I'd like to see whether I can simply find somebody who would like to take over my lease and buy some of the furniture. I'm not very good at writing housing ads, though, so I thought I'd put up a first version here and ask if anyone has suggestions before I move it to Craig's List. You're welcome to pass info to friends.
Spacious (~1000 sqft) 2 bed, 2 bath apartment in Mountain View. Second floor balcony overlooks courtyard garden. Beautifully landscaped complex includes swimming pool and hot tub, two koi ponds, community center with basic athletic facilities and sauna. Covered parking, locked storage unit. Easy access to 101 and 280, CalTrain (which, starting this spring, will have a six-stop express service between SJ and SF, stopping in Mountain View) and buses, local shopping centers, three supermarkets; 15-20 min walk to nice restaurant-and-shops strip on Castro Street.
Wired for DSL, including four ethernet ports, one in each br and two in living room. Washer and dryer in apartment. Good kitchen facilities, including electric range and oven, plenty of cabinet space, dishwasher, and six feet of extra counter space installed by current tenant. Excellent for cat-owner: cabinets have been cat-proofed, and a pet door installed in the sliding glass door leads into a custom-built enclosed run (no litterbox odor indoors!).
Rent is $1575 (plus $25 pet fee if you have cats) plus utilities (gas/electric and water). Currently fully furnished; purchase of furniture from current tenant possible at very reasonable prices. If purchasing furniture from current tenant, he will transfer his security deposit to you -- equivalent to one full month of rent -- because without extensive work (closing the holes drilled for the ethernet wires, patching the wall where bookshelves have been anchored to make them earthquake safe, etc) it's likely that not all of the security deposit will be recoverable from the landlord in any case.
Some part of my brain hasn't quite caught up with the idea that I've decided to do this. I've only been there I guess a year and a half, but still, it's come to really feel like my home. First place that was shared with someone I loved as "ours"; where I brought the cats home to; etc. I really was expecting to be in my current apartment indefinitely, maybe until I decided to buy an actual house. But cutting my rent by $600 would make a huge difference in my budget. Currently, my debts are getting paid down, but very slowly; with an extra $7200 (!) over the course of 2004, I would easily be out of debt completely, and started on setting up a serious liquid investment plan. (Currently I invest 6% of my income in a 401(k), 5% is automatically applied to paying down my debts -- I also apply whatever spare money I have at the end of each month after paying the following month's rent -- and another 2% goes into an employee stock purchase plan, which is semiliquid. The money sits for six months before it's used to buy the stock, and then I have to hold the stock for a year or the sale is counted under income tax rules, rather than long-term capital gains.) If Bush is re-elected, possibly I should start investing in foreign currencies. Maybe a basket of CA, AU, and NZ dollars, so I have cash available in the countries I'd most consider moving to. Maybe Euros (for Ireland) and GBP, as well.