or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Frustration/Renting a home
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Frustration/Renting a home - Page 2

post #21 of 63

It sounds like the yard is more important to you than the square footage or the layout?  If so, can you look for a place that has a "den" or "dining room" that can be converted into another bedroom? (Depending on the child welfare laws in your area, you may need to give your child(ren) the actual bedroom with a closet, door that closes, and a window, and then you and DH would sleep in the den/dining room/whatever.) 

 

We currently live upstairs from my mom (she's in a wheelchair, and we help take care of her in exchange for a break on the rent.)  But I know that arrangement can't last forever, so I've been researching apartments in our area.  Two bedrooms for under $1200 are pretty much impossible to find -- but once we started looking at 1BRs with dining rooms, a lot more possibilities opened up! 

 

Gently, I'd also like to hear what some of you are defining as "dangerous", "ghetto", "shaky", etc...  I lived in one neighborhood in NYC that got the "You live THERE?!?!" reaction all the time - but I was right across from a hospital emergency room, and a Dunkin Donuts orngbiggrin.gif, so there were CONSTANT police cars parked near my building.  I couldn't have felt safer! 

In another neighborhood, I had suspicions that a lot of my neighbors were undocumented immigrants - which made me feel pretty safe, as well, since they didn't want any trouble on their block that would have the police asking questions... and the "big men" in that particular community wanted to keep it that way. 

 

All that being said, I've also looked at apartments in neighborhoods that skeeved me out completely - not b/c of the demographics, but because it was desolate after dark, or there was a lot of street harassment of women, etc etc.  Really, if you (generic you) are considering a rental, I think the best thing to do is to visit the neighborhood BOTH in the daytime and in the nighttime, and to trust your instincts. Does that make sense? 

post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

It sounds like the yard is more important to you than the square footage or the layout?  If so, can you look for a place that has a "den" or "dining room" that can be converted into another bedroom? (Depending on the child welfare laws in your area, you may need to give your child(ren) the actual bedroom with a closet, door that closes, and a window, and then you and DH would sleep in the den/dining room/whatever.) 

 

We currently live upstairs from my mom (she's in a wheelchair, and we help take care of her in exchange for a break on the rent.)  But I know that arrangement can't last forever, so I've been researching apartments in our area.  Two bedrooms for under $1200 are pretty much impossible to find -- but once we started looking at 1BRs with dining rooms, a lot more possibilities opened up! 

 

Gently, I'd also like to hear what some of you are defining as "dangerous", "ghetto", "shaky", etc...  I lived in one neighborhood in NYC that got the "You live THERE?!?!" reaction all the time - but I was right across from a hospital emergency room, and a Dunkin Donuts orngbiggrin.gif, so there were CONSTANT police cars parked near my building.  I couldn't have felt safer! 

In another neighborhood, I had suspicions that a lot of my neighbors were undocumented immigrants - which made me feel pretty safe, as well, since they didn't want any trouble on their block that would have the police asking questions... and the "big men" in that particular community wanted to keep it that way. 

 

All that being said, I've also looked at apartments in neighborhoods that skeeved me out completely - not b/c of the demographics, but because it was desolate after dark, or there was a lot of street harassment of women, etc etc.  Really, if you (generic you) are considering a rental, I think the best thing to do is to visit the neighborhood BOTH in the daytime and in the nighttime, and to trust your instincts. Does that make sense? 

 

For me, that would be the neighborhood we lived in when I was a child; prostitutes on the corners (three or four houses down from ours), every night and drug dealers, needles and other drug paraphernalia all over the sidewalks/streets/yards, that kind of stuff. But that's just my 2cents.gif.  (I was followed once when I was a kid at night taking a loaf of bread down a few houses to a friend's house. Was lucky I didn't get assaulted, or worse. Never went out again after dark by myself, though.)

post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcneal View Post

 

For me, that would be the neighborhood we lived in when I was a child; prostitutes on the corners (three or four houses down from ours), every night and drug dealers, needles and other drug paraphernalia all over the sidewalks/streets/yards, that kind of stuff. But that's just my 2cents.gif.  (I was followed once when I was a kid at night taking a loaf of bread down a few houses to a friend's house. Was lucky I didn't get assaulted, or worse. Never went out again after dark by myself, though.)

 

Yeesh, that sounds rough.  I'm sorry you had to go through that. 

 

I should mention that I haven't lived in an urban area since I got pregnant, so maybe everything I say should be taken with a big grinder of salt (I like the Hawaiian pink kind, myself). orngbiggrin.gif

My experience has been that those people who had the worst time living in "bad" neighborhoods, were those who saw the area as just a source of cheap rent, and didn't make any kind of connections in the community. (I am NOT including bmcneal's family in this - I have never met them and know nothing about them.) 

 

If the "old-timers" in the neighborhood never see you (generic you) except when you're dashing from your bus stop, parking spot or train station to your front door, keeping your head down and clutching your purse the whole time -- what kind of opinion will they form of you?  And what kind of opinion will they assume you have of them?  

If you shop in the local stores, chat with people on the street (maybe even the sex workers! They might be hardworking moms too), help the elderly widow on your block take out the trash, whatever - after a while, you'll have a network of people who "watch your back" for you.  

 

It also helps, if you can, to join local organizations - which could be a church, a block association, a community garden, whatever.  (In our case, my spouse and I belonged to a religious group that was well-known in the area.  If you ever want to feel completely safe in a Caribbean-American neighborhood, try walking around in head-to-toe white, with a white head covering, and perhaps wearing a rosary or a saint's medal... orngbiggrin.gif)  But obviously, DON'T come into any of these existing orgs as the "new person" who's going to "change everything" with all your great ideas - I'd gently suggest shutting up and listening for the first three meetings, at least.  

 

If anyone tries these suggestions (or, you already tried them, and they failed spectacularly), I'd definitely like to know!

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

 

Yeesh, that sounds rough.  I'm sorry you had to go through that. 

 

Meh, it is what it is. We were really poor, and while it wasn't ideal, it was a place to live.

 

I should mention that I haven't lived in an urban area since I got pregnant, so maybe everything I say should be taken with a big grinder of salt (I like the Hawaiian pink kind, myself). orngbiggrin.gif

My experience has been that those people who had the worst time living in "bad" neighborhoods, were those who saw the area as just a source of cheap rent, and didn't make any kind of connections in the community. (I am NOT including bmcneal's family in this - I have never met them and know nothing about them.)

 

If the "old-timers" in the neighborhood never see you (generic you) except when you're dashing from your bus stop, parking spot or train station to your front door, keeping your head down and clutching your purse the whole time -- what kind of opinion will they form of you?  And what kind of opinion will they assume you have of them?  

If you shop in the local stores, chat with people on the street (maybe even the sex workers! They might be hardworking moms too), help the elderly widow on your block take out the trash, whatever - after a while, you'll have a network of people who "watch your back" for you.  

 

It also helps, if you can, to join local organizations - which could be a church, a block association, a community garden, whatever.  (In our case, my spouse and I belonged to a religious group that was well-known in the area.  If you ever want to feel completely safe in a Caribbean-American neighborhood, try walking around in head-to-toe white, with a white head covering, and perhaps wearing a rosary or a saint's medal... orngbiggrin.gif)  But obviously, DON'T come into any of these existing orgs as the "new person" who's going to "change everything" with all your great ideas - I'd gently suggest shutting up and listening for the first three meetings, at least.  

 

If anyone tries these suggestions (or, you already tried them, and they failed spectacularly), I'd definitely like to know!

 

These are all really good ideas! We kind of stay to ourselves here, but that's mostly because a lot of our business is conducted outside of "normal" business hours. That being said, we live next to my mom on one side, so we have okay relationship with those neighbors, and DD and DS are friends (I think. I swear, these kids friend and un-friend each other more than all of FaceBook combined...) with the neighbors on the other side, and I/we do talk to them/their mom when we see them.

 

The neighbors on the other side of my mom, I rarely see the mom, but DD occasionally talks to the little girl that lives there. She's kind of mean (the other girl), so neither DD nor the neighbor girl/kids directly next to us play with her terribly a lot. (She is I think 10, and DD is 7 and DS is 4. She can be bossy and I have literally seen her push/shove/physically contact my children in a not-friendly way, so while I allow them to play with her when I am able to pay closer attention, I don't like for them to play with her too much when I'm not right there, and they kind of have gravitated away from her after those incidents started.) The neighbors on the other side of those neighbors are older, and either because they don't get out much, or because our schedules are so different, I very rarely see them, and if I do, I will exchange small talk, or wave or whatever. I'm pretty happy with my neighbors. :) (Even though I do worry about the one little girl. DF and I have seen her outside playing as late as 11 on school nights, and a lot of times, she says she didn't/doesn't go to school because she didn't/hasn't been to bed yet. DF and I socialized a bit with her mother a few years ago, but when we moved the first time, we lost contact. I would like to ask her if she needs anything, but I worry about making waves/social faux pas. I'm not sure about enough of the situation that I feel comfortable contacting anyone "official" or talking to her mother, really, but I do worry.)

post #25 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

It sounds like the yard is more important to you than the square footage or the layout?  If so, can you look for a place that has a "den" or "dining room" that can be converted into another bedroom? (Depending on the child welfare laws in your area, you may need to give your child(ren) the actual bedroom with a closet, door that closes, and a window, and then you and DH would sleep in the den/dining room/whatever.) 

 

We currently live upstairs from my mom (she's in a wheelchair, and we help take care of her in exchange for a break on the rent.)  But I know that arrangement can't last forever, so I've been researching apartments in our area.  Two bedrooms for under $1200 are pretty much impossible to find -- but once we started looking at 1BRs with dining rooms, a lot more possibilities opened up! 

 

Gently, I'd also like to hear what some of you are defining as "dangerous", "ghetto", "shaky", etc...  I lived in one neighborhood in NYC that got the "You live THERE?!?!" reaction all the time - but I was right across from a hospital emergency room, and a Dunkin Donuts orngbiggrin.gif, so there were CONSTANT police cars parked near my building.  I couldn't have felt safer! 

In another neighborhood, I had suspicions that a lot of my neighbors were undocumented immigrants - which made me feel pretty safe, as well, since they didn't want any trouble on their block that would have the police asking questions... and the "big men" in that particular community wanted to keep it that way. 

 

All that being said, I've also looked at apartments in neighborhoods that skeeved me out completely - not b/c of the demographics, but because it was desolate after dark, or there was a lot of street harassment of women, etc etc.  Really, if you (generic you) are considering a rental, I think the best thing to do is to visit the neighborhood BOTH in the daytime and in the nighttime, and to trust your instincts. Does that make sense? 

 

I'm talking about rough stuff. Prostitutes, calling the cops on a person being beaten in the street by 5-6 dudes with chains, guns, child/animals/domestic abuse, drugs, hustlers all over ... basically my old neighborhood in MPLS before we moved here, and neighborhoods like that. There were/are certainly people there trying to make it a better place, and I was one of them, but I can't anymore (sadly) and I don't want to really get into why but like I said, I have PTSD and as much as I'd like to ignore it, I can't, especially with DD and another on the way.

 

Not urban areas, though, like we are looking at W. St. Paul. It isn't nice but it isn't bad either. It's urban and has it's own thugs, but nothing that rivals areas I am thinking about. 

 

Day and nighttime is a GREAT idea! I sort of know where we need NOT to be but the places I am open to, we should check it out at both times, and in the spring/summer too because winter is here and that is not an accurate portrayal of life during the 3 other seasons. 

 

2 BR is not really a need, but law around here. We have a 2 br now and we all share one room, but legally we can't rent under 2 BR. 

post #26 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcneal View Post

It probably has a lot to do with the area you are living in, too. Right now, DF is the only one working (that started mid-December, when I had to quit my job), we rent a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with yard, garden area, and 2 car garage, and it's $600/month + utilities, which each (water/electricity and gas) run around $100/month each, so total of $800. (I'm not trying to rub it it, just showing differences of cost/area.) Just rent/utilities is over 1/2 of his income, so we're oftentimes tight on money, but we live right next door to my mom, which the kids love, and it's small town, close to a couple of cities, but far enough not to have to worry about the drama of living in the city. (We live in Indiana, if that helps.)

I want to live in Indiana winky.gif

post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarciaFamily View Post

I want to live in Indiana winky.gif

 

Come on over! The water's fine! (As long as it's summertime. Winters get a bit cold, but if there's enough snow to play in, I don't mind.) orngtongue.gif

 

To give an idea about other dwellings around here (in case anyone was wondering or cares...) I've rented an upstairs studio apartment for $325/month utilities included (no yard, as it was downtown), and a one bedroom duplex (well, half of a duplex), for $425/month, utilities included (with a fairly large backyard), and the other half of the duplex was 2 bedroom, which was $525/month with utilities included, (with a slightly smaller yard than the other half, but still okay size), all in same city here in Indiana.

 

I've never lived (as a rent-paying adult) in any other cities here in Indiana.

 

In east Tennessee, we rented a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom duplex for $600/month, plus utilities. That one was a side-by-side duplex, and it had a *huge* front yard, and even bigger back yard.

post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarciaFamily View Post

 

I'm talking about rough stuff. Prostitutes, calling the cops on a person being beaten in the street by 5-6 dudes with chains, guns, child/animals/domestic abuse, drugs, hustlers all over ... basically my old neighborhood in MPLS before we moved here, and neighborhoods like that. There were/are certainly people there trying to make it a better place, and I was one of them, but I can't anymore (sadly) and I don't want to really get into why but like I said, I have PTSD and as much as I'd like to ignore it, I can't, especially with DD and another on the way.

 

Yeah, you can only do so much!  I'm sorry to hear about the PTSD - I'm a survivor myself so can definitely understand. (hugs if you want them) 

 

Day and nighttime is a GREAT idea! I sort of know where we need NOT to be but the places I am open to, we should check it out at both times, and in the spring/summer too because winter is here and that is not an accurate portrayal of life during the 3 other seasons. 

 

That's a good point I overlooked! ...We rented one apt in the fall, and when the following summer came around, we were NOT prepared for the number of people who'd be hanging out on our stoop all day long, nor for the LOUD concerts they held in the nearby park, on weeknights, until 1:30am... 

 

2 BR is not really a need, but law around here. We have a 2 br now and we all share one room, but legally we can't rent under 2 BR. 

 

That's crazy!  I understand the law is in place to prevent greedy landlords from renting closet-sized apartments to families, but you know, some people don't NEED a McMansion sized living space... 

 

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

Gently, I'd also like to hear what some of you are defining as "dangerous", "ghetto", "shaky", etc...

The neighborhoods where you hear gunshots out the window every night... yeah, BTDT, not really interested in living there with a child...
post #30 of 63
It just depends on where you live. Here a modest 2 bed house can be rented for $400
post #31 of 63

*


Edited by LoveOurBabies - 2/3/13 at 6:57pm
post #32 of 63

In my city, neighborhoods vary block by block. A major metropolitan area, but not all streets are even paved (I don't mean they are gravel; I am talking serious undrivable potholes). One area may have syringes and condoms in the gutters, the next block may have well-tended rose gardens in every yard. My kids are teens, and use public transportation, so it is important to me for our neighborhood to be safe enough. We are searching for a house now, and have learned not to predict too much by the address - we drive by and look for ourselves.
 

post #33 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post

In my city, neighborhoods vary block by block. A major metropolitan area, but not all streets are even paved (I don't mean they are gravel; I am talking serious undrivable potholes). One area may have syringes and condoms in the gutters, the next block may have well-tended rose gardens in every yard. My kids are teens, and use public transportation, so it is important to me for our neighborhood to be safe enough. We are searching for a house now, and have learned not to predict too much by the address - we drive by and look for ourselves.
 

Yeah that's a good point! Our old neighborhood, we lived on a good side of a one block. Cross the street or go down a block toward the bus stop, yuckpie. 

post #34 of 63

We've always budgeted a maximum of one-third of our gross income for housing, and then took the best we could find within that limit.  For several years, that meant living in apartments and dealing with all their inconveniences.  Over time, my husband's income has gradually risen, and now we can afford to rent a house.

 

You're fortunate that you only need two bedrooms.  In the metro, anything larger than that is a lot scarcer and more expensive--or is located in a much worse neighborhood.

 

A good park within a three minute walk of your home is close enough to use daily, if you can't afford your own yard.

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaske View Post

We've always budgeted a maximum of one-third of our gross income for housing, and then took the best we could find within that limit.  For several years, that meant living in apartments and dealing with all their inconveniences.  Over time, my husband's income has gradually risen, and now we can afford to rent a house.

 

You're fortunate that you only need two bedrooms.  In the metro, anything larger than that is a lot scarcer and more expensive--or is located in a much worse neighborhood.

 

A good park within a three minute walk of your home is close enough to use daily, if you can't afford your own yard.

 

OP: Would it be possible to move to a downstairs appartment so it was easier to walk the dogs.  When DD was born we lived upstairs and toting laundry downstairs (with the baby) was a giant PITA.  We just didn't really have the expectation that we could afford a house, though.  When DP started making more money, we moved to a downstairs appartment and lived there until we were 8 months pg with DS.  In retrospect, the 2nd appartment was much larger than we needed (the first was about 600, the 2nd 930) because our toddler slept in our room and we kept most of her toys in the living room any way.  I think some people above had good ideas about considering places with dens/ living rooms, living by a park with a dog area, etc... that might make your living situation *feel* bigger at least temporarily.  For me, at least, the last thing I needed with a newborn was MORE space to clean!

post #36 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

OP: Would it be possible to move to a downstairs appartment so it was easier to walk the dogs.  When DD was born we lived upstairs and toting laundry downstairs (with the baby) was a giant PITA.  We just didn't really have the expectation that we could afford a house, though.  When DP started making more money, we moved to a downstairs appartment and lived there until we were 8 months pg with DS.  In retrospect, the 2nd appartment was much larger than we needed (the first was about 600, the 2nd 930) because our toddler slept in our room and we kept most of her toys in the living room any way.  I think some people above had good ideas about considering places with dens/ living rooms, living by a park with a dog area, etc... that might make your living situation *feel* bigger at least temporarily.  For me, at least, the last thing I needed with a newborn was MORE space to clean!

Not at the moment no; not here at least.

 

We don't need 2 bedrooms, though DH wants 2, it is law here to have 2 people max per room. We share the big bedroom and LR is DD's play area. DH has the 2nd bedroom for his space. 

 

Walking the dogs isn't really the issue, it's getting 2 kids and the dogs ready for potty in the winter. In the spring/summer/fall it's 'easy' winky.gif to get them ready and go for a walk but when windchill is like -30 cold.gif, I really don't want to take a newborn out in it... I have come up with the PITA solution and it is what we will do if we don't find a place. If only I would've litter trained those pugs!!!

 

 

I also have psoriatic arthritis so, it just makes the situation crappier. I know shortly after DD was born I could barely walk. Hopefully that won't be the case again. 

 

 

The thing is, DH won't ever really make more money. That was part of my curiosity. I know God provides and I am leaning on that. He is also the God of miracles and that is what it would take!!! Like I said, I am very blessed to have this place at the price we have it at, but I do ache for a home with a yard. Especially my own, but that is shooting for the stars and hey, sometimes you hit one right?! 

 

Anyway, eyes are still peeled! Still praying and waiting! I appreciate your response!joy.gif

post #37 of 63

I'll keep you in my thoughts!

 

Have you thought about a lower level appartment where the landlord would let you fence off an area you could let the pugs out in.  Our last appartment the landlord said we could be fence in small area around the patio.  We ended up not doing so, but I've seen people put a couple of these around the patio door and call it good:

http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Zinc-Indoor-Outdoor-Exercise/dp/B0002AT2IE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360011756&sr=8-2&keywords=24%22+pet+fence

 

Good luck finding something you like. 

post #38 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

I'll keep you in my thoughts!

 

Have you thought about a lower level appartment where the landlord would let you fence off an area you could let the pugs out in.  Our last appartment the landlord said we could be fence in small area around the patio.  We ended up not doing so, but I've seen people put a couple of these around the patio door and call it good:

http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Zinc-Indoor-Outdoor-Exercise/dp/B0002AT2IE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360011756&sr=8-2&keywords=24%22+pet+fence

 

Good luck finding something you like. 

 

You brilliant woman you! I've never thought of putting up my own little fence!!! My, you should see the smile on my face... now I just have to find a ground level place with a patio door. (And I just may have found something that will work... I don't know, we will see!)

 

SWEET!

post #39 of 63

What about the close suburbs? Richfield or Eagan or Roseville or Inver Grove Heights? They have duplex and apartments with yards. Most towns have bus service into MPLS and St Paul normal business hours (like 7am and 5pm).

post #40 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laura163 View Post

What about the close suburbs? Richfield or Eagan or Roseville or Inver Grove Heights? They have duplex and apartments with yards. Most towns have bus service into MPLS and St Paul normal business hours (like 7am and 5pm).

Yes, we are looking (east side moreso) there for sure! Thanks for the input Laura!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Frustration/Renting a home