A funny thing happened to Alice and me while preparing a post about pinot noir wines in the Portland vicinity.
The roof caved in.
Tandem Property Management, our landlord, formally announced plans to raise our rent more than 50 percent – from $1,050 to $1,600. Before last weekend began, though, the property manager onsite promised we could lower the increase by $200 if we agree to move to a next-door remodeled apartment when our lease expires.
We salivated at the bait thrown before us, but on Monday, July 20th, as we prepared to bite into the offer, we learned an additional sizable security deposit would be required. As well, we must use professional movers to complete our end of the deal, and other contingencies were raised to destroy any hopes we might return to the apartment we dearly love.
With one hand, they offered salvation; then applying the other, Tandem took hope away.
Emotions on display
Alice was distraught. I watched as her voice broke – almost going into tears – after she realized how empty Tandem’s offer really was. We both tried to explain the difficulty this rent increase posed to Alice’s medical recovery, but the property manager didn’t bat an eye.
The land barons of Hillsboro, who affectionately call this area the Silicon Forest because of Intel’s corporate presence, are doubling down on their perception that well-heeled geeks will flood the area. And somehow, we’re being punished for touting the Portland area on this website.
Consequently, we advise anyone attracted to move here, “Caveat emptor.” Let the buyer beware.
On Monday afternoon, we made a good-faith deposit on a different apartment just outside Hillsboro but closer to Portland. It is far away from the KinderCare location where Alice forged a bond with its toddlers and babies.
Everyone will miss one another. But we cannot stay and be tempted any longer by the mirage that an affordable apartment exists here for us and Millie, the cat.
We will have to pony up a larger security deposit than ever before to make this move. Somehow, we’ll do it, keeping in mind the following: We are merely pawns in the real estate appreciation game being played in Portland.
Plaudits to dependable friends
Some good friends stepped up and are helping Alice and me survive this change in environs. Their names: Pauletta and Terry Hoffman, and Diane and Scott Chill. The Hoffmans are inspirational cheerleaders, and the Chills led us to a suitable apartment complex where we will make our future home.
Unconscionable increases in rent are turning Portland into an unenviable place, and websites are springing up warning prospective new residents about the pitfalls here. A Google search turns up some interesting links when you key in the following phrase: “Should I move to Portland”.
You’ll see some of the bad, as well as some of the good. And for something more personal, this blog should do.
In the photo on top, I’m waving goodbye to the first-floor apartment that Alice turned into a showplace. The attractive landscaping is performed regularly by Mexican-American helpers who obey Tandem’s instructions as best they can.
In less than a month, all our possessions will be moved from the inside, and any subtle reminders denoting we lived here – including our homespun welcome mat – will be gone forever.
Here’s the good news: At our new location, we can barbecue outside on a charcoal grill.