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Old 10-28-2016, 06:46 PM   #1
Clodfobble
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Apartment costs

So we're beginning to transition my stepdaughter into her own living quarters. I am conflicted over this--it's good (super good), because soon she will be out of my house; but it's bad, because she can't possibly afford it and we will be paying for at least 2/3rds of her rent. It still needs to happen because she needs to practice basic self-care skills that she can't learn in a house that has a constantly full refrigerator and electronics in every room. We want to put her in a budget location so there is some impetus to improve her situation, but it turns out budget locations are kind of not a thing, around here.

--The cheapest, most ghetto apartment, with roaches crawling everywhere in the daylight and literal prostitutes and drug dealers on the street out front... costs about $680 a month for a one-bedroom.

--Budget college housing that is safe, but nowhere near her job... can be had for roughly $850 a month.

--A shockingly nice, modern, all-new appliances/carpet/hardwoods, in a very nice tech-employee neighborhood with washer/dryer hookup and garbage pickup service at your door... is only $935 a month.

I really feel like there should be more disparity there. I mean, sure, you can get way more expensive places, but at that point you're just paying for prime locations in the city. And you can get cheaper if you split a multi-bedroom with a roommate, but she has no friends, and absolutely no one would put up with her living habits anyway.

The financially-responsible side of me is warring with the tough-love side of me. I'm pissed that she could possibly be in a nicer place than I had until I was... well, ever. At her age I was in my second year of college, working 3 part-time jobs, and in the budget college place. I want to put her in the budget place--especially now that she's seen the fancy place--but the price differential is so painfully small, for a relatively huge drop in quality.

Are prices that close where you are, or is this just an Austin thing?
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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Lower Montgomery County PA, Collegeville to Norristown: welcome to the edge of the metropolis.

$750 is the minimum section 8 available and you may die

$750-1000 is that one bedroom in ghetto-y circumstances

$1000-1100 is someone's second floor that they are renting out, and your best bet for daily access is probably the fire escape. It's OK, just don't scare the cat. Or do anything at all really

$1100-1300 is cheaper managed places. Some bugs, second-rate appliances, institutional ugly brick, the neighbors are shady... but suddenly, at the top end, you find the smallest apartments in a few of the nicer managed buildings. As long as you can fit in 580 sq ft. Oh there is a storage closet. But it got robbed last year so don't keep anything nice there. Yeah no bikes.

$1300-1500 finally into 1 BR at better managed places, and two BR at the cheaper managed places. Now you get your own washing machine. Do you like the smell of curry?

$1850 1BR top buildings, pool, keyfob access, parking, tennis court, manicured lawn, snow removal, trash bins, 24 hr service, live like a goddamn human being

$2400 live like a goddamn human being right off the best exits of I-476, instead of 20 minutes of traffic jam away


The shithole I rented, where the roof caved in and the sewage froze up, was $1050 and it cost $2000 to heat in the winter. Well it was a house and there was a ton of space. All moldy, but it did have space.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Get the nicer place. Let her work for a washer and dryer so she doesn't have to keep running out to a laundromat. After she has those, plan on increasing her contribution to the rent commensurate with any earnings increases she obtains. If she bails on you, the nicer place will be easier to find another renter for to escape your lease.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:45 PM   #4
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Clodfobble, the prices you describe are exactly like Seattle's. In 1990. In 2016, fuggedaboutit.

http://www.zillow.com/seattle-wa/apartments/

https://seattle.craigslist.org/searc...ate=2016-10-28

just some ideas of our local prices. it's a very, very expensive housing market.

As for the ideas you talked about, I like the idea of helping her get some experience. I feel you left out the cliche' of real estate, location location location. Location truly matters.

Does she have a job or a school currently? Or lined up? Or hopeful for? Living close to the other main thing in her life makes a biiig difference. SonofV has a place, a shared bedroom, and he walks to work. He doesn't drive, so access to transit, or shank's mare is imperative.

I also think the experience of living with another person of the same age/situation (ish) has tremendous potential for encouraging the growth you're looking for. Roommates, you learn a LOT about life when you have roommates, amirite?

I think there's nothing to be gained by deliberately choosing a place with daylight roaches. Teach her to hate being there maybe. I don't think that's what you're going for.

Lots of stuff is nicer than back in the day. Cars. Appliances. Practically every kind of technology. I don't think that's a ... useful measure. There truly is benefit to be had in the experience of having a place that you want to work your way out of, unquestionably. If you are trying to optimize her learning curve to learn to shift for herself, especially economically, make that part easy for her to do by getting some place close to work so getting good at work so she can get good at getting (fungible) money will facilitate her getting good at all the other stuff she (and you) want her to get good at.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:32 AM   #5
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You people are in the the wrong place. I'm paying $700.00 a month for a 2 bedroom on the river.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:40 AM   #6
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It's all about where the jobs are and where the land is.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Lower Montgomery County PA, Collegeville to Norristown: welcome to the edge of the metropolis.

$750 is the minimum section 8 available and you may die

$750-1000 is that one bedroom in ghetto-y circumstances

$1000-1100 is someone's second floor that they are renting out, and your best bet for daily access is probably the fire escape. It's OK, just don't scare the cat. Or do anything at all really

$1100-1300 is cheaper managed places. Some bugs, second-rate appliances, institutional ugly brick, the neighbors are shady... but suddenly, at the top end, you find the smallest apartments in a few of the nicer managed buildings. As long as you can fit in 580 sq ft. Oh there is a storage closet. But it got robbed last year so don't keep anything nice there. Yeah no bikes.

$1300-1500 finally into 1 BR at better managed places, and two BR at the cheaper managed places. Now you get your own washing machine. Do you like the smell of curry?

$1850 1BR top buildings, pool, keyfob access, parking, tennis court, manicured lawn, snow removal, trash bins, 24 hr service, live like a goddamn human being

$2400 live like a goddamn human being right off the best exits of I-476, instead of 20 minutes of traffic jam away


The shithole I rented, where the roof caved in and the sewage froze up, was $1050 and it cost $2000 to heat in the winter. Well it was a house and there was a ton of space. All moldy, but it did have space.
Noted. This is relevant as the kid now works!
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
Undertoad
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Those are actual Zillow prices; that is the official market.

There is also a secret market in places that just have "For Rent" signs up, where people want someone to hole up in their In-Law Suite but don't have the ability or desire to use modern technology such as Craigslist. Once in a while, if one is not particularly laden with life, relationships, or possessions, one may get immensely lucky in that market.

On the other hand, having an unofficial sort of landlord is a huge risk, even if there is a lease signed. I wouldn't advise it for newbies, or anyone who can't get out of Dodge on a moment's notice.

From reading the internets, I believe that a lot of the youngsters in the city are getting bigger places and having 2-3 roommates. You do see offers out there for $600 for a 20-something professional to share with two other 20-something professionals. I imagine they all grew up watching sitcoms and just figured that is how it is done.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:19 PM   #9
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
Griff
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Lil P appreciated your input (and your humor). She said it is right in line with what they're finding.
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Old 10-29-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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In my neck o' the woods (emphasis on 'woods'), one can get a two br townhouse style place for as little as $450/month, but, they are built like cracker boxes. Decent townhouse style homes go for a little more, $700-$1000/month. A 2 br house, in the country (15 minutes to the interstate), in fair shape can be had for $300-$600/month.

Ya just gotta find an empty one.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:52 PM   #12
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Polo Girl has a top floor studio in a converted house in the historic district right downtown where she can walk to everywhere or get public transportation, and doesn't share. She pays about 900, students in shared houses can pay as low as 600, but more usually in the 7-800 range. I don't think the rent is significantly less in non-uni locations in "Little Detroit" where the people in their first jobs rent halfway decent shared apartments.
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:41 AM   #13
Clodfobble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
As for the ideas you talked about, I like the idea of helping her get some experience. I feel you left out the cliche' of real estate, location location location. Location truly matters.

Does she have a job or a school currently? Or lined up? Or hopeful for? Living close to the other main thing in her life makes a biiig difference. SonofV has a place, a shared bedroom, and he walks to work. He doesn't drive, so access to transit, or shank's mare is imperative.

I also think the experience of living with another person of the same age/situation (ish) has tremendous potential for encouraging the growth you're looking for. Roommates, you learn a LOT about life when you have roommates, amirite?

I think there's nothing to be gained by deliberately choosing a place with daylight roaches. Teach her to hate being there maybe. I don't think that's what you're going for.

Lots of stuff is nicer than back in the day. Cars. Appliances. Practically every kind of technology. I don't think that's a ... useful measure. There truly is benefit to be had in the experience of having a place that you want to work your way out of, unquestionably. If you are trying to optimize her learning curve to learn to shift for herself, especially economically, make that part easy for her to do by getting some place close to work so getting good at work so she can get good at getting (fungible) money will facilitate her getting good at all the other stuff she (and you) want her to get good at.
She has a job, and the $935 (super nice) place is about 5 minutes from it--she could walk there if she really had to, but it's on the highway. It's a 475 sq.ft. efficiency/studio though, so sharing with a roommate would be very intimate. At any rate, it's where she's going to end up. Mr. Clod is going there in person today to negotiate with them about how many months we'd have to pay upfront in order to start receiving discounts on the year as a whole. Is rent a thing you can negotiate like that? He seems to think it is. I don't care as long as I don't have to be involved in the negotiating, I can't handle crap like that.

The quality of her job, however, is what worries me. She works in low-level retail for $8 an hour, part-time only because they don't want to pay health insurance on any of their employees. No one would give her a full-time job. You may recall from my woes here how hard it was to get her a job in the first place. And she's doing fine at it, from what we can tell at least--she actually had two part-time jobs for awhile, but got fired from one. But even if they put her at full-time at her current payscale, she couldn't afford this place. She has to get up to a really-real job within a year, with both full-time hours and a better wage, or we're stuck paying for this apartment indefinitely. Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and she'd be solid. Oh, except this apartment complex (and all others that we've seen) requires you to make 3x the rent in order to get approved. So even $15 still wouldn't be enough if she were doing this on her own.

Or she could decide to go to college... which...

She's smart enough by a long shot to go to college, but is seriously burnt out on anything academic and very nearly failed her senior year of high school subconsciously-on-purpose just to show her mother how hard she wanted her to fuck off. (Still graduated like 6th in her class overall, if you want proof of how the honors-class-grade-inflation scam works.) The question of college still sends her into a panic attack. Personally I'm fine with non-college career paths, as long as she's happy and self-sufficient in life. Her father is not. His goal was for this to be a more traditional "gap year," to get her shit together enough for the confidence to start college next fall, but he has now accepted that this is unlikely.

She's going to be paying her own electric, internet, gas, food, washer-dryer rental--basically everything except rent, and hopefully some of rent too, if we can swing it. We want every dollar accounted for. But still, I fear this will play out as a year of her working part-time and playing video games the rest of the time and when the year is up we'll all be back where we are right now.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:09 AM   #14
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Clod
Dani (I hope she doesn't mind me saying this) and I have been stuck in the SD's situation. Not all of it of course, but that fact that rent + transport + bills + food = penury.

I've been lucky enough to have benefits from the Govt (well, I did work full time from 16, sometimes in three jobs), family and friends.
But there have been times I've had to choose whether to wash clothes, take a hot shower or cook a meal. And I don't have a TV or radio these days - I charge my portable DVD player up in the library.

I learned this in my 40s because I was either earning until then, or in later years living with Mum & Dad - and they put up with me because I looked after Grandad/ cooked meals/ washed windows etc.

I'm ALWAYS going to be rubbish with money.
But I don't think it's a really hard lesson for any kid to learn that it's not all sunshine and lollipops out there financially. It might be good for her to know there will be times she can't buy that hot new CD, or that cool pair of jeans, or any lipstick at all. She'll understand that sometimes if you're gaming all night you'll wake up and the electricity is cut off.

Personally I'd advise you to shell out as little as possible and prepare for her to come back. Then when she does, set very specific ground rules, more chores, find a better job and all that. And set a deadline. Then help with a slightly better place.

But that's me applying my mental health issues/ life experiences to someone I don't even know.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
Clod
Dani (I hope she doesn't mind me saying this) and I have been stuck in the SD's situation. Not all of it of course, but that fact that rent + transport + bills + food = penury.

I've been lucky enough to have benefits from the Govt (well, I did work full time from 16, sometimes in three jobs), family and friends.
But there have been times I've had to choose whether to wash clothes, take a hot shower or cook a meal. And I don't have a TV or radio these days - I charge my portable DVD player up in the library.

I learned this in my 40s because I was either earning until then, or in later years living with Mum & Dad - and they put up with me because I looked after Grandad/ cooked meals/ washed windows etc.

I'm ALWAYS going to be rubbish with money.
But I don't think it's a really hard lesson for any kid to learn that it's not all sunshine and lollipops out there financially. It might be good for her to know there will be times she can't buy that hot new CD, or that cool pair of jeans, or any lipstick at all. She'll understand that sometimes if you're gaming all night you'll wake up and the electricity is cut off.

Personally I'd advise you to shell out as little as possible and prepare for her to come back. Then when she does, set very specific ground rules, more chores, find a better job and all that. And set a deadline. Then help with a slightly better place.

But that's me applying my mental health issues/ life experiences to someone I don't even know.
This.
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