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Where I've Lived

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Every year around this time I update my website with a entry called "Moving Time" or something like it. For the past ten years, with the exception of 2003, I've moved every year and it's usually happened around this time. Why move so often? Am I a nomad by nature? Probably. But there's also much more to it. In fact, I've changed my residence for just about every ordinary reason possible. These include: random relocation, move for work, need more space, need less space, have more money to spend, have less money to spend, to live with a girlfriend, to live near friends, to live near family, to get away from friends, to get away from family, etc, etc. Furthermore, I don't even count two additional moves where I ended up staying less than two months each. So rather than dwelling on this latest move, today I'm going to take a look at my decade-long residential history.

Jeff's Rental History 1999-2009

1999: 1 BR apartment, Atlanta, GA -- $725 per mo.

First place that was all my own, new apartment, yuppie neighborhood in Toco Hills, gated complex, two miles away from Famous Bar and Grill, lived on the 3rd floor, best part was my balcony where I would watch passing trains, girls using the gym and pool, and chipmunks in the trees.

2000: 1 BR apartment, McDonough, GA -- $650 per mo.

I wanted out of the city, relatively new apartment complex in southern suburbs of Atlanta, lived on the ground floor next to pool, noisy neighbors above, hated giant speed bumps in parking lot, police visited the complex a little too frequently, close to lots of fast food.

2001: 1 BR rented in house, McDonough, GA -- $400 per mo.

Home off Jodeco Road near I-75 south of Atlanta, often took 5 minutes to turn out of the driveway into busy traffic, lived with two friends, had my own phone line so I could get my dial-up internet, rent included my share of utilities, home has since been leveled and is now a gas station.

2002: 2 BR trailer, Hampton, GA -- $100 per mo.

35 year-old green-colored trailer on the Henry/Clayton county line south of Atlanta, friend owned trailer, let me upkeep it for nearly free rent, I replaced floorboards and built a stand-up shower myself using awesome carpentry skills, lots of room in front and back yard for my junk, trailer was too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter.

2003: 2 BR trailer, Hampton, GA -- $100 per mo.

Same as above. Lived here for almost 2.5 years. Still a personal record!

2004: 2 BR duplex, Hampton, GA -- $550 per mo.

Officially moved here to live with Dana after we got engaged, home was on Jay Lane and we were in unit B so it was BJ Lane naturally, didn't get along with neighbors which made life harder, woke up to sound of fire trucks one night and neighboring house burned to the ground, 2 minute walk to BP gas station for convenience items.

2005: 3 BR house, Valdosta, GA -- $800 per mo.

The only time I moved specifically for a job, rented a 3 BR home off Bemiss Road near Moody Air Force base, lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, first time I had a garage, mowed the lawn endlessly, neighbors had a pack of noisy goats, even louder heavy metal band practiced in the garage next door, first time I had a dishwasher (not named Jeff) since I moved out of my dad's home.

2006: 2 BR duplex, Port Charlotte, FL -- $725 per mo.

Local housing crunch after a hurricane inflated rental market, missed having a garage, nice backyard, neighborhood wasn't the best, home was on a street zoned for rentals, worst moment was witnessing a domestic fight where a man struck a woman full-force in the head with a piece of PVC pipe, 2 miles from local Walmart.

2007: 3 BR duplex, Port Charlotte, FL -- $800 per mo.

Easiest move ever, home only 2 blocks from prior one, moved furniture by walking it, older home but classy, only time I've had a carport, didn't get along with neighbors again which sucked, worst moment was a brush fire occurring right behind our house, firemen had us evacuate until it was under control, only time I ever had a side-by-side refridgerator.

2008: 3 BR duplex, Lehigh Acres, FL -- $595 per mo.

Moved this time so Dana could be closer to work, had a garage for storage once again, newest home ever lived in, home used well water, very isolated since all nearby homes were in foreclosure, worst insects ever experienced including scorpions, on dirt/gravel road, cheap rent though as local housing market crashed.

2009: 2 BR house, Port Charlotte, FL -- $500 per mo.


A few observations come to mind upon documenting all the places and all the conditions in which I've lived. Firstly, it's amazing just how stable rental prices have remained. Nearly everything else in life has gone up in price considerably in the past 10 years. The days of 89 cent gasoline are surely gone forever. So too is a $2 gallon of milk or $1 loaf of bread. Yet rental housing prices in average neighborhoods have been remarkably steady. Naturally, the housing bust and current economic recession have impacted this trend considerably. But we're not complaining. Until I own a home myself, I hope resale prices and rental prices continue to remain flat.

Secondly, I can look back at every move, except one, and recall a specific reason, hope, or necessity that motivated it. Things didn't always work out. Actually, they almost never have work out as planned. But I suppose it's having that kind of specific motivation that makes it possible to deal with the workload and get it done.

My final thought is that the worst part of moving is moving itself. Each time we move, I seemingly throw out a ton of stuff. I also try to give away as much as possible to Goodwill or to anyone who needs something that I don't. However, this only serves to limit the damage. The volume of things owned seems always to grow. But I can't complain too much. During this time my household has simultaneously expanded from a family of 1 to that of 5. Therefore, it's only natural that we have tons of stuff and it will likely stay that way for some time. That's why I made sure much of this current move would be garage to garage!

Oh yeah. The best part of our latest move is that we'll again be closer to the water and to everyday sights like this: