Warning: this is kind of a long post. I've had a lot to rant about.
We are moving to a new apartment in 2 months and 5 days. Yes, I am counting down. WE CAN'T WAIT.
Last May, we came to Knoxville to find an apartment. We had all of two days, were only able to see a limited number of places, and really had no idea where to start. We thought we had found a couple of good options, and we were relatively pleased with the apartment complex we eventually ended up choosing. Even right after we'd moved in, we thought it was an improvement (see this post).
We were so, so wrong.
The major problems with this apartment can be divided into 3 issues: the neighbors, the windows, and the bugs.
Our neighbors have changed a lot since we first moved in and they're better now than they ever have been, but wow did we have some trashy neighbors at the beginning! One couple who lives upstairs liked to have really loud arguments in the parking lot. We called them the "Maury couple" because they reminded us of the people who go on that show. They would scream and scream for all the world to hear about their relationship problems, most of which, in case you're interested, seemed to come from the girl. She would frequently come running down the building stairs, slam the door open, rush to her car, and turn it on like she was going to leave. And then she'd wait for her boyfriend to follow her, so she could scream at him from the driver's seat about how, among other things, he never waited for her to have a cigarette (this is a direct quote). Their fights were often obscenity laden, and we're pretty sure that she hit him a good number of times. At least once someone called the cops because of them. When they weren't fighting, they would sit on the building's porch and smoke. All day. In recent months, the boyfriend seems to be out of the picture. Maybe he finally decided never to come back (goodness knows he threatened it often enough) or maybe he blew up in a meth lab explosion (a serious possibility). We will probably never know.
The apartment directly above us was initially empty, but after a couple weeks three 18 year olds with a bulldog moved in. While they were at work, they would leave the dog locked in the room directly above Jamie's, and it would spend all day howling and whining and flinging himself at the door to get out. That was really fun when I was trying to get Jamie down for naps. They also liked to play super loud music at 3 a.m. and play some skateboard video game that required them to fall or jump or something a lot (with our paper thin ceiling it sounded like they were dropping bowling balls). A few months ago they were evicted because 1) the cops who were called for the Maury couple found pot in their apartment and 2) they later were discovered to be harboring meth heads. We couldn't have been happier to see them go. We thought it was going to get a lot quieter, but then management decided to give that apartment washer/dryer hookups, so the next month was filled with a lot of sawing, pounding, and yelling. At least it wasn't happening at night. A new couple lives up there now, and though they have a dog, they are all a lot quieter.
There's no way to know what our neighbors will be like at our next complex, but we will be on the top floor, so at least there will be no one above us. And, honestly, I doubt they could be worse.
Our windows have no insulation, from sound or temperatures, and they all face due west and are about 3 feet away from the parking lot. I can hear conversations people have at normal volumes in the parking lot, so imagine how much fun it was when that couple would have their scream fests. It's also great when people pull into parking spots in the middle of the night and their headlights stream into our bedroom or when car alarms go off at any hour. It is just ridiculous. In the mornings our apartment is freezing (well, not as much anymore. This is Tennessee after all) and in the afternoons, it is like an oven because of the sunlight coming directly in. They also somehow let bugs in even when they're closed (see next section).
In order to understand what a problem the bugs have been, you need to know that I have a serious phobia of bugs. As in, I cannot function if I am in the same room as them. I feel paralyzed. Not all bugs, mind you, it's really only the ones that would crunch if you stepped on them. I can handle flies and ants and ladybugs and even small spiders and the like. But those aren't the ones we've had problems with.
As soon as we moved in, it became clear we had a roach problem. I have never lived anywhere with roaches before and I sure hope I never do again. We would find several in the kitchen every day and they were often lurking elsewhere too (twice I found them in the shower. I nearly died). They were already here when we moved in so it wasn't anything we did that brought them. The apartment complex sprays for bugs every month but it made no difference. We had them come extra times and we tried a variety of other ways to get rid of them. Finally something seemed to have worked (maybe it was just the cold weather) because we have only rare sightings now. I'm just worried that as it gets hotter they're going to come back.
Recently we've also had a problem with wasps. Somehow they manage to get into the apartment through our closed living room windows. This has happened about 5 or 6 times in the past few weeks, usually when I'm home alone with Jamie. We complained after the first couple and maintenance came to reseal the windows, but it has continued to happen. One got in yesterday afternoon and another this morning (which is what prompted this rant).
There are plenty of other small annoyances (including the fun fact that they have apparently scheduled all lawn care to be done at Jamie's nap times), but these are the big ones. I am sure the new apartment will have its own set of problems, but from everything we've read/heard/seen about the place, it seems to be a lot nicer. They don't allow pets, and like I said we'll be on the top floor which should help with some of the noise problem and the bug problem. We are paying double rent in July, but it is worth it to get out of here as soon as possible!