One of the more tumultuous months of my life has taken yet another brilliant turn as last week my roommate and I received our eviction notice informing us to vacate the property by 1 May. Fan-fucking-tastic.
It seems that after 2+ years of happy residency in North Arlington, the all-consuming wave of gentrification sweeping across the region has finally found its way to our quaint Ballston neighborhood of post-war ramblers. What is already an interesting street of classic boomer generation architecture will now be replete with several new McMansions courtesy of a regional high-end developer. Three months ago the good people of Yeonas and Ellis LLC bought 9 lots on my street including our 900 sqft, 2 bedroom, one bath, square brick rambler on a concrete slab. The transacted price for this enormous Cribs-worthy residence of mine was $500k. That's right, about 10 times its actual value in any market other than DC-Metro. But I'm not bitter. Just disappointed.
It's a fantastic neighborhood in a great area so it is no surprise that demand for properties has gone through the roof over the last several years. This is the way the free market works and if I have to move because of it, c'est le vie. The real problem is that this forthcoming move forces me to make some immediate decisions about what the hell it is I am going to be doing with my remaining years.
More than likely, my roommate will be taking the next step with his girlfriend and moving on to bigger and better things. I was content to go on renting with him indefinitely, but now that he's out of the picture I don't have the energy to break in a new roommate. It's time for this man-child to finally grow up a bit and get a place all his own. Unfortunately, at the current pad, we are paying next to nothing in rent. It really has been a sweet deal considering all of the lcoational amenities for people of our age. I'm certainly not moving out of the area which means that given how much I'm willing to spend on rent and the constraints on locations in which I will be satisfied to lay my hat, I'm looking at a studio or small 1-BR apartment in one of the older complexes in Arlington. And even that will still cost several hundred over what I'm paying now. It's not the end of the world but seeing as I'm leaving a single-family home with a yard, a driveway, and a quiet street there will certainly be an adjustment to be made. But that's not the real issue.
What's really going on is that this is yet another sign that I have got to get things shaken up. My very comfortable equilibrium of the last few years has been disrupted and that beast who just wants to "do something" has been awoken. Many of my friends are getting married, moving on, and basically finding their groove in life. Up until now we've all been having a lot of fun but with a bit of Eat, Drink, and be Merry nihilism. It was great while it lasted but I don't plan on being the last person at the party. So my only viable option is to find a respectable 12-month lease and use that time to chart my next course (apologies for the lame metaphors today). It's going to be an interesting time with a lot of question marks but here is what I do know:
- If I stay in the area it will either be in DC or Arlington. There's no way I'm moving back to Fairfax or Loudoun just beacuase it's barely more affordable.
- I will finally leave my job of 6 years.
- If something substantive doesn't come along to supplant my pre-30 malaise, I will pull up stakes and leave the region that I have called home for almost 20 years.
- I will still rock.
I guess that's it. Let the apartment hunt begin.