Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Efficiency Apartments For Rent

July 19, 2013

Carol asks…

Can I live on my own, in an apartment, at $35K / year?

I currently live with my grandmother, with intentions to move into an efficiency within the next year. At $35k a year, in southern NJ, is this possible?

Administrator answers:

First thing, by general rule, if the rent is more than 25% of your take-home pay, don’t do it! If that’s OK, then make a list: 1.Rent, 2.Electric, 3.Gas,4.Water/Garbage, 5.Car Payment, 6.Car Insurance, 7.Phone, 8.Cable/Broadband, 9.Credit Cards. I recommend that you go to the apartment complex and knock on doors and ask at least 2 different tennants how much they pay for utilities, especially find out the highest they pay during the hottest months and the highest they pay during the coldest months. Everything else on the list you already know how much you are paying, so you can then estimate a typical month’s expenses. Oh, and be sure not to forget that rental properties require deposits for gas, water, and cable. If after you total a typical month’s expenses, you have at least $400 left over, then I think you can afford to do it. Hope this helps!

Steven asks…

is renting a trailer home a good idea or bad?

My boyfriend and I are looking to move out of his parents house and we have been looking at apartments but in our neighborhood the apartments are very expensive just for efficiency. so we decided to have a friend move in with us. so we are looking for a 2 br. apt. but I keep finding trailer homes that are for rent. is moving into a trailer home a good idea or bad idea? its a nice place I saw pics of it. but he won’t move into it because he thinks theres a catch? is there?

Administrator answers:

What is making him think there is a catch? A trailer can be perfectly fine…lots of people live in them, both renting or owning them.

Ken asks…

How much does the average person earn in USA? ?

I’m English and I’ll be living in America as a student for 3 yrs and I’ve been offered me a job that’s $11 an hour. That’s not even going to pay my rent! Thankfully, my mother will help me but is that a normal wage for adults to really live on?? I still feel like I’m gonna be a really poor student in America lol

Administrator answers:

Answer to the question that you should have asked:

English students are not allowed to work in the U.S. At a normal job. Anyone in the U.S. With a “student” visa is only allowed to work (1) for the college or university where he or she is a student, and (2) during the summer break. If you work for a individual or company in the U.S. During the school year, you are breaking the law. You might get caught and be arrested. Even if that does not happen, you will not be eligible to renew your visa, and you will be required to leave the U.S. You will not be allowed to finish the three years of education.

To work for an individual or company in the U.S. During the school year, you need a completely different type of visa, for which English students do not qualify. (One type is reserved for victims or extremely political persecution in their home countries, such as being arrested for praying to Jesus in a country where it is against the law to practice any religion except Islam; another type can only be used for jobs that no U.S. Citizens are qualified to do, but students are not qualified for these jobs either; another type is distributed by lottery to applicants from certain other countries, but not the UK; etc.)

Answer to the question that you did ask:

The typical worker in the U.S. Works approximately 2,000 hours per year, so $11 per hour would be $22,000 per year, which is almost $2000 per month.

In most of the U.S., a person can rent a standard one bedroom apartment (one bedroom, one kitchen, one bathroom, and one L-shaped room used as a living room and dining room) costs approximately $600 per month. Most students either share apartments (and split the cost), get a studio or efficiency apartment (one bathroom and one other room to be used both as a bedroom and for eating) to save money, or live in a dormitory. If $11 per hour is not enough to pay your rent, then either (a) you are paying more rent than the “normal” adult in the U.S., (b) you are in a very high cost area, such as New York City, or (c) you are working far fewer hours than the “normal” adult in the U.S.

Paul asks…

How much are utilities in San Antonio?

I was wondering about how much utilities are per month for a 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment. Thanks!

Administrator answers:

Each person’s electric/gas usage will vary depending on their own habits, and the energy efficiency of the particular apartment. Older apartment complexes were built before the newer energy efficient technologies, and in truth the need for energy efficiency, so your use would be much higher in an older apartment. If you happen to find a newer apartment that offers energy efficiency, it will probably cost less for utilities, but the rent will be higher in most cases.

Commander has given a good estimate of the costs for a one bedroom, but you may have much lower cost if you use less AC/heat, or much higher if you are the type to run these appliances constantly. Also it will depend a great amount on what you have in the apartment. Many appliances constantly draw electricity (such as TVs and cable) and your use could affect your bill much more depending on the number of these you use.

Mary asks…

I have an efficiency that I want to rent out but have questions?

I have an efficiency aval. for rent in a great community. The neighborhood is quite, and is considered upscale. The efficiency is about 420sqft and is quite nice compared to efficiencys I myself have lived in, in the past. It has everything excecpt for a stove. Were located next to a great shopping center, park, and schools.
Originally I wanted to do the all bills thing but was worried if the tenant starts to abuse the electricty or sort.
The all bills was to include:cable, internet, water, etc…all bills paid.
If I were to do the all bills paid, what fair price do you suggest???
Theres an apartment complex four blocks down that has one bedrooms all bills paid for 725.00

Administrator answers:

Without prior knowledge of average utility usage and using only one comp, this is an impossible question to answer. Lets say it they would pay $125/ month and the $725 appartment are 600 s.f. Thus they pay $1 per foot plus the $125. You s.f. Price would increase due it being smaller, yet large enough to rent and have all the other comforts shared with the other property. Lets say your s.f. Price was $1.15 making the monthly about $490-500 plus the $125 for utilities, $615-625.

The easiest way to test the waters is to rent month to month at first, instead of a lease. Doing so allows you to raise the rent with a months notice, but also allows your tenant to move out at any time with a month’s notice.

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