Apartment Living And A Broken A/C Unit
I left home a little after high noon and returned at 10:40 PM in the evening – only to find that my air conditioner was blowing HOT air. I live in central Texas and during the summer, air conditioning is more essential than oxygen for continued existence.
We’ve all faced these little problems – and will doubtlessly continue to confront them. What do you do late at night when there is a major problem within our modern upholstered caves?
So what did I do?
I turned the A/C off and restarted it. No luck. Turned it off again and flipped the circuit breakers and restarted it. No luck again. By now it was 10:50 PM and the night would be looking grim…
EXCEPT – I live in an apartment. I speed dialed our 24 hour emergency maintenance number. A repair technician walked over from an adjacent building and arrived in ten minutes. He checked the thermostat, went back downstairs and checked the outside unit – and found that ants had built a nest in the main electrical panel for the compressor and shorted out the power relay.
It’s getting to be the middle of the night – where oh where can you locate a replacement part? Answer – across the parking lot in the maintenance office which keeps a stock of them. (We seem to have an ongoing problem with ants that like to electrocute themselves in outdoor equipment.)
He replaced the relay, the A/C was back to normal and blowing heavenly cold air – and the clock showed three minutes to midnight.
One last thing about the incident: my total cost for a night time emergency service call? Nothing!
I’ve dealt with the same problem and many similar ones over the years during home ownership. In each case, it was a royal pain in the nether regions, it took approximately forever, and it cost me seemingly an arm and a leg.
Perks To Consider For Apartment Living
No Longer Searching For Repairmen
Anything that goes wrong, I pick up the phone day or night and say, “Fix it,” and someone is over promptly repairing it without me having to search for contractors, waiting for them to “get to me,” and having to shell out money to them for an emergency service call.
A Little Car Help
My car battery is down and I need to be rolling. Five minutes later I’ve been boosted off by the maintenance guys and am on my way.
I’ll Never Have To Mow My lawn Again
I’ve got a day off – a potential day of rest. Is it time to mow the lawn? Nope. The pros arrive on Tuesdays and Fridays and mow, trim, weed eat, and keep all the vegetation in Versailles or English garden type immaculate shape.
Trash Day Is A Breeze For Apartment Living
It’s trash day in all the surrounding neighborhoods. Do I load up the cart and wheel it out to the curb? Nope, I set the trash bag outside my door on any day but Sunday and the magic trash valet pixies come by and it disappears.
Zero Maintenance Swimming Pool
It’s really hot and I need to cool off – or else just catch a few rays. So I walk over to a huge resort style saltwater pool. I never have to deal with checking pH, adding chemicals, never have to vacuum up leaves, never deal with equipment failures, and do absolutely nothing to keep it absolutely pristine summer and winter.
A No-Cost Fitness Center
I get into an exercise mood – and walk over to the fully equipped 24 hour fitness center which has no membership fees. Or I fire up my bike and go peddle the trails along a waterway that runs all the way to the center of town.
A 24/7 Business Center
I need a copy of something – or can’t get to the internet – or some other business type thing. So I walk over to the 24 hour business center with computers, printers, scanners, copiers, faxes, paper cutters, etc. Regarding the net, I’ve got fiber in my apartment, but I can also hit the complex Wi-Fi if my own connection should be down. If I need a stamp, I don’t have to drive across town to the post office – the apartment office sells them.
Exterminators Have It Covered!
The exterminators come by monthly to spray outside and to treat every unit at no cost to me.
A Secure Mail Drop-off
When I order something online, my package isn’t dropped off at the door as enticing bait for porch thieves. It’s delivered to the apartment office where it’s signed for by a real person, securely locked up, and safely waiting for me to pick up after I receive a text or phone call announcing its arrival.
Maintenance And A Cleanup Crew
The maintenance folks arrive once a month to change the A/C filters, change the fire alarm batteries twice a year, and other little minor nuisance issues.
I lose my mind and have a party for a huge gaggle of friends – so I rent the clubhouse with a full kitchen and bar – and staff that cleans up the resulting mess afterward.
I’ve got people coming in for a few days. I love having them visit, but it’s nice (for everyone) to not have them under foot 24/7. There’s a couple of hotels on the other side of the golf course.
It’s Safe And There’s A View!
Dusk comes and until dawn, a security patrol is cruising inside the gates keeping watch on everything.
The complex is wedged in between the nicest golf course in town and an upscale subdivision. From my balcony I look out over the course’s 14th tees to one of the best views in the city.
A Newly Renovated Space With All The Bells And Whistles
I’ve got real hardwood floors, granite counter tops, high end appliances, a kitchen island, and a bar, all in a Tuscan style setting both inside and out.
I live on the fourth floor but the elevator eliminates any stair climbing. (Except when the power was out during the Great Texas Ass Freezing Event this past winter – I can’t really complain as most of the state of Texas didn’t have any power.)
My apartment is on the top floor, overlooking the golf course, and on a corner with an open hallway separating me from the apartment across from me. I share one wall with another corner apartment, but the guy that lives there has even weirder hours than me. There’s no one above me and I don’t know if the apartment below me is even occupied. It’s probably a lot quieter than most subdivisions.
Paying Rent And Not Property Taxes
It’s the first of the month and I spend less than ten minutes on the web clicking “Pay this” and all my bills are done for the next month.
It’s January and property tax time in Texas. Am I scrabbling to pay my property taxes? Nope – January is no longer tax time for me.
When I first moved in, I paid a one time fee that covered my “deposit” and gives me the option of moving out at anytime without paying penalties if I change jobs to another city.
Homeowners insurance? I pay $125 a YEAR for high limits which covers any loss of contents, personal liability if someone gets hurt in my apartment, and for any liability for damage to the building.
There are fire safety sprinklers in every room of my apartment, in the hallways, and all other common areas. And in a worst case scenario, I’ve got a rope ladders in a sealed up Home Depot “Homer Bucket” on my balcony that will let me and anyone else climb down to safety.
What About The Downsides Of Apartment Living?
No Home Equity
OK, I’m paying rent and not building any equity in a home. But I’m 71 years old and if I bought another house I’d either be out a ton of up front money or else I’d be mostly paying interest on a new mortgage and accruing little actual equity. I might be able to sell a house for more than I paid, but that’s a gamble on where the housing market sits when I decide to move. And – I’d have to hassle with the whole home sales rigmarole.
My Living Space Is Modest
I don’t have as much room as I would in a house. But seriously, how much of that “room” do we really need and how much of it is just a repository for all the junk we’ve accumulated over the years? Who really lives in your house? You or your “stuff?” Seriously, do you really think you’ll ever need a copy of your 1984 tax returns?
As I said earlier, an apartment might not be for everyone, but all of us here at Manopause are at the point where maybe we want as few hassles in our lives as possible. Apartments, condos, and townhouses eliminate many of those daily moments of grief. Something for each of us to consider.
For me? I’ve never looked back and continue the easy apartment living lifestyle.