Author Topic: how much should I pay in rent?  (Read 2201 times)

carozy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: San Francisco
how much should I pay in rent?
« on: February 27, 2014, 12:20:17 PM »
Hi everyone.  I have a question about renting in San Francisco, where I live now.  I am paying $537 + utilities for a nice room in a safe neighborhood (nine years of rent control).  Now my landlord wants our unit to give to his son and is providing us some relocation money as well as nice reference letters as good tenants.  I have until May 1st to find a new place to live.

My work is deep within the city, in the Inner Richmond district so I am looking for something in the city.  I do not have a car.  Public transit is good but living out of the city to commute to my work and new home would cost both in time and money.

I make about $32-$33K per year and aspire to become more Mustachian.  So my question is, what should be the top amount I pay in rent (plus utilities added in) to keep a Mustachian lifestyle?  Realistically I think I can find somewhere decent for $650, but of course, I am looking for cheaper.  Is $650 too much considering my income?

Any replies are appreciated!  Thank you.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10608
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: how much should I pay in rent?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 12:28:00 PM »
There is no definite amount that you should spend on rent.  The less you spend, the more you have to save, but you have to consider all the costs, including the ability to walk/bike/take public transit, time lost commuting, and how happy you will be in your neighborhood.
At $32k a year you certainly could afford $650/month in rent.  That would be about 25% of your income.  Nation-wide Americans spend closer to 30% on housing costs, but as readers of this blog would agree, most Americans spend too much on most things.


HoppySwede

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: how much should I pay in rent?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 12:39:11 PM »
In my opinion, as little as possible. Rent should not be thought of as relative to your income, but the minimum rent you can find in a place that meets your definition of safe and convenient. Finding a good deal may take a few months, so keep searching and keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to go visit a few properties that may not look desirable on google maps or in photos. Look for places that are privately owned and even be willing to negotiate. In my experience, try to find a guest house behind a property occupied by the owners. I've done well with this strategy in neighborhoods near downtown San Diego. Good luck!

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: how much should I pay in rent?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 12:49:08 PM »
Realistically I think I can find somewhere decent for $650, but of course, I am looking for cheaper. 

Have you actually looked and found situations like this?  Because the rental market has EXPLODED in the last year or so.

minimalist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: how much should I pay in rent?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 12:55:52 PM »
You should pay as little as possible. You have an amazing deal right now, but $650 in SF would still be an amazing deal. Good luck with your search.

carozy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: how much should I pay in rent?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 01:24:52 PM »
Realistically I think I can find somewhere decent for $650, but of course, I am looking for cheaper. 

Have you actually looked and found situations like this?  Because the rental market has EXPLODED in the last year or so.

I am finding them on craigslist and through word of mouth but so far have not been successful securing them.  It is a hunt though.  Besides Craigslist (uber popular over here) I am trying word of mouth, facebook, and community bulletin boards in cafes, etc.  I've made a colorful flier for myself.  I'm glad I have some time.  Ideally I'll find something about the same or cheaper than what I pay now...I'm just afraid I will have to go down in quality.

Thank you everyone for your responses!  Very helpful.