Logan: How did you end up in your current apartment?
Mike: Well, my lease ended, and I decided I wanted to live alone for the first time in my life, and I had spent most of the year saving for the move—which cost thousands of dollars.
Logan: Because you were starting a new lease, and you used a broker, right? Getting your own apartment in NYC seems so complicated and expensive. I’ve already decided I’m never going to do it.
Mike: Right, so I spent a significant amount of time looking at apartments on my own, and it was awful. There were just so many misleading ads. That’s when I decided to use a broker. I actually had two. The first broker pushed too many apartments on me that I didn’t want. So I dumped her, and got another broker who only showed me apartments he thought I would like, and that’s how I found my current apartment, which I love.
Logan: And so, all in, what did it cost you, from the moment you decided to move out of your other place until all of your stuff was settled in this place?
(PULLS OUT TABLETOP CALCULATOR)
Mike: $2,120, for the broker and the move.
It could have been way more. But I negotiated the broker’s fee from 15 percent down to 9 percent. And then the move was about $500. I bought all the packing supplies myself and packed everything up. And then the rest of the money was to pay the movers, and to give them a nice tip. I also had beer, water and soda in my fridge at my new place waiting for them so they could have something to drink after they were done moving my stuff. They didn’t accept the beer because they said they had to do another move after mine.
Logan: Hha, of course you did, Mike Dang. BEST. And that amount doesn’t include first and last and deposit? The thing that scares me about moving, besides the actual moving part, which, sooo muchhh workkk, is the amount of CASH you have to have.
Mike: Right, actual move-in costs were an additional $3,000. Because when I signed my lease, my rent was $1,500. But it was just first and deposit.
Logan: So the $2,100 was just gone. That was moving money.
Mike: Yeah, moving and broker’s fee.
Logan: I’m feeling despondent.
Logan: Because that is so many dollars. I don’t know how I could ever justify that. That would pay off one of my credit cards. Two of the smaller ones. When I lived alone in Portland my rent was $800, and I didn’t pay any fees. I think it was $1,600 to move in, and I moved everything in my car or my friend’s truck.
Mike: Well, I was in a situation where I had a big salaried job and the savings, and I was looking to move into my own place. You’re looking for a room, right? Not your own place.
Logan: Yes. No lofted studios for me at this juncture. But Mike, did you know that moving was going to cost you that much before you decided to do it?
Mike: Yup! Haha. Because I always think about costs. And I do a lot of research. So in your situation, you won’t have a broker’s fee—that was most of my expenses.
Logan: So I just looked at my bank account to see how much of my money my current landlord has, and I only paid him first month’s rent a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. So ostensibly I could be like, August is my last month, you have my money already, peace.
(I didn’t sign anything when I moved in.)
(Is that how it works?)
Mike: Haha, well, you should have a rental agreement, but maybe it’s better that you didn’t for your current situation
Logan: Right. It’s not a “rental agreement’ kind of place.
Newwwwww Yooorrrrrrrkkkkk. I mean, when my roommate thought she had bed bugs, my landlord took two weeks and then furnished her with a can of Raid.
Mike: Yeah, that’s unacceptable. And it seems like you’ve been nothing but unhappy there. It’s time to move on. What do you need to move on?
Logan: To find someone with an amazing room in their amazing apartment, and then I’ll live there. And also money to pay some movers I guess? I’ve never done that before. Seems cumbersome. Oh, and of course: First, last, and deposit.
Mike: Yeah, you actually don’t have very much to move. So, if I were you, I would take a look at what you have, and make a list. Then find a few “man with a van” type movers on Craiglist and email them with your list and get quotes. They might do it for cheap. If not, do the pickup truck, and I will be willing to help you move.
Logan: I’ve never actually let a friend help me move. Okay that’s a lie, I did twice, but both times I’d helped them move before, so. I don’t like being in debt to people, which is actually hilarious, since, you know, I have no problem being in debt to financial institutions.
Mike: And I am happy to do it! And I will allow you to buy me lunch.
Logan: I’ll make you a sandwich. And I’ll have beer in my new fridge waiting for you. Well, more likely I will walk to a bodega to buy you a beer.
Mike: Haha. Deal!