Author Topic: Should I Move?  (Read 2554 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Should I Move?
« on: October 30, 2017, 07:10:32 PM »
Hi all,

Just looking for some advice on whether or not I should move or if there are any options I havenít considered...

The situation is my SOís Mom has an upstairs apartment across the street from where I currently live. It is 2 bedrooms. She has offered to rent it to me at the same price Iím paying for my current one bedroom in the community across the street. Her current tenant has caused issues off and on with the HOA and has been paying their rent checks late. Sheís willing to give it to me for slightly less in exchange for peace of mind that Iíll not cause issues with the HOA, pay on time, and take care of the place.

I currently rent a one bedroom for $1175. I donít really see a benefit in moving all my crap across the street and having to go from a bottom floor to a second floor situation. However, the layout of the new place is more convenient and easier to access and park in. I will probably also never have to worry about my rent increasing. I might also be able to rent the second bedroom out as an Airbnb a few times a month as well.

Cons? I wonít be any closer to work. Moving all of my crap is going to be a pain in the butt and I probably canít just carry things back and forthóIíll need a moving truck. Will have to change my address, move my internet, incur moving costs, new deposit, etc.

Pros? Easier access to parking and unit. Possible source of income via Airbnb. Iíll have more space, possibly a washer/dryer in unit vs a community laundry room (need to confirm).

Anyway, any thoughts or feedback is welcomed. At this point Iím leaning towards no, but I am open to hearing more reasons for and against it


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 07:34:17 PM »
some more thoughts

pro -
you'll be helping out your so's mom and earn brownie points with her, sounds like she's also giving you below market rates. she might also be more flexible about rent inspections, pets, etc.
if you go away to travel she will probably keep an eye on the place and make sure it doesn't get robbed

con -
might be awkward if you break up with SO
if you want to move in with SO to another place you'll be moving again anyway

can you get friends to help you move without paying for a truck? can you rent a furniture trolley / sell your large bits of furniture? have you found a better closer spot to work to rent that you can tell her nah sorry if i'm going to move i wanna move to x?

is SO intending to live with you at some point? what's your longterm plan for accommodation? (e.g. owning, kids, etc.)


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 07:39:31 PM »
Your cons mostly sound like reluctance to put in a day of hard work and a week of less-hard work. Sounds like the costs would be quickly absorbed by the airbnb possibilty, if you're serious about it.

The potential awkardness if you broke up with your SO would be a bigger con to me, depending on how serious you are with them.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 12:13:41 PM »
Thanks Annie & Tass*, I could definitely get some friends to help me in exchange for some beer and/or gas money. I don't have a lot of furniture or many heavy things. In fact there are probably only 3-4 things I would need help lifting. Couch, mattress, everything else is fairly light.

In my current rental, it takes a key just to get into the building and down the hall where my unit is located. The benefit is that it would be harder to rob me. Across the street the units are set up more like condos where the doors are exposed to the elements. I would actually have less security (but I'd be on the second floor vs ground level).

I'm currently renting below market rate. New tenants are paying ~$200+/month than I am. My rent goes up about $50 each year, which I'm okay with. I've been here three years. My rent has increased from $1075 to $1125 to $1175. I can see myself staying here until it reaches the $1300s, which will happen in two more years at the rate it's going. I'm expecting increases in income to keep pace with any rent increases.

I haven't been motivated to move because I'm already close to work and my current expenses allow me to invest 50% of my income each month. I love living alone and have told my SO that I probably wouldn't move unless she wanted to cohabitate. As it stands, our stuff probably won't all fit in my current place. She has a lot of clothes & still has a sweet deal living with her parents. Recently she confessed that she had only spent $50 for an entire month. Not intentional, just sort of happened. Mind = blown. She's a keeper! Anyway, I've also said the same thing when it comes to buying a home. My area is expensive and I wouldn't purchase something unless the SO was all-in. I'd also be willing to match whatever dollar amount she's willing to put for a down payment, then split the bills proportional to our incomes. Alone, it doesn't make sense for me to purchase anything as I certainly don't have the household size nor amount of possessions necessary to fill it. I'm also leaning towards never owning a home since I have zero interest in dealing with repairs and maintenance during my working career.

Although being open to the idea of living together, she's not in any hurry to jump on the bandwagon or be the one to initiate anything. It doesn't mean we don't have a good relationship. I'd probably do the same in her shoes. I also would not be very motivated to move away from home and incur hundreds of extra dollars in expenses.

I suppose moving presents two opportunities. The first is creating enough space so that the SO could move in if she wanted to without costing me [much] more. If she moved in, I'd get help with the rent and we'd have more space. The second bedroom could literally be used as a walk-in closet/home office (although if she ever moves I'm sure she'd donate a lot of stuff in the process). The second is that I would have the option to get a roommate and lower my monthly housing expenses significantly, or be able to Airbnb the second bedroom, all assuming SO's mom is cool with it.

So let's say the new place would rent for $1200, increasing my housing expenses by $75. If I charged a roommate $500 for the smaller bedroom my, housing expenses would be $425 cheaper than they are right now, probably $400/month after factoring in any increases in utilities. That adds up to just under an $5k extra invested annually. In 10 years, that's an extra $69k stashed. Simply having a roommate would drop my target FI number under $500k and decrease my FI timeline by about two years**

So here are my next steps:
1. Ask SO's mom if there is a washer/dryer in unit (deal breaker if no).
2. Talk to SO about likelihood of her moving in if I get the bigger place.
3. Reach out to some friends to determine their interest in being roommates if SO says she wants to keep living @ home and saving money (likely).

Thanks for the discussion points. I'm open to hearing more. If the thread dies, I'll post any updates in my Journal. The most likely outcome is that I stay put and nothing changes.
*Not sure how serious about moving I am at this point. I just want to get better informed & I'm admittedly lazy
**Probably faster since the double whammy of lower monthly expenses + investment gains on the extra saved each month


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 01:00:26 PM »
I would do it and try out a roommate, but that's just me personally since I spend $500 a month in rent/pet fees and can't imagine spending much more. I also moved 4 times in 14 months so I'm not averse to moving either. You could have a roommate for a year or two until you move in with your SO. Or Airbnb, since it sounds like this may be one of the few scenarios where you'd be allowed to sublet like that. In any other renting situation, Airbnb would definitely not be allowed.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 01:41:06 PM »
If you do decide to do it, just make sure your roommate or whatever isn't going to annoy your so's mom. That would just be mean.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 02:35:26 PM »
Just a "heads up":  Some HOAs restrict or don't allow AirBnb arrangements.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 10:29:01 AM »
So what exactly does "below market" mean?  There's a big difference between saving you money on the one hand (in which case the default should be "do it," barring other considerations), and costing you more money (in which case the default is the opposite).

So if the rent would be less, or you would be willing to commit to a roommate, then find a way to make it happen, cheaply.  OTOH, if this is just "I could get a bigger/nicer place for not much more than I am currently paying," then eh, let the opportunity pass you by, unless there is a legit, current reason you need the extra space (and "my SO might consider moving in with me if my place were bigger" doesn't count).


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Should I Move?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 12:42:00 PM »
Thanks for the heads up about HOA's. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some rule against the Airbnb situation. I'd definitely talk it over with SO's mom before taking any action. As a tangent, she's also had experiences where she purchased a rental somewhere else and the HOA had rules about having a certain percentage of units not being rentals. Long story short she won the fight, but all the more reason I'd rather my portfolio consist of index funds instead of properties.

Anyway, I reached out to inquire about whether or not the unit has a washer/dryer in it. Am waiting to hear back.

Below market -- my definition -- is I'm paying less than what a new tenant would pay for the same thing. My current 1bdrm 750-800 sq ft place rents for $1525 (just looked it up) and I'm paying $1175. My rent has gone up $50 annually for the last 3 years. The SO says her mom would charge me something similar to what I'm currently paying for her 2 bedroom place. Secretly I'd be willing to pay as much as $1,300 if I could lock in a roommate, in which case the real money savings would start to kick in.

It's tricky because I can argue for or against it. Initially I was firmly against it. After mulling it over for about a week I'm starting to reconsider. It wouldn't be a bad way to save up some extra cash until the SO & I get to a place where we're ready to take the next step. I mean, when I frame it in such a way that means my Target FI number is $142.5k less than what it currently is, I'd be stupid* to not get a roommate and split the rent $700(me)/$600(him).

*Going to Journal some numbers.