Our current apartment has a number of issues- mold they've been unable to remove from the bathroom ceiling, broken stopper in the bathtub, smoking downstairs neighbors, loud upstairs neighbors, bad airflow, small kitchen, and rotating management. I'm pretty sure we changed leasing companies again, since when I picked up a coffee machine I ordered from the leasing office last Wednesday, they were extremely disorganized and I recognized nobody. (By "extremely disorganized", I mean they hadn't even labeled or sorted the packages from the FedEx 11:10 AM drop by 4:30 PM.)
With my lease expiring at the end of July, I've been in the market for a new place, and I'm not averse to taking a month of overlap to make the move easier. Well, that's exactly what I've done. I'm moving quite literally across the street- Archstone Redmond Campus. It's in one of the apartments right next to the complex I'm currently in, too- although that was just by chance.
The apartment we signed for is beautiful. Three bedrooms- one large, two small (we'll be using them as a computer room and an office); the dining room is connected to the living room, resulting in a very bright, open space, with great airflow and visibility from the kitchen. The price was low because nobody was renting the place even though it was unoccupied and ready, apparently because the kitchen is a little outdated. For $280/mo less than any other comparable apartment in the area, I'll deal with an ugly oven that works fine. (Oh noez! Analog kitchen timer! We'll have to buy a wall clock because it doesn't have one built in! I think we can handle that.)
Since it's available now, we could only delay our lease date by a week, so we're getting six weeks of having two apartments, instead of just four. Oh well; it's worth it to guarantee an excellent place. One of the highlights involves nicer lighting in the living room- the previous occupants installed track lighting, forgot to remove it, and we like it so there's no reason for it to be taken out.
This took a few weeks. As per the advice of the "leasing consultant" (apartment salesman) at Archstone, we waited through the start of the month to see what would open up as people hit the 20 day notice period before the expiration of their lease. What they actually got was a huge number of renewals- and one three-bedroom apartment, still unrented, dropping in price again and again.
The salesman was extremely good at his job, though. He struck me as the sort of person who genuinely likes people, has trouble understanding people who don't, and has very limited insight as to why he's very good at his job. He made us want to buy an apartment from him, and that is exactly what he's supposed to do. He somehow made thirty minutes of paperwork non-annoying, mostly by amusing conversation about successful careers, my netbook, "you brought a scanner with you?" (I did, and it and its auto document feeder scanned the entire 16-page double-sided lease/parking/rec facility agreement in about two minutes), Second Life, and how the only reason he hadn't moved into that apartment we were renting was because his wife didn't like how quiet it is due to the surrounding trees.
Oh, and food. Rakeela wanted to go out somewhere to eat, although I had plans to cook. In retrospect, I think that man really could sell anything, because his recommendation of Kiku Sushi (specifically, his notes on what they had other than sushi) was taken. Of course, the conversation of where to have dinner made him hungry, too, and he sold himself on it.
When we went to dinner at Kiku Sushi, celebrating a good deal on an excellent apartment, two tables away from us was our apartment leasing consultant and his wife, celebrating a successful sale and a healthy commission! I'd call it a good business agreement- one both parties were happy to make.
(And the dinner was really good, too.)