget of $300/week. You wouldn’t imagine the view and the convenience some of these apartments offer in this price range. However, that is not my budget. My budget is a modest $250/week.
I have a hypothesis that some landlord would be motivated to drop their pricing a bit more in this weather, especially in the lockdown period. Yes, I gave notice just before Melbourne went into the 5th lockdown. And I have 30 days to play with that idea. I cannot inspect the apartment physically, only through images and videos. And I need to put in a lot of offers to confirm the hypothesis.
The steps I took are as follows:
- I spent a few hours in the first weekend, shortlisting the apartments that are in my range and around $50 above. So anything less than $300/week is considered.
- Prioritize the ones that I would like to live in, with good view, good natural lights and preferably unfurnished.
- Contact all the property managers asking for the videos if it was not available, and normal conversational questions to keep them engaged. Also tell them that I need to move by that date.
- Wait a week and then apply to all those apartments, with the rent offers scale back 10-20%, e.g. $300 -> $250, $250 -> $210, etc.
- Keep monitoring the market and add new listings into the shortlist if they satisfy the criteria.
From all apartments I applied (probably around 40-50 of them), I have 2 offers accepted by the landlords. Both apartments dropped their rent from $300 -> $250 per week. Now I have the ability to choose. And I ended up choosing the one that I think suits me better. The hypothesis was proven right.
Now is the fun part, how much do I save, considering all the cost I needed to spend?
Above is the moving cost as well as my previous rent.
- I hired a removalist company to move all my stuff, and only need to pack them up.
- I hired a cleaner company to thoroughly clean the old apartment.
- There is a small setup fee for the internet at the new apartment.
- I pay for 6-months mail redirection from Australia Post to ensure that my mails are not missing. I do have a few bills that are still going through the mails.
The meaning of the above table is, I need to live in the new apartment for 10.63 weeks (around 2.5 months) to recoup all the moving costs, and anything after that is basically what I can save from the moving exercise. Not to mention that I will free up some money that was stuck in the bond for the previous apartment.
Lots of people are afraid of the thought of moving houses. And it is for good reasons. People like to settle down, whether it is their parents and friends told them to, or they believe in having a stable base and then they can take off in their career. Asking someone and you will get a reason why they don’t want to move, or trying to find a place to stay for a very long time.
I believe that I am always home. I don’t need a physical place to remind me of that. That can change once I have my own family, but by that time, I will be in a much better place comparing to where I’m at now. However, we are living in the present, and I feel quite good about the decision to move. It is like hitting a reset button in life, moving to a new place, but not so strange that I feel lost, and I spend time to look through all the luggages I brought with me until now.
It’s a good exercise to audit all items that are in my possession every once in a while. I found that I could throw away a few unused items, restock medicine cabinet, and re-evaluate wardrobes.
I also did a small experiments on my friends, I selectively told certain people that I was going to move and see how they react throughout the period. So far, only my family keep up with what I have been doing regarding the move, the rest don’t care enough to ask. Which is quite interesting. I shall note this down for future references.
Overall, the move went smoothly. I could have bargained for removalist and cleaner services. But given the tight timeline I ended up going with what I have, knowing that after a year I will be in a better place anyway. And who knows what will happen after a year, I may move again.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
By Tuan Nguyen