Girl Ninja and I will be heading to over to our future landlord’s house to sign a leasing agreement today. After looking at about ten different rentals, we finally found a place we love. . It’s a one bedroom, 720 square foot, mother-in-law apartment, attached to a 1.5 million dollar home, about 30min north of downtown Seattle.
The rental is brand new, in fact, it’s so new it’s not even finished yet (we move in on the 15th). While it’s definitely smaller than the 1,000+ square foot two bedroom apartments we’ve been looking at, we just couldn’t pass this place up. Instead of trying to describe it, I’ll just show you the video Girl Ninja took with her iPhone (keep in mind when we filmed this we weren’t planning on showing it to a couple thousand blog readers so the quality isn’t the greatest. Also, if you watch closely you will catch a couple glimpses of me, but fortunately my Ninja-skills kicked in and you never get a good shot of my face).
A few of the details that you may not have noticed in the video: Crushed marble trim/baseboard, custom made concrete counter tops, washer/dryer are in the bathroom behind the door with blue tape, view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains from our bedroom, built in surround sound speakers in the living room, and a curved shower curtain bar….I freakin’ love curved shower curtain bars…a lot!!!!
So how much are we paying for this gem? Nine hundred and seventy five bucks per month. That’s a heck of a lot less then the $1,500 we paid for 600 square feet in San Diego. Can I get a booya for some grande savings!?
Okay, so now on to the point of today’s post. The landlord originally wanted a 12 month lease, but after some relatively painless negotiations, Girl Ninja and I were able to secure a nine month lease option (month-to-month thereafter) instead. That way, if we just weren’t happy living there, we could move out before the start of summer 2012 and find a new pad.
We love short leases because they give us the flexibility and freedom to move when and/or where we want. But in this market, a 12 month lease might not be such a bad choice. Rent prices are predicted to rise over the coming years, and with a month to month lease you could literally have your rent jacked up at a moments notice. With the 12 month lease, you lock in that price for a year at a time.
Ultimately, we are confident that we’re pretty fantastic tenants and that the landlord will not raise the rent much (if any) on us at the end of the 9 month lease. If we pay the bills on time and are relatively low key, he will likely keep rent the same to so we don’t move out. He gets to keep great renters and we get to keep rent reasonable.
The Ninja household is allergic to long leases, but we have friends that have signed as long as a three year lease on their rental. Where do you fall in the mix? Would you prefer a month-to-month lease, or a 12 month lease? Are there other pros/cons that I have overlooked?