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My point is that maybe the author isn't requiring it to be from the original position. Maybe you can move up/down, side/side
from your subsequent positions after the initial move. Again, the problem doesn't seem to prohibit this interpretation, nor does it explicitly say it's ok.

Another interpretation: we're told that each neighbor aspires to move into a (horizontally or vertically) adjacent apartment. Maybe we can consider that aspiration to have been fulfilled even if we subsequently move that neighbor out again?

In that case, I think the answer would be 26 by your reasoning above. It depends on the definition of a move though (for example, if a move consists of swapping two adjacent neighbors then the answer would be 13 moves).
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