Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Efficiency Apartment Furniture

June 25, 2012

Helen asks…

Questions about Big Brothers Big Sisters program?

I have considered volunteering as a big sister for several years now, and I have sooo many questions.

1) Any experience with the program? I’m looking for honesty, good or bad

2) How would I be matched? I know they say you would be matched with a child with similar interests, is that true? Or could I be matched with a child that has completely different interests? It wouldn’t matter too much, but I think it would be easier to bridge the gap if we had similar interests.

3) I knew of a male child who was in the program and had a female “big.” I thought was odd because he had a mother but his father wasn’t around. Shouldn’t he have been matched with a male “big?” I’m a female, and I don’t mind being matched with a male for female “little,” but I would prefer to be matched with a child that doesn’t have a female role model in their lives. I feel this would be most beneficial. Do I have any say in how they match me?

4) Also, if you have experience would you please walk me through the process of appying? What about the interview? I read somewhere that they come to your home. I would be slightly concerned about that. I have a VERY modest older efficiency apartment with little furniture, but it’s NOT a dump. I could afford a nicer place, but I’m single and it meets my needs. I choose to use my money in other places, including college. I hope this wouldn’t be frowned upon.

Anything you could tell me would be very helpful!

Administrator answers:

In 2007 I participated in BBBS. I am a woman and I specifically requested to be paired with a 5-9 year old girl.

After paying $20 for a background check, a silly interview and application, (any pedo could pass it) I was in the program ( I went to them).

The director called me with and older boy (10 years). She made it seem compelling that he really needed someone, so I agreed. I met with him a few times. We carved pumpkins together (which I bought). The boy was always well dressed and had new clothes and I knew that he wasn’t poor. I wanted someone that I could treat and have fun with doing crafts, and that was appreciative.

They won’t divulge anything about their family life, not even if they live with one parent or not. This was very disappointing.

One last thing, the day that everyone got their “Little’s” there were 3 other women that got girls. I was the only one stuck with a boy, who was an ungrateful brat. After requesting a new match, they said there was not enough kids as there was volunteers. (this was a lie, I live in Houston).

Steven asks…

First Time Apartment Applicant Questions?

I guess this is a multi-part question. I am 22 and single with relatively no credit and no experience renting (other than renting rooms). I just came from my first apartment search (met the owner of the building and filled out application), but just from reading the application I feel there is little chance I will be taken seriously as an applicant. I also dont have verifiable employment at this moment as I just left my previous job, so i had to fudge the truth a bit. I do have a decent rental history of rooms (always on time with payments for 2 years +), and the money to afford an apartment, but nothing else to go on. Can i realistically get an apartment?

Secondly, i own no furniture whatsoever. What is a realistic cost of furnishing a small efficiency with basic things? Is it wise to invest in good furniture on a month to month lease? Any other tips appreciated.
Thanks for the replies. I actually Do have a job, but its somewhat “under the table” and i dont have paystubs to prove where the money is coming from. When I left the meeting, I told the landlord straight away that i dont know if I would qualify, but he seemed to be sure that i would. Perhaps my appearance (young, well dressed, very friendly, etc) might be enough to give me a chance. This place isnt exactly luxurious, and its month to month. I will probably end up renting a room, as they are cheaper, less complicated, and never require credit checks. I would prefer to live on my own and have my own bathroom, but i guess i will have to settle for less.

Administrator answers:

Well no smart landlord wants to rent to some one with no visible means of support and no credit history. Can you leech off friends or family until you’re employed?

As to furnishings, Don’t invest in good furniture initally. You’ll probably be moving several times in next few years, and that is hard on furniture. Buy used furnishings at estate sales or thrift or resale shops. Don’t try to furnish your whole place at once, make do with ittle and buy piece by piece as you come upon pieces you like at affordable prices. You could get one nice piece for each room, and “make-do” pieces for the rest.

Richard asks…

Living on my own at 18?

Okay, at the moment. I am 16, and I currently living with my grandparents, and my young sister. ITS A LIVING HELL. I’m going to stick it out for the next 2 years.. and at the rate that everything else is going.. Its going to be a FAST TWO years.. I currently have about 3,000 dollars in the bank to pay for the furniture and all the crapp I need to buy for the apartment I want to get. I added everything up and the cost for all the furtniture & things would be around 2,500.. and then I would be able to make the down payment for the apartment.

Anyways, I’m currently enrolled in a program that would give the certification to be an EMT as soon as I graduated TWO more years.. I looked up the amounts the EMT make which is about 10-12 dollars a month.. They would work 12 hours a day.. for about 5 to 6 days a week.. SO AFTER DOING ALOT OF MATH.. I got around 3000 ish dollars a month..
I understand that taxes take was like 800 from your salaryy..

Now I understand that the cost for an Efficiency apartment is around 400 or 550 (Where I want to live..)
Utilities would be like 200..
Cell phone= 100
Food = 300
Car insurance & GAS = 350
Saving =250
clothing = 120

Subtracting all that out I’m left with like 380 a month.. Is this right? I’m VERY dedicated to becoming an EMT. Is this enough for me to live on my own when I turn eighteen? I believe it is. I just need to know if I left anything out..?

Administrator answers:

Well…that’s more income than i have and im a single mom and do just fine so i bet you will be able to survive even if you did leave out anything…which i can tell you that you sure did.
Why on earth though would you spend 100 a month on a phone…thats huge.
Oh and don’t spend 25 hundred on furniture…you are moving out for the first time for goodness sake…thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist etc.

Lizzie asks…

When you moved into your first house, what items did you not even think to get in advance until you needed it?

I’m moving into a house after being in an efficiency apartment for nearly 3 years. It was left to me in my fathers will (I’m 21), and I will be moving in on June 15th. I have a lot of the essentials furniture wise , but is there anything you used in a house that you never even thought of while living in an apartment? I only ask because when I went into the house with a friend for the first time, she pointed out a stain on the kitchen floor that I’d have to cover with a mat. Honestly, I never would have thought to even buy a mat, so it lead me to being curious about other house-essential items that recently apartment dwelling people would miss. I’m just looking for ideas. If it helps, it’s a 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom house with decent sized living room, dining room and kitchen. Wooden floors, and a pretty big garden area out back. Thanks for reading my nonsense.

Administrator answers:

You need to find out if your neighborhood has an HOA or homeowner association. If so, you need to acquire the guidelines for your HOA, you will otherwise face heavy fines if your are found to be in violation of the guidelines. There is also a monthly or annual fee if your neighborhood is part of an HOA.

Sandy asks…

Efficiencies versus one-bedroom apartments?

I’m an older college student in the DC area. I don’t really want to do the roommate thing, so I’m trying to figure out which is better for someone like me: an efficiency or a one-bedroom.

I know the difference between an efficiency and a studio, even though the managment offices around here use the terms interchangably. The efficiencies around here are small, but for someone on a budget, I guess they will do.

I can get one for around $730 that covers rent and all utilities. Its one room, so that means less furniture to buy, which is good since I don’t have much money to begin with. I don’t entertain too much, since all I do is work and go to school. But when I do, its just a few people.

Now for the one bedroom: More furniture to buy and about 200 more sqft to play around with for about $800ish a month with utilities. Bigger kitchen and possibliy more closet/storage space.

I’m not too sure which to get. Is that extra $100/month worth it just for more space?

Administrator answers:

The $100 a month lets you close the door on your bedroom when friends come over. With an efficiency when your friends come over they are in your bedroom.

Other than that, it depends if you can afford the extra $100.

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