Christina, your little hamster sounds SO cute!!
I love hamsters and I have had many, many of them in the past, but at the present I don't have any.
Rats are not high maintenance, I wonder where you heard that? I have had pet rats for years, I got my first one when I was 19, and I am 36 now, and up until yesterday I have always had one, if not two or three of them as pets. My last one died yesterday morning, of old age, she was 3 years old, they don't live much longer than that, her name was Daisey. I am going to get another one soon.
All they require is a cage, either an aquarium with a lid so they can't get out, or a wire cage, like a big bird cage. And you just put pine or cedar chips in the bottom, and feed them every day, hamster food, and fresh water (I use a water bottle so they don't tip it over, and it doesn't have to be refilled every day) That's it.
And just take them out and give them some loving as often as you can, and they love treats like cheese, potato chips, etc.
Not anymore trouble than a hamster, and much smarter.
My rats always would get excited when I came home, and jump around there cages till I came and got them out, and they are not as indifferent to things as hamsters are, I mean, hamsters are cute and all, but they usually aren't all that emotionally attached to you, but rats are like cats in the way they love you, and want to be near you!