Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In America

July 30, 2013

Mary asks…

What’s the catch with Hometown America?

My husband and I are currently looking for a house to buy. Today I looked in the paper and there were houses from “Hometown America” advertised. I looked at their website and found beautiful new houses for very cheap. It looks pretty good and I would buy one of their houses in a heartbeat but if it’s that cheap there must be a catch. (I live in northern VA and they sell houses there for 150k that are normally in the 200ks in this area)

Administrator answers:

I thought at first they maybe a company that buys foreclosures and then finances them directly to buyers…..

However…

After looking at a couple of their communities in CA (where I can make a value judgement) it appears to me that they actual build the community themselves and probably finance themselves……and one of the communities is clearly modular homes, not stick built. If all the homes are modular or mobile….the neighborhood sort of looks like a very upscale mobile home park. That is what I see in the Riverside area on their site. The San Jose area looked like a condo or apartment set up.

They may be the mobile home manufacturer that buys a large pocket of lots and set up their own little subdivision and finances them? Great idea for a 55 and older community which I see they offer on their website as well. But for family…these places will likely look pretty rough in a few years.

My concern would be that it is geared to be a low income neighborhood, which could affect future value.

I would also submit my own disclosure question ….they obviously got cheap land……….they’ll say because they know how to get in there and buy right……..but maybe they bought the land where the landfill used to be located???

Good Luck

OBA™

David asks…

Please tell me more about Atlanta?

I may be considering a move there soon, and I’d like to get impressions from native Atlantans and people who’ve moved there from other places. What’s the cost of living like? How about the weather? Is crime a problem? What’s better, as far as housing: the city or the suburbs? And what are some safe, affordable areas to live?

I hope to visit the Aqarium soon. I’ve heard very good things about it.

Thanks.

Administrator answers:

I’m a life-long Georgian, so i’ve got a bit of bias, but Atlanta is a great city to live in. No matter what your scene is: punk, coffee-house, sports, dancing, museums, rock, drinking, etc. Etc. Atlanta has something to offer for you.

The people here are mostly friendly, and there are a lot of groups available for you to get plugged in to the community. If you are looking to meet some Atlantans who know the city, and have open arms, check out the Atlanta page of meetin.org. The folks in the Atlanta chapter are a super laid back, diverse, and open group. I would also suggest the meetup community, to get plugged into the different types of activities that you enjoy.

As to where to live, it really depends on what kind of scene you are looking for. If you have a lot of money, and want to live in a ritzy neighborhood, I would suggest Buckhead. While the neighborhood has a lot of the clubs in Atlanta, it also has some of the best mansions (and smaller, but extremely nice, homes). If you are more into older architecture, indie culture, and walking/bike riding to places I would suggest the Virgina Highlands, Inman Park, and Grant Park areas. All have great old homes that are either still intact, or have been split into great apartments. The people in these areas are super friendly, and they have a lot going in their communities, but they are not crime free. I do not know of crime being a serious problem, but you are intown.

If you want to live just a skip outside Atlanta, but still be inside the perimeter, I would suggest Decatur. Decatur is a great little artsy area with a super low crime rate. Having said that, it is in Dekalb county, and that county is know for having some corrupt leadership. The citizens of Decatur go to great lengths to protect their town, so the area is extremely clean, and extremely beautiful.

As for the suburbs; it would really depend on where you want to work; because let me tell you, the commute can kill in Atlanta. If you are single, you probably want to stick to the Sandy Springs or Vinings areas (there is small crime, but both are very safe), as they have a lot of different types of entertainmet to offer for the single set. If you aren’t looking for that type of scene both of the above mentioned areas are still great places to live (close to major highways, lots of stores, nice neighborhoods), but as the nature of suburbs, they don’t have as much charm as an intown area.

If you are looking to buy a home, I would suggest the very nice North Fulton area (Alpharetta). If you are willing to go a bit more north into the Cumming area, you can get homes for a slightly cheaper cost. Other great suburb areas are: East Cobb, Kennesaw, Marietta, and Roswell. In all of these suburbs the residents are seeing an influx of new-to-america residents. If this is something that would seriously bother you, you might want to consider this in your choice.

Some areas I would stay away from: Clayton couty. They have a lot of crime, and there are some economy problems occuring there right now. And, well, I can’t think of anywhere else in metro Atlanta that isn’t great. :)

The weather here is incredible. Very mild winters, and great, hot, tropical like summers. It almost never snows here.

I will say this: I’ve traveled all over the world, and every time I hit the marta station on my way out of Hartsfield International, I kiss the dirty floor feeling blessed to be back in Atlanta. Lol.

Best of Luck to you. Welcome to Atlanta.

Nancy asks…

i want to go to cost rica for 2 months for my summer break between school i have $5000 USD will that last me?

I want to be able to have a dirt bike or some sort of transportation that is easy and cheap, also i want a comfortable place does not have to be nice. i will need electricity and maybe internet to keep in contact with loved ones. will $5000 USD be enough?

If you can please help me with average pricing and other help full things that would be very much appreciated.

–Thank you,
–Adam

Administrator answers:

Now that you have the opinion of the Nicaraguan tourism board (LOL), here’s my take:

For 2 months, $5000 should be fine.

Stay at an apart-hotel (that’s a hotel that rents apartments, instead of rooms). There is a good one in San Jose (http://www.hotelaranjuez.com/apartmentsGallery.html ) A small studio apartment is $490/month. That includes clean apartment w/ private bathroom, electricity, wired internet (they also have a desktop in the lobby for guests’ use), local phone, a safe in the room, maid service twice weekly). Safe area, building is only about 5 years old (I’ve been staying there for 4 years each time I go down there). It comes with a kitchen (w/ stove, micro, fridge). Forget hostels, that’s for poor backpackers and cheap Europeans. And you don’t want to get stuck with some uptight religious-freak family.

As for transportation, you don’t want to be on a bike there, it’s suicide. Stick to taxis and buses, they are very cheap. During the day, walking is ok. At night, NEVER walk anywhere, taxis only. It’s not worth getting hurt or killed to save $1.50.

Any other question,s feel free to email me. I have been all over Central and South America (family), so I have a lot of experience. Personally, I’d rather vacation in Iraq over Managua or Granada, Nicaragua.

Lisa asks…

how exspensive is it to live in coconut creek florida?

just looking for a one bedroom apartment not in a really rich place but not in the ghetto either

Administrator answers:

I just moved from Coconut Creek, where i lived for the past 2 years. Its a good area not to much crime. You never really hear coconut creek on the news unless its for something good. It is on the pricier side like Coral Springs, but a friend of mine Just bought a manufactured home in Hometown america an is paying really cheap rent!!

You can go on www.Hometownamerica.com an look, Good luck!

Richard asks…

Please tell me things i need to know about Guatemala?

Can somebody please tell me things about Guatemala that is good to know about that country before moving there.
Also about honduras if you know about there.
Thanks

Administrator answers:

Guatemala has a long-standing claim to a large portion of Belize; the territorial dispute caused problems with the United Kingdom and later with Belize following its 1981 independence from the U.K. In December 1989, Guatemala sponsored Belize for permanent observer status in the Organization of American States (OAS). In September 1991, Guatemala recognized Belize’s independence and established diplomatic ties, while acknowledging that the boundaries remained in dispute. In anticipation of an effort to bring the border dispute to an end in early 1996, the Guatemalan Congress ratified two long-pending international agreements governing frontier issues and maritime rights. In 2001, Guatemala and Belize agreed to a facilitation process led by the OAS to determine the land and maritime borders separating the two countries. National elections in Guatemala put a temporary halt to progress, but discussions resumed in November 2005. After being named Foreign Minister in 2008, Haroldo Rodas made clear his intention to reinvigorate discussions with Belize, and the two countries signed an agreement to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice at the Hague for resolution
——————–
You read a lot about people retiring to various countries in Central America or setting up shop there as an expatriate, but you don’t hear much about Guatemala in the mix. It’s worth taking a look at this country though, especially if you’re just going to rent an apartment and not try to buy property. It’s close to the U.S., it’s cheap, and it’s got a lot going for it, with a unique culture and plenty of activities.

What it doesn’t have going for it is retirement incentives, which is the main reason it seldom gets mentioned in International Living or in magazine stories about moving abroad in your golden years. Destinations such as Panama, Honduras, and Belize have rolled out the welcome mat to foreigners with money in the bank, but Guatemala has sat on the sidelines. There was a civil war going on there for 36 years, so they had bigger issues to ponder until the peace accords in 1996. Some of the problems that led to all that violence are still being sorted out and crime is still higher than it should be, so property buyers have been understandably skittish. Outside of Antigua real estate, most of the money has gone into tourism projects rather than residential development. Plus the waterfront restrictions are even more onerous than they are in Mexico: here you cannot buy property on any waterfront: you only have the right to lease it and the period is 20 or 30 years. So all the desirable land around Lake Atitlan, on the Pacific coast, and along any river is off the table for purchase.

But if you’re renting, none of this matters. You’ll have a pretty tough time finding a cheap apartment on the fly in super-popular Antigua, but in most other areas of the country it’s far easier to pay half or less what you would at home. For guidance on navigating the market and preparing to move there, pick up this great new book pictured here: Living Abroad in Guatemala. It’s written by Al Argueta, who also did Moon’s guidebook to the country and he knows Guatemala inside out. This was not written by some desk editor or a beginning guidebook writer who only had a few weeks to research everything. It’ll tell you most everything you need to know and plenty of things you didn’t realize you needed to know—like what the abbreviations mean in Guatemalan newspaper classifieds.

So besides the easy to get to location, why move here? Well, the price is right, first of all. Again, Antigua is kind of pricey because its jammed with tourists and students, but even there you can find great deals on food once you get outside the central core. Here’s my “what you get for a buck or less” part of The World’s Cheapest Destinations book for Guatemala: 15-20 bananas, a local breakfast, a rum & Coke in a bar, two great cups of coffee, 15 rolls, two pounds of potatoes or tomatoes, at least a half hour of Internet access, four local bus rides, a short tuk-tuk ride, 10 miniature Maya dolls.

It won’t cost you much to learn some Spanish either. My wife, daughter, and I had 20 hours of private lessons each over a week in Antigua and paid a shade over $400 total—including the homestay (with meals) with a local family. That’s private lessons.

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