Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Efficiency Apartments For Rent

August 13, 2013

Donna asks…

How much does it cost to live in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn?

I’m trying to decide which I want to live in. I would be living in a one bedroom one bathroom, taking the subway, going to college. I know I won’t be in the rich parts of town but also don’t want to be in the poor parts either. Please explain the cost difference of each.

Administrator answers:

It’s best to look for accommodations that are adjacent to college; making getting to and from classes easier vs. Selecting a place to live that may or may not be close to school. Renting a room, a single flat, sharing a space with a room mate or several room mates in/around school will give you the opportunity to become acclimated to the area. One meets & greets so many people in school and presumably the locals and natives will be able to shed some light on where the choice apartments are. One can have an awesome apartment anywhere but being close to your top priority (school) would be for the best.

It isn’t that one can’t start searching online for all of the available apartments and rentals in NYC (all ten million or so) but that’s a massive undertaking. The truth is that rental prices vary (as with a any other area in the world). Finding an apartment closer to campus means that you’ll be with and around other students and school activities. The rental properties will be occupied by other students for the most part and that would be for the best if one isn’t originally from the area and doesn’t know his/her way around.. Yet. Not having family or close friends on-hand to help with the apartment search and randomly selecting any/all city in which to live would be making this more complicated than is necessary.

Edit-in with WHICH COLLEGE and it will be much easier to supply suggestions.

There is no discernible distinction between the three mentioned above. NYC (as any other large, metropolitan city, no matter which borough) is more expensive than a small town, or even other less densely populated areas such as New Jersey. Finding an apartment in New Jersey is do-able for $900 or so. (great if you’re attending NYU)

The price of a 3-D movie in NYC is approximately $20.00.

A taxi to get to that movie will cost: $2.50 for the first 1/5 mile
$0.50 each additional 1/5 mile
$0.40 per minute idle
•$1.00 Peak surcharge (after 4pm until 8pm Mon-Fri)
•$0.50 Night Surcharge (after 8pm until 6am)
•$0.50 New York State tax

Riding MTA is $2.50 and up (less with student or senior/disabled discount). Daily, weekly and monthly passes available.


Having a vehicle is expensive in NYC due to the parking situation. Parking ones car in NYC will cost at least $600 monthly.

Where to park in NYC:

You can rent a very spacious 1-bedroom for $1400-1600 in Bensonhurst (say, 750-900 sq. Feet). You can get to Midtown Manhattan from Bensonhurst in about 40-45 minutes, and even quicker to Downtown Manhattan (D train, stops 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway). There are lots of shops and restaurants along the 86th Street above which the D train runs.

A single, efficiency apartment in the East Village will run at least $1,800 per month. Figure that finding a room for rent, sharing an apartment or group-sharing a space with a few others is going to cost approximately $1,000 (per person) monthly (but you will have to really search for it). A typical single apartment without crack heads, gang-bangers and serial killers will cost approximately $2,200 and up monthly. A nice-ish single (not a 1 bedroom.. A single, 1 room) apartment in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn will cost $3,500 – $4,000 monthly. Having a flat-mate is always more economical until one earns their degree and starts on their career path.

The price of combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) in New York City is $7.52

A Vodka Martini costs $15.00 in NYC ($24.00 at the Waldorf Astoria).

Gym memberships in NYC will run anywhere from $50 – $150 monthly-

Off-campus apartments close to NYU:
(anywhere from $900 – $4,600 monthly):

The cost of an apartment at the Dakota
1 West 72nd Street (Northwest Corner of Central Park West)
$3,222 per square foot (currently available)

NY Times-What is middle-class in Manhattan:

The best no-fee apartment-finders websites-NYC:

Mary asks…

how much should I charge my adult child for room and board?

Our house is paid for and we are renting him his old bedroom, feeding him and paying for his phone

Administrator answers:

Depends on… Everything.

Let me build a worksheet :D I will use totals for /my/ area and household as an example – you, obviously, would substitute your own.

A) Typical monthly rent for an efficiency apartment in your area $600.

B) Typical monthly cell phone bill $50

c) Monthly food budget for your household, divided by the number of people who live there: $160

d) Monthly utilities divided by the number of people in the household: $50.

E) “d)” divided by 2 (why? Cause parts of the house are shared, and parts are not). $25

f) a+b+c+e (not d) $835

g) “f)” minus 25% as a “friends and family” discount ~ $625

h) “g)” minus a 50% “my house my rules” discount (trust me, it will save complaining later) $313

Do NOT count chores against the rent – if he lived on his own he’d have to clean his whole house. Chores should not be an issue.

Option B: If your total comes out too high, and you don’t find messing with your kids’ heads to be as much fun as I do…

1) Figure out what % of your (and your spouse’s?) income you spend on the mortgage, upkeep of the home, and food/utilities.

2) Charge the adult child that % of his own income for room and board.

Keep in mind – discounts are cause you love your well behaved grown-up child – they are, therefore, not mandatory. So if you want to be greedy, or if he’s been getting on your nerves… (or if you went through too many hours of labor LOL) you can feel free to adjust/eliminate them.


If you want to be all /sensible/…

Charge him about 1/3 of what he’d pay living elsewhere in your area. … But that’s no fun

James asks…

Is 28,000 a year good for a family of two?

My boyfriend and I are going into work and we’re not to sure if $28,000 a year is a good income. We’re frugal people if that helps, and were planning on living in a small house or apartment/townhouse. Do you think $28,000 is a stable income for two?
Thanks! :)

Administrator answers:

Its not a lot but a young couple without kids could probably get by. Also depends on where you live. The cost of living where I live fairly low so what I pay in rent gets me a much nicer apartment here than it would in a city with a higher cost of living. I wouldn’t expect to get much better than an efficiency or small one bedroom at that income though.

Lisa asks…

Is it true that it’s illegal for 2 people to rent 1 studio/efficiency according to the Wisconsin law?

Please state sources …and reason if you know why.

Administrator answers:

The State of Wisconsin allows local municipalities to determine and impose occupancy limits. If a studio apartment can only be rented to one person, it could be a result of local zoning ordinances, building codes, and/or fire codes. Many times, these laws are related to the square footage of the unit, and it’s location or neighborhood within the city.

Where local codes do not cover an apartment, the landlord is usually allowed to put his own limit on the number of tenants. The landlord has to be able to support his decision, perhaps based on, for example, availability of hot water, or requirement of insurance regulations, otherwise the landlord can be challenged in court under federal fair housing rules.

Contact your local building inspector’s office and give them the address of the property. They can tell you the number of legal units, number of legal bedrooms, and any occupancy limits imposed by law. Sometimes, the whole building may have an occupancy limit.

For example, a building may have a total occupancy limit of 8 people. If 7 people are already living in the other apartments, only one person would be allowed to move into the vacant studio/efficiency apartment.

Mark asks…

Landlord broke contract and is now pushing for rent?

Ok, so here’s the deal. My wife and two of her friends were renting a house from a family that decided to go live in Italy back in June. They signed a 12 month agreement with them and then decided to come back in December and move back into the house. So, basically, they broke the agreement 6 months before it was supposed to be up. Because of this, my wife and I decided to go ahead and get married 6 months early (which led to us having to transfer into a larger, more expensive apartment because there just wasn’t room for us in my little efficiency) and also caused the other two girls living there a lot of difficulties. One of them ended up having to move to Montanna where she passed away in a car accident and the other was forced to live in her car for a while until she was able to find a new place and had to come up with new moving expenses (deposit, first/last month rent, etc.) on top of paying them rent.

My wife moved out of that house and in with me towards the end of November. Now they are pushing my wife to pay them for the last month and we were initially going to do this despite the fact that nobody felt right about this since they broke the agreement 6 months early. But they’re being very unreasonable now about trying to set up a payment arrangement to give them money that we don’t really feel that they are entitled to. Their last response basically said that we should either put off paying our own bills or borrow money from family so that we can pay them. Neither of which I am willing to do.

After reading the last two questions, and thinking things through a little, here are a few more details.

My wife advised me that their rental period ran from the 15th to the 15th of each month. She paid for October 15th through November 15th and moved out on November 20th (our wedding day). So, tell me if I’m figuring this right. She paid $246 a month on a normal basis. So, if I divide that by 30 days that comes to $8.22 per day. Times 5 days, comes to $41.11 that we COULD owe them if we choose to overlook this idea of them owing her rent for January through June?

And if we figure the rent that they could owe HER, it’s $246 times 6 months for a total of $1,476 minus $41.11 for a total of $1,424.89?

Administrator answers:

The landlord is legally entitled to the rent for July, August, September, October, November and December. BUT the best part of this is that the landlord/owner is required to give the tenants rent for January – June since they’re breaking the lease. Whomever breaks the lease owes the other party rent. So while your wife does owe them for November and December, her and her friends are all entitled to rent for January to June since they broke the lease.

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