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Struggling with Escalating Rent

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From what I have read, ever since the housing bubble burst, more people are renting instead of buying homes, causing rents to soar.  Investing in apartment buildings has become profitable, and the companies managing them are more interested in generating profits for their investors than they are in the welfare of their tenants.  However, the knowledge that I am in a crowded, leaking boat does not help me prevent it from sinking.

 

When I moved into my one bedroom apartment fifteen years ago, I could afford it.  Now, I manage to pay my rent from the income I derive from Social Security and my part time job.  Each year, the rent increases get larger and more monthly fees for services I neither need nor use are added.  As a result, I've turned frugality into a near art form, trimming all the fat I can from my budget, but I recoil at cutting into its muscle and bone.  What awaits me when my lease expires in February 2020 deeply concerns me.

 

My previous attempts at navigating the more affordable housing maze have resulted in dead ends.  Thanks to the cosmetic renovation craze, apartments offering far less than mine are now priced not that much less or even more than the one I currently lease.  What family I have prefers the cold of the north, while I enjoy calling Jacksonville, Florida home.  HUD and income-based senior housing have waiting lists one to two years long.  Plus, they require you to move in as soon as a unit becomes available, which would cost me two month's rent to break my lease. 

 

I visit Craigslist and other roommate websites.  Nearly everyone there wants a room, has a room to rent, or is looking to share with someone as young as they are.  I may be a minimalist, but I do own furniture and enough kitchen paraphernalia to cook for myself. 

 

The hope I retain is that I can find another person in a similar situation who has reached the same conclusion I have - that splitting the expenses of renting a decent two bedroom two bath apartment is preferable to huddling in a crummy efficiency where it is dangerous to be out after dark.

 

I thought this community would be a suitable place to nudge serendipity in that direction.  This post is the result of my contacting AARP about forming a Roommate Registry for solvent adults seeking responsible housing partners. 

 

If you would like to advise, commiserate, or better still, provide a viable solution, your response would be welcome and appreciated. 

 

 

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Re: Struggling with Escalating Rent

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Welcome BeeRambles!

 

Some comments about your topic:

One of the advantages of homeownership (whether a single family home, a townhouse, or condominium, etc) is that the mortgage amount is fixed (for most mortgages), so it doesn't rise like rent does. And eventually the mortgage will be paid off, leading to "no rent".

 

Of course, there are other costs of homeownership and they may rise with inflation as does rent. In my experience (1 condo, 1 townhouse, and 2 single family) a conservative approach to buying will result in lower cost over time than renting. But everything needs to be considered carefully if a single person or a couple want to buy rather than rent long term; it could go either way, really, as to which is more beneficial. And renting does relieve one of a lot of responsibilities and gives one freedom for mobility.

 

So, in your situation you might look into buying an affordable 1-2 br condo. Also consider putting your name on that 1-2 year list now for affordable housing...even paying a 2 month penalty to rent your lease might come out better in the end. Good luck!

 

And I have to add... Wow! I am really blown away by your writing! Really really good. You'll "up the game" around here. 

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Re: Struggling with Escalating Rent

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Thank you for the advice and the compliment.

 

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