Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just move?

Megan McArdle on Urban Development:
People who have chosen to live in a quiet area are probably people who have lower tolerance for that stress. If you're a renter, no problem: just move. But if you own, and the changes make your property harder to sell at the same time as they impair your enjoyment . . . well, it's not shocking that people resist.
I actually mostly liked the piece, which focuses on the pros and cons of development (including some understandable but less than pure motives).  But I want to stomp on the idea that renters can "just move".  It is true that, as a college kid, it was possible for me to move with a van, some friends, and pizza expense.  Of course, I had little furniture and was moving into places that catered to easy moves.

Add a few years and suddenly carrying a hundred boxed up several flights of stairs losses its allure.  With a full household, moving is either expensive or a tremendous amount of work.  It is also annoying to hunt for a new place and difficult to arrange things so that you do not end up paying rent on two places for at least a couple of weeks (the alternative for us middle aged folks is typically professional movers).  It's accelerated by the need to clean a place out and the landlord's preference for no time without occupants.

So "just move" isn't as simple as it sounds . . .

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