Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In America

August 1, 2013

Donald asks…

Whats a good place to stay in for 2-3 months for real cheap rent, homeless shelter, shared apt.,..etc.?

I’m looking to stay somewhere for 2-3 months for about $200 or so monthly until I get accepted into a job training program.

Administrator answers:

I would DEFINITELY rule out homeless shelters. Reason? Have you heard of the recent resurgence of begbugs in America? Shelters are literally CRAWLING with those little bloodsuckers these days. Unfortunately, the problem extends to used couches. Bedbugs love to hide in such upholstered items. (And they only come out at night for their midnight snack). If you choose to share an apartment, I suggest that you THOROUGHLY inspect whatever article of furniture you are going to be sleeping on.

I live in a rather nice apartment building here in downtown Seattle. Four years ago, it was totally ‘clean’ of any bedbugs. The problem? It IS a low-income building and some of the tenants will let ANYONE come stay with them so long as they bring drugs or alcohol. So there’s been a lot of homeless people allowed to stay here. Guess what? The apartments that have had the worst infestations are units where the tenants allow homeless people to stay. My unit doesn’t have them – thank God – and part of the reason is that I don’t allow just anyone to even enter here, much less stay here.
I check my bedding like three times a day for any sign of them – they are very hard to get rid of once they become established somewhere. So watch out for those.
Also, although that may sound like a rant against homeless people, it really isn’t. ANYONE, regardless of social class, can get them. Recently an infestation was discovered in one of New York’s most expensive hotels. Movie theatres have them too. They travel on the creases in luggage and the creases in clothes.

Helen asks…

I want to go to Hong Kong to work. I am a designer/creative. Any advice?

I have a diploma in Graphic Design that I did over 10 years ago now, I am now a Senior Designer/Brand Manager for a start-up in Sydney. I have a good 10 years experience doing various types of design/creative and brand/marketing work. Any suggestions or recommendations for getting a job in Hong Kong?

Administrator answers:

Try approaching firms listed under The Australian & The American Chambers of Commerce in HK as a starter. You’ve to have a firm willing to take you on and sponsor your working permit, there’s no shortage of Graphic Designers in HK though.

Rent is very expensive there on a per sq ft basis unless you’re willing to sacrifice 2-3 hrs daily in commuting by living in the village apartments in the remote part of New Territories. Others, groceries, shopping, eating out, transportation are quite cheap in HK, HK has no import tariffs on 99.9% of the things & zero sales tax, income tax is only around 15-16%. The City has a lot of fast food & HK-style cafe which offer cheap combo meals of around US$5 each. The “ding ding” or tram that runs from east Hongkong Island to the west covering more than 120 stops is only US$0.30 per ride.

The final take-home pay in HK is better than many places esp for rare professional & senior executives posts. A structural engineer or IT-design professional w/ 5+ yrs experience is around US$5,000-6,000/month w/ only 16% salary tax. Low profile, menial cheap laborers jobs have all moved to China in recent decades. At the same time, HK has evolved into one the world’s important financial/exhibition centers, re-export trade, tourism, movies & dramas production , animation design & many other servicing industries. HK is now a servicing center w/ a lot more upscale, professional jobs than 20 yrs ago, Yahoo & Google have big offices in HK, Wal-mart’s Asian Regional Headquarter is in HK. That said, the job market is extremely competitive, not only are they eyed upon by the 7 million strong Hongkongers, but by thousands of graduates from China & all over the world. HK employees are well-known for devoting extensive hrs in the work place, mostly with no OT pay. Working permit for foreigners is not very easy to acquire. As a foreigner who’s not entitled to cheap gov housing & medicare, a generalist’s pay might not survive for a good life style.

To give you an idea the working & living conditions in HK,
For CEO positions, one may get by without knowing Cantonese coz he/she could hire excellent bi-lingual executives to work under him/her. Teaching or tutoring English there also do not need Cantonese. For middle or junior positions, if you do not know Cantonese you may have a hard time w/ the co-workers just like immigrants in the US do not know English.

In order to live in a decent apartment near downtown core, the monthly rent at least HK$12,000, & to give you some extra $ to dine out & shop, the min. Monthly income should be HK$25,000-30,000. Restaurants, shopping, groceries & transportation though are cheaper than in Europe/America.

With a population of 7 million strong in a small place, a lot of talents will be competing for the same job, not to mention that nowadays many more university graduates from China are eying in HK´s job market as HK´s salaries are triple of China´s. To stay ahead, an employee must devote extra time & efforts to excel others. When everyone is working 9 hrs/day, if you put in 1-2 hrs extra to accomplish more tasks than the rest of the team then you will win out. A normal office ends at 5 pm, staff rarely leave the office before 7 pm except for low profile jobs like cleaners, messengers. Many overseas employees start complaining the long working hrs & great amount of work after they’re there, it´s a trade-off one must take into consideration before even thinking of moving to the City. One must not expect a good income w/ only 15-16% income tax, no sales tax yet working comfortably w/ lots of coffee/smoking/tel breaks as in Europe/America.

The people there are generally very kind-hearted & always prepared to give a helping hand as HK has been on its own as an independent state for 160 yrs, everyone caring for one another like a big family although they may look cold on the streets just as people of any big busy cities do.

Hongkongers who speak flawless English are generally brought up from good family/education backgrounds, they are the “blue bloods” & may give foreigners an impression of being high on the nose.

Though HK had been governed by the British for over 150 yrs, more than half of the people are immigrants/refugees from China in recent decades. The governmental, judiciary & business systems & procedures remain British, at home the people though are very “Chinese”. It will not be easy for foreigners to find a girlfriend if he is not interested in HK-Chinese cultures in the 1st place. Non Chinese ethnicity comprised of less than 10% of the population, mostly from S. & S.E. Asia.

Night life, clubs, bars, dining out & shopping are paradise there which means one has to work hard to afford the endless fun. Jun – early Sep is hot & humid, it’s also the typhoon season, you wouldn’t feel too bad coz everywhere is air-conditioned. and enjoy!

Paul asks…

How is the life in USA?

Is it just like movies show?? great streets… nice people… great technology, or i’m just blinded by the american dream??
I play the guitar… Blues, i wanna know if there are more posibilities of living of the music

Administrator answers:

Your blinded by the American dream. Its really not so great here. Never has been. There are some areas in this country that resemble third world nations, lol.
Do you honestly wanna live in a society where people become poor because they are a part of a healthcare system that only cares about profits?

Escudero: Its very tough for any artist to survive in america. You will probably live in some cheap apartment in some bad neighborhood for quite some time, especially if many people do not know or like your music. Even if you have another job on the side, the minimum wages here in the US are too low to live like a decent human being. I would suggest you move to a northern european country like Holland or Norway. People who become citizens in those countries are paid livable wages and have a better quality of life. Taxes are high, but the system is not corrupt, so all your tax money goes into programs that help you and the nation.

Susan asks…

When are we going to use the gettos of america for proper usage?

alot of houses are torn down for nothing;the people there complain about their enviornment but do nothing to clean it. The houses are cheap there and alot of wasted taxes and land and good people who really need a house can`t live there because there is so much crime. Why is it; in europe they use every inch of land they have for good and it`s all clean and modernized;but here were suffering with gettos that do nothing but whine about having a house and being poor when they actually have a house etc…..???????
ahhh i lived in europe dude.
ahhh jimbo ive been and lived to both;

Administrator answers:

I think this is very complicated as the ‘ghetto’ housing is usually owned by the city and subsidized. I think that many people are trapped with low incomes and do not have cash at hand to make the repairs that the housing authority should be handling. Landlords are a pain in the butt even when you live in a ‘normal’ apartment let alone having to deal with the whole ‘red tape’ routine that usually goes down in these situations. I think a little more compassion is needed. As to England, not every town is beautiful and if you’ve ever been to London there are places you usually stay away from.

Laura asks…

What’s the cost of living over in England?

If I were to move to London tomorrow, what kind of living expenses would I be looking at (in dollars)? i.e. apartment, food, transportation, taxes, bills. How does it compare to living in America.
By the way I’m in New York City now and would probably attend school there. Also how about job opportunities?

Administrator answers:

That totally depends on which part of the UK – especially when it comes to housing costs. If you’re thinking London, the prices are crazy for EVERYTHING.
So – my advice…forget London unless you have a lot of money – also..double all the below prices!

To live somewhere in middle England:
For a single person in an apartment:
I find rent to be about £400 per month, bills: £100 a month council tax, £54 every month water, electric – £25 a month, gas £70 – £80 per month – this doesn’t include insurance, tv license ect…

Food…about £40 a week

entertainment…clubs are around £5 to get in..a pint of beer – £3 – £3.50
glass of wine the same..
A decent meal out would cost you around £15-£20

Cinema costs £7 now…

So as you can see..not cheap.

If I think of anything else..I’ll edit!

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