I hate calling my current apartment of 2 years a shit-hole, because I don't hate it. It's not the apartment's fault. It was spacious enough for me (just under 800-sq-ft). It had 2 big closets, plus a small closet each just for coats and storage. It was in a "walkable" neighborhood that I liked. Some of the views were pretty.
The 2nd bedroom was supposed to be my "study" --- I abandoned it after only a couple of months, though, because the loud-voiced asshole downstairs had his headquarters below and liked to yell for hours on end (at his wife? on the phone?). That room became basically a storage space for my desk and bookshelves and reading chair. Completely unusable.
Early on, I moved my laptop to the kitchen table at the front of the apartment, hoping to avoid the yelling-man from the back room. I did avoid his ugly voice 50% of the time, but unfortunately, he was mobile, and yelled across the apartment. What moving my computer to the front of the apartment got me was: An overlook to the parking lot. All the noise of the comings and goings, the late-night hangings-out, the skateboard practice, the motorcycle revving, the kids screeching and riding either trikes or skateboards up and down the walks in front of the doors of the apartments.
The punk next-door neighbor that was jamming out from 5am to 7am back in August/September/October has had his extreme impulses silenced by the apartment management, thank goodness. But he still likes to hang out in front of his apartment after midnight talking with his friends, watching videos on his iPhone (with all of my windows closed, I can still hear whatever he's listening to with his buddies). I've also had a couple of incidents with other non-direct-neighbor young partiers, asking them to please stop yelling, please stop blasting music with open windows, etc.
And then, of course, the numerous ceiling leaks. I got home from work today to yet another puddle on my kitchen floor after the rain-storm last night. Perhaps the 7th or 8th leak since Thanksgiving. (After the massive disaster in October of 2016, last year.) Every time, management has said that their maintenance man is "talking with the roofers." Disgusting, shameful incompetence.
Anyway, after the last leak in January, I got permission to get out of my lease early -- at the end of this April instead of at the end of August, per my original lease. (I didn't demand "immediately" because I didn't have enough deposit/moving money to get out immediately.)
Only 70 more days of this shit-hole.
One thing that I'm wary of when scouting out new places to live: I keep being suckered in by apartments that are reasonably priced and look GREAT in Craig's List photos. But what I've got to get into my head whenever I'm considering being cheap and saving a couple of hundred bucks per month: "YOU'RE PAYING FOR YOUR NEIGHBORS." I.e., "You're paying to keep certain people the hell away from you." My definition of "certain people" is based on behavior rather than on race: For instance, I don't want to be around young white punk guys coming home and jamming at 5 in the morning; I don't want to be around young white hippies getting in screaming fights on landings and/or jamming their music at ANY hour; I don't want to hear the middle-aged black guy below me yelling at his wife at the top of his lungs; I don't want to hear the multiple kids of Hispanic families stuffed into tiny apartments allowed to run loose; I don't want to hear the white motorcycle dude revving his engine whenever he comes or goes.
It's time for ME to go. Pay the extra couple of hundred dollars per month (which I'm now able to do) AND move farther out, if need be. I now have a car and am not trapped by proximity to a bus-line --- take advantage of that: Buy some peace and quiet. (Oh yeah: And a place with a washer and dryer. I'm over 50; no more battling for a space to clean my clothes. I waited a whopping 4 WEEKS before doing laundry this past Sunday.)