Daily Iron 10- Giant apartment complexes are bad

Oh, this'll be a short one.

When I first got married my wife, and I rented a 650 sqft one bedroom apartment in Tustin for 1205 a month. This rent price was a solid enough deal because at the time everywhere else was around the low 1300's. After a year of living there, the lease deal we got expired, and the apartment company raised the rent to $1375 a month.

We moved, and this is a story that isn't that uncommon for renters in California. You get a deal for the first year's lease but after that the deal usually goes away, and you get another price that is higher for next year's lease. You'll find that many apartment complexes will continually raise rent every year as if they're playing chicken with their tenant's wallets. 

Why would you keep renting from these massive complexes if this is the norm? Why not go cheap and buy a trailer and live in a trailer park?

Allow me to answer these questions in the following list (Remember, all answers are for California since that's my real estate experience):

  • You rent from these massive places because they're usually the only places you can find an apartment that you can afford because of that cheaper first-year lease deal. Many complexes offer these 'deals' to get you into the unit, and they figure once you're there for a year you'd rather pay extra than move. I know plenty of people who move yearly because of these 'deals,' and without any saner alternatives they continue to round-robin into the next massive complex and the cycle begins anew.
  • Mobile home parks in these areas are stupidly expensive, and I don't know how people can afford them. The average land lease in Southern California is around $1200-$2000 that isn't including the payments you are making on your Pacer Arrow with brown shag carpets. You can look at prefab housing (Which are fantastic and I would love one) but you are looking at 100k for the house and then the land lease, and then you cry because even with a couple both working full-time jobs the math still doesn't make sense.
  • Lastly, even if you did find a trailer park that wasn't terrible or expensive you are looking at a limited window in which you can live at it due to them being bought up by corporations that are raising land leases on a yearly basis to force out tenants so they can build, you guessed it, giant apartment complexes!

It's a vicious cycle.

I hate large apartment complexes because they are not the answer to the housing shortage in California. The shortage is a complex issue and is due to multiple dominos that have fallen from counties and cities not allowing new construction to the crisis from 2007 still echoing today and lastly, new homes that are built but are not at all affordable.

Right, this is a blog from a writer who writes fiction not real estate articles, sooooo you should all see Highrise. It's strange, it's good, and sums up my general feeling about giant apartment complexes.