Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Studio Apt

December 13, 2012

Donald asks…

How can I find a place to rent that is affordable my husband and I?

We are looking for a place to rent or possibly a home to purchase but we are young and need something affordable. It is very difficult to live on the Island but I know there is something around. Please help

Administrator answers:

If you cannot afford market rate rents, you certainly cannot buy anything. Home ownership is expensive!

Where are you talking about? What “island?” You will have prepare a proper budget, then look until you find something within that budget. Instead of a 1 BR apt, you might have to get by with a studio apt until you increase your incomes. Watch your money, and do not spend on anything but essentials for survival until you boost income. Priority order: Rent, utilities, transportation to work, any essential tools or clothing for work.

Food is largely discretionary. Eliminate packaged & processed foods and cook from scratch. One snack or treat per week, max. Brown bag work lunches.

Betty asks…

What are the best places to live in Northern California?

My fiance and I are looking to move from Michigan to Northern California and are planning a scouting trip out west this summer. Can someone please suggest towns/cities we should visit? We are both 20-something news professionals (an engineer and marketing manager) and would like to live somewhere close to a vibrant downtown. Also please send me any links to articles, blogs about living in Northern Cali. Thanks in advance for helping us plan our future!!

Administrator answers:

Northern California is really north of Santa Rosa and I am sure you probably mean the Bay Area of San Francisco. California is bigger than many countries and we break it up into 5 regions or more. You will want to be near an urban area, so that would be San Francisco. I am sure with your ingenuity you can google everything you need because it is too big a subject to answer your question here. There are many towns within 1 hour commute of S.F. Cost of living in Calif. Is high. Gasoline is $3.29 per gallon. Sales tax is 9 1/2 per cent. Rentals and real estate is high. A studio apt. In San Francisco is around $1500 monthly. Utilities are better than the East. Most apts in S.F. Don’t have AC because you dont need it much. There is a good outdoor environment for hiking. Recycling is big, smoking is not seen much any more. Having a car is a luxury in S.f. You can live across the bay in Oakland/Berkeley. A little cheaper. Or across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin.

Chris asks…

Best way to save on heating bills with a fireplace?

I have a 400-500 square foot studio and am on very limited funds. I am trying not to turn on the heat and am OK with 30 degrees if I am in bed. I have a fireplace and am warm at night under a comforter and sleeping bag. Is there a best way to heat the apt, or use the fireplace or heat the studio? The windows are not very insulated. Would a heater be better? Thank you Any suggestions would be appreciated

Administrator answers:

Ceramic heaters and radiator heater.

Robert asks…

How do you live in a cardboard box?

this Question sounds funny but please be serious.
the cardboard box is as large as a room.

Administrator answers:

I will not delve into the realm of the gov’t's need for it to meet housing standards. I.e., no electricity, not fire-proof, running water, lack of warmth, etc. In other words, according to the gov’t, if it is in a place, city with building codes, it cannot be legally occupied as a domicile.

“Large as a room:” Ummm, tape heavy duty plastic over the outside to avoid getting it wet (rain).

Area with snow fall and high winds… Reinforce somewhat. Dig a 2ft hole as large as box. Line hole and about 2 ft over whole with heavy duty plastic. Set box in hole … This is to make it sturdy. More reinforcement… Put a few large stones around the edge on the inside. (If this is an option… Build a wooden frame around it.)

Windows allowed… Tape the outside too. Open and close carefully. Now it is ready for furniture.

Avoid getting a stove… Eat out or eat already prepared food in… Don’t want fire.

Lighting: use a lantern (it provide covered flame).

Single bed or just the mattress or futon. Small table and chair (all the things one would put in a small studio apt.)

Not a bad idea… Minus the legality and weather, it’s doable.

Steven asks…

Need help decorating 15×15 room for me and my 2yr old daughter?

had to move from 2br apt to 1br studio. i need suggestions on how to make a single 15×15 room into my and my daughters bedroom. there is a nice sized closet in room. also need small refrig placed in room. HELP PLEASE! *moving in at end of month

Administrator answers:

I saw this room divider awhile ago.
When this question came up, I thought of it. You both need some privacy sometime and this is something that can do it.

When I lived on campus, we cobbled together something similar with cheap bookcases and L-brackets. In your case, make sure to anchor the cabinets well so your dd can’t knock it over.

You could use the divider to be headboards for both sides of the room.

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