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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: carozy on May 16, 2017, 12:02:55 PM

Title: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: carozy on May 16, 2017, 12:02:55 PM
My girlfriend and I are breaking up and I am moving out.  There's not a ton of pressure to move quickly, but I would prefer sooner rather than later, and have narrowed it down to two places.  (This is because I've been scouring craigslist for days, have reached out to a few places, saw places, weeded out the scammers, etc.  If it's out there I've already seen it or I don't want it.)

Here are the 2 options I'm considering.  I'll try to list all the pros and cons for each.  I have tried "" but feel I'm getting mixed results depending on which factors and importance I use.  I've also spoke with my mom and a friend, but they do not have a mustachian mindset, so I'd like to get your fine input please.

Note: One thing you should know I guess is that I've never had my own place, I've always had roommates, family, or significant others.  It would be nice to have my own place and the ability to have my own pet (I love animals but have not had my own since I moved out in my 20s).  I also live and work in the Bay Area where rents and real estate are high.

Roommate Option:

1 roommate, I like her.  We keep different hours so I would get the place to myself for a few hours on some weekdays.  Parking is not great, however I would get a new bike and fit it with an electric kit which would be necessary to conquer the huge mountain my work is on (this place is close enough where a bike commute is doable 2.5 miles).  The place is very clean, high quality, appealing, tidy.  I'm not crazy about the decor (it is dark and modern and I prefer lighter, more colors, more warmth in my decor - just a taste thing), however I can decorate my own room however I wish.  Laundry is downstairs and takes debit card.  Building is secure and nice.  Neighborhood "ok".  Not especially cute, not especially safe, but not super dangerous either.  Not a lot of great places to bike to, but I could make it work and would save money.  There is a natural food store nearby but I've already poked in and the prices are higher than they would be elsewhere.  She is also vegan so we have that in common and we both like that the kitchen would be vegan.  Rent would be month-to-month so I can move out when I want and keep looking for a studio if I want to.  (Rent $980, includes utilities.)

Converted Garage Option:

Converted garage really does not do the place service.  It's really adorable, set in the homeowner's backyard garden, in a cute, desirable, and safe neighborhood (Glenview).  There is a nice park in walking distance which includes a public pool and has a creek running through it.  Hiking trails nearby.  The neighborhood is a little hilly so biking would be hard.  Too far to even ebike to work because of hills but only 10 minutes or so by car/scooter.  I would likely get a scooter and keep it in the garage.  It's not far from shops.  It's spacious and includes 2 rooms, bathroom, and kitchenette.  I could definitely make it work.  No laundry, but I could figure that out (tiny home solution or something like that).  They are pet friendly, and it would be nice to have my own cat.  (Rent $1390, includes utilities.)

I make ~ $3600 (take home) a month.  I have about $45,000 in my 401k.  I don't own a car, I've been borrowing my dad's truck while I saved for one but if I did the roommate situation, I would get an ebike and not deal with trying to find parking.  If I did the converted garage option, I would likely get a scooter to save gas money and because I could house it in the garage.  No debt.

What do you think?

Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: Lucky Girl on May 16, 2017, 12:33:12 PM
OP, you don't mention how old you are, but I will assume you are under 30.  I think over 30 I might answer a little differently.  I'd say go for the roommate option and save the $400 per month.  Spend some time while you are saving thinking about what your ideal living situation would be, and how much it will cost.  Are you looking for a new partner (girlfriend/spouse)?  Do you want to stay in high rent San Fran?

Lots of benefits of having that extra $400 in the bank every month, which will give you options on living situation down the road.
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: carozy on May 16, 2017, 12:44:02 PM
I am 38 actually.  I lived in SF for almost a decade and had rent control.  I don't think I'd go back because my life is over here now, rents are even higher, my work is in Oakland, friends over here, etc.  (I am now living in my hometown where many life long friends still live also.)  I had roommates through my years first moving out and in SF, stayed with family in my hometown for a year and paid off medical bill and CC debt, then moved in with my girlfriend and her son...and now we're splitting.  I did enjoy living in SF but also have a bit of a "been there, done that" attitude.  Parking always sucked so I biked commuted, which was fine, but now I have work I really enjoy on a huge hill in Oakland.  It's warmer over here and closer to friends and family.  I like not having to hunt for parking and worrying about parking tickets (as much).  And I'm close enough where I can visit SF easily.

I agree there would be a lot of benefit in saving $.  I also feel though that it would really be nice to have my own space how I want it, and have the total freedom/privacy to do my own thing on my own schedule.  Since we're just breaking up right now I'm not looking for a new partner just yet, but in the future, yes I probably will at some point.

Thanks for your response.

Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: fuzzy math on May 16, 2017, 04:31:21 PM
Option 1

Cheaper, flexible, and since you've never lived on your own you won't delve into a depression as a result of being alone for the first time in your life. It's month to month. Maybe you'll meet someone in 6 months.. maybe she has cute vegan friends?
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: G42 on May 16, 2017, 09:32:59 PM
I think you should go for Option 1 as well... (I live over the hill in Concord, so I hear you on the rent out here!)

Since it's a month to month deal, give yourself 6mo to try it out (and be fair to the roommate) and see what it's like.  Bank the savings and enjoy how that feels.... keep your eyes on CL for a space that puts you into a really good bike/walk commute.
Don't underestimate the joy of laundry nearby... I have to say that I have valued that higher than parking in a previous city!

You can volunteer at a shelter if you'd like to spend time with furry animals...that can also ease you into deciding if you're ready to commit to being a pet parent.
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: slappy on May 17, 2017, 06:46:03 AM
Option 1. I would also advise against getting a pet until your situation is stable. I've seen so many people desperately looking for a new place that will take the pet because they have to move out of the current place. As your example shows, places that are pet friendly are much more expensive.  Like another poster said, move in with the roommate and bank $400 a month while you figure something else out.
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: Vindicated on May 17, 2017, 07:53:31 AM
I went through a breakup a few years back, and had a similar decision.  I went with the cheaper option, though it was still solo (1br apt).  I found that saving money was more beneficial to me than living in a specific area.  I wish I'd have found roommates though, because it was quite lonely.

So, +1 for roommates.  +1 for cheap. 
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: FIFoFum on May 17, 2017, 08:25:26 AM
Wondering if Option 2 kitchenette is really functional. It will cost you more if you find yourself less able to prep food and cook for yourself.

I like that option 1 has shared kitchen and vegan roommate. It's cheaper to share food/cook with another person than trying to food shop and cook for one.
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: NextTime on May 17, 2017, 10:23:46 AM
I'd go option 1. Month to month rent is perfect for someone in your situation. It will give you the time to figure out what you really want.
Title: Re: I would like your Mustachian input on a moving decision I'm making
Post by: carozy on May 17, 2017, 11:01:04 AM
Thanks for these responses, you all make good points.

I decided last night to go with the roommate and texted her.  She wrote back that she had 2 more appointments (to be thorough) and would have an answer on her decision by Sunday.  In the mean time, I decided to also keep looking for lower rent (Bay Area-speak for roommate situation) and ebike-able to work.  I am in contact with 2 places and 1 seems pretty promising.  Both are about $100 cheaper at least than the veg girl, although I would still be happy with her, but saving $ would be nice also.  Although with utilities, might not be much of a difference.  I still haven't heard from the pricey garage studio (I am supposed to find out today), but I doubt I got it since they removed their craigslist ad.  And finally, I saw a small studio cottage in my hometown for $1200 (utilities included) but it's too far to ebike which means I would need a car which = pricey for me.   I mean, I could afford it, but not really sock away savings like I would like to.  So I'll probably be passing on that.

I tried finding anything even lower in rent, but not many options in the areas ebike-able to my work.  Thanks again for your replies!