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Or you could simply go month to month. In many states that is automatically what happens to a lease after 1 year. Take a look at your lease to see. You may in fact need to give so much notice to end the lease, even if the one year anniversary is coming up.

For my current lease, I will get asked (probably next week actually) whether I want to renew. If I don't respond or say no, then it's over and they'll try to find a new tenant. I might be able to go month-to-month with them, but that'd have to be an explicit arrangement.

Good luck and keep us posted so we can enjoy your success vicariously. I have no doubt that you will be successful no matter what path you take.



Believe me, the heartburn of moving twice is NOTHING compared to the heartburn of paying 5%-10% (commission & seller's fees) to sell your house in 4 years. Nor the heartburn of trying to rent your house out when you've moved to another state.

From what I can tell, the financial balance is in favor of buying, even after 4 years. Rent would be comparable to the mortgage payment+insurance+taxes+PMI, and improvements and maintenance to the house is somewhat counterbalanced by the mortgage interest deduction (I can't take PMI deduction, not that it'd buy much) and equity. A couple rent or buy calculators put buying to be at perhaps +$10K after 4 years. (Of course that's guessing at some values, like appreciation, where I tend to be conservative and favor renting.)

Though like inparadise suggested before, I'm not hugely concerned about the financial situation; I see that result more as "not arguing for renting" more than I see it as "arguing for buying".


Drive around during rush hour. A neighborhood may look fine on Saturday but trying to get out of the neighborhood on Monday morning may suck.

We've got a pretty decent bus system around here, so I would probably use that. But the same suggestion applies, and I was already thinking I'd try driving to my prospective location really early so I could try the busses at the times I'd be likely to take them. (Schedulewise they look pretty decent if I'm picky enough with location.) That's a bit down the line though.


Well, that's still scary, at least to me. I mean, I would have thought that air traffic controllers were pretty important - after all, who wants planes to crash into each other? So, I would have thought that they were safe from funding cuts - think again. Now, I realize all the politics involved in that, but, you know what, government is, by definition, subject to politics.

I'm not saying I'm necessarily not overconfident, but there are a couple reasons why I think that we're fairly safe.

First, while the project is a substantial one for companies like the one I'll be working for, it's pretty small in more absolute terms. One of the neat things about CS is that the costs can be very low -- personnel are well-paid, but until you get into supercomputer territory or putting together massive clusters there are not too many other costs. There are tomahawk cruise missiles that cost more than we'll receive in a year. I wouldn't be surprised if the annual project budget is in the ballpark of what it costs the FAA to run a single tower, but I didn't run across that figure in a quick search.

(A small disclaimer there is the project is actually bigger -- there are multiple groups and companies who have received the award (not sure how many) -- and I'm only talking about our portion.)

Second, the project topic is on computer security, funded with a particular aim towards questions like "hey the military just bought this computer part from <FOREIGN_COMPANY>; how do we know we can use it?" That concern supposedly has the attention of a number of people in Congress and the military, and is viewed as a problem and a national security concern. (Though the project itself is not really specific to that application in any way, it's the motivation behind it and the funding is defense funding.)

[By the way, is there a forum etiquette for making multiple replies like this? Should I do separate posts so they are marked properly as replies, or bunch them together like this so I don't flood the forum?]
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