The Things You Didn’t Know When You Moved In

updated May 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Heather Blaha)

The first morning in the apartment I’m staying in, despite the coma of jet lag, I was jolted awake by the building shaking. With my California earthquake sensor turned high, I leapt out of bed and into the doorway. It wasn’t an earthquake — I was far from earthquake country — but a large truck, rumbling by, shaking the building to its core.

I didn’t know about the truck-quakes when I agreed to swap apartments. It’s only after you move in that you discover that there are quirks not in your apartment but in your neighbors and neighborhood that no one told you because they didn’t know or because they didn’t want you to know. I’ve got them in my apartment in LA. Some are annoying but temporary (my upstairs neighbor in LA whose very early morning alarm wakes me as well as her), some you learn to live with (the homeless man who sifts through the garbage for cans and bottles every morning at 7 am and who I have to admire for his work ethic) and some are even bonuses (when it rains, the waterspout outside my bedroom window could put any rain machine to shame).

Are there things you discovered about your neighbors or neighborhood only after you moved in? Would they have been deal breakers if you’d known about them? Which are more annoying? Your apartment’s quirks or the quirks in its environment?