Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In America

July 8, 2013

Joseph asks…

Can we expect to see Micro Compact Homes in the US anytime soon?

Just recently, I read an article about these Micro Compact Homes developed in Germany that take up 75 square feet and can house up to two people. Apparently, they were used as student housing at a university in Munich. They were so popular, the students who lived in them wanted to spend another year studying there. For more information, the links are below:

Considering the fact that apartments in San Francisco are ridiculously overpriced, I think having these Micro Compact Homes in the US would greatly benefit college students and business travelers. Since they take up little space, they should be inexpensive to rent. What are your opinions?

Administrator answers:

New homes in America are ridiculously large. At some point in time, they will have to reduce the size of new ones, only because of the population increasing, and running out of room.
But don’t expect the rents to get cheaper. The larger places to stay will increase quicker.

William asks…

Is living in australian cities expensive compared to new york ?

Like Sydney, melbourne or Brisbane or something

Administrator answers:

I have travelled to New York (and other major cities in America) for many years and find the cities of Sydney and Melbourne comparative. Accommodation in Sydney can get expensive but there are options to attain cheaper accommodation. If you are a backpacker, then you can get really great backpacker accommodation (in Sydney) for as little as $20 per night. You cannot lease a unit (or apartment as Americans call them) for under 6 months and the cost will be from AUS$250.00 per week (in an outer suburb of Sydney) up to AUS$300+ per week (for a 1 room studio apartment) in the inner city areas such as Darlinghurst, Redfern, Kings Cross, Surry Hills, Haymarket (and other areas within walking distance to the city). You will pay top dollar for any type of accommodation in the very popular beachside areas of Sydney, eg Bondi, Maroubra but you can find very reasonable accommodation in the beautiful southern beach areas of Cronulla, Wanda or Shelley Beach (which are about 40 minutes train trip to Sydney). Suburbs such as Newtown and Erskineville offer great deals in accommodation and are very popular with tourists and backpackers because they have a real ritzy feel and are packed with great, reasonably priced restaurants, bars and cafes.

Here is a link showing some “cheap” accommodation for short-term stays in Sydney:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=218b4778dde1411f&biw=1680&bih=909

Many people complain about the cost of food (especially in Sydney) but there are plenty of inexpensive options if you know where to look, eg the restaurants in the expansive Chinatown district of Sydney are very reasonably priced. In addition, very inexpensive meals (of a high quality) can be attained in the many RSL, Leagues (and other) Clubs dotted throughout the city and throughout the States of Australia. You do not have to be a member and visitors are always welcome. Many Clubs offer great facilities, eg gyms, swimming pools etc.

Of course, in the current economic climate, Americans may find Australia a little bit pricier depending on the value of the American dollar. The value of the Australian dollar is very strong but today is almost on parity US$1.00 = AUS $1.05

Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth (by comparison) are a lot less expensive (to live) than Sydney or Melbourne but Sydney and Melbourne are the premier cities so one would expect to pay more. The more popular a city is, the more expensive it is. Sydney and Melbourne are more expensive because more people want to live there (it’s as simple as that).

Mandy asks…

Can anyone tell me what to expect in brazil?

Specifically Rio de Janeiro. Not all of brazil. I’m an 18 y/o (6’4 205 pound male with brown skin tone similar to Wilson chandler NBA player) that just graduated and thought brazil was going to be a great place to vacation at. Could anyone tell me what to expect? I’m not going alone that’s just dumb. I would be a target in America if I did that. Also I’m letting you know I’m not a typical media brainwashed moron American. I have an open mind but I don’t believe everything I see on TV like most Americans. That being said please don’t formulate an opinion on me because I’m american. I want to have as much fun as possible! Which includes meeting girls, looking at incredible land scapes, clubbing, surfing (idk about that I hear brazil has sharks during high tide), mountain climbing, I just want to do it all. What should I expect? Will there be any surprises? I know not everyone speaks English but I know some Spanish and some Portuguese. But more Spanish. I am told most brazilians know Spanish but speak Portuguese more often of course because its their countries official language.

Administrator answers:

Congratulations on your stunning physique and NBA looks. As was said, your appearance has nothing to do with the fun you will have in Brazil. What is much more important is your ability to be open, honest and a true Ambassador for our country. We’ve all heard stories of the “Ugly American” and I’ve spent nearly 30 years traveling to dispel that assumption. I’m also 5’9″ and white and traveled all over Brazil (lived in Rio for 5 months) all by my lonesome. So play it much smarter than your worldly 18 years and you will have an amazing time and one that will be told to your grandchildren many years down the road. Do not automatically speak Spanish while in Rio. Brazilians are often offended by Americans that speak Spanish to them as they assume you think they speak Spanish as opposed to Portuguese. Portuguese is their national language and identifies them as Brazilians, whereas Spanish is spoken in the majority of South American countries. Practice your Portuguese, purchase a phrase book and study and speak English. Yes there are several similarities between Spanish and Portuguese and Portuguese speakers can understand 50-60% of Spanish but start off on the right foot and you will be rewarded. The beach is the best place to meet girls, guys, old people – anyone and everyone. Remember that Brazil’s seasons are opposite to those in the US so a summer trip to Rio will not be a great time on the beach. Much to my chagrin, Brazil is very tropical in the north but 50-60 degrees on the beach in Rio during the winter is not a great time. Get yourself a FODORS or Lonely Planet guide to Brazil and figure out what you want to do based on the amount of time you plan to spend in Rio. Lodging is going to be your greatest expense but there are some quality hostels and lower budget apartments that can extend your stay and give you the extra money for the things you’d like to do. I’ve never heard of sharks near the beaches of Rio at high or low tide and there are tons of surfers. If you are a surfer, try heading out to Itacoatiara. My absolute favorite beach while in Rio. Clubbing is easy but remember you will be old enough to drink in Brazil so be extremely careful since you are young and may not have extensive experience with alcohol. Getting extremely intoxicated (Cachaça, the national drink of Brazil is very potent) can be a recipe for disaster even if in the company of the nice girl that you met on the beach that promises to look after you. However being smart can make that nice girl a great tour guide. Rio is filled with amazing landscapes (notice ONE word) so make sure and buy a cheap digital camera so that you can capture all the moments.

My last advice would be to go to and read the Brazil (specifically Rio de Janeiro) forum and the MUST SEE / MUST DO section. Read questions and posts and hit up one of the destination experts for more specific information. My friend posts there under the name Brazil_Rio and he lives there and is Brazilian and loves to help Americans.

Good Luck

Paul asks…

What is the annual income for a comfortable living?

My idea of a comfortable living is: a studio apartment (costs 1k per month in san francisco), healthy food (food in america is cheap. healthy, organic food is more expensive, but still rather affordable), internet access, lap top. I don’t want kids.I do want to save for retirement by stashing some away each month. How much do you think i would need to make annually for my idea of a comfortable living?

What is your idea of a comfortable living, and how much in annual income do you think would you need to achieve that standard of living?

Administrator answers:

If your housing is 1k a month and that includes utilities/bills, then you need to be making $2857 net a month, or $34 284 NET annually. If you pay 20% in taxes, that means your annual gross salary needs to be $42k.

If you make $2857 after taxes a month:

10% of your income goes to long-term (retirement) savings: $285.70 a month

15% of your income goes to debt repayment/emergency fund: $428.55 a month gets stashed away until you have at least $17 142 saved up.

35% of your income goes to housing (rent, mortgage, bills, utilities): $999.95

15% of your income goes to transportation (gas, insurance, repairs, bus): $428.55 a month.

25% of your income goes to life (food, entertainment, clothing, gifts, travel, medical, wants, phone, internet, cable, other): $714.25 a month, or $178.56 a week to live on, which is a decent amount if you put money aside every week for each thing so that when the random/big expenses pop up, you have the money saved for them.

Jenny asks…

How much do you get paid being a holiday rep?

My friends and I want to work abroad next year from the end of May up until the end of September and we were wondering how much you get paid being holiday reps? We know its not a lot but we were curious. Thank you

Administrator answers:

Sorry this is long.

Holiday representative:
Typical starting salaries are between £450 and £500 per calendar month.
Salaries can be considerably enhanced with commissions from selling excursions and other services. Experienced representatives often earn between £700 and £800 a month.
Basic salaries and commission structures steadily improve once you have taken on more responsibility and progressed to a more senior role such as team leader or resort manager.
Benefits vary between employers but typically include accommodation, free flights to and from the resort, free uniform and sometimes free meals or a food allowance. Other benefits include discounted or free excursions and holidays, use of company cars in leisure time, use of hotel swimming pools and tennis courts, discounted prices in bars and restaurants and cheaper accommodation for family or friends who visit. These are usually arranged on an ad hoc basis within the resort and at the discretion of management.
The majority of employers provide free accommodation, either in the form of a rental apartment which may be shared with other staff, hotel accommodation or alternatively a living allowance to find your own accommodation. This varies between employers and between individual resorts.
Working as a holiday representative is not a nine to five job. Representatives often have to work very long and unsocial hours. Working 12 or more hours a day, six days a week, is not uncommon especially if there are long airport delays, which can occur on a regular basis.
Holiday representatives are required to wear their uniform at all times whilst on duty and may have to change several times a day depending on whether they are undertaking hotel visits, welcome meetings or airport duties. Appearances must always be smart.
The role is not office-based but increasingly there is more paperwork involved. Most of the time is spent with clients in the hotel, on excursions or at the airport.
Most of the larger tour operators employ holiday representatives on seasonal contracts: the summer season is generally from April to September; the winter season is split between October to December and January to March.
Some of the smaller, more specialised operators may offer the possibility to work freelance.
Jobs are based at specific holiday resorts. Some companies start the holiday representatives in European countries for their first three or four seasons, with possible progression to the Caribbean, Asia and the Americas after that. It may not always be possible to be placed in your country of choice.
The work is highly demanding and challenging. Clients often have very high expectations and holiday representatives have to deal with the issues when these are not being met. Representatives have to get used to working in a new country with a different culture, but it can provide the opportunity to learn a different language. The job can also be hugely rewarding, build confidence and provide great job satisfaction.
Holiday representatives can be away from home for months at a time. Often, they work two seasons back-to-back before returning home for a break.
Holiday representatives may need to move resorts every season so there may not be consistency with the location.

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