Author Topic: How to rent an apartment when you're FI  (Read 8231 times)

DoofusOfErasmus

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How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« on: January 10, 2016, 07:46:08 PM »
Hi, Mustachians,

I've been reading MMM for over a year; this is my first ever post.  Kudos to anyone who gets the username reference.

So I've been tracking my net worth with Personal Capital, and based on a SWR of 4%, 2016 should be the year I become FI and retire early.  I'm still working out the final details, but the plan is to move from western Mass to Seattle to snowboard, bike, and hike, among other things.

I think I'll eventually want to do some slow travel, so I'm planning on renting rather than buying after I leave my job.  But in all the early retirement blogs I've read, it seems that none have addressed the question of how to rent a home or apartment once you're no longer employed.  I've always had to provide either an offer letter or a pay stub as proof of my salary before signing a lease.  What if you plan on paying your rent by withdrawing from your savings?  Can you just show the landlord / leasing office your bank and brokerage statements as proof of your net worth?  Has anyone had any difficulties with this? 

Thanks!

DoE

Hank Sinatra

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 08:23:40 PM »
Two things.

1)  Offer to simply pay the whole year up front.  They don't care. They just want the money. If you have that much skin in the transaction you shouldn't have to convince them any more. And if you die during the year they come out ahead.

2) I don't know how old you are but just saying you are "retired" can sometimes change people's attitudes. If somebody says "I am unemployed but don't worry I still have enough money to pay the rent", they get a fish eye. If they say they're retired and living on IRA/401k distributions, it gets an "Ok, that makes sense.  We have lots of retired people living here."



JZinCO

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 08:59:36 PM »
Two things.

1)  Offer to simply pay the whole year up front.  They don't care. They just want the money. If you have that much skin in the transaction you shouldn't have to convince them any more. And if you die during the year they come out ahead.

What if you were month to month?
Some interesting ideas in this thread: http://www.city-data.com/forum/renting/1760354-how-does-someone-who-retires-early.html

Lnspilot

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 09:38:22 PM »
Our pal Dr. Doom wrote about his experience with this in this post: http://livingafi.com/2015/12/18/home-ownership-a-retrospective-and-beyond/

I'll be in the same boat as you, DoofusOfErasmus.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 09:41:56 PM »
Quote
What if you were month to month?

You mean renting for an unspecified period of time with no lease?

I have lived in apartments most of my adult life.  Except for one in Las Vegas in the 1970's, I have found NO apartment complexes that rent month to month at initial move-in. (I am in the US. I know there are some Canadians on the these boards. Maybe it's different up there) But even that place in Vegas made me sign an "Agreement to rent" spelling out rules for rent and move-out procedures. But in a technical legal sense it was not a lease because there was no time period established or required.

 Now, if you want to rent a room in somebody's house, or their basement that's fixed-up like an apartment, something maybe a college student might rent, or rent a house... tell the Landlordy how long you might be there and pay him up front as per my post up there. That might be even easier than a commercial complex because it's sort of informal.  A face-to-face negotiation. If you are going to stay longer or move out at some point the usual and customary "30 days notice" should cover it.  Most States require that  clause, or something similar, in leases to protect renters AND  tenants.

But in the end you must remember any time you want to do something unconventional the going might not be smooth and options might be limited. Ironically Mustachianism is all about being unconventional with the purpose avoiding Life's bottlenecks and increasing options but sometimes it's like a Rubic's Cube. Just as you line up 1 side you mess up one of the other sides in doing so.

arebelspy

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 02:32:08 AM »
Just talk to them. Show them bank statements if necessary.

It's the rare, inflexible landlord (who you probably don't want anyways), who won't understand your situation when explained in plain English.

The reason why you aren't finding it on ER blogs and forums is that it's not a problem at all. :)
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DoofusOfErasmus

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 08:54:37 AM »
Really?  Good to know, arebelspy.  I didn't think it would be that straightforward. 

Thanks, everyone, for the information.  Looking forward to getting more involved on the boards!

Lnspilot

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 03:25:22 PM »
Doofus, just let us know how it goes, even if the thread gets old.

DoofusOfErasmus

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 07:38:24 PM »
You got it.

Where in Utah are you?  Some pretty awesome snow out there, I hear.

Lnspilot

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 03:23:54 PM »
Where in Utah are you?  Some pretty awesome snow out there, I hear.

I'm relocating to Salt Lake City next month. Can't wait.

Roboturner

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 04:40:33 PM »
Hi, Mustachians,

I've been reading MMM for over a year; this is my first ever post.  Kudos to anyone who gets the username reference.

So I've been tracking my net worth with Personal Capital, and based on a SWR of 4%, 2016 should be the year I become FI and retire early.  I'm still working out the final details, but the plan is to move from western Mass to Seattle to snowboard, bike, and hike, among other things.

I think I'll eventually want to do some slow travel, so I'm planning on renting rather than buying after I leave my job.  But in all the early retirement blogs I've read, it seems that none have addressed the question of how to rent a home or apartment once you're no longer employed.  I've always had to provide either an offer letter or a pay stub as proof of my salary before signing a lease.  What if you plan on paying your rent by withdrawing from your savings?  Can you just show the landlord / leasing office your bank and brokerage statements as proof of your net worth?  Has anyone had any difficulties with this? 

Thanks!

DoE

Why Seattle btw? you could move to Colorado for cheaper, and we happen to have all the outdoorsy stuff you could stomach

DoofusOfErasmus

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2016, 01:55:26 PM »
Colorado would be a great option as well.  Any town in particular you recommend?

I chose Seattle because the girlfriend used to live there and has a lot of friends in the area and has talked about going back.    Also, she's applying to a residency program for chaplains (she's an ordained minister) in Seattle and, if accepted, would be there for a year of training.  I've visited once, and I loved the city. Ever since then, I've thought about relocating there.  I guess being near the coast has a certain appeal, too. 

Roboturner

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2016, 01:59:31 PM »
Colorado would be a great option as well.  Any town in particular you recommend?

I chose Seattle because the girlfriend used to live there and has a lot of friends in the area and has talked about going back.    Also, she's applying to a residency program for chaplains (she's an ordained minister) in Seattle and, if accepted, would be there for a year of training.  I've visited once, and I loved the city. Ever since then, I've thought about relocating there.  I guess being near the coast has a certain appeal, too.

COL is sort of exploding at the moment, so Denver is creeping up, however if you lived on the outskirts of Lakewood, toward the Golden/Morrison side, it'd be relatively cheap AND you'd be essentially in the foothills (about 20 min or so west of Denver)

Holyoak

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2016, 10:50:45 AM »
I simply told the property manager I am retired, and showed her my assets...  Was not an issue for two places I rented from.  I would have paid a few months rent up front, if I had to leverage things in my favor.  Good luck.

Eric

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2016, 11:01:15 AM »
Two things.

1)  Offer to simply pay the whole year up front.  They don't care. They just want the money. If you have that much skin in the transaction you shouldn't have to convince them any more. And if you die during the year they come out ahead.

I'd highly recommend against this.  What happens when your oven or fridge or furnace breaks in month 2?  Where's the incentive for the landlord to fix it?

Hank Sinatra

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2016, 04:38:18 PM »
 
Quote
I'd highly recommend against this.  What happens when your oven or fridge or furnace breaks in month 2?  Where's the incentive for the landlord to fix it? 

I didn't say it was ideal. It's just one way around the thing he's worried about. There are almost always some compromises in these things. yes, I suppose the owner could be a jerk face.

As to why the landlord wouldn't fix something? Are they all fucking assholes? Maybe the people who own real estate on these boards can enlighten us? It's his stuff I'm sure he'd want to fix it anyway. And on top of that there are usually laws  concerning "habitability", health and safety code things.

Now, if this is some under the table, shady-assed deal with a slum lord, then  I guess yes, he's in some kind of danger. I have nearly always dealt with commercial properties. Decent ones in decent neighborhoods.  The one time I went "indy" renting from a guy who owned some houses that were retro-fitted into apartment units,  it was  just like doing any other kind of business.  He's selling something, I'm buying it. I  did my part and he did his. I had no reason to assume he'd be a dick and he didn't treat me like he thought I'd be a dick.

Eric

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2016, 05:22:52 PM »
No, of course don't assume your landlord will be a dick.  But don't give up your only piece of leverage either.  After renting from numerous landlords over the last 20 years, I can tell you that their motivations to fix things can vary.  Sometimes you get a great one, and sometimes you get a lazy one, and there's no way to know ahead of time.  It's just the way it is.  While it's nice to believe that everyone can be taken at their word, unfortunately it just doesn't work that way.

Regarding habitability, normally the way that's enforced while you still live there is to withhold rent.  Your only other option is to break your lease and move out.  The former is a lot easier.  The latter has you fighting in court to get your money back.

But the good news is, as mentioned by many above, that there are plenty of other options than paying in advance.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2016, 01:13:22 PM »
Quote
I live in SoCal and there are apts that have month-to-month or short term lease of 6 months or less. My sister's apt in LA had a 3 month lease and then went month-to-month after that. Fairly common around here in the LA/OC metro area.

Does not surprise me given the area. Thanks for corroborating my point

soccerluvof4

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2016, 06:57:44 AM »
samething in the area I live in the Midwest you can easily find places to rent month to month, year to year etc.. Show them the money and they dont care they just want to keep units full. So if that means showing financial statements it will be fine imho.

Dicey

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2016, 07:36:31 AM »
We own two rental properties in a retirement community, so this comes up all the time. I only care about how much income and/or assets they have, not where it comes from.

MandalayVA

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2016, 07:51:56 AM »
Mr. Mandalay and I are definitely renting post-FIRE and this is good to know.  We do plan to go into a complex rather than gamble on a private apartment or house getting sold out from under us.

SunnyMoney

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Re: How to rent an apartment when you're FI
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2016, 05:02:24 PM »
I don't know how slow your slow travel is but if you're just looking for a month of two then either "corporate housing" or a "vacation rental by owner" may be good for you.  Look up either of those terms in your favorite search engine and you'll find plenty of websites to facilitate the transaction.  The advantage here is they come furnished and often all set up with internet, electricity, gas, cable TV, etc...