Author Topic: About to rent my own house! Any advice?  (Read 1857 times)

MVal

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About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« on: February 02, 2017, 09:06:37 AM »
I am soooo excited, I am FINALLY going to move out of the house I rent with my roommate/landlord and get my own place!!

I just found a clean house in a quiet neighborhood that is very moderately priced and exactly within the budget I set for myself at $650/mo. I have been looking around for several months, but haven't found anything that was affordable, safe and in a good location for me. I just happened to go back on Craigslist after giving up for several weeks and found this little gem yesterday, called the landlord who was able to meet me immediately and showed me the place. It was listed at $685, but I had a good conversation with the landlord and he said he'd give it to me for $650. I felt very good about both the house and the landlord and figured it was now or never!

I've been rather spoiled with my roommate because she never charged me for utilities, it was just all included in my rent. I know it varies by area, but I'm hoping between gas/electric/water/trash and internet that I won't be looking at much more than $200/mo. The rent will be $150 more than I am paying now, so although it doesn't sound like a very Mustachian move, this is going to make a tremendous difference in my life. I'll have my own yard where I can grow my own veggies (there's already a pear tree!), I'll be able to have things in the house as I like and have space to start some of my side hustle ideas as well as be able to start working on my art again.

Even though I don't have a high income at less than $45K/yr, I feel pretty proud I was able to save 2/3 of my income last year into savings. I am thankful for all these years of living on a shoestring with my roommate, but I feel now is the time to expand my living situation to enable more growth in my life. I'm very close to crossing the $100K mark on my 'stache, so I feel like all this previous frugality has set me on a firm foundation for the future. I know I'll regain the momentum I'll initially lose once I get a chance to develop some side income.

Do you have any recommendations on how to save money when moving? I don't see too many initial costs as I'll take my time finding Craigslist furniture and other such things. Anything to watch out for when setting up utilities in one's name that could result in unnecessary costs? Should I get any specific information from my landlord that is often overlooked? I haven't moved in almost a decade, so I'm rusty at these things!


With This Herring

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 10:41:20 AM »
Have fun in your new house!  I would love a garden, but I keep myself happy with potted plants in the apartment window.

You should be able to ask the new landlord what utilities ran for the last tenant.  I could be wrong, but my guess would be that total utilities will pass $200/month in the winter with increased costs for heating.  In our apartment, the landlord covers heat but gas + electric runs us around $60/month because of the high fixed monthly service fees on each.  When I was looking at apartments before this one, the landlord of one told me that monthly heating cost in the winter was $200 alone, and that is before other utilities!  It was a drafty place, though, and I'm not sure how different fixed charges and rates are between MO and NYS.

For trapping the heat better, you can put removable caulk around window crevices to fill any gaps, then seal over the windows with plastic.

Moving itself shouldn't be too expensive.  You can get sturdy boxes free from many liquor stores.  If you have a friend with a truck, it might be cheaper to pay them something to help you move your bed and big furniture than to rent a UHaul, but I don't think UHaul's prices are too bad.

MVal

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 11:36:52 AM »
Thanks! Yes, I will actually be responsible for all the lawn care, so I'll have to come up with lawn mower this spring. Shouldn't be any problem as my dad always has a spare one somewhere and will probably give me one. I would prefer to be in charge of the lawn care so that way I can do all sorts of "experiments" outside, like gardening and having a compost pile. I'd also like to try my hand at vermiculture and possibly sell compost tea.

This situation appears to be all I wanted in a house! Convenient location, safe neighborhood, cheap, washer and dryer included, gas stove, big yard I'm allowed to play with, off street parking and two bedrooms. The only drawbacks are no outdoor storage like a garage or shed, no covered parking, and the interior is completely carpeted except the bathroom and kitchen. But at least the carpet is clean and looks in very good shape.

I will miss my roommate and the lovely house and lovely neighborhood we live in together, but there's so much I WON'T miss...I won't miss living with an extrovert who wants to chitty chat at inopportune times, her waking up early, cackling on the phone with her sister and banging dishes in the kitchen when I'm trying to sleep in, having to keep house according to someone else's standards, having to share a tiny fridge with someone who doesn't keep much food in there but also gets upset when I do (it's not my fault I love to cook and she doesn't!), having to hide somewhere in the tiny house to have a private phone conversation, and just generally not being able to be completely comfortable. I'm so looking forward to being able to eat cereal naked in the living room and such things as that!

With This Herring

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 12:28:34 PM »
*snip*
I'm so looking forward to being able to eat cereal naked in the living room and such things as that!

Hahaha
So, make sure you have suitable curtains made/purchased ahead of moving!  When we moved to this apartment, I didn't realize until nightfall that the only window coverings in place were the blinds in the bathroom.  We ended up tacking up blankets over the bedroom windows to sleep that night.

MVal

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 02:16:23 PM »
*snip*
I'm so looking forward to being able to eat cereal naked in the living room and such things as that!

Hahaha
So, make sure you have suitable curtains made/purchased ahead of moving!  When we moved to this apartment, I didn't realize until nightfall that the only window coverings in place were the blinds in the bathroom.  We ended up tacking up blankets over the bedroom windows to sleep that night.

Oh my gosh, you're right! I totally forgot about window treatments. I believe some of the windows already have blinds, but not all of them. Maybe I'll have my mom make me some curtains, she'd probably be tickled pink if I asked her to do that.

With This Herring

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 08:56:14 PM »
You should start making a list of all the things you use each day (that belong to your roommate/landlord) to get you prepared for the move.  Big ones will be TP and a plunger, internet router/modem/some other techie bits so you can keep up with the forums, and maybe a microwave.

Step into the shower... "Oh, I'll need shower curtains!"
Log into MMM... "I'll need those internet access devices."
Eat some cereal (while clothed, alas and alack!)... "I'll need bowls, spoons, forks, knives, cups, a pot, a pan...oh, and what about a toaster?  And maybe a towel to put on the sofa where I will be lounging about utterly nekkid..."

Oh, and for saving costs, try to find some estate sales or moving sales.  You might be able to pick up boxes of kitchen bits and whatnot very cheaply that way.

MVal

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 01:06:25 PM »
You should start making a list of all the things you use each day (that belong to your roommate/landlord) to get you prepared for the move.  Big ones will be TP and a plunger, internet router/modem/some other techie bits so you can keep up with the forums, and maybe a microwave.

Step into the shower... "Oh, I'll need shower curtains!"
Log into MMM... "I'll need those internet access devices."
Eat some cereal (while clothed, alas and alack!)... "I'll need bowls, spoons, forks, knives, cups, a pot, a pan...oh, and what about a toaster?  And maybe a towel to put on the sofa where I will be lounging about utterly nekkid..."

Oh, and for saving costs, try to find some estate sales or moving sales.  You might be able to pick up boxes of kitchen bits and whatnot very cheaply that way.

Good point! I actually have quite a bit of things for the kitchen and bathroom, as I've been saving items from the last time I lived on my own or things my family has given me thinking I would eventually move out and need. But I will need some practical stuff you mentioned like the shower curtain, tp and plunger. I may need to get a proper vacuum too, as opposed to my little stick vac, as this house has a lot of high pile carpet. I am actually really excited to finally be able to use my own stuff, as I never liked many of her things or they were too "precious," like all the glasses were made by one of her artist friends and I was actually always terrified of breaking one (and actually did once, although it was due to her improperly stacking them in the dish drainer).  I will be soooooo happy to finally be able to just use plastic tumblers kyped from local bars for drinking glasses!

This is actually great timing, because she just started renovating our bathroom, like down to the studs, so we have NO toilet, NO sink and NO bathtub...only the weak-ass flushing toilet in the basement next to the washing machine and the kitchen sink. We are taking showers at our gyms. We're only a week into this month-long project and I am already so over it!! Praise God the potential new landlord just offered (unsolicited) to give me the key let me start going into the new house as soon as I get him a partial deposit, so I'm going to get the water turned on ASAP! Then I'll have a good portion of this month to hopefully not only bathe properly, but get most of my stuff moved before I start paying rent next month.

Ohhhh, it will be so GOOD to be ALONE!!!

Hotstreak

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 02:52:25 PM »
Congratulations on your new home!  A few things to save money:
-  Turn the hot water heater down to the lowest acceptable setting.
-  Ask the landlord to install a programmable thermostat, or consider buying one yourself.
-  Consider a space heater or window AC unit.  You only need to climate control the room you are living in.
-  Cut and water your lawn in an eco friendly manner to save water (water deeply & less often, and allow the grass to grow a few inches tall).
-  Look around for a cheap used shed to store your mower & other yard supplies, to help them last longer.
-  Shop around for cheap compost for your garden if you need to add any at all.  Composted yard debris can be had very cheaply, and some municipalities will have theirs OMRI certified.

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 11:42:22 AM »
Gah, with no bathing facilities I hope your rent has been reduced for the duration!

MVal

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Re: About to rent my own house! Any advice?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 10:09:50 PM »
Gah, with no bathing facilities I hope your rent has been reduced for the duration!

Hmm, no...but it seems now the tub might not be out commission the whole time like we originally thought. Now that all the tile is down, they uncovered the tub for the time being, so I was able to use it just now.