Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments In Minneapolis

November 23, 2012

Laura asks…

Heating costs in MN.?

Currently I live in Idaho and am considering relocating to the Minneapolis area due to a job change. I am wondering on average what it costs to heat the average 1000 sf. home in this area. Also what can you reccommend as absolute neccessities for extreme cold weather in looking for an apartment, condo or house? i.e. Do most of the homes there use an alternative heat source, must special precuations be taken to ensure that your pipes will not freeze etc. ? Please adivse.

Administrator answers:

Any apartment or condo should be fine. For a house, it should be fine as long as it has a basement. You will want to make sure it has good weather-tight windows and siding, as well as attic insulation. I have an older house, I’m not sure how many sf it is, but it’s fairly large, and it does need some new windows. We heat with natural gas and on the even-pay plan (bill is the same 12 months per year) we pay about $125 per month. Hope this helps…..

Jenny asks…

Have a strange rental lease situation… need some lease advice!?

My room mates and I are really cool with our landlord. We have no beef. Who has beef is the state, they deemed our apartment “not livable”. Well, it’s more like a gigantic basement. First of all, let me assure you, it is definitely livable and we LOVE it. However, there are some technicalities that our landlord is dealing with.

In order to keep renting our space, he has to knock down a wall and bridge the gap between our apartment (the basement) and the apartment above us. Both are 3 bedroom apartments. Both have a kitchen, bath, living room etc. For the past 4 years he has been renting both out separately but the tenants living above us are very difficult tenants and decided to call state inspectors on him. Well it didn’t help them any, but it sure screwed up our situation.

The only way to make this work is to combine the two, and have a 6 bedroom “condo”. If all the people living in the building are on the same lease, the state has no beef. Funny how that works.

The girls are moving out next month (perfect timing to leave us with this huge headache). Our landlord said he needs to double our rent and then we can take over upstairs as well. We don’t exactly have enough money to cover the rent for both.

So, my question. Is it possible to have 6 people on a lease, but make each individual tenate responsible for their own portion (1/6) of the lease (instead of making it the entire groups responsibility if one leaves)? Or, better yet, is there a way to cut it in half… make 3 people responsible for half, and the other 3 responsible for the other half?

I don’t want a bunch of strangers I don’t know signing a lease with me. I want to make sure that if some low lives bail on this new lease situation, we aren’t going to get screwed on a technicality. After all, they wouldn’t actually be living with us… just on the same lease.

Anyone out there have any suggestions???

P.S. We live in Minneapolis, if that helps.
P.P.S. I understand he can’t raise our rent in the middle of our lease, but our lease is up next month. And he really has no choice.

Administrator answers:

See if your landlord would allow you to suplease the upstairs. Then you would be responsible for the whole lease amount but will be allowed to have sub lease contracts with the tenants from upstairs who would pay rent to you.

Mark asks…

Single Graduate Student to Attend Out-of-State University in CA – Questioning About Moving?

I am a native 22-years old Minnesotan who is in the process of applying for graduate school in southern California (Los Angeles) for their film program. I am very hype about moving to a new state and change in environment.

I have been researching and apartments in that area ranges from $800 – $1500 per month, which is something I do not see in Minneapolis, Minnesota as students here pay $300 – $600 per month. I am trying to plan accordingly (like saving a lot of money) to figure out how I should approach the situation if I do get accepted. So my questions are…

- How does one move from one state to another? (I can’t drive and so I was thinking of flying. My parents are not willing to help with driving).

- Would you suggest buying all the things like desk lamp, desk, bookshelf, bedding, fan, etc in that state or should I take my belonging from MN and ship it to my new address?

I do not have a car and so I would not be able to drive myself but I am in the process to obtain my license. (I have a permit). Also… I do have relatives living in Los Angeles in a city or town called “Reseda, California.” Thank you for your help.

Administrator answers:

Around LA you can likely find an ok studio apartment in an ok area for $800 or $900 on the low end, a one bedroom for $1100 – $1200 on the low end, more for upscale areas. It might take a bit to find a low end apartment you feel comfortable with. Also, consider the overall cost of living (food, etc) is going to be quite a bit higher in LA than where you live now.

Reseda is out in the San Fernando Valley, I do not believe it is near enough to any colleges with good grad film programs, the commute would be very stressful and slow. You want to live as close to your college as possible. You very likely will want/need a car in LA, but you can probably get away with not having one for awhile, even though our public transportation is not so good. It is more important for a filmmaker to have a car than other students, since you’d need to haul around equipment to locations, and some may be locations that public transportation doesn’t go. Some college campuses have Zipcar.com on campus.

Shipping is a lot more expensive than it used to be, look at places like Target and decide if it just makes more sense to buy new things like towels, sheets, lamps, etc here. There is IKEA for low priced cute furniture, you have to kind of build it, but it’s super easy. They have nice room lay ups in the stores, also very small apartment layouts. You usually take home the furniture in flat boxes (except mattress) in your car (or rental car), but they will deliver for a charge.
IKEA http://www.ikea.com/ (Burbank is convenient to most parts of LA.)

Legit film programs (USC, UCLA, Chapman/Dodge, LMU, AFI etc) are very competitive. The undergrad film programs are tougher to get into than Harvard (6% vs 5% or less). I don’t know the exact stats on grad schools but admissions are very competitive. UCLA film MFA tuition/fees will be about $33,000 a year with the non-resident fee, bringing the cost up to the same as private colleges, like USC. There are often several thousand $$ in material type fees in film programs. Living and other expenses (books, etc) are stated by the colleges at about $20,000, and that is on an extremely tight starving student budget. That likely won’t be enough to include a car. So figure $53,000+ an academic year (9/10 months). Minimum wage is $8 an hour, and it’s very difficult to find even an entry level job, horrible employment situation in LA, you can figure it will take 4 – 6 months, or longer. Sometimes you can get a job at your college. There really aren’t waiter jobs a student can walk into anymore, the restaurant business is doing terribly. Supposedly our employment situation is going to stay flat for several more years.

Are you aware of your chance of actually working as a filmmaker? It really is about zero, realistically, unless you have the money to back your own projects. Here is an article that might interest you:

For Film Graduates, an Altered Job Picture

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/movies/film-school-graduates-job-prospects-at-usc-nyu-ucla.html?_r=2

Good luck!

Joseph asks…

I could use some help with a story?

i want to write a book or maybe a screenplay. i know i want a very unusual set of characters- a drug dealer, a pro wrestler, a teenage hooker, a satanist, a schizophrenic man, a conspiracy theorist, an aging punk rocker, and others i haven’t thought of yet. i know that some character will live on a houseboat, one or more will live in a trailer park, some will live in apartments, and one will sleep on various other characters’ couches. i want it to take place in Minneapolis or nearby. What i need help with is a plot and a title. if you could suggest these or have other advice, i would be very grateful! TEN points for best answer! thanks!

Administrator answers:

Idea alert. (Warning probably not a very good one lol)

They could all meet up at a club, two could flirt, the other three could be friends, one could be looking for his little sister and ….. Yeah you get the idea anyway suddenly a huge fire could appear from all the exits, so there was no way out, everyone dies except your main characters and they wake up and try to figure out what happened, and they all could become friends like that?

I warned you it wasn’t a good idea!

Maybe something really bad could happen and that would bring them all together? Just a thought.

ADVICE:

This could work, you never get a bunch of unique characters in a story anymore. Female characters in stories are normally boring, ordinary, perfect, grades, normal and the boys are normally glamorous better then the girls hiding a huge secret. Just think of characters you normally see in stories and twist that idea around.

Titles:
Why did the fire not eat us?
The blaze of the fire?
We are Immune to fire?

Sorry all i got, hope i helped anyway!

Linda asks…

Bachelorette Party Ideas?

My sister is all excited to plan my bachelorette party and she wants to know what I want to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are some factors that may influence/limit the options….

1. I live in Minneapolis-St. Paul and that’s where the party will be held, but my sister is from out of state, so she doesn’t know much about the area and doesn’t know most of my other friends. My sister is my only bridesmaid.

2. The party will be held the Thursday before the wedding. (Wedding is on Sat.) Some out-of-towners might be able to fly in a bit early, but we aren’t sure. Either way, the goal isn’t to jet off to someplace out of town. We want to make it easy for everyone to get to.

3. Everyone involved is young and trying to save money. We are trying to keep expenses down because not many would be able to participate if it were too expensive.

4. Some friends know each other, but not everyone does. The invited guests would be a group of a few individuals from each of various points in my life (childhood friends, high school friends, college friends and post-college friends) with some of my fiance’s female friends as well. None of these groups overlap (in other words, my childhood friends don’t know the friends I met in high school, etc).

5. I don’t want anything super sex-oriented. My sister has all kinds of ideas for sexy things like a representative from an adult toy store coming to the house to give a presentation, etc. But I’m not into any of that and I think it would make my other friends uncomfortable. I’d rather just have a fun time….

Suggestions??? I’m totally at a loss because these friend groups are so different and because our budget is so limited. I kind of just want a slumber party, but all of us have such small apartments that I don’t know where we’d do it….

Also, if we did something low-key, does anyone know of any fun “bachelorette” party games we could play? I don’t feel the need to plan everything down to the letter, but I want to make sure I can point my sister in the right direction of what I’m thinking of — and not just say, “Yeah, plan a slumber party.” I mean, given that she doesn’t know my friends and few of my friends know each other, a slumber party with no ice breakers could be really weird and kinda sad for a bachelorette party.

Administrator answers:

I went to one where they got some of the groomsmen to volunteer to get dolled up as French Maids and serve.
It was Hilarious!
That alone put a lot of spark into the party!
They later changed into old really frilly Bridesmaids dresses and were used as dummies to show the dos and don’ts of being a maid! Very very Funny stuff

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