Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Window catastrophe, Choose your apartment wisely

There are times when I look back and ask myself why I didn’t listen to clear warning signs.  I can remember a very exciting time in my life when I was moving with my wife to a brand new city.  We were not really moving far, but we were moving to arguably the most expensive and nice city in our State.

We found a lovely looking apartment complex and it was incredibly inexpensive.  My lovely wife and I were ecstatic about the opportunity to move into a 1200 square foot apartment that was affordable in a city we loved. The price seemed to good to be true so we set up a time to visit.

We toured the main office and the apartment we were interested in.  It all seemed to perfect.  The multiple rooms were already being planned and painted in our heads.  The kitchen was to be filled with our french presses and we were envisioning fresh coffee on the porch each morning with our little dogs.

As we walked out of what seemed to be the most perfect apartment we notice our then soon be future neighbor walking out.  Then we saw she was walking out to a moving truck.  We asked her what she thought about the complex and she stated she loved the area and amenities of the apartments.  Begging the question I nugged one final question to her and asked why she was leaving.  She told me because of the heating.  It was summer and in all honesty I brushed off her response completely.  I didn’t even follow up with a single remark.  My reply was simply, well thank you for your time and have a great day. 

The next month we moved in.  We spent a lovely summer enjoying the location and amenities with the windows open and fans on to save on utilities.  That summer was mild and we almost never ran the air conditioning.  Because of this we never tested out the windows and insulation in our apartment.

The summer was mild, but the winter turned out to be catastrophically cold. Our heating and air was all ran on electricity and the first month of winter we ran out heater constantly.  We stayed toasty warm through freezing temps and thick snows. Then the worst that winter had to offer came.  The electric bill.  Our electric bill was half the cost of the rent for the month!

The cost had instantly made me suspicious of an error by the electric company.  I had called them multiple times and they were even wondering if someone had siphoned power from our apartment.  Meters were checked and inspections were made and month two rolled by and our electric usage was still astronomical.

It turns out the windows at our apartment were old and had almost no insulation properties.  We began to notice drafts next to the windows and started researching the apartment complex.  It turns out the place was 50 years old and the windows had not been replaced.  The cost of heating the apartment was astronomical and the simple warning of a neighbor I blew off the summer before had cost us.  We now know why the apartment complex was so inexpensive to start with.  The cost of utilities was built in and was simply beyond our budget. 

We left as soon as our lease was up and made sure to check the age of all the real estate we ever moved too.  Checking windows for age and drafts is now one of our priorities in choosing homes and apartments.  Don’t fall for cheap pricing, check the quality and age of future real estate and listen to the reasons people are moving out!

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