Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In The Us

July 26, 2013

Richard asks…

teaching esl in Taiwan. What is the usual deal with apartments,etc?

Does the school usually pay for accommodation? What kind of accommodation is usually provided? What is the general cost of living for food, both average grocery bill and some asian dishes in a budget restaurant? What are some of the costs I should be aware of before signing up? What is the power/gas/water bills like? Do apartments usually have air-conditioners?

Administrator answers:

NOTE: I am writing from the perspective of someone who lives in Taipei City, the capital and most expensive region in Taiwan. Taipei City also has the most sophistocated public transportation system. Its schools are mostly chain schools and are known to be less accommodating than in other regions of Taiwan. Hsinchu very well may give you an allowance for an apartment, as may Taichung. Taipei, where most people hope to end up, however, probably will not.

The usual deal: No, in Taiwan, especially in Taipei City and County, it is rare for schools to pay for accommodation, although most are happy to help you find it. Airfare is also rarely paid. A few schools (like Shane) cover this, but they generally come with higher requirements, such as CELTA certification or a degree in linguistics or MA level TESOL training.
Often you will find a job that will put you up in a hotel, hostel, or special dormitory temporarily while you get things sorted out and find your own place. That’s basically the norm, although it varies from company to company on whether or not they pay for your accommodation.
Utilities fees are high this year because of the recession. Expect to pay a lot if you keep your AC on (which will invariably provided, and so will internet connection, most likely).

The cost of living is generally extremely low, especially out in Taipei County or cities other than Taipei City. Apartments are cheap, food is cheap to the point where it’s often cheaper to go out than get food at a grocery store (if you get used to the Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine). Grocery stores can be hard to navigate alone at first, and the things you’ll want to buy are probably a lot more Western than you realize, and may not be available at all, or will almost for sure be really expensive. There is a lot available much cheaper than it is in the US, especially sea food items and a few fruits (which make Western fruit seem awful). A lot of things are priced about the same. 7-11 and Family Mart and possibly Hi-Life will be your friend in the first few months you are here, but get to know your grocery store sooner rather than later, and get to know your local restaurants ASAP. Breakfast restaurants in Taiwan all serve about the same thing, so grab a menu from one of them and get cracking on it.

I make about $2000 US here teaching and tutoring, and I can save about half of that each month, and chalk it up for my Grad School Fund. I live cheap though, since I rarely go out. Taiwan does have some of the most famous night clubs in the world, however, if that’s your thing.
Taiwanese landlords can be tricky, so really it helps to have a friend do the negotiating for you, or rent from a foreign landlord.

Make some friends who want you to live near them so they can baby you, OR find a place near your school with the help of your employer. If you have to go it alone, these sites should help.


Definitely become familiar with the community at Forumosa. Run a search there for Lotus Hills. Some amazing deals there. Consider using the classifieds on Tealit or Taiwanted to get a motorcycle or scooter to get yourself around if you live far from work, but if you don’t want to go that route, Taipei especially has an extremely convenient MRT and bus system.
Since you seem to be an absolute newbie, I’d suggest browsing some of the various guides above, and I can’t stress enough getting to know the community on Forumosa.

For more on where and what to eat, see:

Carol asks…

How do i move without taking roaches with me?

My husband and I are planning on moving soon from our roach infested apartment(tried everything to get rid of them). how do we make sure we don’t take them with us to our new residence?

Administrator answers:

Well, it won’t be cheap or easy, but it can be done.

1. Rent a storage unit for EVERYTHING you have except some clothes. Put all furniture in the unit. Put all your possessions into the unit…furniture, books, clothes you can spare…every single thing you can spare. Leave your belongings there all winter. The cold will kill any roaches. Meantime, you’ll have to rent some furniture or borrow from friends. It will be worth it, I assure you.

If your new home has a detached garage, you can use that for storage. However, if the garage is an attached garage, the roaches will find their way into your house sensing the warmth.

2. Wash any clothes you bring into your house immediately. Use the hottest water they can tolerate and add Oxi Clean as well as detergent. Machine dry the clothes whenever possible. Leave any clothes that you cannot wash immediately outside the house…preferably at least 60 feet from the house. Do not bring them inside until you can pop them immediately into the washer. If you’ve used a plastic bag to store the clothes, throw this away OUTSIDE immediately. Do not let it sit in the house.

3. You can probably bring your dishes and silverware into your new house, but I would wash them immediately, too.

4. Check the clothes you are wearing when you enter the house. Roaches can hitchhike on clothes and it just takes one little roach to make an infestation. Even after checking, wash the clothes you are wearing A.S.A.P. As soon as that first load of clothes is washed, I would change into a newly washed outfit and wash the clothes you came in wearing.

This should do it.

Good luck.


Chris asks…

Why are home prices supposed to go up in value?

With the financial crisis going around around us, I figured this would be a good question. As an apartment renter, I would like to one day own a house, but home prices seem so ridiculously high (even now) as each owner wants to be the last one to lower their prices. Watching gas prices fluctuate according to supply and demand, but don’t most people want their own home? If homes are used for living, instead of for investments why should their price naturally rise every year…and why is our economy based on that?

Administrator answers:

Good question. House prices rise for the following reasons:
- Peoples’ wages tend to increase over time, making it possible for people to pay more.
- There is only a limited amount of land convenient for building houses, and as population increases, the demand for such land tends to increase.
- Inflation. Over time, the dollar tends to buy less, and it takes more of them to buy a house.
But these are only general issues; many specific issues also apply, and perhaps the most important of these is the cost of money. The recent housing bubble was fueled in large part by overly cheap credit, and more particularly by overly loose credit: many real estate loans were made with minimal or no down payments, and the slightest fall in the market would put these at risk.
There is no way to tell whether the bottom has been reached in the housing market: prices may fall further. But the price declines so far have been substantial, and if you can get a loan, this is probably as good a time to buy a house as any.

Linda asks…

What are some of thenegative of living in a?

trailer. My friend and I plan on moving out fairly soon, and neither of us has mad cash so yea… But also I’m finding trailers at half the price of renting a apartment and wouldn’t have neighbor on the other side of the wall. So any words of caution. PS: Live in VA so don’t have to worry about tornados taking me to the land of oz.

Administrator answers:

I used to live next to a trailer park, I don’t know the stigma of those people is…simple minded? One time someone came to cut a bunch of branches off trees that were groing too far out into the road, anyways the trailer park people all set up their lawn chairs and sat outside watching someone cutting branches, all day, on a monday lol. So they are often seen as odd or stupid, in US anyways.

For two young people though? If you have no money then do what you gotta do, you might want to look around a little more though. I just happened upon a great room right in a downtown area really cheap, you can get lucky if you look around enough.

Donna asks…

Does New England Institute of Art allow Freshmen to have apartments away from the College?

I have a Bird and I need to find somewhere else to stay. Is it possible?
Do they have a rule against it?

I know some colleges don’t allow freshmen to hold apartments….
I’ll be 18 by the time I’m ready to go.

Administrator answers:

The New England Institute of Art is garbage. I went there.
If its one of the Art Institutes run by EDMC (all of them that use the
AI logo), avoid them like a plague. They’re not an art school
employers take seriously. They’re open enrollment, they take ANYONE.
They just want the financial aid from the government that you are
entitled to. The government is now suing them for 11 Billion Dollars which could wipe them off the map easily.

If you ask me, they’re an elaborate corporate scam to funnel as many
Government Pell grants and guaranteed loans out of students as they
can and leave the students with the bill.

They’re like McDonald’s of Art “Colleges”. They’re a chain that is
popping up everywhere. They buy out dying schools, rename them, keep
the accreditation.They create programs designed for impulse buyers and quick hits aka uninformed students.

They may seem like they would be good, but it is all smoke and
mirrors. Pretty building with pretty computers. Meanwhile, it will
just ruin your life.

The market demand they say they’re meeting is not the demand of the
Job market, its the demand of the students. Students that graduated AI
are struggling to get jobs and have over more than $50,000+ or
$90,000+ in debt depending on what degree they went for. Degrees that
are worthless in the job market.

Basically, AI is a degree mill, a total debt factory. They use bloated success stats and
circle logic to back them up.

They count students working at Toys R Us as in the field. Avoid them
if you want to actually have a decent future.

If you really want to pursue your passion, go to a community college,
study fine art, and then transfer into a state school. It will be
cheaper and the money you save you can buy your own equipment and
STILL have money left over for a better future.

Their job leads are bogus, they go to Monster, Craigslist, and career
builder just like everyone else. Their top employer is HOME DEPOT
(Check their own website) and I guarantee none of those are art jobs.

Don’t make the same mistake my friends and I did. We’ll be paying for
it for the rest of our lives.

If you go with AI you’ll be folding clothes at Target or hawking video
games at Toys R Us for $8.25 an hour and struggling to pay $90,000+
with bill collectors haunting your every waking moment for the REST OF
YOUR LIFE with no way to stop them because there is no bankruptcy
protection on Student loans.
Please please please make sure you check out these news articles
below. Many are accounts from students, staff, and teachers of AI.
Feel free to check YELP (“Filtered results” as well.)

What you do with this information is your choice, I just want to make
sure you know everything before listening to one of their recruiters
sales pitch. Remember, they’re paid sales people. Not your friend.
College may be expensive but what these guys are pulling is straight
out highway robbery.

Below is a few news articles about different AI’s around the country. They’re all pulling the same thing.
Its EDMC’s business model.

Decide for yourself.

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