Harrisburg Apartments: Weekend #1

Wow – January is just FLYING by.  I’ve sold my house, sampled three Harrisburg apartment buildings, made six trips to Goodwill, and given away most of my furniture for free on Craigslist.  My home is about half-packed, but I still have a damaged Ikea computer desk to dismantle.  Today most of my 80s home computer collection went into proper storage.  And right this second, I’m taking a break.

I spent the day dismantling the proceeds from my home sale.  Those of you who saw my home know that it was never anything special, so it should be no surprise that we’re not exactly talking about a seven-figure sale here.  Today I dumped most of the proceeds from the sale into paying off old debt.  I have a tiny sliver of student loans left over from my degree, and a whole lot of my flight training loan left over.  I would love to put a little into the stock market, but even earning a 15% return isn’t that great when I’ve got student loans at 6.9%.

Whatever is left over is going to more immediate needs, like a bed.  I’m not kidding when I say I’ve donated or thrown out just about everything I own.  Clothes on my back, baby — that’s the deal.

Oh, and a laptop.  I kept that.  It’s grown on me.  In fact, it’s very likely that my new apartment will be completely desktop-free.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in commentary via comments, email, and Twitter about the apartment hunting.  I’ve heard from people with similar experiences at PA Place as well as Grayco.  What I’d really like to hear is any feedback on Towne House.  That’s the only building that nobody I know seems to have signed a lease in.  Anyone have anything to share?

The plan so far is to sign a lease early this week and begin moving ASAP.  I expect to be 99% moved by the end of the day next Monday (the 25th), so this Monday is going to be a final whirlwind of touring and contemplating over many cups of coffee.  With one exception, every place I’ve visited so far has been a viable option, so I’m really not sure how I’m going to choose.

There are two points I want to make about the “Harrisburg Apartments” series:

First, I’m really big on customer service.  A nice view or a bargain-basement rent is helpful, but I’m a lot more concerned about having a building management team that’s engaged with the tenants.  A noisy elevator or so-so view can be made up for by a leasing agent or building manager who actually gives a damn about the property.  Harrisburg renters have a plethora of choices of available living space right now, and with similar buildings charging similar rent, how knowledgeable and attentive the leasing agent is can go a long, long way.  I’m not saying I’d rent just because she had a big smile and friendly personality; rather, if she can’t get excited about the building, how can I?

Second, this is an excellent start to the new year!  More on this later, but suffice to say I’m excited to be moving back into the city.  Whether I’m downtown or midtown remains to be seen, of course.  As long as I’m no longer out in East Nowhere Township, I’m happy.

Happy Saturday.