I hear ya. We are in the same position. All I hear when people come over is, "I don't know how you do it. I would go crazy in such a small place." Number one, that's a dig on my home that I provide for my kids so go jump off a cliff. Number two, it's not my first choice okay? It's what we can afford. It works. It's not ideal but it's a roof over our heads.
We own our home, and so haven't rented in a very long time. About 15 years ago, we were paying $800/month for a 2 bedroom. Recently, Hurricane Sandy hit our area very hard. There are many people whose homes were destroyed, so they are looking for rentals. I would estimate that a 2 bedroom place would be at least $1100 to $1200 in our area of the East Coast, but we are one of the most expensive states!
In terms of trying to afford to live on one income, it is not easy! I am a SAHM, homeschooling our 7 children. My husband owns his own business (also hit badly by the hurricane). Every month is different, and we often worry. A steady paycheck would be nice, but I love being able to be home with our children, and I am willing to give up all the luxuries that a second paycheck would afford. My dad always says that giving the kids a loving family, with siblings to be their friends for life, is so much more important than any material things (ie having their own rooms, going on vacations, driving a nicer car).
You've gotten some good suggestions. For sure keep your options open as to location, be open to moving to the suburbs.
My other question is- are you wanting to move right now? Or are you flexible on moving date? I've owned for the last 15 years, but was in the position where I needed to rent a house last year. I watched craigslist, realtor and zillow for awhile and saw that, at least in my area, there was a huge difference in the units that were available at different times of year. Much like houses for sale, there are fewer houses for rent in the winter months. Many people who want to live in houses (as opposed to apartments) have children, and prefer to move during the summer so they don't have to pull their kids out of school in the middle of the school year. If you can wait, I suspect that you'll start seeing many more options advertised in the spring.
I kept a very close eye on the rental market during the spring and summer last year, and finally found a house to rent in mid August, and was able to move in on Sept. 1. I live in a smaller town and have 4 school age kids, so I was very specific as to where I wanted to live, and picky about the size and condition of the house. I'm not sure if it's specific to my exact location, but I did have a hard time finding our current home. I enquired about everything I saw online, and everything I was interested in last summer was rented within the first week of it being advertised. The house we ended up renting, I toured the first day the realtor was available. I toured the house myself because DP was out of town on business. I filled out the application 20 minutes after walking into the house and paid the $50 application fee. DP had to email his application. There were 3 applicants for the house, and the homeowners chose us.
We basically live on one income (I work part-time, but my salary goes into savings). I live towards the SW edge of the twin cities metro area, and I'm renting an 8 year old, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house on a quarter acre for $1400/month, which I think is a fabulous deal. It's much cheaper than the mortgage on the houses I've owned in the past. It is a drive to the city, but it's not an issue for us because I work locally and DP is a consultant and mostly works from home. Occasionally he travels for work, and we're about 45 minutes from the airport. We end up downtown Minneapolis a few times/month on the weekends, but I'd hate to drive that every day.
I think in most places, there's a huge difference in prices. In my town, I've seen low-income townhouses for rent for $600/month, and country estates for rent for several thousand/month.
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.
|Frugality , Finances|