Sunday, June 30, 2013

A House Hunting We Will Go? (2013 edition)

So here's the situation. My rent already went up once this year. And now it's going up again. It'll have gone up 6.5% after this. (I did the math.  Twice.) What with all the medical issues and student loan payments, that's, frankly, too much for my budget and attempts to get out of non-mortgage debt, especially if it's going to happen every year. Below are the options.  Do you have any suggestions about things I've missed or opinions on what seems like the best idea or time frame?

I'd really appreciate your advice . . .

    What I Dream About
    SITUATION: A good friend will get a full time job and she and her family will be able to buy a big house (duplex or apartment building or mother-in-law suite or whatever), and I'll move in and help them pay off their mortgage faster ($500 a month) while being able to pay off other loans faster (by not having rent keep going up crazy, unexpected  amounts all the time)
    DIFFICULTIES: To be frank, my friend might not be able to get solid, full-time employment.  The job market just isn't terrific for her field in this area.  It definitely won't be in place before my rent spikes for the second time this year.
    ONE MORE THING: If I do find another place, some corollary to Murphy's Law guarantees that my friend will soon land a great, full-time job.  But I'm willing to take that one for the team.  : )  Also, I may end up increasing my commute time and end up even further away from PT.
    The Next Best Thing
    SITUATION: Buy a condo or townhouse.  Still living in a community for safety but with fewer neighbors than an apartment (and hopefully less having to overhear raging domestic arguments)
    DIFFICULTIES: Finding one of these that is single level in the price range I'm looking is sort of impossible.  I really only need a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen on one of those levels (possible surgery concerns).  Also, these have association dues, and those can go up randomly year to year just like rent can.
    ONE MORE THING: To avoid ending up with double payments, I'd have to give notice ASAP that I'll be vacating my apartment; if I don't find a house and close on it in that time, I'll be stuck in a big way.  I could end up being allergic to some hidden thing in the house I won't know about until I start living there, and I may not have the money to get it fixed.
    The Next, Next Best Thing
    SITUATION: Buy a house.  It's easier to find single-level houses with all the rooms on the ground floor, and there are no association dues to pay. 
    DIFFICULTIES: I would be living alone.  That can be dangerous for a number of reasons (and my mother would worry ridiculous amounts).  Also, I have to shovel snow and mow the lawn, something I am not really physically capable of doing, so I'd have to pay someone else to do it and be concerned about someone getting hurt or getting trapped in my house if the snow removal people get tied up.
    ONE MORE THING: Hiring a snow removal service and some kid in the neighborhood to mow the lawn is an expense that can also go up suddenly. 
    The Status Quo
    SITUATION: Stay here for now (and pray the dream comes true [SOON, DEAR GOD, PLEASE]). 
    DIFFICULTIES: Deal with the rent hikes and the extra money I have to blow running my AC all four seasons because I live on the third floor and nobody in this building pays for heat, and so they waste it insanely, baking those on the third floor.  And all the screaming and the strangers my fellow tenants casually let into the building.  And the added trouble sleeping because of the light and noise from the rigged up AC in the bedroom.
    ONE MORE THING: At least I wouldn't have to pack and inflict moving on my friends.  Again.  In summer.  And if something did come up (sudden job loss or something else), I am still probably more easily mobile in this situation.
    The Least Best Thing
    SITUATION: Move to another apartment.  It could be better.  It would have to be more expensive to be this size but better quality.
    DIFFICULTIES: Seriously?  Pack and inflict moving on my friends when I will just have to move again and when I can't know if the rent will be more stable or if the situation will be improved.
    ONE MORE THING: Just don't have the energy to do the research on this for some place knowingly  temporary. 


  1. Hey! Your dream is my dream too!

  2. And now I have to resist the inappropriate melodramatic urge to sing a personal version of a certain Les Mis song . . . "Now rent increases have killed the dream I dreeeeeeeeeeeamed . . ." : )