...and all was well-considering he was living in an apartment. Now living in an apartment is better than living out of your car or being homeless, but it doesn't quite live up to having your own home. Granted, there are perks. No maintenance required. All you have to do is put in a work request or call the front office about the problem, and someone comes to fix it. That's nice. And it's nice to have a pool and work out facility on-site, but you have to share these with others, and with a home, you have it all to yourself. But then there's the maintenance, and the cost of owning a home, so there's some give and take with either option. It really all boils down to what's important to you. And for John, renting an apartment seemed the way to go. He'd let the dust settle, then move into a more permanent arrangement with a home. Apartment living wasn't so bad. Sure, there was the guy next door that snored like a freight train, and the kids in the luxury homes across the street broke his window one day by throwing rocks at it, but all in all, it was a good ride. The girl downstairs was really cute and had even spoken to him. Who knows, maybe this apartment thing would work out after all. But after a year, it was time to move on. The girl next door had moved (she left him the remains of her Wall Street Journal subscription) and the divorce papers were signed and the dust was settling. So John went house hunting. He actually found one close to where his ex and son lived, but not too close. It was a new home under construction and was almost complete. John being responsible, gave his apartment manager thirty day notice and indicated he would not be signing a new lease. The manager stated he had agreed to give sixty day notice and would be responsible for paying rent on another thirty days. John stated he would not pay rent for days he wasn't living there and left on the last day of his lease. He told the manager she could keep the deposit, and he left the apartment cleaner than when he had moved in. He thought all was well. He had even talked with an attorney about this predicament before he moved, but she doubted seriously the apartment management would pursue him for the money, so he didn't worry about it. Living in the house was wonderful, his interior designer friend pulled out all the stops and surprised him one night with a beautifully decorated home. It was a pleasure to come home to. He even had an automatic switch that turned on his gas lit fireplace. He had room for his grandparents dining room set (even though he wasn't much of an entertainer) and a very nice burl wood and computer desk (even though the room they were in was somewhat cramped). He was still working two jobs, and he felt like he deserved this. He even had a garage, another luxury with owning a home most apartment dwellers do without. He was living a fairly contented life when a subpoena server landed on his doorstep a year later and served him with court papers. He was being sued for the thirty days rent he didn't give notice. Long story short was he lost in court, had to pay thirty days rent, court fees, apartment attorney fees and his own attorney's fees. It was a major setback, and the beginning of the end of his lifestyle as he had known it. Now was time to make some major decisions. His tenuous financial situation was now even more tenuous, and he had to make some major life decisions. He went to a financial counselor who laid it on the line for him. He would have to move (again) into an apartment (and not the luxury kind), sell his possessions, sell his car and work at McDonalds for additional income. The solution was really quite simple, but it sure wasn't easy. In the interim, he had gone to his stepmother for money, and she gave it grudgingly, but it still wasn't enough to get him out of the hole he had dug himself into. Tough decisions, but decisions that needed to be made, and he made them.
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