New York City is not the place for commitment. Ask any single person–I mean someone without a significant other, but really, you could probably ask any individual person. Check with any store that’s gone out of business because it jumped on a promising fad too quickly. See the 2nd Ave subway line that still doesn’t exist but when I moved here in 2006 was scheduled to be completed in 2012.
So a rental market where buildings hike up the price every year and renters move out to search for their next deal, sometimes after only living there for a year, is perfect for a place like this. While moving–and packing, and don’t forget unpacking–sucks, we mostly just accept the fact that we’ll live in 5 different apartments over the course of 10 years (and that’s being conservative). It’s NYC. Nothing stays the same.
For me, the fear of being locked into a lease longer than 12 months has always been too powerful to consider making a commitment to stay put. It’s not because I can’t commit; I lived in my first NYC apartment for 3 years and the second for 2.5. It’s just the act of actually signing a piece of paper that says no matter what happens with my job, or when I suddenly get fed up with the city, or who moves in next door, I’m legally committed to these particular living quarters has always been too scary for me.
This time–not so much. I mean, yes, I could theoretically be fired tomorrow. I could suddenly be unable to endure the calls of, “Show time!”–and subsequent risk of being kicked in the face by said show–on my evening commute. The quiet woman next door could move out and a 20 year old frat guy could move in. But this time, I’m not worried. It may be because I’ve matured a lot over the past few years and accepted a new way of viewing my life, in that it’s not on some rigid schedule and doesn’t have to follow some meticulously laid out plan. If I sign the lease and then something happens next week that makes me need to move out, I’ll deal with it when it happens. It’s NYC. That’s life.
It could also have something to do with the fact that the rents in my neighborhood are going up at warp speed and I want to lock in the same price for 2 years so I can proclaim I have an amazing deal when everyone else is scrambling to find a new place they can afford.
But I’d like to think it’s just that I’m so mature.