Author Topic: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking  (Read 3823 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« on: February 17, 2014, 07:32:53 PM »
Here is the situation in a nutshell...

Older low income neighborhood with low to moderate crime problem offers small unit in renovated remodeled crackhouse in an old historc area undergoing gentrification for $250 less per month than my current place. Not terrible but peace of mind enjoyed now would be forfeit.

Current place lease is expiring. Current place offers Gym, pool, spa, green areas, fireplace, detached garage, granite counter tops, plush carpet, washer and dryer in unit, French doors to patio, beautiful trees ect. All of which is about 20% of my gross income.

I say I can do this. Feels fine the first visit. I get the paperwork sign a six month lease all is well with the world right? Despite the payment in full lease break clause (Arizona)

Wrong! Second visit after signing lease potential drug addicts are seen coming out of the backyard using the washer and dryer but live in the house next door. In the back a supposed shed is the house of an illegal elderly woman and her tattooed grandson all of which also need to use the single washer and dryer. The people are nice I guess but seem suspicious as most people living in the hood generally are. I was raised there. I know.

Has all the qualifiers of the hood...ample homeless, liquor stores, payday loans, check
cashing, streets named after founding fathers, church's chicken, rims more valuable than the blue book value of the vehicle they are mounted on, pit bulls in many yards, chain name it.

Point is I got this bright idea this could work for a while as the place is decent and signed off paid deposits and other nonsense. Now with these new discoveries it is just too much for me.

I save nearly 75% of my salary even paying rent where I live and am mad at myself. I have written them a kind letter explaining that I would like to pursue other options as things are not like they were initially communicated which it true. My lease here in this beautiful place is a tough one if I break and a year is the minimum. I was looking for a more flexible option that was still decent and under pressure for time due to this lease expiration. I am not a roomater type and so am forced to hear the  brunt of my housing alone.

Sad that clear thinking fails even the financially prudent from time to time and some things just are not worth it. Despite possession being nearly 30 days away, I struggle to see how this will end well for this fellow moustachian. I have a feeling this may be an expensive lesson in contentment.

Any of you have any advice or examples of painful outcomes due to extreme experimentation or changes that you did not anticipate. I doubt I will escape this one unscathed. I am awaiting their response.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 07:41:59 PM »
I'm not sure I understand... are they using your laundry machines?  Can they be secured?

The rest is just how life is in some areas... no different than you or me, just people living their lives.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 07:50:44 PM »
They are neighbors in the next house sharing the single washer and dryer designed for the tenants in the home with three units but apparently all of these people have rights to walk in and around the yard and use the facilities because they are related to the landlord. This is NOT what was originally communicated.

 I realized after all this stuff how long it has been since I have been in this dynamic and cannot help but think some things are just worth paying for. While the area is not ranked as high crime lower income social service dependent people tend to be near downtown where these services are more readily available. Funny how now after sleeping in this my current place is a wonderful haven of relaxation, safety and tranquility. I was willing to nearly triple my five mile one way commute to save this amount too. *sigh*


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 08:01:17 PM »
If the only issue is the washing machine, maybe consider just getting a portable (or regular, if you have the hookup needed) washing machine for your apartment, and an indoor drying rack? They're not expensive. I used that setup for years, and still use the drying rack.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 08:10:37 PM »
The saying "Penny wise but pound foolish" comes to mind, and I have totally been there.  Sometimes you can be too cheap and later regret a decision that ends up costing you more in the long term (in both money or happiness).  Can you sublet this space?  One option would be to get a subletter who can take it over so you don't have to live there. 

You might also look at local renter law and see if there is a way in which the lease you signed is invalidated due to habitability (if you can prove it is unsafe or something). 

I would call the landlord and be honest.  Espeically if this is a gentrifying area, I am sure they have seen this situation before. See what you can work out.

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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 08:36:01 PM »
Arizona?  In your shoes, I might spend a few bucks to consult with an attorney that represents tenants about the lease break fee.  I'm not sure it's enforceable.

I would inform your new landlord in writing immediately you will not be moving in.  According to all of my Arizona property managers, the landlord is then obligated under the landlord tenant law to start looking for a new tenant.  If they find one before the lease starts, you should get your security deposit back.  If they don't find a tenant immediately, you should only owe rent until they do.  Since you never moved in, your security deposit should be refunded.

I would also politely point out in the letter all of the things that were not disclosed in the lease, such as everyone in the neighborhood being allowed to use the washer dryer and anything else you can think of.  Hopefully, this can be resolved amicably.  If they decide to play hardball, you can use that in court.  They probably won't.  The attorney might even be the best person to write the letter to the landlord.

Sounds like the new apartment is in downtown Phoenix..... No way would I live there, even with a 50 percent discount for location.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Frugality- Clouding Clear Thinking
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 08:39:50 PM »
you might also mention the illegal habitation in the backyard shed.  If you can't get out of the lease, can you sublease and move on?