Author Topic: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?  (Read 6388 times)

fizzgig

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I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« on: May 12, 2015, 09:55:18 AM »
I make a modest salary, about 53K in Northern NJ, and my half of the rent is 830 a month. You might say that's a pretty a good deal, however it's a huge percentage of the money I have to spend annually. In the interest of achieving financial independence, and saving as much as possible, I'm just wondering if there's anything I'm not thinking of in terms of some kind of alternative that wouldn't cost so much? From what I can tell, buying around this area would cost way more than renting and isn't really an option. Looking for any suggestions, other than blanket recommendations like "get a new career" or "move to a cheaper part of the country." Those aren't really an option.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 10:09:41 AM »
You don't want to buy or move. That only leaves cheaper appt or more roommates.

druth

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 10:11:47 AM »
Live out of the back of a van/RV.

bobechs

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 10:32:34 AM »

Bicycle_B

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 11:13:26 AM »
Some of the many that have been used successfully by someone somewhere:

1. Rent a room in someone's house.  Sometimes those are cheaper, sometimes even luxurious and beautiful.
2. Same as 1, but in the house of a lazy person who will cut the rent in exchange for labor (mow lawns, clean house, do home repairs, perform errands).
3. Side gigs!  In the same profession you have, or something else.  Perhaps doing home repairs or finding people roommate arrangements.
4. Be a property manager - the kind who lives on site in apartment complex in exchange for free rent.  I know a CPA who did this for years even after getting his professional job. 



Bicycle_B

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 11:19:24 AM »
Wait, there's more:

5. House sitting.  Go from house to house, build up references, do it as long as you want lower rent.  Especially good if you like pets - these days, a lot of homeowners who seek house sitting are really looking for a live-in petsitter when they are out of the country.
6. Airbnb - consider a deal where instead of a roommate, you sublet the other room to visitors through Airbnb.  You could get higher value that way.  Especially good if you live near a tourist mecca such as, say, NYC.

tlars699

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 11:20:01 AM »
BarrettSun has many good suggestions.

Also, look at the foreclosures in your area- there may be a relatively cheap place you can get in your area, and start investing into with labor and time.
Really run the numbers about how far you can viably move from your place of work via your means of transport, and see if there would be anything within that range for a mortgage price of 20-30% less than what you're paying in rent. It will most likely be in the foreclosure types, or in a 1-2 bedroom house, but if you're single, *shrug*.

Lastly, check with your company's website to see if there is a similar position that you could transfer to in a LCOL area. It never hurts to look.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 12:04:08 PM »
Consider moving. Where in northern NJ? Many people live in the cheap Lehigh Valley and take a bus to their New Jersey jobs.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 03:26:29 PM »
Rent strike!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_strike

I would not even think of trying that...   If you were my tenant(s), all of you would be evicted.

I assume it was sarcasm, but mine is not.

tomsang

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 03:42:32 PM »
In college, a friend and I rented a six bedroom house.  We rented the four other bedrooms to med students in his class.  We pretty much collected more rent than we paid.  In fact we each rented our rooms out while living with girlfriends and made $500+ a month (20 years ago) which we thought was awesome.  Of course your name is on the lease, so beware.  We finally gave up the "free" money when we noted that neither one of us had lived there for a year and we did not know anyone in the house personally and we actually had assets, real jobs and something to lose.  We were sad to see the rent checks disappear.  The current tenants were not happy when they found out that we were not paying rent and that they were subsidizing us or allowing us to turn a profit, which was fine as we didn't really know them at all.  That was a fun and profitable house.

Travel Lady

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2015, 05:02:14 PM »
Find a cheap fixer-upper. Rent out rooms to friends and fix it up nights and weekends! Give them reduced rent if they help with labor!

mc6

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2015, 06:09:29 PM »
It sounds like adding more roommates to divide the costs wouldn't be too painful for you. 

surfhb

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2015, 06:32:19 PM »
$800 is great for your income!     You should be saving a good $30K a year with that.   

Dee18

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2015, 10:10:26 AM »
Don't know if this would interest you, but I know some elderly people (all female) who are happy to have someone live with them in exchange for a weekly trip to the grocery and minimal help around the house (like taking the trash cans to the street).  One of my students is currently living for free while in grad school.  She used to be a chef, so she also cooks twice a week for the woman.  My student loves the situation...but she is mostly interested in having a quiet place to study, not a place to have friends over.

cooking

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2015, 12:19:43 PM »
Do you have any trade skills like plumbing, tiling, wiring?  Or how about MMM's idea of "carpentourism" but on a more long-term type basis?  I live in northern NJ also (Morris County), and would like to make an arrangement like this with a spare room I have in my house.  However, I could foresee that this type of situation might present a problem for a tenant who needs a place for an indefinite period of time, after any projects have been completed.

Does anyone have any suggestions along these lines?

YK-Phil

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2015, 03:07:32 PM »
If you are single and flexible, house-sitting could be a good option. I work in a high COL city (room are $850+, apartments are $1500+, houses/mobiles are $2000+) and even with a 6-figure salary, I can't wrap my head around having to fork so much for a place to sleep, so I took up house-sitting a few weeks after I moved here. When I got here, I spent a few weeks as an office hobo but I was lucky to find very quickly a permanent house-sitting gig for someone who works on 2-week rotation at a mine. When she is back, she is happy to have me stay at her house, but I like my privacy, so I become the office hobo again, which I really enjoy for a number of reasons. Since I took this job a year and a half ago, I have not paid a cent in rent.

Living in a car/van is another good option, weather permitting. I plan to do that at least for a year after I RE in October 2016.

helgajones

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2015, 12:15:09 AM »
You should consider moving to other city or town. You should try looking for a cheaper apartment so that you will still be able to save some money.

Scotty T

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2015, 07:20:03 PM »
I also hated paying rent.  I took care of my distate for the largest expense in my life last year by saving up and buying a tiny little duplex.  I live in half, and rent the other half to some tenants.  The tenants pay down my mortgage, and my roommate pays me half of what the tenants pay. 

Effectively, I get paid $200 per month to live rent free, and the management of the property, so far, has been little more work than running a regular house-hold. 

Not to say that this approach was magical or a novel concept, but it does seem like a no-brainer for a first investment for many people willing to live frugally and do some work.  Definitely study up on investing in real estate, understand the costs, and invest like you would in a rental.  But by living in the property you ensure that you have a world class tenant (yourself) and a world class property manager (also you) managing the tenants next door.  Definitely a relatively safer bet than investing in other types of real estate, and definitely a solid chance to avoid paying rent.

surfhb

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2015, 08:32:13 PM »
I also hated paying rent.  I took care of my distate for the largest expense in my life last year by saving up and buying a tiny little duplex.  I live in half, and rent the other half to some tenants.  The tenants pay down my mortgage, and my roommate pays me half of what the tenants pay. 

Effectively, I get paid $200 per month to live rent free, and the management of the property, so far, has been little more work than running a regular house-hold. 

Not to say that this approach was magical or a novel concept, but it does seem like a no-brainer for a first investment for many people willing to live frugally and do some work.  Definitely study up on investing in real estate, understand the costs, and invest like you would in a rental.  But by living in the property you ensure that you have a world class tenant (yourself) and a world class property manager (also you) managing the tenants next door.  Definitely a relatively safer bet than investing in other types of real estate, and definitely a solid chance to avoid paying rent.

Thats great......Unfortunately the OP makes 53K a year and lives in NJ ;)    Id imagine a duplex would run a good $450K at least.   They do here in LA
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:33:45 PM by surfhb »

Bob W

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2015, 09:07:01 PM »
Check zillow frequently

IMLEGEND

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2015, 12:17:58 PM »
I also hated paying rent.  I took care of my distate for the largest expense in my life last year by saving up and buying a tiny little duplex.  I live in half, and rent the other half to some tenants.  The tenants pay down my mortgage, and my roommate pays me half of what the tenants pay. 

Effectively, I get paid $200 per month to live rent free, and the management of the property, so far, has been little more work than running a regular house-hold. 

Not to say that this approach was magical or a novel concept, but it does seem like a no-brainer for a first investment for many people willing to live frugally and do some work.  Definitely study up on investing in real estate, understand the costs, and invest like you would in a rental.  But by living in the property you ensure that you have a world class tenant (yourself) and a world class property manager (also you) managing the tenants next door.  Definitely a relatively safer bet than investing in other types of real estate, and definitely a solid chance to avoid paying rent.

I actually am in the process of doing this exact thing in North Jersey. My income is about the same as OP but I ended up purchasing the home with my SO, so that helped on the down payment end. One side of the house is a 3 BR house and the other side is a good side 1 BR apt where we will be living. While we can afford the mortgage together the only way to own a home and be able to save is to have tenants that pay most of the mortgage for us.  If OP can save enough for a down payment this seems like the best option.

Bob W

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2015, 01:24:46 PM »
I was rethinking this. 

If you want to be a bit hardcore then consider what Jacob did over at Extreme Early Retirement.

He lived in an RV.   I've done if for 3-4 months with wife and kid and it really isn't bad.

You could buy and RV for 8K --- then find someone who would rent you a space with water and electric.  (probably a home owner with extra space and a desire for income or a traditional RV park)   Either way you could probably rent your spot with electric and water for under $400 a month. 

We lived in ours in Feb/Mar with subzero temps and heated it with a 1500 watt electric space heater. 

So yeah,  at the end of 2 years or until you save for that duplex you could probably sell the RV for 6K or just keep it and rent out both sides of the duplex.   If you did that the profit off the duplex may cover your RV rent space cost and you would essentially be living rent free.   

If I was single and decent -- I would also look for a situation where you could live with and sometimes assist older folks.   It may be that you could find a situation that is virtually free or even pays depending on the responsibilities.   

Living for free is the holy grail of frugality.   And honestly it is a solvable problem if you put some thought, effort, time and are patient.

My wife would totally not go for any of this of course.   

CanuckExpat

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Re: I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2015, 04:52:35 PM »
Looking for any suggestions, other than blanket recommendations like "get a new career" or "move to a cheaper part of the country." Those aren't really an option.
Any suggestions?? Ok:
1) Live in your office
2) Live in the parking lot outside your office
3) Live on a campus parking lot
4) Couch surf