Author Topic: Ways to slash housing expenses?  (Read 3911 times)

an1m3n00b

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Ways to slash housing expenses?
« on: February 23, 2015, 01:57:51 PM »
I've been following MMM for a while now, and yet there's one money-saving area that I feel's been completely untouched. Housing. It's so freaking expensive, and I've yet to find a good way to reduce costs to a reasonable level. FYI I'm 21 and living at home (I know, pathetic), and I plan to move out this year. But, I don't really have a career per se. I figure my starting wage will be ~$10-$15/hr (I make $12/hr right now, but it's a temp/part time and I really wanna get out of this town). At my current salary fulltime, that's about $20k of actual money ($4k get's stolen by the feds), and I figure about $17k for living expenses. Leaving only $3k to spend/save/invest/whatever. This budget figures no car, public transportation, no cable, no health insurance, just rent/food/utilities. At $700/mo $8400/yr it's about half of my expenses!

Anyways, I've looked into tiny houses, mobile homes, rvs, DIY home, roommates etc, but nothing seems to get the cost under $500/mo. I don't care about space ~200SF is plenty for me, and I have a cat, so that makes renting more difficult in certain areas. My target is $200~300/mo (inc. W/S & excess transportation, but not electric/gas) with solid walls (no tents/pop ups/haybales) and at least ~120SF. Any suggestions?

AJ

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 02:05:11 PM »
Where are you living? I'm pretty sure ERE Jacob has lower housing expenses than $500 and he lives in a high-COL area.

We bought a three bedroom house in a desirable area, converted the family room into a bedroom, and rent the other three bedrooms out. Our mortgage payment is $1250 and the rent income is $1100. There is also an RV park in my city that is $375 a month, utilities included that we considered at one point.

an1m3n00b

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 03:26:01 PM »
I don't really have a set destination in mind, where I live right now rent is more like ~$1k+/mo - totally unaffordable, not even a city either. Preferably I'd like to live near the US/Canada border (on either side, but preferably the canadian side; uncle sam makes me nervous) in a relatively low income tax state/province. (WA, ND, AB, and BC meet this criteria), and in a town where it's practical/possible to live car-free (with a motorcycle). Possibly also MI for it's low COL and not-completely-outrageous taxes. I aspire to work at home, so local economy is less important than COL, but still important insofar as I can get a job if i need to. A $375/mo trailer park will be close to $500 when you factor in the trailer itself (amortization, maintenance, deprecation, opportunity cost etc). Roommates will likely be around the same ($1000 2BR /2) Curious: what would rent be on your 3BR house? I don't have any credit or downpayment money to actually buy a conventional house (and wouldn't anyways, too risky)

waltworks

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 05:07:49 PM »
Post a case study. You should easily be able to drop the tax burden to zero if you want to. Then get some roommates, or make more money, or stick with the 'rents.

-W

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 07:55:00 AM »
This has been on my mind as well. I have a family of 4, so there is no way in hell I'm taking on roommates. I would consider purchasing a multi-family unit, however, if I got to a point where I knew I wanted to stay put for at least 5 years (I'm not there yet).

Other options: I have friends who have been able to live rent-free for several years. One couple lives on a small organic farm in Virginia, the other on a historic plantation on coastal South Carolina. They get free rent in exchange for labor on the weekends. They both love it. I would too, if I could find a deal like that.

I also had a friend back in Mississippi who had a house that he wanted to rent out for $100/month. It was a nice, but outdated, home - his parent's old homestead, actually. He wanted someone to stay there just to keep an eye on things, because he had trouble with trespassers/thieves. I would have jumped on it, but it was way too far from civilization. I would have spent too much time commuting, and too much money on gas.

Anyway, there are deals to be had, you just have to keep your eyes open and be prepared to jump on it when the opportunity arises.

Gerard

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 05:22:15 PM »
I don't understand why you would limit yourself to a low-tax area when you earn so little. Is it an ideological thing? I mention it because high-tax areas often have more low-cost housing and are more car-free-friendly (Quebec comes to mind). Also cheaper tuition if you decide to upgrade skills to find higher-paying work.

Tami1982

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 05:43:16 PM »
I live in Washington and my mortgage PITI is $373.  You can buy a house for less than you rent if you find the right place!

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 09:44:49 PM »
If you're willing to work part time as an on-site apartment manager for a small complex, you might get free or cheap rent. I have a friend who has done this for years, on top of a regular job.

abhe8

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 10:37:32 PM »
In our college town, many apt complexes give free rent to a police officer. Interested in law enforcement?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 11:15:07 PM »
Um. It's not "pathetic" to live at home if you get along with your parent and are able to save lots of money. There have been quite a few discussions on the forum about how there is a weird stigma that is associated with living at home as an adult, but it makes sense if you've got a good relationship with your family.

It can be difficult to develop relationships/dating if you don't have much room or privacy, but if you're happy (and saving or paying down debt) and they're happy, it is a win/win and not something to throw away due to some perceived notion that it is wrong somehow.

And if for some reason you must get out from under a parent's roof and still want to be frugal, look into a decently priced apartment/house and get a few roommates.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Ways to slash housing expenses?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 05:34:07 PM »
I think living in a big house with 3-4 roommates is more fun than living in an RV. However, you need a high level of social skills for the multiple roommate thing to work out.

If you are an introvert and don't like other people touching your stuff then do the RV or tiny house