I'm not required to give move-out notice until November 30, and my lease isn't up until February 1. But I do know this right now: After 4-1/2 years in a 400-sq-ft apartment, I WILL be moving out! :)
Funny thing, though: I did have a momentary pause... My apartment building has been super-quiet for over a year now, and that quietness is super-important to me, probably THE most important thing. I've lived in town homes and houses before where there were loud neighbors, and it was hellish, despite all of the space. Thing is, though: The current quietness could disappear JUST LIKE THAT. All it takes is one asshole to move in on either side of me or below me. And then I'm stuck living with that for the duration of their lease. I just can't risk it. Plus... I most certainly AM READY for more than 400-sq-ft of space! :) It's time to move, and move on. This was my way-too-lengthy "transition period" ("purgatory") after leaving NYC with my tail between my legs. I'm ready for something blatantly--and I do mean BLATANTLY--better.
There are so many things that constitute "better," though, and I can't have all of them. For one thing, I still am not going to get a car. Which somewhat restricts my living choices to places within walking distance to: (1) public transportation corridors, and (2) a convenience store where I can grab cigs, beer, milk, etc. For instance, there are numerous spacious/affordable-for-me duplexes closer to where I work than I am now, but they're in "house/driving neighborhoods" and not "walking neighborhoods." I need/want a walking neighborhood.
I haven't particularly missed not having a car since coming home from NYC. I'm not a social butterfly hopping off to one engagement across town after another! I need to get to work, I need to get to the grocery store; every now and then a post office or a library or a movie theater downtown. For family events, everyone lives within 2 miles of me, and it's easy for them to pick me up for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a birthday. And my current job, as one of their perks, pays 100% of my public transportation. If I were to get a car, it would be $200 per month in car payments, plus another $150 in monthly gas/insurance, plus whatever repair costs came up. After taking public transportation for the past 7 years (3 in NYC and the last 4 back in Austin), it's perfectly doable. What's NOT doable is my current 3 hours on a bus every day to and from work! I'm dead tired at the end of the day, and I have to get up way too early. I just need to move closer to work. I've lived on the East Side since 2000, and I'll miss it, but... it's time to move on.
Another "dilemma" came when looking at Austin Craigslist apartment listings... I've missed being able to swim during the summer; and I dislike toting stuff down to the complex laundry, hoping to find a free machine... Should I consider an apartment with a pool and with washer/dryer connections in the apartment? Yes, I should, but... not really, probably. There ARE some smaller, funkier buildings around with these amenities, but most are bigger, more generic. Flashback to when I had a townhome back in the '90s... great space, great upstairs, great amenities... but I absolutely HATED living there--- nothing but concrete to look out upon. (One great thing about my current one-room apartment is the huge window that looks out over big trees just outside.)
I know I want at least two rooms. I know I'd prefer a garage apartment or a duplex -- something with no connecting walls, so I don't have to listen to others and so I can play my own music loud if I want to. I know I want to cut my daily work travel-time down to a total of 1.5 hours at the most instead of 3. I know I need a convenience store within a couple of walking blocks (and a grocery store within a 10-minute bus trip).
I like that I have plenty of time to think about it. And also that, once I've given my notice at the end of November, I have money enough to grab something good if it appears, even if I have to, say, pay two rents in January. I've got some psychological and monetary Lebensraum.