Author Topic: Renter's Woes  (Read 1914 times)

rvg

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Renter's Woes
« on: August 10, 2016, 11:03:52 AM »
I currently rent at: $625 / mo + electric, water, internet, gas heat (AVG $220/mo all utilities but electric and internet will increase soon) w/ no onsite laundry so ~$20/mo additional at laundromats and I hand wash my dishes. +$22 gym membership, gym is 5 miles away and I go twice a week
7.7mi backroad commute 1-way

Considering: $840 / mo + electric, internet + 2% EIT at $51k salary, dishwasher, washer and dryer in-unit, other minor amenities like a close parking spot, carpeting, free fitness center
1.9mi city commute 1-way

Haven't considered biking because my city is dangerous, in the snow belt, and not much in the ways of public transportation. I'm not 100% sure on if the 10 mile less commute would justify paying ~$100 extra in rent and an extra $1000 in local taxes every year. What do you folks think?

redbird

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2016, 11:56:10 AM »
You don't list your full list of expenses and debts, so it's really hard to tell how much that extra cost of the new place would be a problem or not.

My current apartment didn't have washer/dryer in it, just hookups. The choices were 1) rent washer/dryer for $30/month, 2) use the on-site coin laundry that is $2/wash, $2/dry and all in quarters, 3) go to a local laundromat, or 4) buy your own washer/dryer. I tried option 2 one time. It cost me more than I expected because the washing machines were a bit small and I had to do more loads than I expected. I also didn't like having to go somewhere else and wait for my clothes. I quickly went to option 4.

Honestly, if I lived in a place that had no washer/dryer in it and no hook-ups to install my own, I would probably move. The convenience of being able to do laundry when I want, without going anywhere, apparently means a lot to me. I also don't particularly like coin laundry since I have in the past (several years back) had people wait until my clothes finished and then immediately dump my clothes out onto the floor (getting them dirty) so they can use it without giving me any chance to remove them myself.

catccc

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2016, 12:09:20 PM »
I bought a small washer that hooked up to the sink (haier HLP21E), and it was amazing when we lived in an apartment.  Small drying rack from ikea, and we were set.  To wash a stinky farmer's clothes (my husband's) and cloth diapers (our baby).  In a 399 sqft apt.  I think they retail for a little over $200.  (I actually got mine for free with circuit city gift cards from trial memberships.)  Stopped using it years ago, but only sold it this year for either $120 or $150.  The only annoying part was that we didn't have a dishwasher either, so I'd have to make sure dishes were done before I could do laundry.  Other than that, it was a really great solution.

rvg

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 12:11:22 PM »
You don't list your full list of expenses and debts, so it's really hard to tell how much that extra cost of the new place would be a problem or not.

Honestly, if I lived in a place that had no washer/dryer in it and no hook-ups to install my own, I would probably move. The convenience of being able to do laundry when I want, without going anywhere, apparently means a lot to me. I also don't particularly like coin laundry since I have in the past (several years back) had people wait until my clothes finished and then immediately dump my clothes out onto the floor (getting them dirty) so they can use it without giving me any chance to remove them myself.

Not too big of a problem. Working on paying down the high interest student loans early. The food out is a complicated situation - S/O is a student close to where I work, never has food in her apartment, and I'm there 2-4 days a week. She has a washer/dryer in her building but its always being used, shared with four 2-3 bedroom units and they don't work very well (mildew smell, dryer takes two 1-hour cycles on high to dry) else I would do it there. I've been using coin laundry at a local laundromat but it kills me to waste so much of my time every week.

I bought a small washer that hooked up to the sink (haier HLP21E), and it was amazing when we lived in an apartment.  Small drying rack from ikea, and we were set.  To wash a stinky farmer's clothes (my husband's) and cloth diapers (our baby).  In a 399 sqft apt.  I think they retail for a little over $200.  (I actually got mine for free with circuit city gift cards from trial memberships.)  Stopped using it years ago, but only sold it this year for either $120 or $150.  The only annoying part was that we didn't have a dishwasher either, so I'd have to make sure dishes were done before I could do laundry.  Other than that, it was a really great solution.

Thanks for the tip, will consider!

mskyle

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 12:48:08 PM »
Haven't considered biking because my city is dangerous, in the snow belt, and not much in the ways of public transportation. I'm not 100% sure on if the 10 mile less commute would justify paying ~$100 extra in rent and an extra $1000 in local taxes every year. What do you folks think?

1) You don't need a bike or public transit to go 1.9 miles - that is an easy walking commute. When I had a similar distance commute I walked year round (in Boston - some of those years we got lots of snow). You need a good rain coat, good rain/snow boots, and maybe something like Yak Trax for icy/snowy conditions, but it's actually really great - gets you some gentle exercise and sunshine even when you're working all day.

2) Can you break out how much you're spending on water and heat right now, since those expenses will go away at the new place? Assuming heat and water account for half your utilities, and that you'll use your in-unit laundry and your fitness room instead of the gym, the rent + utilities + laundry + gym is only about $60 more. The EIT is local income tax, yes? So that is more significant. But the total increase in cost is around $150 a month, and you get a lot of stuff you want, and you don't have to go to the laundromat.

3) Plus I feel like this new place gives you some more places to cut costs - you'll be living closer to where your SO is a student, it sounds like? Any chance you can get her to come over and have a meal at your place now? That could save on your dining out bill. Plus even if you don't take my advice and you drive 3.8 miles every day, you'll still drive like 230 fewer miles a month. Don't know what percentage of your driving is commuting or what kind of mileage you get on the car, but that's maybe ~$30 a month saved? If you can shave another $80 out of your budget from the eating out and gas lines, then you're only down $70 a month.

4) One more thing, though: take a look at what the move would do to your car insurance. You are paying a lot for car insurance, and parking your car in a different zip code could improve that or make it worse.

Basically, I don't think this new place sounds like a terrible idea. You'll get stuff you want and I don't think it will actually cost you *that* much more, if you're careful.

Rubic

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2016, 12:52:57 PM »
The IRS allows $0.55 per mile reimbursement which is a reasonable proxy for your cost of commuting mile.

To ballpark your annual cost difference multiply 200 commuter days X 10 miles X $0.55/mile = $1,100.

For an extra $100/month in rent, it probably works for you.
 

rvg

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Re: Renter's Woes
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2016, 01:07:15 PM »
Haven't considered biking because my city is dangerous, in the snow belt, and not much in the ways of public transportation. I'm not 100% sure on if the 10 mile less commute would justify paying ~$100 extra in rent and an extra $1000 in local taxes every year. What do you folks think?

1) You don't need a bike or public transit to go 1.9 miles - that is an easy walking commute. When I had a similar distance commute I walked year round (in Boston - some of those years we got lots of snow). You need a good rain coat, good rain/snow boots, and maybe something like Yak Trax for icy/snowy conditions, but it's actually really great - gets you some gentle exercise and sunshine even when you're working all day.

2) Can you break out how much you're spending on water and heat right now, since those expenses will go away at the new place? Assuming heat and water account for half your utilities, and that you'll use your in-unit laundry and your fitness room instead of the gym, the rent + utilities + laundry + gym is only about $60 more. The EIT is local income tax, yes? So that is more significant. But the total increase in cost is around $150 a month, and you get a lot of stuff you want, and you don't have to go to the laundromat.

3) Plus I feel like this new place gives you some more places to cut costs - you'll be living closer to where your SO is a student, it sounds like? Any chance you can get her to come over and have a meal at your place now? That could save on your dining out bill. Plus even if you don't take my advice and you drive 3.8 miles every day, you'll still drive like 230 fewer miles a month. Don't know what percentage of your driving is commuting or what kind of mileage you get on the car, but that's maybe ~$30 a month saved? If you can shave another $80 out of your budget from the eating out and gas lines, then you're only down $70 a month.

4) One more thing, though: take a look at what the move would do to your car insurance. You are paying a lot for car insurance, and parking your car in a different zip code could improve that or make it worse.

Basically, I don't think this new place sounds like a terrible idea. You'll get stuff you want and I don't think it will actually cost you *that* much more, if you're careful.

Thanks for fleshing that out for me...

Electric is between 30-70 /mo
Gas 35 in summer up to 150 in winter, averages around 85, furnace is old
Water 35-40/mo
Internet 50/mo

The car insurance is high because of a poor driving record (2 at-fault accidents and 2 tickets in the last 3 years, was dropped by Geico) and also because I am 23 years old. But it should decrease over time, might increase somewhat if I move but would drop if I only use it 2 days a week. I've considered dropping the car entirely but I'd need to uber or borrow S/O's car for rides to the grocery store and there's no bus line going to where my family is located, would have to rely on S/O's car regularly and don't want to do that. Where I live is VERY car-dependent. Car is not great on gas either but was $4.5k with 103k miles so can't complain. Unfortunate situation but trying to make the best of it.

S/O complains about driving up to my apartment, also sometimes works evenings, so can't always split meals because of time restrictions and the 15-25 minutes of driving it takes to get between said apartments. Thanks for the input.