Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Low Income Students

October 19, 2012

Lizzie asks…

What is a smarter decision: Buy a house while prices are low, or keep paying almost $1K/mo for a 1bd apartment

Seriously. I’m in my mid 20s, been living on my own for several yrs now, and live in the Philadelphia area, where you can buy a decent starter home for under $200K…yet I’m STILL renting a 1bd apartment for over $900/mo!! What a rip-off, do you agree?

Currently I make over $30K verifiable income and have had my primary job for over a yr. My credit is in the low to mid 700s and although I owe $105/mo on my student loan and total $7K(out of an original $27K) on my car loan, I have zero credit card debt and I’m planning to pay off the car loan to zero by October(i.e., over 3yrs early). Do I have a chance at a mortgage?

Some acquaintence claimed that I would need “50% down” to get approved…is this true, or do you think he’s just trying to crush my morale? I read that lenders look for a solid 10%, but you only need 3.9% for an FHA loan if you purchase PMI.

Seriously, what does he expect me to do?…keep paying rent? Don’t you think I should buy a house soon(before 2010)???
daddyporky: I like the houses they have in Morton and South Jersey, but the property taxes are WAAAAY too expensive unfortunately. I looked at a house in Morton and the taxes are $4500/yr…vs. $1500/yr in Bucks, Montgomery, or Phila counties!
To freespirit and everyone else: I KNOW what the logical answer is…buy a house. Trust me I KNOW what a waste renting is, esp something as expensive as $900/mo. I wrote this more to make a point that it is “stupid” for my “friend” to tell me that I won’t get approved for a mortgage when in fact I’m doing the best I can.

As for a little about me? I’m in my mid 20s, I’ve been out of college for several yrs now, my student loans are very small($9000 total; that’s $103/mo). And if I was still in school, trust me I would certainly NOT get a dorm, because dorms are actually more expensive than apartments! Currently my former college charges a whopping $9000+/yr for room + board…even if you deduct the meal plan, that’s over $1000/mo for a 1-room dorm that you share with another person!(you only get the dorm for 8 mos out of the yr) That’s an even worse rip off!
robert: FIRST OF ALL I didnt say I wanted a house that costs $200K, I said I’m looking for a house UNDER $200K. SECOND OF ALL I would NOT be “shooting myself in the wallet.” By the time I look to buy(less than a yr from now) I will have ZERO debt except for a $105/mo student loan payment which is tiny. Also, my income is actually closer to $46K/yr but because my 2nd job is mostly tips based(waitressing), I cannot prove that extra $14K/yr. So what I can afford vs. what it appears that I can afford are actually two very different things. You sound pessimistic about me and I…don’t …like…that. ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE NOT THE SAME ROB THAT TOLD ME I’D NEED 50% DOWN? YOU BOTH HAVE THE SAME FIRST NAME AND THE LOW IMPRESSION OF ME. GEEZUS.
I still think Rob W’s advice was asinine. From his Q&A’s, it appears that he’s given sour, pessimistic advice to other people too. What he said was exactly along the chiding lines of what MY “friend” Rob(same person perhaps??) said that I was annoyed with. F–k what he said. F–k what he said with a cactus.

Mockingbird: Altho you brought up some good points, I am not going to live my life for a “what-if.” I’ve had guys get my hopes up so much in the past, that if I hold out on my house dream in hopes of finding a husband first, I’ll probably be left 40 and single!! Besides, you never find a husband unless you’re “not looking”…trust me I’d rather end up married w/ the problem of having 2 houses b/t us, than end up possibly single, desperate, and NO house but wasted all those yrs paying high rent. Besides, I have my heart set on an old house + all the home decorating that goes w/ it.

Administrator answers:

I would totally go for it – you are completely wasting your money on rent – at least owning – your money is actually going somewhere to benefit you instead of your landlords pocket! It seems like you have been very responsible in your spending so I would seriously go for it – what would you loose! There are alto of options for first time home owners so I would find a Real Estate Agent you trust and have a good relationship with – if you don’t know any – start asking people and meeting several before you pick one! The good thing is – you don’t pay them – they make their money when they sell houses!

So Good luck and have fun looking for the perfect place!!!

Laura asks…

Should I move out of my unstable mothers house. Decision needs to be made today! please help!?

I really need some unbiased advice. I applied for subsidized housing, which is offered to people with low income. You need to do lots of paper work, and stay on a waiting list usually for a while. However, my name quickly made it to the top of the list, which I wasn’t expecting. The people ahead of me declined or didn’t end up qualifying.
Here is the issue, they gave me 2 weeks to come up with $700, and I can manage it but I’d have to get my cable shut off, which I’m totally fine with, I just know that I wouldn’t be able to pay it off for a while, and create more debt for myself, also I’d have to not pay my cell phone but it’s pre-paid, but I don’t know if it’d be unsafe to be without a phone. There are also a few other bills I’d fall behind on. It would probably take me three months to get on my feet to live decently and a good 6 months to be debt free. (aside from student loans!!! Gahhhh!)
I’m willing to fall behind because these lists fill up quick, and can have 5+ years of waiting. I want to move in here, because I don’t come from the best family. My mother has been putting everything in my name, electric, phone, internet, using my bank account, everything! She controls my life I basically give her $1,000 a month, almost my entire pay to live in a dump that I’m embaressed to call home. These apartments my name came up on are brand new, I’d be the first to ever live there! :D
My mom is terrible with money, and threatens me with kicking me out, (I’d have nowhere to go at all) if I don’t do these things. When growing up, we were homeless 2 times, living in shelters for 3 months, and the second time bouncing around to different people’s homes, I switched schools so many times I honestly lost count. It just isn’t a stable environment, and I need stability. For some more background information, I’ll be 22 in a month.
I want more for myself than this. I don’t want to live pay check to pay check, being scared of being evicted. I’m the only person in my entire family on both sides, dating back to my grandparents, and possibly before them, cousins included to ever further my education. There was one cousin who lives in another state and my step sister who have. Neither of my parents, or their siblings graduated high school. I come from a poor background, and I WANT TO BREAK THE CYCLE! I want to live in a stable environment, and further my education even more!
I don’t feel like I will ever get anywhere living with my mom , and I need this low rent to help me get started. I just don’t know if it’ll be wise to put myself in debt, and living without a kitchen table and couch, and barely having money to eat. …I have until this afternoon to make my decision.
Please give me some advice!
Ed, did you not read anything I said. My mother demands nearly all of my pay, and threatens and fights with me if I don’t, she recently ordered checks in my name for my bank account. She had things all put in my name the second I tuned 18, and was still in High School.
I grew up in projects, and switching schools tons of times, it’s a miracle I graduated, I had to work even harder to catch up with each new school.
Statistics say about me that I am expected to be on welfare, have a child, drop out, and with all that going on, it’d be highly likely I’d be on drugs.
Not trying to toot my own horn, but working full time, not having a social life because of my crazy hours, finishing high school, going on to college, are big accomplishments for me, maybe not a lot for you, but I’ve beat the statistics, and I don’t plan on following in my parents foot steps.
If I ever have children, I don’t want to have them homeless, and in fear of losing things every day of t
Ed, did you not read anything I said. My mother demands nearly all of my pay, and threatens and fights with me if I don’t, she recently ordered checks in my name for my bank account. She had things all put in my name the second I tuned 18, and was still in High School.
I grew up in projects, and switching schools tons of times, it’s a miracle I graduated, I had to work even harder to catch up with each new school.
Statistics say about me that I am expected to be on welfare, have a child, drop out, and with all that going on, it’d be highly likely I’d be on drugs.
Not trying to toot my own horn, but working full time, not having a social life because of my crazy hours, finishing high school, going on to college, are big accomplishments for me, maybe not a lot for you, but I’ve beat the statistics, and I don’t plan on following in my parents foot steps.
If I ever have children, I don’t want to have them homeless, and in fear of losing things every day of t

Administrator answers:

Typically, I would say don’t move out until you’re financially secure, but this is not a typical situation. Some things to consider: you’ll need to get the bills at your mother’s home out of your name, possibly before you move – I’m not sure if the utilities companies will allow multiple locations in your name. Regardless, you don’t want to end up owing on both places. Find out if the utilities will require deposits or installation fees at the new place. I’d be wary of not having some minutes available on your phone in case of emergency, but I think cell phones are required to dial 911 even if out of money. You also need to get your mother out of your checking account asap – even if that means closing that account and opening a new one. As far as the student loan, see if you qualify for forbearance or an extended payment plan to reduce or even temporarily eliminate monthly payments. You can live without furniture and tv, eating ramen noodles for a while – it’s not fun, but you can survive almost anything if there’s an end in sight. You’re already working full time, but you might also want to consider a second job (unless I missed that you’re still in school). It’s not a bad idea to get a second job in the food industry, where you might get an employee discount on food. I used to wait tables and ate baked potatoes for most meals when I was broke because the restaurant offered them for a dollar.

My head says no, but my heart says go for it. See if you can find a place to crash for the next 2 weeks in case things get really bad at home, then I’d start getting your name off bills and changing your checking account now.

Ken asks…

Who is fighting for the poor?

I am only voting for the candiates who are TRULY for the poor. I have been trying to do some research but have not found anyone who seemed truly sincere. I will vote and support a candiate who is these issues:
1. Affordable houring for EVERYONE who makes under the poverty limit regardless of student status.
2. Affordable to free health care.
3. A living wage
4. Rent Control
5. Fighting Homelessness
6. Fighting Cancer and AIDs
7. Increasing Social Security benefits and keeping Medicare costs low.
There are more issues but those are the main ones I am concerned about. I am terrified that someday all of our cities will be like New York or LA and will not be affordable.
A person needs to make $1,800 per month to rent a lower end 2 bedroom apartment in KANSAS CITY, MO!
The average person on Social Security makes under $700 per month; there is nothing they can rent accept low income housing which is lacking.
What do I do? How do I help? Who do I support?
I have a BS in communications and yet I still make under the poverty line! A lot of my friends and family are struggling. My cousin died because she was so poor; no one knew how bad off she was.
It almost seems like the poor will be homeless or dead in 10 years if we don’t do anything! The middle class is becoming the poor!
What can I run for to save our nation?
I am also for TRUE democracy and freedom for the people. I am about protecting the citzens for corrupt businesses.
I would also like to see candiaites who will stand up to these big businesses who charge OUTRAGOUS fees if you are ONE day late!
Some for your answers are just INHUMANE! I am poor and I am fighting but the only way to make a difference is through government or the masses.
Can I as one person change all these things?
Why do people have such negative reactions when to comes to the poor? I don’t get it? I came from an upper middle class family myself and I always had a heart for the poor.
I think this means WE all need to change our nation.
We are talking the humane thing to do not for moneterial gain in away shape or form. Besides if the poor pay less in rent and have more income they have more money to spend!
I think this is the most important issue facing our nation due to the recession and unemployment. There are 33 million people in america that live in poverty! That is not a small number!
Affordable housing means based upon one’s income. No one should pay more than 30% of their income to rent.
A living wage would vary from state to state in Kansas City, Mo that would be about $2,000 per month. So around $13 per hour.
Aids and cancer are not specfic to the poor that is just other big issues I think need to be addressed.
What happened to my cousin is the recession. She lost her job, then her kids, she got on drugs when a friend of hers gave her come for free. She had untreated depression, she had no insurance and little food. She only did the drugs to help her forget her hunger pains and that her kids were gone.
Her friend got her drugs for free because she worked for the guy. He was an owner who was very corrupt and did not care about his workers. He paid them in drugs and sometimes food.
My cousin got in with the wrong crowd only AFTER she lost EVERYTHING. She could not pay her rent and she tried to go back to school to be a nurse.
The DR said she had meth in her system but not a single drop of food in her stomach. She died of severe malnutrution and drug over dose.
none of what I am suggesting is the least bit harmful. It is good for everyone! If we help the poor then we help ourselves! Have you heard the saying a chain is only as strong as its weakest link?
Well imagine if we all could be equally strong then what could our nation become? Imagine if everyone had housing,clothing,food,education and health care. What do I do to REALLY CHANGE THINGS! I can’t live in a soceity like this!
I never said communism. Of course in the society I am thinking about you won’t need as much money. The problem is I am not talking about patching up an old system or systems.
I am talking about coming up with a NEW system.
Just think outside the box; don’t think in terms of this current society. This system is broken and can’t be fixed.

Administrator answers:

Dems fight for the little people. ?

Michael asks…

Summer job, student Filing taxes, Family.. help?

I’ll be working during the summer, over a 8 week period at an internship, totaling about $1800, I’m also considering working a second job that will only be about 5-8 hours a week, but this one is long term.
I expect that I will only have about 3500-4000 dollars total by December, less than $5000.
Will I need to add my income, the $4000 to my family’s total income?
We are renting an apartment and the government helps assist our low income with covering part of our rent.

I’m worried that the $4000 I make will put them into a higher bracket, leading to paying more rent, and less money back. My parents say they don’t know because of the instability of filing taxes and the bracket ranges each year. It also might affect my financial aid?

Can someone help me out on this? It’s been stressing me out if I should take the second job…Thanks a lot…

By the way, I wrote on my W4 “exempt” for my internship because I was not expecting this second offering. Is anything wrong with that? I’ve never had a job before this.

Administrator answers:

The income doesn’t get added to your parents tax return, but since you are part of the household, it’s household income and might affect your subsidy for your apartment depending on what type of subsidy it is. Your income could also affect your financial aid since you have to report it on your FAFSA form.

“exempt” is OK on your W-4 if you’ll make under around $5700 for the year.

Nancy asks…

help on goverment loans/grants!! please!!?

well to put a long story short i got kick out of my house im 19 years old i cirrently work at kolhs department store part time and shoot photography part time and am a full time student. my kols income is low about 450 a month at the least and with the photography i can make up to 1700 a shoot depending on who will hire me. i live in my truck currently and im looking to get a apartment in the next 2 weeks or so and i was wondering is there any goverment grants, loans, anything to help me out cause im taking more units next semester and i cant pay rent on a hope of getting a photo shoot and my kolhs salary wont cover alot. so if you could tell me any goverment related “help” for someone in my situation i would greatly apprecate it. anagin i am a full time student if that matters.

thanks, lucas

Administrator answers:

Maybe try to rent out a room from a private residence. There are always people looking to rent out a room in their house these days…a whole lot cheaper than an apartment would cost.

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