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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

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The $625 Apartment

The worst thing about articles about having a crappy $625 apartment in Brooklyn are invariably the comments by people who live in other parts of the country who are paying a comparable amount for homes with in-ground heated swimming pools. Here's your chance!

I have such fond memories of paying $1350 for a room in a fifth floor walk-up which obviously used to be a studio prior to the addition of two illegal walls. There was a skylight! It leaked. The lock broke constantly. I'm pretty sure there was a broker's fee. The guy who fixed things lived in Flushing. But, you know, it was on Thompson between Bleecker and West 3rd between two different chess stores.

How many water bugs and car alarms do you get for your rent?



430 Comments / Post A Comment

EpWs

$500 a month gets me half of a converted first-floor of a fourplex--I got the half without a bedroom so I sleep in what was probably the dining room. Despite having the original kitchen, the kitchen is smaller than my bathroom, as well as being smaller than most closets. Other benefits include the large bug I killed with a shoe two days ago, infestations of ants (summer 1), fruit flies (summer 2), and no air conditioning, dishwasher, or washing machine. It also comes with a FREE drummer/band next door who play nothing but Muse covers. Over, and over, and over.

I move in three weeks.

eiffeldesigns

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Sounds like a steal! ;-)

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I'm currently apartment hunting in Lexington near campus. Not a simple task. Let me know if you see anything good!

EpWs

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook I'll be out of my apartment (12 minute walk to main campus, slightly farther to the law school) on June 1st, but I'm not sure you want it. (See: bugs, drummer, no a/c.) A friend of mine at the law school lives off of Virginia and has a nice place, I'd be happy to forward you the info for the complex if you'd like!
@kirs It's actually not a terrible place. It just sucks for someone who doesn't like a lot of repetitive noise, loves to cook, and overheats easily. :/

cuminafterall

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher @Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook My sister is transferring to UK in the fall and will be going through the same process... is it real cutthroat in the Lexington rental market? She's a babe in the woods and I'm nervous for her!

EpWs

@cuminafterall It's not too bad! There's a lot of student slums around campus, but you get that anywhere. I know many people with absolutely lovely apartments not too far from the school. Feel free to email me (or have her email me) at wordsnatcher DOT everpresent AT the gee mails and we can talk through things!

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher LUCKY.

Lady Humungus

Before I moved in with my fiance last summer, I had a 1-bedroom on the 3rd floor of a cute old house in Buffalo, NY for $550 a month (right near the park!). All utilities included, and he let me paint the walls and paid for the paint. The windows were old, but I didn't pay for heat so NBD. Ahh, I loved that place!

EpWs

@Lady Humungus All utilities included? DANG. Jealous. My heating bill in the old house I live in nearly killed me last winter, stupid windows.

ap_physics

@Lady Humungus Oh mannnn I grew up in Buffalo (currently live in Brooklyn) where my brother pays the same amount as I do and gets much much nicer amenities (tin ceilings! amazing bathroom! Outdoor Space!). Ohh all those gorgeous old houses...

VolcanoMouse

@Lady Humungus Daaang, utilities? That's an incredibly good deal, considering that heating one of those cute old houses Buffalo in Buffalo is SO expensive.

Lady Humungus

Yeah, the heat included thing really catapulted it into super-awesome. I didn't have a thermostat though, the guy on the 2nd floor controlled the temp for both of our places.

Lady Humungus

Oh, and it was reallllly gross looking until I painted literally every surface other than the floors. Obs the landlord didn't know what he had - he could probably rent it out for 650 or higher now.

bananapants

I'm moving to Austin next month! But I'm paying ~$500/month more than I am now, which is already giving me palpitations. However, the increase is due to the fact that I currently live in a very cheap (and crappy, the bathroom floor has collapsed and there are bugs) place in a horrible town in SE Texas, so. Maybe rent comparison between the two is a bad idea. Even THINKING about affording rent in New York makes me want to preemptively move back in with my parents and just skip the slow slide into poverty step.

Ellie

@bananapants I lived in a super nice apartment complex in Austin, one bedroom apartment (real apartment like grownups live in), pool, facilities maintenance, gate, disposal, dishwasher, carpet everything else nice for $675 a month. I'm really stunned that it's even possible to pay $500 more than you pay now anywhere in Austin. Is your current rent like five dollars a month?

Sorbee

@bananapants I moved to Austin from DC and did cartwheels when I saw how much cheaper rent was. Then I started talking to locals and realized how much I'm overpaying. :( BUT it's a freestanding house with a fenced yard, where the Pooch can poo without me having to supervise, plus it's in a good 'hood, so I haven't moved since I landed here three years ago. Some things are worth paying for I guess? Anyway, welcome to Austin!

mackymoo

I live in a hip neighborhood in Chicago and for some reason decided to browse real estate in North Carolina today. Whole houses for what I pay for a 1bd now! Mind = blown.

Does anyone else enjoy house shopping as much as I do? I'm 24! I don't even have that much money!

Emma Peel

@mackymoo Ha, and I live in DC now, and periodically look at the beautiful one-bedrooms I could get in Chicago for what I pay for a room in an old house with a bunch of roommates here and dream about moving back. Then I remember what winter was like.

But my point is, it's all relative.

Maria

@mackymoo Yes! It's fun to just look through the listings for hypothetical future homes.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@mackymoo ALL THE TIME. In the most random places, too - Maine, upstate NY, farm towns, FRANCE. I love those articles that are like, "See what $300K will get you in towns across America!" (Note: I have nowhere near $300K except in my wildest imaginings [I am so broke that even my wildest imaginings only put me in the upper middle-class range.].)

Chicago is one of the places I always look, though! I'm kinda sorta considering a move? I'm going to be job-hunting soon and I think I'm willing to go where the higher-salary-wind takes me. If you wouldn't mind offering your expertise, any advice on where to look?

hotdog

@MoxyCrimeFighter I just moved to Chicago a year ago, and have recently apartment hunted: welcome. It's not bad at all! I have a one bedroom in a reasonably hip yet close to downtown neighborhood, for 825 a month. Not bad, not great; the apartment is decently sized, with acess to a back patio. Any other questions will be gladly fielded!

olivebee

@mackymoo Fellow 24 yr old Chicago resident here, and OMG I have the worst home-envy. When I walk anywhere in my neighborhood, I practically drool over some of the gorgeous city houses near my 2 bedroom apartment. There is a house right around the corner from my apartment that my husband and I are obsessed with, and it just went up for sale. We were like, ugh too bad we don't have a kajillion dollars.

But yeah, I am from Pittsburgh, and homes where I grew up cost the same as my damn apartment.

(P.S. @all you Chicago residents: come to the pinup this month!)

MoxyCrimeFighter

@hotdog Thanks! I went on a super-intense apartment-hunting jag a few months back - there was one that I was literally about to call the agent on, despite currently living in Philly and not having a job in Chicago. But it was sooo pretty: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (one had a clawfoot tub!), hardwood floors, a beautiful annex off the living room that was part of a turret, tons of light, big closets, right near the lake, and it was something ridiculous like $1000 a month...sigh. But it was in Rogers Park, which I later read is a bad neighborhood?

Ideally, I'd like something sort of hipster-y (ugh, I hate even saying that, but I'm not into sports and I'm not a yuppie) - good arts and music scene, lots of bars, a walkable neighborhood near a park would be awesome! Oh, and if you want to throw in like a farmers' market nearby that'd be great, too haha.

And off to Craigslist I go!

spoondisaster

@mackymoo I live in NC and lived in a house with a friend a few years ago and it was $850 a month for a three bedroom house with a huge kitchen and a gas stove. We paid for all of our utilities except water and the house was cold in the winter and hot in the summer, but I only paid $425 a month in rent, so it was alright. Now I live in a huge 2br by myself for $650/month and don't pay for water (I think that's a thing here) and have laundry facilities. I can't imagine paying rent in NYC or Chicago or SF!

nonvolleyball

@MoxyCrimeFighter Chicago has a really wide range of housing options based on your preferred scene, parking/public-transit needs, comfort level with slightly grittier neighborhoods, etc. from 2005 through 2007 we lived in a tiny one-bedroom in the Lakeview neighborhood with a "view" of the building across a six-foot-wide alley from us. our sink & fridge were half the size of those in normal kitchen, the kitchen was essentially too small for two people to co-occupy, & we paid to park in a garage a block & a half away (because we had to; street parking there is impossible). but we had access to an awesome communal rooftop deck whose stairs were right around the corner from our door (& which other residents rarely use). & it was In the Middle of Everything, which made it a great introduction living in the city proper. (I went to college on the south side, where I once inhabited a disgusting basement apartment literally a block away from the Obamas' old house.)

since 2008, we've rented a lady's condo in an Uptown high-rise. we have room for a kitchen table, we have a dishwasher, & the parking garage is in the building. it also has a rooftop deck. & our rent, right now, in 2012, is exactly the same as what we were paying for our Lakeview place five years ago (including parking in both numbers). it also hasn't gone up since we moved in, whereas the Lakeview place was going to raise the rent on us if we weren't already moving out.

our current place was found through Apartment People, which is (coincidentally enough) in Lakeview. owners pay to list through them, but you don't pay a fee, & the guy who worked with us was really perceptive about what we were looking for & showed us far more places than we ever could've visited on our own. so I'd recommend going that route, especially if you're not familiar with the city.

I have many more thoughts about Chicago neighborhoods & apartments, but I think this is already the longest comment ever typed so I'll stop now. :)

bibliostitute

@MoxyCrimeFighter WHOAWHOAWHOA RP is the shit! Direct your eyes to this article on what it means to live in RP these days: http://www.believermag.com/issues/200802/?read=article_biss

Also I have many friends who live there who had better lives than I could ever dream of while I was slowly dying in Uptown, so... biased?

But allow me also to recommend Damen blue line, Argyle red line, and Southworth/Paulina brownline stops if you are interested in hipstery but maybe still affordable and can put up with a little guff from people talking shit about your nayb.

Just say no to Lawrence and Wilson.

Emma Peel

@MoxyCrimeFighter Haven't lived in Chicago for a few years, but I would NOT call Rogers Park a "bad neighborhood" -- it's the city, so you have to keep pay attention, but my impression always was that it was just heavily working-class, with lots of immigrants, but not horribly unsafe (like Englewood or the like are). There are parts of Howard Street I wouldn't walk down alone at night, and it's not particularly "cool" or wasn't then. But RP also has Devon Avenue, aka Little India, and has to be one of the most racially mixed areas in the city.

oh guys. I'm giving up my apartment hunt in DC and just moving back. I miss it so much.

Alixana

@nonvolleyball Uptown represent! We must be neighbors :).

Bitterblue

@mackymoo Check out Domu.com for Chicago rentals? It's where I go to browse when I'm feeling really dissatisfied with my tiny 1-bedroom with its hallway of a kitchen. I live in Lincoln Square and pay $725, which is amazingly cheap for a really nice area, which is why I still haven't moved.

But yeah, Roger's Park =/= bad area. The street parking is majorly shitty and it's pretty far north of downtown, but it's safe, as far as city living goes.

For "safe" neighborhoods with youngish, hip residents, I'd check out Andersonville, Hyde Park, and Lakeview. Lincoln Park is popular, but IMHO totally overrated, and also hella expensive.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@bibliostitute @Emma Peel Ahhh, thanks so much! I was looking on one of those "where should I move?" type sites, and it mentioned that Rogers Park was, at one point, pretty sketch and there was a graph of crime rates, essentially showing that it had decreased a lot since it's worst days but was still a bit higher than other neighborhoods. But if the natives say it's fine, then I trust ya :-). Also, "Little India" sounds fan-freakin'-tastic.

nonvolleyball

@Alixana if you're shocked at the percentage of discretionary income you spend at Ba Le & Foremost, then yes. :)

@Bitterblue Hyde Park is great, although so cut off from the rest of the city that it might be a weird place to live as a first-time Chicago resident who's not affiliated with the University.

Lakeview can also be hell of expensive, & it is DEFFFinitely crowded. if you take a walk on a nice day you're just constantly dodging strollers. & dogs. (we briefly house-sat in Evanston between our Lakeview & Uptown apartments, & the hustle/bustle of our old neighborhood was daunting after getting accustomed to Evanston's quiet.)

in Uptown, of course, the streets are fairly well-populated with bums with tenuous grasps on reality, but they're far less likely to accidentally elbow you in the gut while they're blithely texting & drinking a latte. I like Lincoln Square a lot too, but I love living on the lakefront & I'm not sure I could handle being further west.

noodge

@MoxyCrimeFighter i almost moved back to Chi-town about 6 years ago (I grew up near there) - Rogers Park was one of my fave neighborhoods, by far. The culture is really varied, and it's pretty, and there's lots of playgrounds. It looks like one of those places that has tons of co-ops and backyard gardens.

SuperGogo

@Alixana Edgewater rules, Uptown drools! ;)

Alixana

@nonvolleyball Ahh, you are a little further north than me. I am in the part of Uptown that real estate agents can get away with calling Lakeview.

rhymeandreason

@nonvolleyball Yeah, Hyde Park. Am currently living for $525/month in a two bedroom with very nice windows! and a balcony! and there's a non-functional fireplace in my room! That being said, it was definitely a one-bedroom, I'm just living in the living room...

Emma Peel

@MoxyCrimeFighter RP might not be my first choice if I had a big budget, just because it is relatively far out. But it is diverse and vibrant, and if price is a big consideration, I wouldn't consider it a no-go for safety reasons.

You probably know this, but I take people talking about neighborhoods on the Internet with a huge grain of salt. Especially in DC, neighborhoods change/turn over so quickly that people who aren't extremely in tune with the city can be way off and relying on old prejudices that are way outdated. Certainly they aren't always wrong, and can sometimes advise badly in the other direction too, but it always helps to know if you're talking to a 20-year-old DJ or a 50-year-old investment banker. (Case in point: my friends' parents, lifelong DC residents, who are still aghast that people live near U Street, which was a bombed-out war zone from 1968 till 1998 or so but is now a cool, nice, very expensive neighborhood.)

Emma Peel

@Emma Peel Realizing that last sentence had a lot of ugly privilege in it and didn't come out very well. I'm sorry. Obviously "people" have lived in unsafe neighborhoods in DC forever and been just fine. The neighborhood in question was really destroyed in the '68 riots and then turned around and gentrified very abruptly and is now gorgeous and a lot of fun. That's all I meant.

withatwist

@MoxyCrimeFighter Lakeview is sooo pretty and fairly safe. If you're looking to get into the swing of things I totally vote Lakeview. You can get a decent one bedroom for <$1000/ month, though I would avoid having a car OR be willing to pay for a parking spot.
Rogers Park is not all bad, but I would recommend visiting and walking around at various times of day. There are random muggings and such but gun violence isn't so much of an issue. Although some people at the Loyola red line stop were held up by a guy with something dramatic - maybe a machine gun? - around 2 AM this winter. I agree with Emma Peel that the Howard area is generally more dangerous, and that's something to be aware of if you're looking into Evanston as well. Evanston is pretty safe, affordable, and very cute, though things do shut down early.
I vote for Ravenswood/ Lincoln Square. You can take the brown line to the loop and there's still plenty to do.
For any of these I really think strolling potential neighborhoods at various times of the day (and night) is one of the best indicators of whether a neighborhood will be right for you. This way you can also write down names and numbers of leasing companies for buildings that look appealing. While apartment hunting recently I just looked at the leasing companies for buildings I liked and had them directly show me properties that fit my criteria. They were so much more knowledgeable about the buildings than the Apartment People I looked with when I first moved to Chicago (AP was wonderful, they're just not as likely to have personally seen the apartments/ know about the quirks).
So much information.

hotdog

@Bitterblue are we talking liiiike HIP hip? Because if so, you want Logan Square (where my first place was), which is awesome and on the blue line. You can also go Noble Square/Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park soooort of/Bucktown mayyybe. I would stay away from Uptown and Lakeview and Wrigleyville and generally anything off the redline if you're looking for HIP. And I apologize for anyone I'm offending but COME ONE you guys know what I'm talking about.

withatwist

@hotdog I'll agree that Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park are very trendy (and the rent isn't awful). It's all about what you want out of a neighborhood though. The location didn't make sense for work and grad school for me. I also love going out for drinks and such in that neighborhood but I've never had a strong desire to live there (not that there aren't tons of lovely residential streets). Walk your potential neighborhoods! Stop into a local coffee place or grocery store. Make a practice commute if time permits.

Bitterblue

@hotdog Well, I'm about as un-hip as you can get -- I'm pretty sure there are octogenarians hipper than me -- and I also love the red line (it is so nice and straight! I can take it right to work! No confusing bends or branching!) so.
And really, price is always going to be a bigger factor for me than hipness, when contemplating neighborhoods! Which is why I picked the areas I did, because they're nice without being, you know, the Gold Coast.
But yeah, Logan Square is a great area, if that's the scene you're looking for. I can't believe it wasn't the first neighborhood I thought of when I read 'hipster', hah!

vvv
vvv

@moxycrimefighter you should definitely check out logan square! it sounds like it has exactly what you're looking for and rents aren't too insane there.

ranran

@rhymeandreason Loved Hyde Park in a lot of ways. 2007-2009 I paid $440 for one of five bedrooms in a HUGE, sunny apartment at 52nd and Kimbark. If I moved back to Chicago, I'd go to Bridgeport, though -- it's probably not as hip as Bitterblue wants, but I feel like it's kind of bubbling under in hipness or something? Anyway, friends living there have insane deals on rent, like $300 insane.

Ellie

@nonvolleyball @ranran You guys went to my school! I lived near Obama too! I lived at 51st and Woodlawn. I once fell off my bike riding home from Jimmy's drunk, basically in front of secret service agents. $440 a month is great. I paid $550 a month but I loved my room and the apartment and it was right by the North route.

I hate Chicago but LOVE everything about Hyde Park. (I know, it's weird and kind of lame, I love it anyway.) I would move back there in a heartbeat if I had something to do at the university (but unfortunately don't want to go back there for grad school). I especially miss Jimmy's. It is truly the best bar in the world, I have never found its equal.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

I guess I have to speak up for Pilsen! There are very few crazy people on the Pink Line, it's cheap, I always feel safe walking around even after midnight, you can get fresh tortillas, etc. If you're cool, you can live in the two-bedroom above us which is open!

Also, still planning on the June 10 Chicago Vegan Grill 'Pin-Up in our backyard, just to mention that ONE MORE TIME!

nonvolleyball

@Ellie yayyyy! nerds unite. many of my friends are current/former Jimmy's employees, & I maintain that their cheeseburgers are the platonic ideal--like, they're what you're hoping for (but never get) if you order one from McDonald's.

Ellie

@nonvolleyball Ok, seriously, who do you know who works at Jimmy's? I also knew some of the people who worked there. I went there a lot in 2010. I never had the cheeseburger but I feel that way about the grilled cheese sandwiches. They are the best in the world.

New Hoarder

@MoxyCrimeFighter I have some good friends that live in Rogers Park and absolutely love it. I suppose any city-ish neighborhood could have its share of crime, but they have an awesome and VERY large 1 bedroom + den (far farrrrr bigger than the one I had in the DC area) and also have an award-winning farmers' market 1 block away. The beach is about 4 blocks away and hooooo-boy, are there some GORGEOUS old mansions in that neighborhood too! Also, the Heartland Cafe (kinda famous?) is right around the corner.

Gertrude

@nonvolleyball JIMMY'S GRILLED CHEESE WITH PICKLES. and fries. absolute joy.

ranran

@Ellie Ate SO many of those grilled cheeses while my friend was trying to get with a bartender! Gotta throw in some love for the Falcon, though...the Cholie's window is a thing of beauty. And I know Cholie's is not good, like, at ALL, but I get weird cravings for it still.

Gertrude

@ranran Cove > Falcon, I feel.

Punk-assBookJockey

@MoxyCrimeFighter I second the Logan Square recommendation and add a recommendation for neighborhoods in West Town, which is actually a designated Chicago community comprised of several small neighborhoods. Bucktown, Wicker Park, and Ukranian Village are all West Town neighborhoods that are really great walkable, places with good access to transit and a lot of young people and music and good bars and restaurants and the like. One of the best places to live in the summer because the bars on division street all have such great sidewalk patios. Not as yuppie as some of the near north neighborhoods are. West town is the best town!

mackymoo

@MoxyCrimeFighter Wow my thread took off! I live in Logan Square and love it. It is hip but still homey. I feel like Wicker Park can be more of a scene, whereas Logan Square is just where people live and enjoy their neighborhood. I probably pay more than others do for a 1 bedroom (1095) but it is spacious and in a nice building and location. Rent has definitely gone up in the area in the last few years as teh gentrification happens.

Ellie

@ranran Which bartender?! I am so, so, SO pruriently interested in this (and if she succeeded). Feel free to email me (elliexx87@gmail.com). I love Jimmy's gossip. I am actually going to be in HP for ten days in a couple weeks and Jimmy's is like the first place I am going, hands down.

Punk-assBookJockey

@mackymoo I technically live in Humboldt Park (the west town part of it, east of the park). I really love it because it's easy access to Logan Square and Wicker and Ukranian Village and a lot of places, really. I rent a pretty spacious 2 bedroom (old building, gut rehabbed) for 1400. I agree about the homeyness!

ranran

@Ellie Gah, wish I could remember...was there a guy named Al, maybe? I may be confusing this with some other bartender in some other town. He had dark hair and one time he threw a party and invited her. But she never succeeded.

Ellie

@ranran Hmm! I don’t remember an Al but I really only hung out there in 2010. Party sounds fun though! It’s fun to be in the position of getting free drinks when you are flirting with bartenders but then totally depressing when this ends. I got to stay after hours a couple times. I am seriously so excited to walk back in there and be greeted by name.

Janney Lockman@facebook

@Emma Peel I lived in Rogers Park near Howard my first time ever living in a city. I'm from a tiny tiny town and quickly got over the shock and fell in love with the neighborhood. Of course, I was working off of the Wilson Red line, so comparatively, Rogers Park felt super safe.

nonvolleyball

@Ellie hit me up off-Hairpin? I've got the same username on gmail/tumblr/twitter so you can pick your preferred communication platform (or not, if that seems like too much effort).

@ranran Cholie's is NOT not-good. Cholie's (with the homemade hot sauce they keep in a bottle labeled "hot sos") is amazing. buuuuut we may have ordered from there often enough that when we briefly had a Hyde Park sublet TWO YEARS LATER, the delivery driver recognized us & was like, "where have you guys been?!" I never really hung out a the Falcon, though; I went there once, but generally I was more of a Jimmy's/Pub/Cove denizen.

chevyvan

@mackymoo Logan Square represent! I love it here. I'd like to emphasize that it wasn't hipster heaven when I moved here 4 years ago, and I think places like Telegraph Wine Bar are a liiiitle *much* for the neighborhood, and I dread the inevitable day when American Apparel opens a store here. All that said, I love living nears the boulevards. There's no other place in the city quite like it. Anyone who's not going to spend their Saturday afternoon playing an ironic game of limbo and drinking PBR tallboys on Logan Blvd (yes, I have witnessed this) is welcome to the neighborhood.

dotcommie

@mackymoo Logan Square FTW. Move near the blue line, it's where most of the hip nightlife is. I lived in Edgewater off the red line for a few years and while I love the area, it is an unspeakable pain in the ass to get to the fun bars and such. Lakeview/Lincoln Park are pretty solidly commercial-fun now, I wouldn't recommend them. Also super overpriced. Logan Square is not as scene as Wicker Park, p close to downtown, affordable, and beautiful--great trees, boulevards, one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city.

lady

@Punk-assBookJockey Yeah! I spent 6+ months looking for an apartment on Division St and broke a lease once I found one...I love it (except I need to get a roommate soon haha). I have like 20 feet of counter space! That's approximately 18 feet more than I had at my last apartment. It's away from the drunk mess that the 6 corners becomes by the Damen stop (which my Logan Square friends scoff at & call "the crotch"), there's going to be a 3 day festival outside my door in a few weeks, and I'm a nice walk to the Division or Damen stops. Probably most importantly, I get a nice sense of false security of big roads (v side roads) when I'm wandering home late (eaaaarly...) from the train. It feels so alive when it's nice out. Last summer I lived a block over in a vintage building without air conditioning and someone opened up a hydrant for the neighborhood kids & hipsters to play in.
I also love deeper in the Ukrainian Village, I'd move there if my life could handle the Chicago bus vs the blue line. I haven't really experienced Logan Square to the full extent, I don't think.

Amphora

@chevyvan I lived in Logan Square three years ago and it was DEFINITELY less hipster-y although still had a rockin farmers market. Going back to the neighborhood this year kinda shocked me.

ImASadGiraffe

@Punk-assBookJockey I lived in Bucktown and while I really liked, it felt so inconvenient for my life because literally all my friends live in Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, or Lincoln Square. And when you don't have a car, you end up living on the Armitage bus just to get east/west all the time.

I just moved to West Lakeview (2 blocks west of Southport), and I am enjoying it! Lots of people my age, feels very safe, lots of doggies walking around (I have two dogs), and close to the Brown Line.

ImASadGiraffe

@ImASadGiraffe Oh, also I pay $780 for my large studio with a big separate kitchen with dishwasher.

Nicole Fletcher@twitter

@mackymoo I'm 24 and I looooove house shopping too! Even if it is a very very distant future for me.

cuminafterall

I split a one-bedroom basement apartment with my boyfriend for $1350. We have a washer and dryer that take 5 hours to wash and dry a single load of laundry (we are so lucky to have a washer and dryer). Our apartment is north-facing and halfway underground so we get very little light (but okay TV reception). Our outdoor space is a 6-foot square concrete pad (but we get to enjoy our neighbors' beautifully landscaped gardens [the peonies are in bloom!] without doing any work). Overall, we have it pretty good.

cuminafterall

@cuminafterall Forgot to mention I'm in DC, a few blocks east of Eastern Market.

districter

@cuminafterall Very similar, paying $1400 for a "one bedroom" (the bedroom only has three walls, so not really a bedroom, but separate from living/kitchen area?)basement apartment a little farther out on Capitol Hill, utilities included and washer,dryer, and dishwasher so I am be as lazy as possible about cleaning. Cave crickets are my nightmare but Raid Bug Barrier my best friend. Biggest complaint is that natural light is a faint memory... OH and I constantly dream of making my great escape and paying the same for a nice row house in some other city

laluz

@cuminafterall Bah, I want to move to Cap Hill/Eastern Market so bad. I work right on Barracks Row but have always loved the area. So damn expensive over here though.

cuminafterall

@districter Awww, I love my crickets. They're good luck, you know. The mosquitos, however, are my nemeses.

I'd love to buy one of the bungalows near Rhode Island Ave. NE for a song and fix it up, but the idea of committing to home ownership is nerve-racking.

charmcity

@cuminafterall Bahahaha, I knew you were in DC as soon as I read your first couple of lines! I loved living in Eastern Market, but have sadly been priced the fuuuuck out. Now I live by Gallaudet in a cute house I share with one roommate for >$1000 each per month. No one move here, please. I can't handle a rent hike.

ThatWench

@cuminafterall Yay, found the DC thread!

As a tall person who needs natural light, I've never been able to go the basement apartment route, which means spending a lot more per square foot. The last quintessential young city-dweller place was when I paid $1400/mo for 440 square feet because it was right in the nexus between U St/Adams Morgan/Dupont.

Would have stayed, too, if management hadn't been the definition of awful.

remargaret

@ThatWench Ooh, y'all, is this a place that I can mention that, at a month into living here, some friends took me to the Red Derby on north 14th st last night? I was so excited to find a bar that wasn't full of fancy people!

The Dilettantista

$540 a month ($1080) total for a two-bedroom townhouse in Chapel Hill, NC, right on the Durham border, which I share with my boyfriend and two cats. An older unit but still nice, as the owner takes good care of it, with a back patio, new dishwasher and washer/dryer, 1.5 bathrooms, close to everything. Attentive landlord who loves cats and so doesn't charge me a pet fee for my two black-haired kitties (bless her). I love NYC but I work in the arts, and if I moved there I wouldn't make much more than I make here, and so I just can't deal with the high rents. I have a friend there who works in the arts, makes a little less than I do, and so has to live in Hoeboken (she works in Brooklyn). Can't handle it. I'll save my money so I can blow it all out on food/theatre/shopping/museums during weekend visits to the city!

spoondisaster

@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon Near the sketchy part of Durham (um which are all the parts of Durham except downtown/the Duke campus) isn't much cheaper, so you are doing well!

The Dilettantista

@spoondisaster The "sketchy" part of Durham? I work in downtown Durham, and I love Durham, and I'd move to Durham if the person I live with didn't need access to the Chapel Hill bus system starting in the fall, so, that makes me sad. Durham is amazing, all my friends are moving there and I am jealous! I guess I'll have to deal with living just over the border for a few more years.

spoondisaster

@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon I don't mean to disparage Durham, I'm sorry. But there are some pretty unsafe neighborhoods, some of which my friends live in. That is true everywhere, but Durham seems to be known as having a greater concentration of unsafe neighborhoods than other cities in the area. All that being said, it is such a wonderful city, as is Chapel Hill. (I live in GSO but spend a lot of time in the triangle)

fannyekdahl

@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon I'm not a Durham native but my dad is, and I've really come to love Durham since I moved here last year. It's really coming up in the world and you couldn't pay me to live anywhere in Orange County, especially Chapel Hill. Every time I have to go there (unless I'm just passing through on my way to Carrboro) I feel like I've fallen into some kind of suburban hell. I'll take actual character any day. I'm not saying it's a great idea to to walk all around Clevland-Hollaway in the middle of the night by yourself or anything, but I get so sick of people calling Durham sketchy. I'll take my $325 all-inclusive rent in a lovely restored house and hope CH people don't get wind of how awesome Durham is.

That being said, I did grow up in the hood in Charlotte so maybe my concept of "sketchy" is different than other people's. Usually as long as you're not an ass, us hoodrats will leave you alone.

sidral mundet

@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon I work in Durham, but live in Raleigh--is this an appropriate place to ask how to find an apartment in Durham? I'd love to live here!

Hekatompedon

@Lindsay "The Dilettantista" Gordon Dude Dude Dude, I WISH I could live in Durham!! All my goofy beautiful elitist grad school colleagues are like NOOO NOT DURHAM We don't like CH because it's teeny and Carrboro (where I live) is full of HIPSTERS and Raleigh is too far away but PLEASE, GOD, NOT DURHAM! And I am from Saint Louis so to "sketchiness" I say "bitch please" and to my lovely-in-every-other-way-colleagues I say :(

Hekatompedon

@Hekatompedon PS Can we also talk about how silly $738 a month for a one bed/ one bath is? Even if it has a W/D, dishwasher, and fabulous amenities? I'm looking at you, CARRBORO.

noodge

we found a steal in Philly this last fall: 3br, 1 1/2 bath rowhome in a decent neighborhood, completely rehabbed (with many of the original fixtures, like varying-width pine wood floors) made pretty again instead of putting in new stuff, $1000 - not including utilities, which are pretty low because the owner just installed tons of energy saving appliances. It even has a little patio. Our landlord is super responsible, and is just ecstatic that we do the little things, like pay our rent on time. I am a lucky bitch, and we signed a two year lease to make sure it wouldn't go away.

EpWs

@teenie JEALOUS

MoxyCrimeFighter

@teenie Whaaaaa! I live in the Philly suburbs and that is a BANANAS deal - I have friends who pay twice that for 1 bedroom apartments in the city, or the same for a 2 bedroom in Conshy. What neighborhood, if you don't mind me asking?

Anji

@teenie I am totally mad at you. I was just looking at rentals in the DC area (because that's where I work, and I would like to eventually move out of my parents' house in Redneck County, Maryland) and everything for $1000 is in scary places and/or includes zero amenities.

noodge

@MoxyCrimeFighter the suburbs are STUPID expensive - Mr. Teenie is from Bucks Co and I can't BELIEVE what his friends pay up there. We're in Fishtown, the northern edge (by York St) - it's a great area, very artsy, right by Frankford ave, everything is still in biking range, and the neighborhood is a-okish. could be a bit better, but it ain't bad.

themegnapkin

@teenie oooh, where in Bucks Co? I'm from outside of Doylestown, and I don't know about apartment/house rental prices, but property values there are beyond ridiculous.

noodge

@themegnapkin mostly Langhorne/Holland area. people there pay more rent than we do, to live in a place that is just not as exciting as the city, opportunities are less, etc... I guess I'm really a city dweller, because I just don't get it.
(not hatin' - I'm just evangelizing to these friends to come to the city ALL THE TIME - it's so much fun and we love it)

elizabeast

@teenie After years of apartment hunting in Philly, I'll say that seems pretty standard for Fishtown. Never leave though, because in 3-4 years that rent will double.

noodge

@elizabeast yeah, it's already gone up a lot in the last 2 years, but we managed to be house hunting in a teeny slump so we managed to snag this deal. Hopefully we can keep that rent for a few more years.

themegnapkin

@teenie agree - I love D-town to visit, but I think it's more a place for raising kids (great schools) and commuting from.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@teenie Ha, I'm not from the cool/nice suburbs - I live about 5 minutes from 69th Street. And I'm a semi-recent college grad being wildly underpaid, so I'm taking advantage of my parents' empty-nesters syndrome and living rent-free with them.

Fishtown is fun! I have friends who live in Northern Liberties and they've managed to find some gorgeous apartments for decent prices. So jealous.

travelmugs

@MoxyCrimeFighter My best apartment was in Fishtown. $1100 for a 3-bedroom house with a finished basement, balcony, great kitchen, etc. Splitting with friends I only had to pay $325.

Unfortunately the landlord was insane, and wouldn't fix anything, but would call us and scream at us all of the time. Also, he came over to fix the bathroom once when my boyfriend was visiting and told him: "You need to do a better job at keeping her in line." !?

I miss the apartment, not the landlord.

Hellcat

@teenie You're making me nostalgic for my college apartment in Philly! That thing was $525 a month for three BRs (one was very tiny; two were big), LR, DR, EIK, another little extra room between the kitchen and LR, washer/dryer (my dream of all dreams today), and roof access! Of course, I shared it with three other people, and I doubt that's the price of it today... but if it were...

loislane

I have a 425 SF basement apartment in a rowhome that is so small it has a Harry Potter-style "1/2" in the address. This is actually a steal in DC because even though it's not big enough for a kitchen table, I do have a separate bedroom and a washer/dryer. Downside: 2.5 inch water bugs and large-sounding animals scratching around in my bedroom walls throughout the winter.

loislane

@loislane Oh yeah and it's $1050

Beericle

@loislane
Where? (p.s. I am in DC, and I just got a dog, and I named her Lois) hi!

Buffy Summers

@loislane Where?? That is such a steal!

charmcity

@loislane I love how jealous we all are of your halvsies basement apartment for $1050! DC real estate, man. Shheeeeee-it. (But no seriously, I am jealous.)

stonefruit

@loislane I just wanted to say that I love your icon, and I miss Utz potato chips like crazy.

remargaret

@loislane For clarification, what do you mean by "water bugs?" I just signed a lease for a dc basement, and if I moved from sc back into palmetto bug (mondo cockroach) hell, I am going to be seriously dismayed.

sarah girl

Suze Orman would totally yell at me for how much of my paycheck I spend on rent (almost 50%, uuuuugh), but it gets me a large one-bedroom apartment in a suburb near DC with washer/dryer AND dishwasher. Very safe area, too. I can't fucking deal with roommates and I am incredibly lazy, so it's 100% worth it to me.

EpWs

@Sarah H. I spend too much of my paycheck on rent/utilities but it's worth it to live alone, to me.

Lily Rowan

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yeah, I've always spent the biggest percentage of my income on rent, but I LIKE IT. I have to say, it's made a huge difference making more money and paying more rent, because the non-rent half is so much bigger! (This was more true before I went to grad school and racked up a ton of new debt, but I remember the halcyon days....)

parallel-lines

@Sarah H. I'm always shocked at how expensive DC is - I thought about moving there years ago but realized rent + car would be infinitely more expensive than living in NYC.

Emma Peel

@parallel-lines You don't NEED a car here, but it's more fun if you have one. And yeah. It honestly is as expensive as NYC, but they don't pay you like it is (my impression, and maybe I'm wrong, is that NYC salaries routinely just start at $5K more or so than in DC).

miss olsen

@Emma Peel I just moved from NYC to DC and you are correct on the salaries! I also expected my cost of living to drop but it hasn't really, and I need to buy a car, and pay rent in the VA suburbs (not always cheaper than the city!). But DC is nice and I like it here. I tell myself that a lot more of the cultural/entertainment/personal edification stuff is free here, sooo maybe it would be cheaper if I got off my couch and went to a museum ever.

ThatWench

@Sarah H. Yeah, I remember when my father first told me about the whole "some people say target 25-33%, but that goes out the window if you live in NYC."

As a federal employee, my location-salary relationship is very formalized, but reviewing the OPM tables always leaves me head-scratching about what degree of congressional interference went into this nonsense. I mean, I grew up in Portland, and there is no way that the cost of living in DC is only 5% higher than it is there.

parallel-lines

I can beat her: $250 Brooklyn apartment for SEVEN YEAR (sometimes the rent went as high as $300-330 depending on how many people lived there). Huge bedroom. Middle of fucking nowhere though. My rent tripled when I moved but it was worth it to not live somewhere that was a mix of Orthodox families who liked to scream "whore!" at me for wearing shorts and mafiosos who randomly set cars on fire.

noodge

@parallel-lines whatever... that neighborhood sounds very "authentic"

anachronistique

@parallel-lines Crown Heights?

liznieve

@parallel-lines
IN NYC?!?!?!? Where was this?!?!

parallel-lines

@anachronistique I don't even know the name of the neighborhood--it was no man's land and waaaaaay further out than Crown Heights. Maybe Gravesend (v. appropriate name for neighborhood).

parallel-lines

@teenie I have stories. So many bad stories. I wish I could ship the entire cast of Girls to live out there.

parallel-lines

@parallel-lines Also, that being said I pay slightly north of $650 (not much, about $75 north of it) to share a two bedroom apartment in a reasonably safe, clean area of Brooklyn known to be adjacent to some serious yuppery. This girl is doing it wrong.

DickensianCat

@parallel-lines Thank you! I don't understand-if she's so flexible about neighborhoods and having a roommate, you mean to tell me she can't find any shares in Brooklyn that aren't falling apart shit holes? Of course, this is the NY "doesn't even remotely resemble my" Times we're talking about, so they're probably just amazed she's survived in Brooklyn at all.

candybeans

@parallel-lines Really?!?!? I always thought that living in NY would be wildly more expensive than living in LA is, but $1300/month is not outrageous. I'm sure that finding that place took some effort, it's not all that cheap, etc etc, but $1300 for a two bedroom in LA (generally speaking) would put you in Koreatown, at *best* (and not the nice part).

parallel-lines

@candybeans It's harder to find a place if you're very picky about neighborhoods, but honestly--I've never paid more than $1000 and that includes living alone in a studio apartment in a very good neighborhood. The key is: you have to pay a realtor's fee (which sucks) and you need some flexibility so you don't jump on the first thing you see and can wait for the right thing to come along and be able to act on it.

Nutmeg

$450 plus utilities gets me one bedroom with two roommates in a two-floor, one bath apartment in Medford, MA. Of course, $675 plus utilities got me a bedroom with three roommates in a very-slightly-larger apartment (two floors and two baths) in a very-slightly-nicer area.

maebyfunke

My one-bedroom converted is $2800 (for which I pay just less than half, being that I live in the converted room which is still twice as big as the real room in my last apartment which cost the same amount). I love my apartment, but I have friends who have a 5 bedroom HOUSE in Queens for $2500. Sometimes I think of all the money I'd save if I moved in there, but you know... Queens. location, location, location!

@serenityfound

@maebyfunke HEY. ....I like Queens. Then again, I lived down the street from the beer garden.

maebyfunke

@@serenityfound I also like Queens! But we're not talking Astoria we're talking bus and two subways to Manhattan type of neighborhood, which is just too far from work.

MsHaileyToYou

@maebyfunke I love Queens too! I actually prefer Woodside to any other part of Queens.

Anna Jayne@twitter

@maebyfunke Queens! Queens! Queens! I also live down the street from the beer garden.

Sahar Baghaii@facebook

@maebyfunke Another Queens person here who used to live next to Ditmars, but has since move a whole two subway stops south to 30th Ave. I like that Queens is still labelled as terribly uncool. The rents are less insane, and I like living in neighborhoods that have a mix of people of different ages, races, etc. living together without a lot of tension.

maebyfunke

@Sahar Baghaii@facebook I'm a little jealous of all you Queens people. I really do love it there, visit all the time, was not getting down on it! I've just really spoiled myself in terms of immediate proximity to every single thing I need by living in Manhattan.

saul "the bear" berenson

@Anna Jayne@twitter Hey, you're in my neighborhood!!! I'm right up the street, by Mosaic? Hey girl hey!!! I'm in Astoria and pay $1k per month for a lovely, slightly quirky one-bedroom. My last place was a railroad apartment on the other side of Astoria (Steinway area) and my half of the rent was $650/month. Astoria!

Plant Fire

@maebyfunke aw, I'm glad to hear people like Queens! I always hear these things and get discouraged since I'm moving to NYC in a month or so and my dream neighborhood is in Queens (Jackson Heights).

anachronistique

$775 for half of a two-bedroom in a 1920s building in Cambridge. Cons: tiniest kitchen (I hit the stove knobs with my butt when I wash dishes), we're right over the alley with the garbage cans, we live right near college dorms, neighbors who enjoy loud music and dropping furniture. Pros: perfect perfect location, hardwood floors, very responsive management, heat and hot water included. Uh, my wonderful roommate is moving out for grad school this fall, iiiif anybody's looking to move? I could theoretically afford to live alone, but I wouldn't be able to do anything like eat out or buy clothes or go to concerts or buy books, and I sure as hell couldn't afford my neighborhood.

Also, I always remember growing up my parents saying they paid less on their mortgage for our two-story house than their friends did for rent on a two-bedroom in Tribeca. Bizarre.

science is sexy@twitter

@anachronistique think there are anymore apartments in your building? Where the hell is this magic? $1550 for a two bed in Cambridge made me make this face: 8-O

anachronistique

@science is sexy@twitter DM me at this username on twitter? I have no idea if there are any current openings but who knows.

Nutmeg

@anachronistique I want to move to there! Except right now $600 is kind of my upper limit on apartments; talk to me in 5 years when I imagine I will have a real adult job (e.g. not working part-time for JP Licks)

mangosara

@anachronistique if working at JP Licks isn't considered a real adult job, I don't want to be an adult (aka, FREE ICE CREAM FOREVER)

Bittersweet

@anachronistique: Cambridge! I'm trying to convince Mr. Bittersweet we need to move there from the outer 'burbs once he retires. I've got at least 15 years, so I like my chances.

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

I lived in Somerville for years, but guys: East Boston! My roommate and I are each paying $650 to live in two whole floors of a house. And I really love the neighborhood. It's not as far away as you'd think!

And now I want JP Licks sweet cream ice cream cones. Mmmmm.

allthepie

$900 (total) in Providence gets me and mr pie a giant 3 bedroom, dishwasher and washer dryer in the unit. We've got a little backyard, can paint and garden, and pets are welcomed. I love our place but it's old and the heat bill kills me dead all winter.

EpWs

@allthepie You guys have the shrink-wrappy insulating plastic for the windows, right? It's not much but it does help a bit.

liznieve

@allthepie
Oh, Providence. I paid $725 for the attic alcove studio (totally renovated... in the 70s! So it had a rad bachelor pad vibe) of an 1820s house. It had built in bookshelves under the pitch of the roof and a working fireplace and all new, actually pretty nice, light fixtures. But having ALL of your walls exposed to the exterior and questionable insulation means the heat bills were in. sane. But oh how I miss sleepy Rhode Island!

Don't Panic

Nicole, we lived on the same block! I was there from 2004 until 2007 and the rent was $2K for a two bedroom, fifth floor walk up. And the super liked us and lived in the building. So I guess it wasn't that bad. The late night chess games under my window were surprisingly loud and annoying though and I eventually got sick of the Village and moved to Brooklyn and then to Queens where I have pretty much won the NY real estate lottery.

Tits McGee

@Don't Panic I lived on that block tooo! In 2000-01 and I paid the same as you guys on a second floor a little farther south, same side. Now I live in the boring leafy-but-not-wealthy exurbs of CT and pay less for my mortgage than I did for rent back then.

Katie Heaney

YAY I just leased a pretty 2BR for $550 (each) a month, and when I showed the picture to my friend JJ she said "WTF is this where they filmed Pride & Prejudice???" so that's how I know it's perfect.

PistolPackinMama

@Katie Heaney aahhh! The best!

One BR new building w/wood floors, dishwasher, washer/dryer, south facing balcony, 5mile paved trail bike ride to work, 1block to coffee/coop, 3 to the gym. Garage.

Landlord downstairs is responsive, generated paperwork to make it possible for me to vote on voting day when my paperwork wasn't right according to the registrar. Drove me back to the polling place (??!). Lent facilities to The Opposing Candidate of the Incumbent.

790+utilities

In Michelle Bachmann's district.

Win some, lose some, I guess.

Katie Heaney

@PistolPackinMama GIRL I didn't know you were a Minnesotan too! as for being in Bachmann's district...FIGHT FROM THE INSIDE

parallel-lines

@Katie Heaney I have so many dreams of moving back to Minnesota and buying some super cute fixer upper home back in Northeast Mpls where I grew up. The mister says he can't deal with the winters, but I'm slowly wearing him down.

Katie Heaney

@parallel-lines it might help if you tell him that our total snowfall this past winter was like, an inch, and it pretty much never went below 25 degrees. global warming etc. :(

PistolPackinMama

@Katie Heaney Ja! Family is from St. Paul, eastside, yo. I was at the fall Mpls. Pinup. The loon-wine graphic one.

Maven

@Katie Heaney Mpls holla. $745 for about a 600 SF 1 BR on the second floor of a triplex, across the street from a lake, next to the creek, 4 blocks from life-changing donuts. HW floors, windows on 3 sides, awesome landlords, basement storage, remodeled errythang. I pay a lil extra for a garage stall that I can't fit my car in because it's too fucking big, but it's worth it for the bike storage.

Onymous

I spent 4 years in an $800 for a ~1100 sqft. 3 bedroom, two bath with two living rooms on a large 1/4 acre.

Ah, college towns in the middle of nowhere.

Canard

@Onymous Word. I pay $575 for 1100 sqft with an enormous wall of built-in bookshelves, a marble fireplace (it doesn't work, but still), washer, dryer, dishwasher, stainless steel fridge, and a porch that overlooks the whole city. Mint grows in the (admittedly tiny and shared with obnoxious upstairs neighbors) yard.

Emma Peel

This is relevant to my interests. Apartment-hunting in DC right now, and sadly starting to accept that rent+utilities are going to push into four figures. With several roommates. When did the rent in this city get so damn high?!

(My current place is a bit cheaper, but also inconvenient and, it turns out, still underpriced.)

julia

@Emma Peel Rental market in DC is pretty bad. When we found out our landlord was returning last year I had major anxiety looking at listings and realizing there was nowhere we could take the dog/have any kind of space. We had a steal in LeDroit Park for $1800 - 2/2.5 about 1000sq feet and he redid the patio. Our solution to having to pay upwards of $2500 for anything comparable and in a shittier location is not a solution for most people - we bought a house (in DC). It is great to own/pay less in a mortgage than we would in rent, but sometimes I miss that little house.

Emma Peel

@julia Yeah. I've looked at places in DC for the past 3 years or so (either moving or considering moving) and it's amazing how expensive stuff has gotten and how quickly. If I were married/partnered and a little older with more assets, I'd totally buy. Lucky you! What neighborhood, if you don't mind me asking?

bb
bb

@Emma Peel DC drove me nuts rent-wise - practically the same price as Brooklyn and, to understate, not quite as cool.

Anji

@Emma Peel Try looking in Silver Spring, or West Rockville? That's where I'm aiming for, based on a recommendation from my boss, who is no stranger to DC apartment-hunting.

julia

@Emma Peel We're now on the eastern edge of Columbia Heights, can almost see Petworth metro from the front porch. LeDroit Park was more residential, I think that's why I get nostalgic about it. But we're 2 blocks from Meridian Pint, Red Rocks, Maple, 2 blocks the other way to Qualia, Chez Billy. And we can fall out the front door to Looking Glass. So I do love that about it, much quicker to walk to food/drink. And more new restaurants and businesses are in the works, it's a good time to be in the neighborhood I think.

I think rental-wise you can still get more for your money up that way, though when we first started looking at buying I thought it was the end of the earth compared with LeDroit Park. But DC is really not that big of a city, we're still close to U St (which is getting completely out of control), Adams Morgan, etc.

ETA: When I first moved to DC almost 5 years ago, I paid less than $800 for 1 bed in a 2/1 apt in Cleveland Park. The unit was rent-controlled and not fancy, but still. It's incredible how much the city has exploded even in the short time since I moved here.

Ophelia

@Emma Peel Yeah, when I graduated college in DC, I paid $625/month for the smaller of 2 bedrooms in a newly-renovated apt in Dupont (with dishwasher! and washer-dryer! I can't BELIEVE how spoiled I was). This was 2003, and granted, the bedroom was approximately 6'x8', but whatever. By the time I left DC (in 2010), my husband and I were paying $1650/month for a 2br in Glover Park (nice, but not so trendy/expensive) - we would've had to pay about $2200-2300 for the same apt in Dupont I'd lived in before.

I don't even want to THINK about what I'm paying right now in Brooklyn.

Gordon Bombay

@Emma Peel @Emma Peel How close do you need to be to the metro? I live in Crystal City which is super boring, but safety is a big concern of mine after a few unfortunate experiences. Alexandria might also be an option

Emma Peel

@julia Oh, what a great place to buy! I'd totally buy over there, or near H Street, if I were buying now. And yes, most rentals are cheaper that way, although I'm starting to see $1200 shares in Columbia Heights, which... God, the pace of change in this city is amazing and shocking.

@Anji Hm. I think I'm actually going to disagree with your boss on this. I don't know how old he/she is, or how old you are, but if you're in your 20s, my experience is that 20somethings who live in DC are extremely reluctant to travel outside city boundaries to hang out. If you work in the 'burbs, more people do live in Silver Spring, Arlington, etc., but just a heads up that if you don't it could make your social life kind of a pain if you're mostly associating with city people. Obviously it's all priorities -- living near my friends is more important to me than living alone, so I'm mostly looking at roommate situations in still-gentrifying parts of DC, which are usually around $1000.

Emma Peel

@Gordon Bombay Yeah, I lived in Arlington at one point and liked it, but staying within city limits is a big priority for me right now. I live in DC, but far from Metro, and it's already a pain. (Only moving because my landlords are coming home from overseas to reclaim their house.) There are definitely DC rooms for under $1000, just insane how rare they've gotten -- I'm amazed that DC now charges New York prices while paying Chicago salaries.

I did see a room basically under the Capitol for $600/month, which... how?! I'm excited to see what is TERRIBLY WRONG with that house.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@julia My aunt lives in D.C. (near American University) in a townhome she bought, like, 30 years ago when they were first being built (so she got to customize it completely) - 2 bedrooms each with a full bath upstairs, powder room on the first floor, backyard area, hardwood floors, and a basement they refinished half of with an office/3rd bedroom and full bathroom. In a good housing market, it's probably worth a bundle - maybe only a small bundle, but a bundle nonetheless.

Ophelia

@Emma Peel Totally agree re: living in the city vs. the suburbs- no one from DC will ever come out to Rockville, because getting there is so time-consuming/expensive w/out a car. I'd argue that the Arlington corridor is an exception (say, Clarendon?), though? I think there are also still some weird pockets of DC where rent is cheaper, but you'd lose Metro access, so unless you've got a car, or don't mind waiting a while for buses, they're hard.

If you're looking for cheap, then Mount Pleasant might be a good option, if you don't mind living with a bunch of ex-peace corps volunteers as housemates ;-)

Anji

@Emma Peel Okay, fair enough. :-) I just wasn't sure, based on your initial post, if you were looking to stay strictly within city boundaries.

I'm 26, actually, and boss-lady is 32. Since all of my friends live in the Baltimore area, I honestly don't care if I live in a boring suburb as long as it's by the Metro and my chances of getting stabbed are relatively low. (And I'm from Edgewood, dude, so now you know the reason for my incredibly low standards, haha.) But thank you for the advice! It was very kind and honest, which I appreciate.

laluz

@julia It really has exploded. I grew up here, then moved back three years ago, and am blown away by how much more expensive the city's become even in the past few years! My boyfriend has lived in Bloomingdale (neighborhood to the immediate east of LeDroit) for almost four years, and I moved to the neighborhood two years ago. We've watched basement 1 bedrooms go from less than 1k to about 1500-1800.

We both have pretty great deals in our group houses. He pays $450 in a giagantic old house with 4 other roommates right in the heart of the neighborhood (old house with remote landlords who do the bare minimum in upkeep = cheap rent). I pay $750 a little farther up First St., closer to Children's Hospital, for a lovely house with 2 roomies. We have 2 huge screened-in porches, a great front stoop/patio, a front yard, 3 parking spaces with a garage, plus basement and attic storage. And washer/dryer! And brand new dishwasher! Bloomingdale is getting pricier, but there are still a lot of good group house finds. Eckington is similar but a little less safe - also less expensive.

julia

@MoxyCrimeFighter Umm yeah houses in AU Park are pushing 7 figures or well into the multi-millions depending on size/whether they are semi-attached.

ETA
@Ophelia Mt Pleasant I think no longer qualifies as cheap. Even group houses are now pushing $1000, it's crazy.

Gordon Bombay

@Emma Peel the 'what is wrong with you' game is my favorite - even better when it applies to dating and renting in DC!

This might be helpful for you - http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/roo/2987595234.html

Ophelia

@julia Seriously? WTF, man.

Emma Peel

@Anji No worries and good luck! I live in city limits now but in a very suburban area (AU Park), and it's been a bit of a pain for me socially (my friends are wonderful and are more than happy to make the trek, especially if I have food/drinks to offer, but I feel bad when they take $20 cab rides home). I think if you're not from DC it's easy to say "oh, but it's only a 15-minute Metro ride from Clarendon to Metro Center, that's nothing," but people here can be very provincial as far as where they live/hang out.

The crazy thing is my closest friends all live in/near Dupont, although none of us are exactly making the big bucks (a combination of sharing 1BRs and finding crazy good deals and being willing to spend more on rent than I have).

I have a few possibilities, and several weeks before I really have to worry -- my landlords aren't reclaiming their house till mid-June. It's just insane to me that what a few years ago would have been a reasonable budget now has me in the Craigslist Group House Roommate Hunger Games. Of course salaries haven't kept up!

Emma Peel

@Gordon Bombay HAHAHAHA YES

I have a file on my computer for hilarious CL posts I've run across in my housing search. Someday I'll share. (Why are all the cheap, group houses occupied by hippies who won't let you eat meat and are into "intentional communities" and extreme meditation? No offense intended to people who enjoy living that way, but how did they land all the cheap houses? Can't there be one for those of us who practice the occasional conspicuous consumption or hamburger?)

Also, you guys, this is the best housing search therapy. THANK YOU! My friends are all tired of hearing about it.

sarah girl

@Anji Quick shout-out to Silver Spring, I love it here! Granted, I also work in Silver Spring, but oh well. My place isn't Metro-accessible, but my boyfriend lives right by the Forest Glen metro station and works in the city, and it's totally doable. MUCH safer than living in the city, too.

Maverick

@Emma Peel & everyone: I moved to DC (Glover Park) back in 2006. First I was paying $925 for a bedroom in a 2bed/1bath apartment back in the depths of Glover Park (not close to stores/restaurants). Then I moved into a rowhouse where I had the basement room and a small half bath (shared the shower upstairs) and paid $1050 (oh w/ parking). Then I moved away for 2 years and paid $1000/mo incl parking (for my share of the 3bed/2.5bath with a sick roof deck) to live 14 blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, CA.

Now I'm back in DC. And paying $700 for HALF OF A ROOM in Glover Park. It's kind of an odd situation... I live with my bf and his friend who co-own the house and this was the rate the friend's girlfriend paid when she lived here. It's ridiculous. I think they boys each pay $1000 for their share of the "rent" so together my boyfriend and I are paying $1700 for this room and I can't even have my cat here bc friend is allergic? The living situation was only supposed to be temp but the job market isn't great so here I am still. I'm trying to convince him we should move... owning this place doesn't affect the decision, they have no problem renting..

So we have a 1bedroom basement apartment with a washer/dryer that they currently lease out. Every year a tenant leaves they just list it on craigslist for more and more money. Right now they tenants are paying $1850 (w/ all utilities). I bet they'll just list it for $2k this summer and you know what, someone will pay it!!! That is the problem.

And Glover Park not being trendy? Ha. It's super trendy is you are from a SEC or school in the south, if you wear loafers or salmon colored pants, if you have been to one of the Triple Crown races, if you like budlight bottles, if you wear Croakies on your sunglasses and call them Croakies, if you are on the list at Smith Point or George....

miss olsen

@Emma Peel I know people who've had luck finding deals in those new buildings by Navy Yard and the ballpark that were built in the boom years. They're not total steals, but handy to most parts of town and brand new (no bugs! no drafty windows!).

When I was hunting I collected hilariously terrible CL posts as well. My favorites are actually not the crazy personalities but the apartments that exist in some magical place in the space-time continuum that is 10 minutes from downtown DC, the Beltway, I-66, the metro, the mall, and the grocery store.

Other favs: "Criminal background required." ALSO: "Help busy businessman with housework and childcare in exchange for rent. My kids prefer someone who is young, peppy, athletic, and takes care of herself."

Emma Peel

@miss olsen YES seriously how is everything in DC 10 minutes from everything else, on Craigslist? Also my favorite Craigslist worldbending: Anacostia is now South Capitol Hill. You heard it here first.

Non-anonymous

@Maverick and everyone You think the DC housing situation has changed a lot in five or ten years? Try living here since 1991. (Getting old mostly sucks, but it does allow me the satisfaction of writing that.) I remember walking past boarded up, apparently abandoned townhouses near 14th St. that are now boarded up again because they're undergoing million-dollar renovations.

remargaret

@Emma Peel Those hippies never emailed me back.

KatnotCat

@Emma Peel My boyfriend and I just got an amazing deal in Brookland (like I can't even talk about it because I can't believe it right now and because this thread made me preen and then feel like an asshole), and I feel that area is seriously underrated. You can find some really nice, older houses and they are building some cool apartment buildings as well. Granted sections of it are on the sketchy side and other parts of it are very suburban feeling, but the neighborhood we found is lovely and within walking distance of both the metro and a little business strip.

Plus, The Express said it was the next big thing and whatnot.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/apa/2987439471.html

miss olsen

@Emma Peel Ha. Oh, realtors/CL posters. But seriously the pace the city's changing at, I'd buy in "South Capitol Hill" (if I had money, which I don't, because rent). That's got to be the next neighborhood to change.

(ETA I know gentrification is a complicated issue and don't mean to make light of it, if this came across that way.)

ghechr

About 6 years ago I lived in Pittsburgh, PA and we (my bf and I) had the BEST APARTMENT ever! It was a giant apartment, with hardwood floors and a fireplace and tall ceilings. Dogs OK, there was even a private backyard. In essence, it was a Fully Functional Babe Lair. The cost? $650/mo.
Now I live in mortgage-land which is a different animal entirely.

thelibrarianne

@ghechr Pittsburgh is great. Which neighborhood did you live in? I grew up in Squirrel Hill, and I'd love to live there again someday.

ghechr

@thelibrarianne We lived on the edge of Shadyside kind of in between Mellon Park and East Liberty. Yeah, I liked PGH a lot.

Gordon Bombay

$900 for my share of a three bedroom apartment ($2700 a month...getting upped to $3200 in June) in one of the more boring DC suburbs. Pros: balcony! 11th floor! outdoor pool! across the street from the metro!

cons: no washer / dryer (never. again). everything nearby shuts down at 6. sharing a bathroom. the grocery story is a mile away so food shopping turns into an Oregon Trail esque experience (you've killed 800lbs of meat! you can carry 20 lbs back :( :( )

Gordon Bombay

@Gordon Bombay luckily, no one has died of dysentery.

harebell

@Gordon Bombay you need one of those roller bags on wheels for grocery shopping! What are they called, I don't know -- but they are exactly for shopping in these kinds of situations. No shame!

H.E. Ladypants

1950 for a huge one bedroom (that I share with my boyfriend) in downtown Brooklyn. I have a foyer, a dishwasher, pretty hardwood floors, a doorman, in house laundry and wonderfully responsive maintenance people. Also I live on the 12th floor, which in Brooklyn means I get SO MUCH light.

I love my apartment so much.

Alixana

I still dream of the $625/month, enormous 2-bedroom 2-bath I had all to myself when I was teaching high school near Greensboro, NC. Of course I was miserable and hated teaching, but still, that apartment!

Now I have a pretty great deal on a huge 3-bedroom in Chicago, because I had signed a lease to pay this much for a 2-bedroom in the same building that was mysteriously "not available" a week before I was supposed to move in. Epic fit thrown, 3-bedroom offered for the same price. Then they forgot to raise the rent when we renewed our lease last year. Victory!

My cousin is in the process of buying a 5-bedroom palace in Akron, Ohio for $90,000. I looked to see what that would buy in San Francisco, our next destination, and found a 225 square foot studio in a bad part of town?

bb
bb

@Alixana you could not pay me 90,000 to live in Akron, so there's that.

spoondisaster

@Alixana Greensboro rent is the beeeest. All the college kids and all the cute old houses/apartment buildings are so awesome. The new student slums that are being built now are way overpriced, but I think that's the same everywhere.

DickensianCat

I think the article is a bit misleading and naive. $650 in rent a month is a steal, for sure...but she also admits she has a roommate who is presumably paying the same price--she's not paying $650 to have the place to herself. If you are looking to pay between 6-$700 and are willing to live with one or two people, there are still plenty of Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods with perfectly great apartments that don't have falling in roofs. I lived in a large, newly renovated 3 bedroom just south of Park Slope with two other girls and paid $550. Rents certainly aren't getting lower, but if this girl is as flexible as she claims to be when it comes to neighborhoods and roommates, I'm puzzled that she couldn't find a better deal for her money.

parallel-lines

@DickensianCat True this! I've lived in several shares in that ballpark and never had a particularly difficult time finding them--I just couldn't always be picky about neighborhoods and train stops.

Prescription Pants

My boyfriend and I get a spacious two-bed in a four flat in Wrigleyville (oh, who are we kidding; it's totally in Boystown) Chicago for $2300, which is really not bad! Except it's not the noise from the sports bars or the gay bars or the drunken sports fans or the drag queens rehearsing next door that get us. No! We've been felled by poor/no soundproofing between units and a two year old upstairs who does sprints along the length of her apartment.

LeafySeaDragon

in the pnw i pay $900 for a two bedroom house and a huge yard. after utilities it's like $1100? it's a good deal. my last place in socal was comparable for about $1500 after bills.

bb
bb

Having lived in a not-perfect (but not bad) place 8 years ago in Brooklyn that was twice the rent I now pay in another major city and a much nicer neighborhood, I can say.... it was totally worth it. It's a long commute from [other cheaper city] to THE ONLY CITY.

koume

$450/month gets me a two story freestanding "structure" (calling it a house feels wrong), with 1 1/2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, w/d and parking space (naturally) in central Illinois, all to myself. On the downside, I live semi-adjacently to cornfields, and I can chart the passing of time by the kinds of bugs I get. Get yer crickets, worms, flies, spiders, beetles and wasps right here!

spoondisaster

@koume Winter is crickets in the basement, spring is house centipedes in my kitchen, summer is wasps building nests in the awnings, and fall is daddy longlegs in the corners. Yep.

Emma Peel

I think this is the post where I revive my suggestion of the Hairpin Roommate Finding Service.

@serenityfound

@Emma Peel Yesssssssss. I want to ditch my icky 19 and 21yo dude roommates so badly. Especially after they drank 2/3 of my almost untouched bottle of gin the other day.

Anji

@serenityfound That should be considered a felony, punishable by forced replacement of said gin for the next month.

@Emma Peel I'm in, yo. Surprised at all the DC-area 'pinners here!

@serenityfound

@Anji They are kind of awful in a bunch of ways (but also really sweet? so it's confusing), which is why I started a Tumblr to vent my frustration.

Emma Peel

@@serenityfound One of my best friends here lives with four 20something guys. She could totally relate.

julia

@Emma Peel Hey actually a posting for a roommate needed $775 in Shaw just came across a list I'm on (if you're a WIN member you saw it) - I can email it to you

Anji

@@serenityfound OH MY GOD THEY DRANK YOUR VERMOUTH TOO? I honestly got a little ill at the idea of anyone straight-up drinking the stuff I dribble into martini glasses with extreme caution.

Also, those panties. On the counter. I'm getting the vapors.

Emma Peel

@julia Hahaha I didn't get it on a listserv but saw it on CL, and I'm visiting that place Monday night -- fairly sure it's the same one :) Thank you! (Though it's really more Truxton Circle than Shaw, I think. The other best thing about DC real estate hunting is how far people stretch the boundaries of neighborhoods. My favorite, and I am not making this up: Anacostia = "South Capitol Hill.")

julia

@Emma Peel Cool yeah I've met the person who posted it on WIN, she seems like good people. We thought our house was erroneously listed as Columbia Heights, but it turns out the eastern boundary is Georgia Ave, so we're in it. This map is useful.

Emma Peel

@julia That is amazing! (And I guess the place I'm looking at is just barely Shaw! New Jersey Ave seems to be the divider.)

@serenityfound

@Anji They did ask to use the vermouth. They just used....way more than they had said they would. And I even asked if they wanted to use the gin and they said no, which made me even angrier yesterday when I noticed the bottle's emptiness. I then sent out a totally bitchy text message along the lines of "Hey guys. I've only made a couple of drinks with my gin, but now it's 2/3 empty. Thoughts?" that I immediately regretted. I have not turned on my phone this morning >.<

Also, I am still holding out hope that those are bikini bottoms that got dumped there when they decided to not go in the spa. Other things I've found on the counter/walls of our kitchen: lighter and pipe, lots of sticky messes, peanut butter (on a wall), globs of what I hope to god were butter that had dripped down and hardened on our dishwasher. Vapors, indeed...

bookbike

@Emma Peel Oh my god. Try EIGHT 20-22 yr. old boys. I don't know what in the fuck I was thinking.

bookbike

@heyad though perhaps I should mention that my rent is $390 a month...

@serenityfound

@heyad whaaaaaa. You crazy. Is it at least a huge space?

@serenityfound

I pay $950 for my own bedroom and bathroom in a two-bedroom, Orange County (Irvine, actually) apartment. A couple of dudes split the other room and the rest of our $2230/mo rent. BUT it is a crazy fancy apartment complex (multiple pools! washer/dryer and dishwashers in the apartment! balconies! free fitness classes!), is right next to the only recreational area in town (a big mall *sigh*), and is 1.3 miles away from work. So....it's kind of worth it.

werewolfbarmitzvah

My husband and I share a teensy junior 1-bedroom in a nice Brooklyn neighborhood, and we each pay about $900. This is the absolute maximum I can realistically pay for rent without heading on to the fast track toward starving in a gutter. Space is way too small for two people and a cat, but the neighborhood is ideal, and we have almost no roaches, only THE DREADED CENTIPEDES.

Meanwhile, when I lived in Baltimore, I lived in a cute, spacious studio apartment with a laundry room and 24-hour security, for $570/month. Every time I think about it I drop to my knees and sob.

TheJacqueline

$1200 ($2400 total) for half of an airy, sunny apt. on the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border in Brooklyn. We have the best landlord ever (he gave us a bottle of Jack for Christmas! And sat with us to pick out paint colors and painted our apt. to our liking before we moved in). Makes up for the fact that we have no buzzer (because he is paranoid) and have to run down three flights of stairs anytime someone comes over. Roof access and massive bedroom closets. Never leaving.

Amber

$1200 split three ways (not evenly of course, because one of us lives in a closet-sized bedroom and my room is huge) gets me an awesome neighborhood in Atlanta that is actually walkable, kind of, and that's pretty rare for this city. I also get to hear the people above me, below me, and next to me on one side flipping their light switches, running their water, taking pisses, coughing, fucking, walking around ALL. NIGHT. LONG., and everyone drunkenly fighting in the parking lot at 4 am on a Tuesday. I love the area, and the apartments are cute, but sometimes the noise gets to be more than I can handle. I keep a broom on the floor next to my bed so I can bang on the ceiling. Also there is no storage up in here. BUT IT'S SO CHEAP!

yrouttasight

@Amber May I suggest investing in a white noise machine? I can't recommend them enough. Seriously, it changed my life after losing so much sleep to an upstairs neighbor who I'm convinced is a vampire because he is up an walking around ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

finguns

@Amber Second the recommendation for a white noise machine! We live in Atlanta, too, near L5P. The noise isn't too bad usually, but weekend nights we can hear a lot of drunken yelling and slamming car doors (you have to walk by my house to get to the IP MARTA). I invested in this: http://www.amazon.com/Marpac-SleepMate-980A-Electro-Mechanical-Conditioner/dp/B000KUHFGM
And I swear to god, few things in this life have made me so happy. I also have an app on my iPhone that makes decent white noise, but it is nowhere near as pleasant as the Sleepmate.

Amber

@finguns @yrouttasight I've tried the white noise websites, just letting it play from my computer, but it hasn't worked so far. I'm hoping something like that Sleepmate will help me. The problem is, the stomping is so loud it rattles the light fixture above my bed. And it's also accompanied by the squeaking of the floorboards. When I moved in, the guy who was moving out told me it was "SO QUIET" and I swear he is either stone deaf or was just trying to get me in here so he could leave (he was moving to San Francisco). I'm pretty sure whoever it is that lives above me is homebound because they are ALWAYS. HOME. but they are certainly not immobile. Haha.

southernbitch

i'm at $500 a month for a room in a massive house in crown heights. pretty deep in, however, so it's a long commute to anywhere.

Megasus

I pay 1100 for an apartment building that is basically crumbling apart, but mostly just in the common areas. It's not in a great area but it's big and has a dishwasher and parquet. I'm gonna have to move closer to downtown when my lease is up, because it takes at least an hour to get everywhere in the city, and there's no way I can keep doing that.

phlox

@Megano! Ugh, why is it so expensive to live on your own in this city. Or to live on your own above-ground, at least.

redheaded&crazy

@Megano! ughhh toronto peeps i want to move out but rent in this city wahhhhh and i don't get paid on a regular basis aahhhhhhh and i like being able to put a dece chunk of money in my savings account but argghhhhhh what if my grandmother moves in i can't, i just can't, i need to move out

phlox

@redheaded&crazie @Megano! I might actually be looking for a roommate in August or September... my current roommate is leaving town but I'm not sure exactly when.

redheaded&crazy

@phlox oooooh really!! September is kind of my timeline for moving out because it gives me time to practice saving the amount i would need to move out (I'm estimating about $1000/month which ugh, seems low) but some things need to change with my work situation which is a bit unstable right now but I'm hoping to sort all that out in June so I can have a better idea...

in a lot of respects i don't mind living at home for now - a lot of my friends are in the same boat and my parents happen to be out of town a lot and they're pretty chill so i have "enough" independence i guess. but yeah, it's definitely on my radar.

theotherginger

@redheaded&crazie um so I know I don't know you but I'm subletting for three months in the fall... and a friend is subletting right now for now until the end of time. Both are pretty cheap and close to the bloor subway in different but close to downtown parts of the city... you would have roommates in both cases

The Lady of Shalott

This is the place where I talk about my now old apartment in rural eastern Canada? Where $475 a month got me a freezing-cold basement apartment with no real kitchen (you can cook on a double hot plate and a toaster oven, right?), but all-inclusive of all utilities, laundry, and cable and high-speed internet. But wait! You also have to pay half of the gas bill, $200 every month or so, even though there are four people living upstairs and only one downstairs! AND you get a bonus psychotic landlord who tells you that you can't have your boyfriend over AND his psychotic four-year-old who runs around like a banshee, is never disciplined, and rides his scooter indoors. Also sometimes he runs around outdoors and peers into your basement windows! IT'S NOT CREEPY AT ALL. Also the whole place is infested with spiders!

Do I sound bitter?

anachronistique

@The Lady of Shalott All my good stories are about my family, but here we go anyway: in one of their crap apartments my parents were convinced the house was literally falling apart around their ears because of horrifying shaking and thumping noises. Turns out the landlady's son was roller-skating and dribbling a basketball. Inside the house.

TDF@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott wow you were scammed. If it was in a college town (and if not, I apologize) my friends and I all had sunny, clean bachelors for under $400 (yes! No kidding! I miss it SO MUCH) in similar locations... except for the folks that split houses/2BRs to slice and dice their rent even further.

The Lady of Shalott

@TDF@twitter It was a college town, but it wasn't a scam--it was the cheapest rent in town, because all the sunny, clean bachelors were $650 and up. Trust me, I looked and I did the research. It was cheap as hell, and that was the trade-off. That was just the market there.

TDF@twitter

@TDF@twitter but on second thought, I would move back in a heartbeat if there were ANY jobs, so, yes, rural eastern Canada is horrible, no one move there please.

I live in a major CDN city (top 5) and pay $830 + approx. $20/month in hydro for a huge one-bedroom. Laundry in, heat in, nice quiet neighbours, safe, close to both nature and nightlife!

But - this is the absolute MAX I can pay, and I'm terrified once my work contract is up that I'll be couching it in the middle of nowhere like I did for the past 3 years. There aren't really any ultra-cheap places here, just a variety of mid-priced options. :(

My partner and I cannot cohabitate for some time (long story) and splitting the residual costs from his place (which he owns) wouldn't save me much anyway.

TDF@twitter

@The Lady of Shalott oh I'm so sorry. Ruthless landlords must have clued in awfully fast after I left. :(

yrouttasight

$1225 split between the mister and me for a one-bedroom in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. All utilities included, a porch and a free dedicated parking space (the equivilent of owning a unicorn within city limits). Our neighbors are great except for a noisy musician that just moved in above us.

We moved in 3 years ago, and I'm convinced of two things 1)I don't think I can afford to move, because the average rent has skyrocketed in my neighborhood 2) The fact that I live in the ugliest building (mid-century brick box abomination) in the prettiest neighborhood keeps the rent down.

MatildaGold

@yrouttasight 'sup JP!

thelibrarianne

$675 for a giant first floor one bedroom, dining room, eat-in-kitchen, sunroom, hardwood floors, dishwasher and garbage disposal, parking spot, and laundry in the basement. Walkable to my grad school, and in a great neighborhood with "one of America's best streets" (no joke). Utilities aren't included, but I'll take it. St. Louis: seriously, come here. The Midwest extends beyond Chicago, and it is awesome.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@thelibrarianne Both my cousin and friend are in law school at Wash. U., and that's what they say: rent is cheap, the neighborhoods are safe, fun, and pretty, and everyone is super-nice. I've seriously thought about moving there!

lauren.elizabeth

@thelibrarianne Are you in the Loop? I am too, and it's fabulous. We have a big 2 bed, 2 bath (+ sunroom) apartment that is full of delightful amenities and totally affordable on a grad school budget. St. Louis is a dream place for living on the cheap.

kellyography

@thelibrarianne I moved to NYC (well, Jersey City) from my hometown of St. Louis six years ago, and after apartment-hunting in NYC for over a year, I have been seriously thinking about moving back. My favorite masochistic thing to do when my three loud roommates wake me up at all hours of the night is to go on Padmapper and look for super-cute, historically detailed 1-bed apartments for the same amount of rent I'm paying to share a place here and now.

thelibrarianne

@lauren.elizabeth I am! I love the Loop. It's fun and cheap AND pretty, which is difficult combo to pull off. Couldn't be happier! St. Louis was also just voted best city for cheapskates, which is so true. So many free things to do! ALSO: we have a Hairpin St. Louis group, if you're not already a part of it! We're getting together this Friday!

thelibrarianne

@kellyography I just moved from Pittsburgh (which is also a great, cheap place) to St. Louis in August, and I am like a kid in a candy store. So many great places, and so many being renovated right now! The housing stock is just ridiculous...giant lofts, historic buildings, modern places. You can find anything your heart desires, for SO CHEAP.

lauren.elizabeth

@thelibrarianne A Hairpin St. Louis group?! That's awesome. I'll check it out, thanks!

koume

@thelibrarianne God, yes, I miss my StL studio so much - it was cozy AND roomy at the same time. And so cheap and convenient to everything!

nonvolleyball

@thelibrarianne you guyyyyyyyys this whole thread is making me homesick. I grew up in StL, spent basically my entire adolescence wandering the Loop, & my very dear friend runs the Handlebar in the Grove--which, if you haven't been, you should all go to immediately.

thelibrarianne

@nonvolleyball Ohmigosh I love Handlebar! We go all the time. Someone will always buy you a PBR (or five) there. Once I fell asleep in the bathroom and my friend karate-chopped the door open...okay, my Handlebar stories should probably start and end there. But yeah, it's fantastic.

nonvolleyball

@thelibrarianne next time you're there, tell Tatyana (the gorgeous Russian proprietress) that Courtney says hi. :) I've known her since she first moved to the States, & she is one of my favorite people in the world. (you can tell Keely I say hi, too; she is also awesome.)

cmcm

Ah yes, it is times like these when I miss living in Montreal, the cheapest but still awesome city ever. $320 CANADIAN a month to live super, super central. I mean, our apartment wasn't *nice* per se... or nice at all, given that we shared a wall with a club and an alley with puking clubbers. But it was so central! And my bedroom was big! And we once thought we had mice but actually we didn't!

And now I pay £641 (so about $1,000) a month to live in London (which is SO CHEAP for here), for a small crappy studio that is approximately a bazillion miles from anything worth going to in London. Sigh.

living internationally

@cmcm Feel your pain - last paid €400 for to share a cute little mews house within sight of my desk at work and so close to the canal and Merrion Sq in Dublin. Now paying £650 all in for a room in nice central location in London but no living room which may drive me to drink and comes with the added charm of very noisy communal stairs by my head and not being able to tell whether that's thunder or the bajillion trains passing. Still, pretty pleased with it when I walk out my door and get the little 'I live here!' kick.

cmcm

@lessismore Oh man, my friend lives in Brussels with her boyfriend where they have a huge 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on 2 storeys... and they pay €800. I did the math and that is the same as what I pay for one room in London. ARgh.

thenotestaken

@cmcm MONTREAL RENTS! I seriously never want to move out of this city. $400 for a bedroom in the biggest apartment I've ever been in--two floors (4 bedrooms total), two full bathrooms (including a JACUZZI BATHTUB), 2 giant living rooms, balcony, washer/dryer. The kitchen could be bigger and the heat could be cheaper but whatever, I'm so stoked about where I live! I'm in Mile End, btw--it from the club description it sounds like you either lived in the Plateau or somewhere near Guy-Concordia?

cmcm

@thenotestaken Here- http://bit.ly/IGeSwX! So we shared a wall with Globe. I remember the nights when my flatmate would yell from her bedroom at 3am "THEY JUST STARTED PLAYING MADONNA, I CAN EVEN HEAR THE LYRICS THROUGH MY WALL".

It was such a shithole. BUT we were close enough to the bars that we used to run there without coats so that we didn't have to pay for coat check.

thenotestaken

@cmcm Haha I used to live on Coloniale just below Prince Arthur! I did the same thing with the coat check! Our balcony was overlooking that parking lot on Saint Laurent and sitting out there on a Friday or Saturday night was almost like watching a nature show where everyone's hammered.

mirror_father_mirror

@thenotestaken I am moving to Montreal at the end of the summer! From DC, which is both way more expensive and significantly less cool. I am SO EXCITED. Any recommendations on neighborhoods for a fellow Pinner? Is there a secret place to look for apartments, or is Craigslist good enough? I'd be looking for a 1 bedroom, somewhere fun and central and commuting (biking?) distance to McGill.

thenotestaken

@mirror_father_mirror Ahh welcome! You will love it here!! I like the Plateau or Mile End the best, both are fun, lots of cafes/restaurants/bars/parks. The Plateau is more central and closer to McGill but also a little more expensive, though there are definitely deals to be had if you look hard enough (I paid $410 when I lived there, sharing with one other person). Mile End is basically the area north of the Plateau and is cheaper/more hipster. But to give you an idea of the distances involved, I live in Mile End and I have about a ten minute bike ride (or 35 minute walk) to McGill which isn't bad at all. When I was taking the bus in the winter, it was still only about 15-20 minutes including waiting time. Avoid the ghetto, it's closest to McGill but prices are really inflated and there's nothing going on in terms of bars/restos.

CL is great, but you should also check Kijiji--Canadian version of CL, and more French but nothing a little Google Translate won't solve. I've only lived with housemates so I'm not sure what the price range is for a one bedroom, but I would think you'd be able to pull it off for under 600 if you're patient enough with looking. Montreal is definitely a student's/renter's city, so TONS of places will go up at the end of the summer, don't be afraid to hold out for what you want. My current place was a last minute find after seeing lots of places that weren't that great or that went to someone else, but I'm so glad I stuck it out and didn't settle for less.

cmcm

@thenotestaken My first place was coloniale above prince Arthur! And then we moved, oh, 1.5 blocks away @mirror_father_mirror Montreal is SO AWESOME and I loved McGill so much. My first place I found thru friends but after that CL worked great. The awesome thing about mtl is a. Cheap rent and b. No deposits/ super sketch leases (at least in my experience). In a good way- like you dont pay deposits and get fucked for no reason. I. would recommend Plateau/ mt royal- easy to get to uni, good bars, super pretty and affordable. I MISS MTL

cmcm

@thenotestaken Also my last place was on de lorimier, just east of parc la Fontaine (what area is that? It's been awhile). Nice cheap place (with a bunch of roommates). It seemed so far but it was 30 min tops bus or bike.

mirror_father_mirror

@thenotestaken Thanks for the info! Do you folks do Pinups up there? I will probably be looking to meet new people!

thenotestaken

@cmcm Ahaha Coloniale 4 lyfe! I lived in that place for three years before moving on up to where I am now! I have some friends who live just east of Lafontaine as well--Papineau, maybe? Who knows?
@mirror_father_mirror We had one that I attended, it was fun! We should definitely have one once you're here though!

NuckingFux Nix

.... $250/month plus utilities, for 1 bedroom in a 1400sq ft 3 bedroom/1 bath duplex shared with two roommates. I live in Omaha, NE. I live on the crappy street in a nice neighborhood. This is why people live in the flyover states though. Ironically, moving back to Seattle in three weeks, and moving back in with my mother. :(

DickensianCat

@NuckingFux Nix I'm originally from Omaha, and every once in awhile when I'm feeling particularly self-masochistic I apartment search there on Craigslist. I'll see listings like "new pent house 1 bedroom with jacuzzi in the heart of Old Market, $800!!" and a single tear will slowly roll down my cheek.

szarah

I pay $550 for my one-bedroom, one-bath in Nashville.
Cons: horrifying rickety stairs (no one's died yet!), bird infestations, ants, no central air. Window units in Nashville are still not as bad as window units when I was a student in Louisiana. I had to do my makeup in the car with the AC blasting because it would just smear off if I did it indoors. Them were sweaty days.
Pros: Quiet, WASHER/DRYER, water included and I share the gas bill with the bottom duplex.
MOVE TO THE SOUTH, IT'S KIND OF CHEAP AND NOT AS SCARY AS YOU THINK!

yrouttasight

@szarah This "Nashville" you speak of intrigues me.

szarah

@yrouttasight You should be intrigued! I've lived here for 5 years and I love it. It does take a while to get over the "I am living in a city populated only by musicians" feeling, but once you do that it's great. Everything is really convenient, the food is good, lots of things to do and cool little neighborhoods. Also everyone is so friendly and chatty it's a little uncomfortable. It's the best.

yrouttasight

@szarah Ugh! I'm spoken for and all, but the "town full of musicians" thing is a major selling point.

Also, as a chilly, WASPy New Englander, I get alternately weirded out and charmed by the friendliness of people in the south.
Charmed- when a lady working at the convenience store calls me "boo" and tells me she thought I was a movie star.
Weirded out- When I'm eating dinner at a restaurant outside, and an (otherwise normal and sober-looking) passerby first says my food looks good, but then proceeds to ask if I'm going to finish my tortilla chips, and reaches for them.

AnalogMetronome

@szarah I am just finishing up my undergrad in Nashville and I can corroborate your claim that it is charming and wonderful. I am sad to have to leave. I would recommend it highly to anyone!

VolcanoMouse

This (and the ensuing comments!) was good for me: we're currently paying $550 for a massive two-bedroom in our incredibly-biased-towards-renters-because-of-hilarious-overbuilding-just-prior-to-economic-depression southern college town. We are going to be such sad kids once we move anywhere Real, so reeling at housing prices is good for me.

elizabeast

For $2500, I rent a house in a trendy part of Philly. I share the entire top floor with my boyfriend and we have our own bathroom (with a jacuzzi! we never use it but we could!) and two big closets and really high ceilings. Two smaller bedrooms are on the second floor, shared by one couple and one of our friends. Finished basement with lots of storage. Kitchen has all stainless steel appliances and that fake granite that some people love. Back patio is pretty big and the landlord left his pretty awesome grill here for us to use. The utilities are reasonable for the size of the house and it's a few blocks from the places I like to eat AND from the supermarket!

Basically, if my roommates hadn't turned into awful people, I'd stay in this house forever.

notinseason

I live in Madison on the west side away from the main campus and pay $729 a month for a spacious studio, a 15 minute walk from school and work. Next year I'll be paying $749. I'm shocked that you can even rent in New York for less than I pay, even if it is for a crappy apartment. Is it ridiculously expensive to rent away from campus in any nice college town?

like a rabid squirrel

@notinseason I'm moving to Madison in August from another large college town, and Madison seems juuust a little (~$100) more expensive than what you'd pay over here. I'm paying $790 for a 1-bedroom with all utilities and parking included, which is kind of shockingly more expensive than what I've been paying to live with roommates in my current city, but I'm saving myself the potential anguish of Craigslist randoms I suppose.

ranran

@olliegrace I dunno, when I lived in Madison in 2010, my rent was pretty cheap -- $365 in a 3-bedroom. Hated my, yes, random Craigslist roommates, my job, and Madison in general, but I loved the location (E Johnson). I feel like you can live east of the capitol for pretty cheap, even if it's just barely east (5 blocks for me). Buuuut yeah if you want a 1-bedroom I guess it's probably different.

CalvinBall

@olliegrace High five to another Hairpinner moving to Madison this year! I'm moving from DC ($550 for a room in a group house in a DC suburb) to Madison later this year. Looking for a room near the Capitol area and one bedrooms seem to average around $600-800ish there.

Lil Sebastian

$2100 a month plus utilities for a large 2 bedroom condo walking distance from the orange line in Arlington VA. What really kills me is that the owners of the condo are out on State Department assignment, where I know their housing is paid for, so we're just basically making their mortgage payments for them so they can reserve the sweet corner unit for when they get back. But! We have a sweet pool, storage unit, 2 car parking space, and the apartment is really, really nice (maser bedroom in a huge turret!)

SternMathPrincess

We pay $2250 for a 650 square foot apartment in Boerum Hill Brooklyn, which I think is a great deal and I am ecstatic to have. Is it crazy to say that one of my favorite parts of moving to New York is how awesome my apartment is? BUT, when I stop and think about how much money that is (say, compared to my parents' mortgage payments), I get a little sick.

wee_ramekin

Hahahha, Nicole, I love the 'I hear Austin is lovely' tag.

I pay $450 (utilities not included) for half of a 2 bedroom / 1 bathroom house that was new when I moved in six years ago (and is still pretty great). I have a washer & dryer, a dishwasher, a small fenced-in yard and pets are welcome. I live on the East Side, which wasn't great when I moved in six years ago, but is now the neighborhood to live in in Austin.

When I lived in Boston in 2006, I paid...$650 (not including utilities) for a 3 bedroom / 1 bathroom apartment in Brighton. It was an adorable apartment, but I had some...difficult roommates.

ranran

@wee_ramekin Your house sounds pretty similar to mine -- I pay $415 for one of five bedrooms, though one's kept empty as a guest room. It's not significantly less than I've paid in other places, but it's so NICE and NEW and we have a WASHING MACHINE and a DISHWASHER and a YARD! This was a random Craigslist find for me, but my roommates are so great that I am never leaving. Austin!

AnalogMetronome

@wee_ramekin You are killing me. I am about to move into a studio in Boston for...$1350. Granted, it is a lovely studio with utilities included and a kitchen and all and it is basically smack in the middle of the part of Comm Ave where BU is (grad school, what up), but just looking at that number makes me cringe.

photoalice

This is the time when I console myself by calling these things the NYC lifestyle tax. Meaning that I could live in a big fat house in some other place but then I wouldn't have the people, food, work, art, life, subways, whatever, that I have here. So, I don't know. It's worth it?

JillCool

@photoalice Having never lived in a large city, I am amazed at how much people pay for apartments. Please excuse my naiveté, but is living in the city always like that?

When I lived in apartments, the most I ever paid was $550 for a huge 2 bedroom. Now that I'm a home owner, I have a 2650 sf house on a 1/2 acre and I pay $1225. I live in in the capital city of my state and have to drive about 10 miles to work, which takes me about 15 minutes. I suppose it all comes down to lifestyles and personal preference? I'm not sure I could live in a city with all problems you all speak of, not to mention how crazy expensive it is for the tiniest of spaces!

LornaLoo

Because I have had crazy good luck in Chicago, I am always fascinated with what other people pay in rent. I rent a $1000/month 2 bedroom 1 bath on the 3rd floor (east facing, Lincoln Park/Depaul Neighborhood) with a garage. This is a ridiculous deal, as the 80-year-old land lady used to rent to a friend of the family and refuses to rent to anyone who isn't referred to her by the prior tenants. It's got crown moulding, and she's allowed us to paint it any color we wish and have a cat for free.

The boyfriend and I split the 2 bedroom with an enormous, sunny kitchen and huge common spaces. The only drawbacks are no in-unit laundry (but my cousin below us has the machines, we just coordinate with him to use them), and huge old drafty windows that make our heating bills a bit on the high side. The landlady replaced 3 of them over the last 2 years, so they went down significantly this winter. Aside from a housefly infestation brought on by my cousin's disgusting living habits, we have no bugs, no leaks, and no problems. It's going to be a shame to eventually leave this place.

withatwist

@LornaLoo When you leave can I have it? I can just do a wash-and-fold laundry service for the money I would save in that place.

LornaLoo

@aitch If we had a car, it would solve all of our laundry troubles, but as far as I know there are no wash and fold services within walking distance... But I'm not leaving this place for at least another 3 years, and when I do you better believe I will safeguard it from the cockroaches (not really, they're human "men") in the basement so they don't move up or get any of their roadie friends up there to ruin it. I'll keep you on the list! :)

JanieS

I pay $700 a month for a room in a house full of jazz musicians. There are pianos in the garage, and the room only smells like a bong maybe 65% of the time. I consider myself lucky because I don't have to pay for utilities or cable. I'm so happy. Really I am.

... Fucking San Francisco.

cmcm

@JanieS I used to live with jazz musicians! (in Montreal) It was actually kind of awesome, because somehow as the only girl there and the only one who worked days, none of the cleaning became my responsibility and one of the boys was a slave driver about making all the other ones clean. I was the queen of the jazz castle!

The smelling like bong 65% of the time, plus parties till 4am were something of a drawback, but I didn't give a shit about my day job, so it was fiiiiine.

JanieS

@cmcm Your jazz musicians CLEANED?!?

cmcm

@JanieS I KNOW! They were actually super clean. And super jazzy.

JanieS

@cmcm Heh, that actually sounds like a magical experience.

elizabeast

@JanieS San Francisco! I want to move there but just THINKING about the rent there gives me a mild heart attack.

JanieS

@elizabeast The cost of living here is pretty obscene. On the plus side, the city is very walkable/bike-able and there are 90 kajillion awesome restaurants. But I would happily forego Burmese food for the chance to live somewhere where I could afford my very own apartment. :sigh:

kerouackangaroo

i pay, like 900 in baltimore, for a giant one-bedroom-- which is like a trillion dollars for this city. there are lots of things that suck (and rule) about it here, but affordability is SUCH a plus

RK Fire

@kerouackangaroo: It depends on the neighborhood! I used to live in Mt. Vernon with my husband and our rents were upwards of $1K. We just moved to Charles Village for a ginormous 1 bedroom that is such a huge steal at $750 (!!!!). Most of the other places we looked at in Charles Village (which isn't as overpriced as Fed Hill or Canton or Fells Point) were studios at that price. The downside is that we have to pay for all utilities, including water, and we have no dishwater or central air, but I am living in a place with access to a communal porch AND it has a private sunporch in the back for kitties. Kitties!

Nutmeg

ALSO any time someone talks about apartments in NYC I get some serious pangs of longing for our late family friend's apartment I stayed at a few times as a kid. It was a rent-controlled two-bedroom RIGHT in Hell's Kitchen that she had started renting in the 70s when she moved to the city to become a bohemian artist. She wrote a book about living in Honolulu when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and is basically the old lady I want to grow up to be (I'm sorry, this week is apparently "threadjack in order to brag about cool ladies I know and/or am related to" week)

Katheringasaga

I lucked out with $725 ($2900 a month)in a good neighborhood in Cambridge. Third floor of a triple-decker, typical. I have three roommates...but what else is your early twenties for? We have one and a half (1.5!) bathrooms, wood floors, a porch, a free parking spot, free laundry in the basement, dishwasher, built-in bookcase in my room, and some bats outside. Our landlady tends to go through periods where she'll just show up randomly however. She always says "Oh, I didn't think anyone would be home!," which actually makes me more uncomfortable. How many times has she been in when we weren't there?
One time, my roommate had bought a bunch of maxi-dresses online and we were all lounging about in them when Landlady came in. I felt like I should have offered her cucumber water or cleansing tonic or something.

stonefruit

@Katheringasaga thaaaaaaaat may be illegal. I know SF has some wild and crazy landlord-tenant laws, but here they have to give 24 hours notice before showing up in person. Might be similar in Cambridge, given the similar pro-tenant bent of the residence? Something to check out.

annev6

This lady moves so much I wonder if the money she spends doing that doesn't eat up whatever she's saving in rent.
Oh and I pay $1050 for a studio with a seperate kitchen, entry-way, dishwasher, in walking distance to 4 subway lines, very tasty bars and restaraunts in my neighborhood (Morgan/Central Ave), and a skyline view of Manhattan. AND I AM NEVER LEAVING.

@serenityfound

@annev6 O.O That is amazing.

KatPruska

Mister Kat and I (you know, him with his senior software engineer salary at a wildly successful start-up and me with my dog-walking/singing gig cash; our relationship is TOTALLY EQUAL, OK??) pay $1900 for a one-bedroom in brownstone Brooklyn. Our landlords bought it in the late 1990s for the same amount the previous owner had paid for it in the 1970s, no adjustment or anything, just the same damn number! How does that happen to people?!?!

We are so out of place in this neighborhood, class-wise, that it gets uncomfortable sometimes, but we're close to all the trains and have really high ceilings and big windows.

spots

So I thought my rent was high until reading about everyone from NYC and DC. $915 a month for a room in a 3 bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, where you can (kinda, sorta) see the ocean if you stand on the roof and squint a lot. We don't have the public transportation, but hardwood floors, granite countertops, and in-unit washer and dryer go a long way towards making up for it! Now, back when I paid this much to live in Westwood... Yeah, that sucked.

Maverick

@spots Hey! The busses in Santa Monica work! They may not be quick but they get places cheaply. $1 express bus from SM to LAX? How can you beat that?

the angry little raincloud

Brooklyn, Schmooklyn. I lived in Brooklyn, in various crappy apartments, the last of which was a windowless loft in Bushwick. I moved a while back to Harlem and absolutely love it. OK, so my brunch and drinking options are less spectacular than in some parts of BK, but I love my space. Airy. A ceiling fan. A mantle. It's a room in a brownstone, so I share a kitchen and bath, but there's so much space (and so many floors) that I rarely encounter the other people who live there.

My room--which has a separate dressing area--is also larger than a studio apartment I had once in another town, and the same price. (I pay $925). Anyway. Harlem. So easy to get everywhere, too. Well, except Brooklyn. But I'm feeling very anti-Brooklyn right now (just littered with the detritus of too many relationships gone wrong), so that's fine with me!

harebell

@the angry little raincloud oh, this is so good to hear! I am trying to relocate, trying to get a job in greater New York state that I could commute to for 2-3 days a week while living in NYC, and have been feeling so much more tempted by Harlem than the familiar advantages and problems of Brooklyn. Who knows, we will see, but Harlem feels much more like proper city than Brooklyn -- and I'd heard the rents can be much better for beautiful brownstones!

the angry little raincloud

@harebell If you're commuting someplace on Metro North, Harlem can be super convenient, as you can hop on at 125th and Park (which is less than 10 minutes from where I live). Overall, I commuting from Harlem to where I need to be is so much easier than from Brooklyn, or at least my previous experiences with the L, J, M, and F.

When I was looking last summer, I found the bang for the buck to be much better in Harlem than in Brooklyn, or at least neighborhoods I'd want to live in Brooklyn. Basically, all the places I looked at in Harlem were much nicer and bigger than all the places I looked at in Brooklyn for the same price.

mlle.gateau

I want to play! I pay $523/month for rent and water in a college town in Middle TN, and I live in a great, well-located one-bedroom apartment that's been recently remodeled with gorgeous hardwood floors, a washer/dryer hookup, and a COAT CLOSET! (It's the little things).

Before I moved here, I lived in the eaves of a fantastic 1910s bungalow in a distant DC suburb where I got a steal, paying $500/month for the room and bathroom. This was a bargain, because the room was supposed to be $800/month, but my roommate was in the process of buying a new house and I was in a desperate situation from which she rescued me. It's amazing how much further rent money goes outside of the DC area.

sa3
sa3

@mlle.gateau i grew up in mid-TN (Franklin)!

cmcm

Also, I hate all you jerks that live with your boyfriend because everything would be SO MUCH CHEAPER if my stupid boyfriend would just live with me.

harebell

@cmcm yes, but. so much potential trouble!

travelmugs

@harebell Try the long distance blues. :-/ I could save money and be so much happier. If only.

Emma Peel

@travelmugs Higher rent + plane tickets. Long-distance serious relationships drain the wallet like none other.

Two-Headed Girl

@cmcm BASICALLY. Mine wants to, but he only moved last year and doesn't want to again so soon. :/ To which I say, 1-BR with fireplace in the arts district, $850/month.

cmcm

@harebell I mean... my boyfriend actually OWNS his apartment, so my rent could cost ZERO MONEY. But I guess moving in together simply for that reason is a really good way to prematurely hate each other and break up.

travelmugs

@Emma Peel Expensive, and bad for the environment. I need a greener relationship.

Hellcat

@cmcm Oh, I hear you! My BF has an entire house (it's actually his mother's but she's been in her own BF's house for a long time now). To make a long story short, she's been married twice and is reluctant to let go of a home that is all hers (and I can see the general logic there, I guess). So he lives there for cheap, cheap, cheap, and she gets her on-call landscaper/handyman/security guard. Now, one would wonder why I don't just pack up and move in there, where the two of us would have a finished basement, washer/dryer, three BRs, LR, DR, garage... while paying half the rent I do now. Three major floods ("major" = water up to his nose) in that neighborhood in the last year, that's why. Ugh.

Now, when I get pissy that we don't live together, I try to remind myself how crazy it would have been if hadn't had my place to share with him when the water reared its ugly head!

harebell

$1750, which becomes $1775 next month, for a 2-BR in Cambridge near Porter Square. It's too small for me and my husband (our books don't fit!), and we're not super fond of it, but it's cheap for the area and the location is very convenient and we expect to move in the summer of 2013 so we didn't want want to move again now. Still, we would be happier somewhere else.
Hardwood floors, nice views from windows, upper floor, but the kitchen is so small you have to go through parts of it sideways and there's just not enough closet space or room for books along the walls. Several pentagon-shaped rooms, too. Sigh. But at least it's an old building with character (some day I have to write to The Clean Person about painted wainscoting that has permanent dust stuck on it that bizarrely won't wipe away, even with bleach wipes).

Katheringasaga

@harebell I have that permanent dust too!

Ellie

@harebell That sounds pretty nice though! Don't you get a lot of light in pentagon shaped rooms? I almost had to move this month (but ended up being able to stay in my apartment) and I wanted to move near Porter, or somewhere else in Cambridge, but totally nixed that because of the price. I live in Medford and pay $550 before utilities, which I really like (I live with undergraduates in a slightly gross house that birds get into sometimes, so ehhh, but I love my room and the location). It's startling how much of a price difference there is when you get like two feet closer to actual Cambridge!

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

@harebell Porter is truly THE MOST convenient! I lived there for a couple of years and afforded it because I lived somewhere run-down with a swarm of roommates -- leaving for another neighborhood was the right choice, but the convenience, I miss it. Your pentagon rooms sound intriguing...

FoxyRoxy

Every time I get even a little itch to live in NYC, a crazy article like this sets me right. I love the city. I get why people live there, it's all good. But I'm a writer and I'm too old to find suffering amusing. For $875 in the middle of the middle of nowhere, I get two bedrooms, two baths, two walk-in closets, hardwood floors, big kitchen, a balcony, laundry room, and like 1200 square feet. Sure, my soul is dying here BUT, there's a lot of room to mourn.

Buffy Summers

When I think too long about how little ($875) I paid in Chicago (Ravenswood) for a huge 1br compared to rents in DC I get pretty depressed. DC has similar rental prices as New York or San Fran for far less amenities. The market is so competitive, too! You pretty much need to be able to write a check on the spot.

I lucked out and found a 1br for $1750 in Kalorama that includes all utilities and has a sweet roofdeck. Lucky by DC standards, but still totally insane to spend that much.

mirror_father_mirror

@ClearEyesFullHearts I'm in DC, after living in NYC (mostly Brooklyn) for nine years, and $1750 is giving me heart palpitations. You have my sympathies.

remargaret

@ClearEyesFullHearts Dude, I am about to pay more for a basement apartment than I did for an entire house with 1/8 acre yard in Charleston, SC.
On the upside, I'll wager this apartment doesn't get foreclosed upon while I'm living there.

dauphine

I pay $625 in Brooklyn off the L line. It's a two bedroom that my roommate and I split so it's $1250 total. We have free laundry in the basement, the landlord lives in the building, is super nice and loves our cats. It's about 900 square feet. We do have a roach problem, but probably the only thing that would solve that is paying more to live somewhere less roachy. I'm moving out of state in a year though so I don't sweat it.

dinos

Nicole, you are a secret evil genius for getting all of us to tell you where we live and how much rent we pay. The US Census should recruit you.

Nicole Cliffe

I'm picturing myself as Steve Buscemi posing as a page during the strike on 30 Rock.

Spice&Snails&PuppyDogTails

Yep. If anyone has the slightest interest in finding out my secret identity, and or stealing my actual identity, it would probably take them about three seconds.

oh, disaster

$400 for a decent sized one bedroom in Pittsburgh, gas not included. The plumbing sucks and I've had a couple of mouse problems, but it's a great neighborhood (Little Italy!) and my cat is my only roommate. Worth it.

planforamiracle

I'm finding it so interesting to read about the price differences in your various American cities (most of which I have never been to, so I have no idea what they're like BUT STILL!) Surprised no Torontonians have chimed in yet, since in my experience, sharing apartment horror stories is their/our favourite pastime.
In my 7 years here I've followed a traditional trajectory of gradually paying more for gradually nicer places/fewer roommates/slightly farther from downtown. My current place (moved in 1 year ago yesterday! whee!) is about 5km from the core, near transit, near the biggest most gorgeous park ever, in the kind of neighbourhood that is just starting to attract hip families (and plenty of hot dads.) Guess where!
It's a 100-year-old 3-storey brick apartment building—lots of character like hardwood, plenty of sunlight, clawfoot tub. I'm on the 3rd floor in a 1 bdrm by myself, and it's the best $1025/month plus hydro and gas that I've ever spent.

redheaded&crazy

@planforamiracle HIGH PARK I WANT TO MOVE TO HIGH PARK

(is it not high park ... that's my fantasy dream area - 1025 sounds too inexpensive for that area though)

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazie i'm probably going to be totally off on this one i can't even translate 5km to real space in my head.

planforamiracle

@redheaded&crazie it IS high park/roncesvalles. I think owning homes there is pretty pricey, but renting is still affordable. in fact it was pretty much the only area I could afford /could find a 1 bdrm.
and the only reason I know km distances is that I bike and I regularly check things on google maps because it helps me estimate times (nerd alert)

EDITED TO ADD IT IS ALSO MY DREAM AREA—I am never leaving.

Rachel@twitter

living as i do in the hugely and recently inflated rents of Crown Heights Brooklyn... I'm def more bitter about this issue than usual. nevermind i came from SC orig where I had a 2 bedroom house with a library and a pecan tree for less than 600 a month.. now i'm paying.. well 1000 more for a two bedroom i signed a lease on 4 years ago (well not me, me and the bf). now people are paying 2200 for the same space on streets even further east.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

steponitvelma

$515ish for a room in a big three bedroom apartment in one of the best neighborhoods in Portland, OR. A little expensive to live with roommates in pdx, imo, but I'm definitely paying for the location.

null

@steponitvelma That is pretty spendy for an apartment. My guess is you live in SE? Maybe Mississippi?

I live in a really great neighborhood close-in SE, my bf and I pay $1095 for a two bedroom house with hardwood floors / a yard / basement / washer + dryer. It's a steal for the area we're in, but the house is older and can be drafty, plus we have to pay all our utilities.

steponitvelma

@klaus Yep, SE, but we also have a very small backyard, washer/dryer and shared basement. Plus our neighbors are awesome so we often turn the parking lot into BBQ central, when the rain lets up, of course. It lacks the charm that the houses in the area has, but it's recently remodeled with all new appliances and etc.
It's a great place, but it clearly doesn't abate my craftsman-envy.

null

@steponitvelma Awesome neighbors are an important amenity! A lot of my friends have left SE for North because they don't feel like SE has the same community vibe that North does, so hold on to it while you can. I've lived all over this city, but have been in Ladd's Addition for almost 10 years (! just realized that) partly because it's an amazing neighborhood, but mostly because I work downtown and can walk there in about a half hour.

steponitvelma

@klaus Ladd's! We're neighbors, I'm a hop skip and a jump from people's co-op. I've lived in 3 of the 5 quadrants and I think I like my current neighborhood best as well, it's close in, but not too dense, and with a nice neighborhood vibe. Plus I never want to be too far from the nachos at the Night Light or my new obsession, the pain de chocolate at St. Jack.

null

@steponitvelma I regularly hit the Night Light happy hour for the $4 nachos! I live a couple blocks North of New Seasons and think that area can be a little stuffy since it's mostly older professionals and retired folks, though we border an alley that gets a lot of foot traffic to the school/park which I like. I've always thought that your area would be super ideal, I have a running route that cuts up and down through there just so I can check out all the cute houses.

Frisky@twitter

@steponitvelma @klaus Yay neighbors! We pay $1080 (including utilities) for a 2-bedroom apartment on the top floor in a house in close-in SE. Just a little north of you between Hawthorne and Belmont. Big deck, view of downtown, attic, garage access, washer/dryer, dishwasher. Pretty good deal. The apartment's been in the family for 10 years.

null

@Frisky@twitter That is a great deal, especially with the utilities. Our water bill can be a real bitch. I love all the cute apartments with decks around town -- it would be mandatory if I ever had to move back into an apartment.

hallu

@steponitvelma You guys i wish i still lived in that neighborhood... I l live near movie madness now and it is an awesome place to be but i miss walking to the co-op. Of course that was 2003 and 4 friends and I rented a huge vistorian house for 1300 a month and each paid nothin. The good ol' days!

acid burn

@steponitvelma Whoaaaa so many neighbors! We're just off Division right now and I have moved three times but always lived within a two-block radius of Ladd's Addition the whole time I've lived in Portland.

No, but really, are you my neighbors who invited me to a BBQ on Sunday but I couldn't go because I had to work? ARE YOU?

missneela

Currently living in a 1000SF 2br/2ba in Orlando with Mr.Neela & Doom!Kitty for $893. Pros: location (literally a 5 minute walk to work), washer and dryer, and nice amount of space. Cons: world's largest water bugs, sup summer ants, no storage, A/C unit that blasts hot air when it's not running which resulted in the largest energy bill I have ever seen, sewage leakage randomly flooding my kitchen (that was fun....), and the worst management company ever. Safe to say my 18-mo lease is up in July and I can't be happier to look for somewhere else to live...probably in Celebration, FL.

hairdresser on fire

My not-humble brag from Seattle: $618 for the biggest room in a 14 room house, which includes utilities, sundries AND food. Which is cooked for me, in exchange for also cooking and doing chores and so on. On a serious note: co-ops! If you don't mind hippie shit, I recommend the lifestyle, although not all are created equal--mine is super clean and everyone is wonderful, but I know of other places where there's cat shit on the floors, drugs being dealt, and huge parties that trash the house.

Also in undergrad, ~$410 for a decent sized room in a shitty house in Champaign, IL. Which, I know, flyover country, but I'm kind of bitter about that, especially living on a coast for the first time ever and hearing that kind of shit all the time. I don't wanna be bitter towards people in this thread, but Christ, it's like all we do in the Midwest is lasso pigs or something. Even my tiny college town had a spectacular arts and music scene, an awesome farmer's market, trendy bars, and without the attitude. What's the beef, y'all?

adela

@hairdresser on fire Might there be an open room in your coop? I live in one of the sketchy ones you talked about.

ms. alex

$425/month for a 1-bedroom apt somewhere between 5 and 600 sq ft.
It's pretty much the only good thing about living in Ohio.

mannequinhands

@ms. alex Everyone should move to Ohio! I live in a 2,000 square foot 3 bedroom house in Columbus built in the 1920s with all new windows, new appliances, and new heat/AC for $845 a month. Our public transportation isn't fast, but it's there, and I'm a 5 minute walk from the grocery store, pizza, and all sorts of restaurants. There's a hipster bar and a bbq food truck at the end of my street, too. Yay!

ms. alex

@mannequinhands I think you live in a more fun part of Ohio than I do.

mannequinhands

@ms. alex Clintonville. You must be in a non-city (aka boonies) part of Ohio :(

ms. alex

@mannequinhands Near Toledo.

laurnadoone

$415/mo for my half of a 2 bedroom in denver (all utilities included)
we're basically downtown, you can walk or bike everywhere, and the neighborhood is great. I <3 Colorado.

gravie

Where are all the Toronto hairpinners? I'm moving back to the big smoke this fall (yay U of T) but I'm paying less for a giant 1br in a smaller city about an hour away(all included! with a washer and dryer! and parking!) than I did for a bachelor right downtown that included nothing. $775 a month currently, $785 in Toronto about 2 years ago.
Are there cheap good apartments in Toronto? Preferably without roommates.

Megasus

@gravie I think only if you don't mind being a bit further north, east or west.

wilykit

@gravie
I think it depends on what your definition of 'cheap' is, and which neighbourhoods you're looking at. You may still be able to find a crappy student bachelor in the Annex for between $800 - $900, but it's a pretty competitive market right now. I showed up early to an appointment to check out a bachelor on Palmerston last year and was about the 30th person in line waiting to go in. Credit checks and references are a must.

gravie

@wilykit Oh jeeze, that IS competitive. I had to do a credit check and references last time too, but there wasn't a wait to see it.
I don't really care which neighbourhood, but I'd like to stick within a half hour walk from campus. Plus the usual "no crack dens/the fewer murders, the better" stuff.

Sigh, I figure I'll just have to suck it up and find roommates.

phlox

@gravie I was looking to live on my own this time last year and all I could find under $1000 were basements or tiny bachelors (or apartments that were both). But I wanted to be in the not-quite west end. So I have a cool apartment and a roommate instead.

(I mentioned it above but I am interested in this Hairpin Roommate Service thing! I will be looking for a new roommate this August/September, I'll be doing a MA at U of T then too, so if you are interested I can send you pictures. $725 including utilities and kind of a parking spot if you need it, at College and Ossington.)

planforamiracle

@gravie I'm echoing the uber-competitiveness. when I rented my place I showed up to the viewing with a letter from my previous landlord, from my employer, and from the bank. I had to get a certified cheque for the deposit too. GOOD LUCK!

gravie

@phlox I am SO interested! I'd be coming into the city in September. And since you're a hairpinner, I know you're cool.

Can you send me some pictures/details to(oh god, big delurking moment): emilysmith796(AT)gmail(DOT)com

elizabeast

Has anyone else been ruined by sitcom apartments? I often think the only way I could live in New York is to live in Manhattan in something very similar to the Mad About You apartment. Nothing else will do.

Reginal T. Squirge

@elizabeast Fuck that kitchen.

elizabeast

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I kind of love that kitchen. So many cabinets! And where did all those awesome vintagey stoves disappear to?

Snicker-snack!

I split $850 with my boyfriend for a two bed, two bath(!) apt in an unfashionable neighborhood in Seattle. We have a balcony and storage and parking. Our highest utility bill in 3 years has been ~$100, and that was in the coldest part of winter. I'm less than a block from a big grocery store. This is by far the best place I've lived here and I'm going to stay as long as I can.

candybeans

OHMYGOD I love this thread!!! It is giving me SEEERIOUS wanderlust to see how much it costs to live in cities i've been thinking about relocating to anyhow. More! More!!

LadyBrett

Delurking after several years because I love this thread. I feel very lucky splitting a 1 bedroom in San Francisco with my boyfriend for $1675 (including water and a parking space - the bf has a car!). It's got a little fire escape and sweet roof access, but best of all it's in Nob Hill, right near Grace Cathedral. So I can walk to work!

Alixana

@LadyBrett ... please tell me how to find such a place of my very own??

LadyBrett

@Alixana Padmapper/Craigslist non-stop, find out the place is showing in an hour, jog up Nob HIll from SOMA in your work clothes, visit the apartment while your boyfriend simultaneously files the paperwork, and three days later ... you're a renter!

leonstj

I live in Greenpoint. Do I pay $750 for half of a two bedroom with a floor so crooked it's broken one of my bookshelves? Sure I do. Is my room so small I can touch three walls at once while laying in my bed? Sure it is. Do I have to stack books ontop of bookshelves, coffeetables, and keep my clothes in luggage cuz I don't have enough storage space not to? Damn right I do.

However, I can get home drunk from anywhere below 65th Street for a $15 cab ride or under. I can get from my house to anywhere in the city in an hour. When I feel shitty about my place in the world, I bring my flask, some cigarettes, and "Leaves of Grass" to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. Every winter I make sure I get to go ice-skating in Rockefeller with a special lady, I eat dumplings in a Chinatown in a different boro than the last one monthly. I can eat at Michelin starred restaurants, or get food from pushcarts that make food that tastes even better.

I've lived other places, and sure, I miss the space. It kills me sometimes. I want giant gardens, I want to spend my Saturdays hungover in the sunday, trimming hedges, mowing lawns, weeding gardens. I want to build furniture in my garage. And I want to spend less money on rent doing it than I'm spending now.

Except...then I don't get to live in the center of the fucking universe. You know why people are sick of hearing about Brooklyn? Because it's worth hearing about so much people keep making shows, movies, books, and songs about it.

bk.

parallel-lines

@leon.saintjean I love Greenpoint so fucking much and we got priced out of there so fucking hard last spring. It still makes me sad and I'm still trying to figure out how to get back there.

TheJacqueline

@leon.saintjean I LOVE Greenpoint. Love love love. I subletted for a month when I first moved to the city a few years ago and managed to get back there after two years on the UES. Never want to leave again.

leonstj

@TheJacqueline - Greenpoint is phenomenal. But I'm an all-brooklyn kind of dude. I also lived 5 years in BK South (south slope, 19th st & 6th) and looooove it there too. Argh, I was just in Brooklyn hours ago before work, and sitting at my desk in Chelsea I'm already homesick. <3 u, bk.

Hellcat

$1,100 gets me a two BR in North Jersey (well, one normal-sized BR and one "a bed could technically fit in here... and that's it" room), a shared laundry room that is a cesspool, and all the crying babies one could ever want to listen to. But walk-in closet and balcony -- those are nice!

My last one was a two BR on the top floor of a house, also North Jersey only about 15 minutes from NY, for $800 a month! This was clearly an issue of the landlord not knowing what he could have charged. However, his old gnarly refrigerator and drafty-ass windows ended up bumping up the monthly expenses to what I pay now. Oh, and my downstairs neighbors there were hoarders who tried to "invite" my cat in to play with their cat. They also always forgot to close the common front door from the street!

ipomoea

We live in a newly hipster area of Seattle (when you graduate from Capitol Hill, you move to Ballard), and we pay $1385 for a 2bd/2ba in a triplex with a south-facing balcony, a gas fireplace, and a skylight (and that includes W/S/G). I'm not sure what our square footage is, but we have a baby, a greyhound, a cat, and two adults in here. We have hardwood (Pergo) throughout, and a pretty responsive landlord who has soundproofed the daylights out of the units when he's remodeled, thank goodness. We can walk to three different grocery stores in under ten minutes, and there's a park within a couple blocks. I think the only complaints I've had involve the downstairs neighbors smoking ALL OF THE WEED under my baby's bedroom window, which was solved with a note and a plate of cookies. It's expensive, but it's worth it. When we first got an apartment together (without roommates), we paid $680 for a one-bedroom in a suburb that had one wall so infested with black mold and rot that you could poke holes in it with a finger. The next place was basically a glorified studio on Capitol Hill for $1065 (it had a bedroom and a big room that was kitchen/dining/living), but that also had allergy-attack-inducing black mold that was only dealt with after I reported it to the city housing department.

We want to eventually buy a place, but even when I get a job, in-city with a decent commute to downtown (and safe) will be out of our price range, so we've sort of resigned ourselves to moving to the suburbs we escaped from, where we'll end up buying some 4bd monstrosity with a giant yard and a two-mile drive to a shopping center full of chain fast food and a Safeway.

null

@ipomoea I'm laughing @ the downstairs neighbors smoking ALL OF THE WEED. Cookies = ultimate stoner slayer.

stonefruit

@ipomoea "when you graduate from Capitol Hill, you move to Ballard" -- or, if my college BFF and her honey/beautiful new baby are any example, to Green Lake. So adorable and homey-feeling!

Also, if it didn't involve taking another Bar exam, Seattle is absolutely where I would relocate to.

Pajamaralways

Also created an account (who took Pajamaralls? I salute you) to comment on this thread.

$2350 to live in a one bedroom on the Upper West Side in Manhattan (it's crazy! I know! And it is smaller than the last studio I lived in!). It definitely does NOT have a washer/dryer (in unit or in the basement), the kitchen is tiny, it's a 4 story walk-up, and I'm not allowed to paint ANYTHING.

That being said, obviously I love it.

I originally moved to the city from small-town Oregon, so it has definitely taken time to get used to the crazy. But I have a very specific job and this is the place I have to be for it!

redheaded&crazy

@Pajamaralways AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

redheaded&crazy

@Pajamaralways $2350 PER MONTH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

redheaded&crazy

i do this every time i hear about new york housing prices

i'm so naive

Pajamaralways

@redheaded&crazie Yeah dude. I also have the cheapest rent in my building, even though all the apartments are the same size (they moved in after me, obvi).

The building is for sale for 6 million, if you'd like to buy it! People looking to buy it tour the building and my apartment about once a week and the last people who came commented that my apartment would look better if it was decorated better WHILE I WAS STANDING THERE.

redheaded&crazy

@Pajamaralways you know, i think i would like to buy for $6 million. I've saved up all this monopoly money!

Pajamaralways

@redheaded&crazie Done. We shall call it Red Headed and Crazie Manor.

redheaded&crazy

@Pajamaralways in return, i promise i will never criticize your interior decorating, EVEN behind your back

zubaz

@Pajamaralways

Fellow upper west sider here! I pay $1550 for a studio, third floor walk up. It has 15 foot ceilings and four huge windows, but is obviously tiny.

stonefruit

hmmm, there's a conspicuous lack of my SF 'Pinners up in here (what's up JanieS!) so here goes: I pay $1850 for an enormous 1 bedroom in an adorable house (the shutters on the windows have hearts carved out of them!). Eat-in kitchen, 3 closets in addition to the one in my bedroom, living room that is improbably large/airy, and a backyard that I share with a neighbor/another tenant in the same house.

Pros: location (the Mission!), ample parking (crazy!), sweet landlord who is also a plumber/contractor by trade so everything is kept up very nicely, nice neighbors, amazing Wedgewood stove in the eat-in kitchen, great light, and relatively quiet, AND AND AND brotherstonefruit just moved 4 blocks away!

Cons: no washer/dryer (although there's one at the end of the block), did I mention the rent, array of homeless alcoholics every night who rest on/around the parked cars (most are quite friendly and not hostile though), kind of a lot of creepy crawly things (spiders, wee ants).

I used to live in the back unit of this house; it was like a wee tree-house of an apartment, really a studio but billed as a 1BR because of the split levels. When I moved out, the landlord raised the rent $100/month. As a result, the new tenant, who is awesome, is paying only $50/month less than I am paying, for an apartment that is easily half the size of mine.

::tugs at collar::

On another note, what is UP with this DC stuff! When I left, in 2004, I was paying about $710 for a ginormous studio in a lovely art-deco-y building behind the zoo, on the Adams Morgan/Mt. Pleasant border. Street parking was almost always free of drama, the building manager and handyman lived on site (and the building manager, oh my lord, she was so sweet and wonderful and MISS CONNIE I MISS YOU TO THIS DAY), and the tenants were generally quite friendly/quiet. Fond memories of my slatted door-outside-the-door, and of the fact that when I moved in, we realized that my father had lived in the building behind mine immediately after his birth/my grandfather's return from serving in WWII! If I moved back to DC, I would live there again in a heartbeat. Or, I wouldn't, because the rent is probably too dang high.

christonacracker

@stonefruit $2300 for a 3 bd/ 3 ba 2-story house in North Oakland with washer/dryer, dishwasher, huge yard, and off street parking. I looooove Oakland.

OaklandBooty

@christonacracker *cries&* I miss Oakland so much :'( :'( you are making me want to move back!

JanieS

@christonacracker ... I should move to Oakland. Too bad BART is so flippin' expensive.

pearlforrester

@stonefruit I was surprised at the lack of Bay Area commenters as well!

My partner and I share a 1-bedroom for $1500/mo in North Berkeley. It's an in-law apartment on top of our landlord's house. Bg living room, big kitchen, sweet landlords who let us use their washer and dryer, and, best of all, a great big deck from which we can see the Golden Gate AND Bay bridges. Plus, we're far away enough from UC Berkeley that we never have to see/hear/smell undergrads.

I'm enjoying this thread because as soon as my dearest one gets his Ph.D, we will be off on a grand adventure to Wherever They Are Hiring Medieval Historians, which will likely end up being somewhere I've never considered living.

hellmouth

@christonacracker Calling all Oakland lovers/residents/ex-residents! I am moving to Oakland in a few months from Chicago. I've been doing some research, but BF and I are still in great need of housing-related tips. Mainly: which neighborhood??! We are young (recently out of school) and non-rich.

kariface

My fiancee and I split a $1800 a month two bedroom in Brooklyn. All utilities are included, down to cable and internet, and it comes with its very own parking spot. We've got a front porch, backyard, dishwasher and a brand new kitchen. Seriously - it's HUGE and new. I love it. I'm never leaving.

cowboykiller

@kariface WHOAH. What neighborhood are you in?

whaaat

My boyfriend and I split a $1250/mo 1 bed/1 bath apartment in Los Angeles (Silver Lake)...it's smallish but newly renovated and we have a pool! I love it.

OaklandBooty

@whaaat that's not bad for silverlake! i've been looking to move over there (i'm in echo park) eventually - does that seem to be the regular rent price for a 1br?

whaaat

@OaklandBooty I think it's on the cheap side for the area, but an apartment upstairs and across the courtyard just rented for $1300, so it's do-able!

allerby

Nobody move to Greenville, NC and ruin this!! I'm apartment hunting with my boyfriend: two bedroom duplexes, apartments, and freestanding houses for $550-$750-- total. Mere blocks from our university, some have yards. Insane cheap rent here, feeling lucky after reading all this! Our problem is not finding a place, it's picking a place...

octagonfudge

My hubs and I pay $1375 for a great 2nd-floor two-bedroom in Vancouver. We moved here to teach and had no idea about the city, really, so we had one intense week of looking at many, many places before finding ours, so we ended up in Kerrisdale, which is very sleepy and full of young children and old people, and not much in between. But, we're sort of sleepy ourselves so it works out great. Everything had just been redone when we moved in, so the hardwood floors were redone, new countertops and tile in the kitchen and bathroom, and a tiny tiny dishwasher (the BEST). Lots of closets and windows, the second bedroom is tiny but works for the studio/spare futon for when people come visit, which they do now that we live in an awesome city. I wish we were closer to cool stuff but the rents are so much more and we can't do a basement apartment, I get depressed enough with the lack of light without living underground. And I'm a 3 minute walk to the bus that goes directly downtown.

Robin Rowley@facebook

@octagonfudge a fellow Vancouverite! maybe this is how we will find each other and eventually plan a pin-up?

as for the matter at hand, i pay a mortgage of about $1400 for a tiny but beautiful one-bedroom with a balcony and wood-burning fireplace in my favourite neighbourhood in the city, so, I'm happy.

octagonfudge

@Robin Rowley@facebook We shoullllld! What is your favourite neighbourhood?

ingrid.tuesday

Based on the picture, I though this was going to be about abandoned half-finished subdivisions, maybe with ghost stories and/or dystopian overtones.

Cavendish

I pay $660 a month for a 1 bedroom in the middle of nowhere Western Massachusetts. I'm about 10 miles outside of a college town, and not on the bus line, which is why it's so cheap. I live across the road from a cornfield and a dirt path that goes through the woods, past a pond and waterfall, and to the river. My backyard is a state forest, and has a trail that goes up to some caves and connects with the Robert Frost Trail. My apartment is pretty huge, has fresh paint, new carpet and bamboo flooring, and a sweet ass avocado bathtub. The only negatives are the janky drafty windows, and the fact that it's in the middle of nowhere.

TheDragon

@Cavendish
...I totally consider being in the middle of nowhere a huge "plus"
I grew up on a ranch and consider being able to see my neighbors houses HORRIFYING

han
han

@Cavendish Yay western mass! I'm about to leave the valley and it's making me sad.

Amphora

@han Western Mass is so cheap unless you live in Noho. I paid $600 for a tiny one bedroom there! AND it was a sublet!

Nicole Fletcher@twitter

@Cavendish Aww I miss my apt in Amherst sooo much! $1200 for a 2 br (utilities included) across the street from AC. *misses MA*

OaklandBooty

@christonacracker *cries&* I miss Oakland so much :'( :'( you are making me want to move back!

BRIGITTE-GRISANTI

Hi! It is amazing how much apartments go for in certain areas.My rent in Tennessee is 1,000 a month.My sisters rent in New York for a smaller house is 3,500.

Thanks BRIGITTE GRISANTI

area@twitter

$750 a month for a one-bedroom in Baltimore. In the outskirts of the city, in a nice-ish area (one neighborhood over from the Whole Foods, which is how I measure gentrification), I pay utilities except water. Have a parking spot, a balcony, and it's safe to walk around the neighborhood at night. I used to pay $550 plus split utilities to share a rowhouse down near Patterson Park, but that also included an infestation of mice, marginally functional A/C and heat (so my back room was almost unlivable in deep winter/high summer), and someone getting shot on our corner one night.
Baltimore!

RK Fire

@area@twitter: ahhh I just did my Baltimore shoutout on here. I'll cut and paste it again in reply.

I used to live in Mt. Vernon with my husband and our rents were upwards of $1K. We just moved to Charles Village for a ginormous 1 bedroom that is such a huge steal at $750 (!!!!). Most of the other places we looked at in Charles Village (which isn't as overpriced as Fed Hill or Canton or Fells Point) were studios at that price. The downside is that we have to pay for all utilities, including water, and we have no dishwater or central air, but I am living in a place with access to a communal porch AND it has a private sunporch in the back for kitties. Kitties!

Basically I was expecting a College (Hopkins) Student rent markup.. and I think that was about it. It's way cheaper than Mt. Vernon, and I'm still a little bit in shock about how much cheaper it is. That being said, we moved to a cheaper place because my husband is between jobs right now and we had to ends meet. It's just nice to be able to do that in a place where we like living.

Btw, it sounds like you're out NW way? I lived in Cross Country for a year or two as a kid. :D

area@twitter

@RK Fire Holla ladies! Yeah, I love Baltimore real estate. For all the horror stories, there are really wonderful neighborhoods all throughout the city. I'm actually NE- up in Cheswolde right now (between Mount Washington and Pikesville). I really like being around trees and plants and grass, I would walk out the door in the city and everything would be grey and it was super depressing.
You know what's also a great neighborhood? Locust Point, out near Fort McHenry. I have family living out there and it's pretty fantastic; there's trees and a big park and a lot of people of all ages and backgrounds, but it's also right in the city, so you can have a lot of the "city living" experience- walking to restaurants and bars, etc. And because it's on the peninsula, it's quiet, nobody goes out there unless they live there. Really nice spot.

kerouackangaroo

@RK Fire@area@twitter
i live in mt vernon! (not quite station north but almost mt vernon) i feel like my place is more expensive than a lot of stuff i looked at (in mt vernon)? but i don't really know anything.

RK Fire

@kerouackangaroo: I only spent a brief amount of time looking in Mt Vernon before moving on for a 1 bedroom but it seemed to me that $800-$1000+ was the going rate? I was poking around in Feb too, which may have affected things. I think it's a little weird because if you look just on craiglist, yeah, you can find stuff in MV that is less than $900 but then they all tend to be of the "dead babies in walls and nonlevel floors" variety. No knock on those places, I'm living in a nicer CV one now. That being said,if you're more on the Station North side of things I can see $900 getting you a lot more!

@area@twitter: I love Locust Point! I have some friends who live down there, and I had a internship at the Tidepoint facility years ago. It is really nice. My only thing with the neighborhood (and this is pretty much true for most Bmore neighborhoods that are middle class or working/middle class) is that I wish it was a little more diverse. But yeah, it seems like my internal requirements for neighborhoods are density + proximity to a reasonable park (I'm only a block away from Wyman Dell now) + some decent food (groceries & restaurants) in walking distance.

TheDragon

I pay $285 (That includes water and pet fee) to live in a small, but cute trailer with a yard in a trailer park 2 miles out of town.
I have one roommate, and we each have our own bathroom.
:)

TheDragon

@The Kendragon
Well it's really not that small. It's a single wide that was built in 2001. So, its about as nice as a single wide gets. We also have a porch, and a big tree with a hammock in the yard, as well as a communal swimming pool/exercise room.

han
han

@Cavendish Yay western mass! I'm about to leave the valley and it's making me sad.

MatildaGold

$1100/month, no util. included but laundry on site and off-street parking, for a gorgeous little four rooms plus bath, one-bedroom apartment in Jamaica Plain (Boston). A ridiculous steal - and after two years of shit apartments full of mold and bugs and run by creepy, lazy landlords, I jump up and down and chortle every time I think about it.

emmycantbemeeko

$500 (which includes all utilities and internet) for one bedroom in a 3bdr/2.5bth townhouse in a nice complex with a garage, a pool and a gym. The third bedroom is a media room and I have the second full bathroom to myself.

And this is one of the reasons I do not contemplate moving back home to Chicago from North Carolina. This and the weather.

klbvxf

No city living for me, after reading all this. Midwestern college towns all the way. I pay $625 for a 2 bed, 1.5 bath townhouse with w/d, pets allowed, dishwasher and disposal, cable and internet included, huge backyard and 1 minute walk to a nice little neighborhood park. All utilities run $140 on avg.

My last place was a 3 bed duplex, $565 a month. Hardwood floors, huge kitchen, one car garage, big yard with built in flowerbed, retro 60s aqua bathtub and sink in the bathroom.

Those numbers are for the whole place, not a room.

Megan Martens@facebook

I've noticed that with the exception of a few Austin posts my fellow Texans have been rather quiet. I have several New York co-workers and when I tell them that my mortgage for my 1900 sq ft, 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a yard in a decent suburb is $800 a month the conversation usually ends. I tell them that with taxes and insurance it ends up being around $1150 but then they mutter something about income taxes and then it's just awkward.

BeckyinCle

I live in a hipster neighborhood in Cleveland. Me and my sister share a 2 bedroom apartment for 450. A little on the small side but in a great neighborhood. Right before I moved here, I lived in a shitty neighborhood in LA and paid 800 for a room in 3 bedroom apartment.

silverscreen

Any European Jezzies want to weigh in?

I live in Amsterdam - I share a studio apartment with my partner and we pay 560eu per month (all utilities included).

the gardener's daughter

I share a spacious 2 bedroom apartment with my boyfriend on a quiet tree-lined street in West Philadelphia. We use the second bedroom as an office. I only pay $475 ($950 total!) and have on-site laundry, gorgeous hardwood floors, plenty of free on-street parking, a super awesome landlord who lives in the apartment below, and free reign to paint/install anything we want. I do not know how on earth we snagged this place. I don't think we'll move until we save up to buy our own house.

lemonadefish

$895 for an 1800 sf 3-bedroom with gorgeous 100 year old details, laundry, dishwasher, fireplace, balcony, sun porch... right across the street from the hipster soda fountain, the good bakery, and the community garden. Of course, when I go outside, I'm surrounded by Arkansas...

cowboykiller

$750 ($60 Utilities+$690 rent) for a large bedroom with a big closet and high ceilings in a 5 bedroom, 2 bath duplex in Brooklyn. Off the G line in Bed Stuy. 3rd floor walk-up. We also have the giant roof all to ourselves.

Anna Weber@facebook

I'm in Mott Haven, in the South Bronx, with a 4.5 bedroom brownstone for 2,760 per month. It's a gut rehab with giant bedrooms, a backyard, new appliances, etc. It's amazing. The neighborhood is (now) safe, or at least as safe as anywhere else in NYC, relatively quiet and best of all- right on the 4/5 express train to Manhattan. Getting to Union Square, where I work, is 25 min., easy. And I'm paying slightly less than $700. I love the non-Brooklyn boroughs!

effystonem

Hm not too much LA talk, I'm surprised...I pay $725 for a studio with THREE closets and a fully separate kitchen, plus a parking spot (which I was SO RELIEVED to find, this is a deal breaker for me and I thought I wasn't going to find anywhere that included parking/was not $100 a month extra). It also doesn't face the sun, so I still get some light but it's not an oven on warm days like my old place.

Cons: no AC (which is pretty common in LA, I was aghast to learn when I moved here from Florida), SUPER LOUD PIPES. It's like one street over from Koreatown, but not the sketchy area. Apparently $725 is HELLA cheap for a studio, even though it's actually more than I wanted to pay, but I'm holding out for a dream job that pays me a leeeetle bit more than I make now so I can pay in the $800 range and get one of those sweet places with hardwood floors in Silver Lake. /swoon

baked bean

I'm in Missouri, the land of cheap real estate/gas/groceries/utilities/everything. I think a lot of us stay here because we can't imagine living somewhere that costs so much more. Haha.

Anyway, I live in a nicer apt in my small college town, and pay $284 for my portion of a 3 bedroom townhouse with a fenced in patio and the largest kitchen I've ever seen in real life, let alone in an apt. I'd say these townhouses were built in the late 80s-early 90s judging by style and evil swan on the shower door.

Actually found a picture of the same door we have! Only imagine ours rusting around the side.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellyleer/2764706270/

If it were up to me, and not my pickier roommate, we'd be living in the 2nd floor of a bungalow I wanted. Two bedrooms for $250 total. Uh... that's $125 each, why the hell didn't they want to live there?

In my hometown where my parents live, rent is even less. There are actually smaller podunk towns in the area that exist only because they have cheap rent- no businesses except a bar in one of them. They commute 20 miles or more to work somewhere. Not to mention houses in the countryside, they are super cheap, but expect little maintenance.

whateverlolawants

Finally browsed through the comments. This is one of those times I get to feel so good about living in a large but cheap midwestern city (that DOES have plenty of culture, you just have to look for it.) In Indianapolis, $625 can get you a cute one-bedroom in an art deco, 1920s building downtown. Or a 3-bedroom, 2-bath utilitarian 1960s apartment in an okay area a few miles from downtown.

Sometimes I want to move to New York because IT'S AWESOME, but one reason to stay here is obviously the affordable housing. (Also, I lived in Denver briefly, and LOVED it, and the rents aren't bad there either.)

Kim Weisberg@twitter

One more representative from the Bay Area :)

My husband and I pay $1900/month to rent a 2b1b (though the 2nd bedroom is tiny) in Berkeley/Elmwood. It's a beautiful 1907 Craftsman (duplex; we have the first floor), around 1200 sq ft with free laundry in the basement and a yard that we share with our upstairs neighbor. No parking, but a permit for the street is only around $30 a year. We feel super lucky. SF is definitely more expensive than Berkeley though!

We've paid between $1100 (640 sq ft 1 bedroom + yard/parking in a less awesome Berkeley neighborhood) and $1500 (850 sq ft 1 bedroom + deck/parking/laundry/storage in a nice area of Oakland), and he paid as much as $800 for a room in a nice apartment in a not-nice neighborhood...it's not cheap out here.

Kim Weisberg@twitter

One more representative from the Bay Area :)

My husband and I pay $1900/month to rent a 2b1b (though the 2nd bedroom is tiny) in Berkeley/Elmwood. It's a beautiful 1907 Craftsman (duplex; we have the first floor), around 1200 sq ft with free laundry in the basement and a yard that we share with our upstairs neighbor. No parking, but a permit for the street is only around $30 a year. We feel super lucky. SF is definitely more expensive than Berkeley though!

We've paid between $1100 (640 sq ft 1 bedroom + yard/parking in a less awesome Berkeley neighborhood) and $1500 (850 sq ft 1 bedroom + deck/parking/laundry/storage in a nice area of Oakland), and he paid as much as $800 for a room in a nice apartment in a not-nice neighborhood...it's not cheap out here.

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