Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Studio Apt

December 20, 2012

Susan asks…

What is the housing situation for grad students at Rutgers University?

Is on-campus housing nice to live in? How is the housing market is it cheaper to buy a small house or Condo, since I’ll be living there 3 years?

Administrator answers:

The University housing is overpriced, but nice. They built new grad living on Busch campus. The price for grad housing is about $1100-1200/month for a studio type apt. You can get a studio or one bedroom apt. In New Brunswick for $700-$1000/month. Its a better deal, but you have to find it and the places in New Brunswick are usually pretty old. You may find remodeled places though. Buying can be expensive in New Brunswick, but if you want to have a 5 min drive to work, you can buy a place across the river in Highland Park or Edison. It is also cheaper to rent there if you dont mind the 5 min drive.

Hope that helped.

Mandy asks…

Where in Brooklyn can I live on this salary?

I asked a question a few days ago and I could use a little more help.

I am fresh out of college. I need to know what places in Brooklyn would I be able to live in on a Teacher’s Assistant salary. I also have a small child, a daughter who is 7 and need a decent area for her.

Any places outside of Brooklyn that you can recommend?

Administrator answers:

Hi. This site:,+NY
says that the average teacher’s assistant salary in New York City is $38,000. So, I’m just guessing that you will be starting around $30,000. At that salary, you should not spend more than $1200 in rent, less if possible. As far a Brooklyn neighborhoods that are safe and family-orienited, but less expensive because they are a longer commute to Manhattan, I would look at Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay. In those neighborhoods, you will be able to find a one-bedroom for $1200 or under, and possibly a two bedroom for about $1200.

Don’t know where you will be working, but if it’s Manhattan, the trade-off will be at least an hour commute.

Some closer areas are Windsor Terrace, Sunset Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights (western side), Ditmas Park. But in those neighborhoods, it will be hard to find anything larger than a studio apt. For $1200.

Neighborhoods that are definitely too expensive for you now are: Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, DUMBO, much of Fort Green, most of Williamsburg.

I know Brooklyn best, so I will leave it to others to tell you about Queens and NJ possibilities.

Good luck to you!

Betty asks…

How do you get a low income apartment?

Do you have to apply months before it will be available? Are they worth it? I mean I’m not rich, but I don’t want to live somewhere gross. Would it be safer just to get a regular cheap apartment?

Administrator answers:

You have to qualify, apply, and be accepted, then wait for an apt to become available. This can take typically 5 years, up to 8 now in some cities. The apts are rarely decent and the people, too.

You will have a great deal more choice as well as more control over your life and lifestyle, where you want to live, housing conditions, etc, if you pay for it yourself. If you are alone, you can choose a room or studio to suit your budget instead of a 1 BR to keep your costs down. If you are single, you won’t qualify for subsidized or low-income housing anyway (unless you are elderly and/or disabled).

Daniel asks…

How much money should I have before I move to Burbank CA?

I’m’ moving to Burbank CA and I wanted to know how much money I should have before I move out. How long would it take me to get a job as a waiter anywhere (Chili’s or anything). Doing this job how much could I afford on an apartment in Burbank. All advice on this would be helpful.

Administrator answers:

You didn’t mention where you’re moving from.. It would kind of help in the answering part of the question I think. If you’re moving from a small town, chances are you’ll be a bit shocked. If you’re moving from a place like NY you’ll be shocked because it’s so much cheaper! Lol.. Apartments here, 1 bedrooms or studios are usually about 900-1000 a month, in the average part of Burbank (and most of Burbank is an OK place to live.. Nothing too scary or ghetto, unlike some surrounding areas). You can very easily get a job in a restaurant, although the nicer the restaurant the harder the job is to get, of course. Honestly, I really would go on craigslist or and check out the listings. It help a lot. I don’t think anyone can tell you a good estimate because they range SO much. Some people work in very busy restaurants and make a ton of tips.. Others (more of the majority) are not quite as busy. Waiters here do rely heavily on tips.. Some places give minimum wage because the tips are so awesome, while others give higher per hour (and minimum wage currently is I believe 6.75 here). I’d expect you could make at least 2000 a month, more if you worked more hours, and way more if you find a place that tips well/is busy. LA is gigantic, and has a ton of restaurants, so really take a couple days to look around, cruise the yellow pages and the streets looking for someplace you’d really like to work. If you have experience, you’re probably more likely to be hired in a better place also. If you have none, you’ll still probably be hired without too much hassle, but obviously not at a 5 star restaurant most likely. I’d recommend that you find a place you like to live that’s under 1000 a month. Roomate situations are usually about 500-700, but you can get a studio or 1 bed for under 1k by yourself of you want. If you have to buy a car, have at least 7-8k for that for a car that will run and not break down constantly.. Preferably 9-10 thousand, tho. If you do have a car, make sure it runs well because you’ll be NEEDING IT!!! Lol. You can’t live in LA if you don’t have a car. Public transportation is a joke for the most part. I’d have at least several thousand dollars before moving here.. Less than 5k should be ok, but more than 3k. You never know what’ll happen, and it’s better to be safe than be sorry. Burbank is a nice place to live, actually, I live right by it and have grown up here. By the way, if you have a pet, you’ll probably have a hard time finding an apt., particularly if you have a dog. I’ve having that problem right now! Anywho, good luck! :o )

Carol asks…

Had a nice Chicago apartment 29 years. Bad times, broke lease, left place in bad shape. How can I rent now?

I got an inheritance, got laid off, spent it on drugs, didn’t get a job…crashed and burned. I’m middle class, otherwise together, good work history, credit’s not bad. I can’t get a co-signer, and I’m living in a pay-by-the-week hotel. What are my chances of getting a studio-1 bedroom that’s not a slum? I’m a white male.

Administrator answers:

Glad to hear that you’ve turned your life around. My suggestion is that you go out and present yourself as someone who has changed their life and are willing to give a sizeable security deposit, first and last months rent etc. For them taking a chance on you. Be polite and humble. YOu might network through people at work or contact local realtors for leads. There are also apt rental magazines for free around town here in Atlanta, perhaps there are similar publications there? Good Luck!

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