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Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
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Seth_Rose Offline
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Post: #1
Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
For the last 6 months or so I've been commuting 5x per week, going 45-60 minutes each way. It's starting to get old. I'm looking to move within walking distance of my office. Not only will this allow me to turn my long commute into a 10 minute walk, but I can ditch the car and rely on the subway or Uber when needed. I'll also be able to spend more time on hobbies and my online biz.

The problem is that the rent is too damn high where my office is. For reference, I live in the DC area. Currently I'm wayyy out in the suburbs--the office is right outside DC. The rent in DC is really high, and the same goes for the smaller cities that surround it. For the buildings I toured yesterday, the market rate for a studio was around $1500-1550. The studios paled into comparison to a 1-BR I toured in one of the buildings. However, the rent is $1,675 plus utilities (~$60/month). This is a bit higher than I wanted to pay. I make a solid mid 5-figure salary. However, after student loans, insurance and taxes, I am left with significantly less. I have my costs budgeted and if I went with this apartment I'd be living roughly paycheck to paycheck, going into the red if I decide to go out to events and bars a lot. (I am also not factoring online income in my budget or overtime work for my company as those are are not necessarily consistent).

I realize that is a stupid idea financially, but am a bit more inclined to do it because of my savings. I have well over a years worth of expenses saved which is not bad for my age (mid-20's) thanks to living at home for a couple of years after college. Therefore, I am trying to justify the higher rent with my savings as a buffer. Plus an extra $120 for a 1-bedroom instead of a studio isn't much.

I've also ruled out other options:

Roomates? I want my own place and don't know any guys I'd be comfortable living with. Probably the smartest option otherwise though.

Family? I like my family but need my own space.

Buy a condo? Not in this area, as it is too damn high and not a good investment imo.

Living somewhere else? It doesn't make sense to save $200 on rent so I can again have a commute, plus pay for transportation.

My long-term goal is to do the whole "location-independent" thing which is within reach in the next couple of years. Therefore, if I can get my online ventures off the ground I am willing to look past the two or so years I'd be living with this cost of rent. Plus, having no commute frees up time to work on my biz which will go towards my income as it continues to grow.

Curious to know what you all think and thanks in advance!

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(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 09:42 AM by Seth_Rose.)
11-19-2017 09:35 AM
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h3ltrsk3ltr Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I lived in the DCish area for a while, it gets pretty cold but somehow doesn't seem as cold as chicago. Still cold tho in the winter.

I live less than 3 miles from both my current and previous jobs. Uber, 5x a week was easily costing me close to $400/m. even 2 or 3x was way too high a dollar amount for the value of the service.

You can offset that cost by using the uber credit card at approved stores but not entirely worth it as ubering with randos who hve less than clean vehicles and are unreliable drivers gets very old very fast.

Riding my bike was great in the summer but is a bitch and a half when it gets cold out.

It would take me an hour to walk (it's less than a 10 minute drive) and I rarely felt like doing that even on nice days.

Unless you're butted right up against your office, it might not be the solution you think it is. Also, we all get bored with our jobs and it's easy to head home and skate for a while which isn't good for your work ethic.

I know DC traffic makes 45 minutes seem forever, but can't you speed up the independent location thing by making voice-notes for a blog post on the ride or create value in that time by listening to a podcast?

I got a cheap car for the winter and it's way less a hassle and cost than ubering/walking/biking.

Just a thought, if you got a condo it might help your "passive income". You could probably even find forum members who would make good use of the pad while you travel the globe.

Good luck with whatever you decide, just my two cents.

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(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 10:05 AM by h3ltrsk3ltr.)
11-19-2017 10:04 AM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I'm living somewhere the cost of living is rock-bottom, but I would second the advice of condo-buying. Mine isn't a good example, but my all-in monthly costs (HOA+Mortgage+Utilities) is around $500, and the condos in this complex that are being rented go for $650 or more a month not including utilities so there's always money to be saved by owning.

I would comb the internet or contact a realtor and ask them for foreclosure condo listings, a bargain can easily be had there! The units that have foreclosed here sold for at least 20% cheaper than one sold on the market. Be warned you may have to do a little work on the unit since some of them get trashed or stripped of the appliances.

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11-19-2017 02:06 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Depending on where in DC you work, I'd suggest living somewhere in the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor and looking at getting roommates. Lots of young group houses in that area will keep your costs down, and you can walk to metro from your house and from your office. Metro can suck but when you have a short walk to/from and its a direct shot w/o changing trains and less then 15 minutes total its bearable, and if something happens to metro you can always grab the occasional uber.
11-19-2017 02:25 PM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Solid mid 5 figure salary, so 50k a year?

I tried to do the same with 60k a year and was living hand to mouth in Boston. My one bedroom was 1550 a month back in 2014.

Your utility budget is way too low unless the places you're looking at includes internet, electricity, water, trash, and gas in the rent. Internet ALONE will cost you $50. Electricity is going to be roughly $30ish unless it's also being used for heat. Apartments that do joint "heating" thing tend to be utter shit and do a poor job of keeping up in the bleak midwinter. You should be budgeting at a minimum $150 per month for utilities.

One portion of your biweekly paycheck will go into rent alone. That leaves one paycheck to pay for utilities, food, incidentals, funstuff, and hopefully savings/investments.

Drinks at local bars will be outrageous in the middle of a hip spot. Easy to spend upwards of $60 in a single night for a pleasant buzz. You can mitigate this with a flask and free seltzer water. Forget about sit down restaurants, you'll only have a few bucks here and there for take out.

You absolutely should NOT be dipping into your savings and you should be investing that with the intention of saving more.

Here's the cold hard truth, inner city living on your own has been priced out by 30 somethings who make 6 figures a year. The only way to make it work is with room mates which is the epitome of absolute suck. I'll never ever do room mates again. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you're ok with this, then proceed. Every room mate i've had has been pretty meh.

Though there is the possibility i'm just not a good person to hang around!

Personally, I would find a way to work remote and move to a cheap place to stack cash while being mobile. I have a friend who is a DBA making 68kish and he lives in central America and switches between countries for fun while still keeping regular east coast hours.
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 02:32 PM by The Beast1.)
11-19-2017 02:25 PM
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Kona Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I say think about the cost of the gasoline with your two hour drive every day. Plus you got car insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc. Then you got parking. I just went to dc and parking is bullshit.

Then also consider that since you say overtime is a possibility, well work an extra hour or two.

The additional rent will work itself out.

Aloha!
11-19-2017 02:39 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
You didn't mention how old you are or how much you make at your job and side biz.

Age -

If you're under 30, get a roommate. Girls care...sure, but as long as your roommate isn't a cockblock it won't hurt your game. You'll just have to do most of the heavy lifting outside of your apartment, and only head back when it's time to bang.

Salary -

You shouldn't be spending more than 20% of your take home salary on housing (rent + utilities). Big difference between 50k and 80k (which is what I consider mid 5 fig).

Side biz -

There's a point where you can make enough money with your side biz to cover the rent difference. If removing the commute adds one more hour of work, where you can make $20/hour, that's $20*5*4 = $400 more a month you're making. If the rent difference is $300, that's a nobrainer.

If I was in your situation? I'd find a three bedroom with two game aware bachelors and work my ass off to get out of DC.

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(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 03:31 PM by redbeard.)
11-19-2017 03:29 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
(11-19-2017 02:25 PM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Solid mid 5 figure salary, so 50k a year?

I tried to do the same with 60k a year and was living hand to mouth in Boston. My one bedroom was 1550 a month back in 2014.

Your utility budget is way too low unless the places you're looking at includes internet, electricity, water, trash, and gas in the rent. Internet ALONE will cost you $50. Electricity is going to be roughly $30ish unless it's also being used for heat. Apartments that do joint "heating" thing tend to be utter shit and do a poor job of keeping up in the bleak midwinter. You should be budgeting at a minimum $150 per month for utilities.

One portion of your biweekly paycheck will go into rent alone. That leaves one paycheck to pay for utilities, food, incidentals, funstuff, and hopefully savings/investments.

Drinks at local bars will be outrageous in the middle of a hip spot. Easy to spend upwards of $60 in a single night for a pleasant buzz. You can mitigate this with a flask and free seltzer water. Forget about sit down restaurants, you'll only have a few bucks here and there for take out.

You absolutely should NOT be dipping into your savings and you should be investing that with the intention of saving more.

Here's the cold hard truth, inner city living on your own has been priced out by 30 somethings who make 6 figures a year. The only way to make it work is with room mates which is the epitome of absolute suck. I'll never ever do room mates again. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you're ok with this, then proceed. Every room mate i've had has been pretty meh.

Though there is the possibility i'm just not a good person to hang around!

Personally, I would find a way to work remote and move to a cheap place to stack cash while being mobile. I have a friend who is a DBA making 68kish and he lives in central America and switches between countries for fun while still keeping regular east coast hours.

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11-19-2017 03:32 PM
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Spaniard88 Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
(11-19-2017 09:35 AM)Seth_Rose Wrote:  For the last 6 months or so I've been commuting 5x per week, going 45-60 minutes each way. It's starting to get old. I'm looking to move within walking distance of my office. Not only will this allow me to turn my long commute into a 10 minute walk, but I can ditch the car and rely on the subway or Uber when needed. I'll also be able to spend more time on hobbies and my online biz.

The problem is that the rent is too damn high where my office is. For reference, I live in the DC area. Currently I'm wayyy out in the suburbs--the office is right outside DC. The rent in DC is really high, and the same goes for the smaller cities that surround it. For the buildings I toured yesterday, the market rate for a studio was around $1500-1550. The studios paled into comparison to a 1-BR I toured in one of the buildings. However, the rent is $1,675 plus utilities (~$60/month). This is a bit higher than I wanted to pay. I make a solid mid 5-figure salary. However, after student loans, insurance and taxes, I am left with significantly less. I have my costs budgeted and if I went with this apartment I'd be living roughly paycheck to paycheck, going into the red if I decide to go out to events and bars a lot. (I am also not factoring online income in my budget or overtime work for my company as those are are not necessarily consistent).

I realize that is a stupid idea financially, but am a bit more inclined to do it because of my savings. I have well over a years worth of expenses saved which is not bad for my age (mid-20's) thanks to living at home for a couple of years after college. Therefore, I am trying to justify the higher rent with my savings as a buffer. Plus an extra $120 for a 1-bedroom instead of a studio isn't much.

If $1500 in rent makes you break even at the end of the month, you're poor, man.

Not third world poor, but to me, being business-minded, the important number is how much you have left after all expenses are accounted for. If your number is zero at $1500 in rent, that's not good.

If I was in your shoes I'd move to a place like Austin, TX. As long as you can keep the same salary, you're instantly better off, in addition to benefitting from a more mild climate and a younger population.

Take a look at the numbers: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/co...gton%2C+DC

Why be poor if you don't have to be?

Right now you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, you can shave the commute and shoot yourself in the foot financially, or keep the commute and throw away a significant portion of your life sitting in a car, podcast or no podcast.

I say it's a false dichotomy and you've got to think outside the box, move to a thriving city with a lower cost of living and increase that very important number, the amount you have left after all expenses are accounted for.
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 03:57 PM by Spaniard88.)
11-19-2017 03:56 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I get that you don't want roommates...

But you should just get roommates
11-19-2017 06:04 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Why live in DC?

Different cities allow you to have different lifestyles, and part of that is due to how far your money goes. Right now it looks like DC checkmated your ass. If you're gonna have a 1500 dollar anchor around your throat, it should be a mortgage payment on a nice ass fucking house, not a rental. That is FUCKING STUPID.

But fwiw I bought a foreclosure a few years ago and pay 220 a month for it. I don't believe in imprisoning yourself finsncially, it's beta.
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 06:26 PM by Steelex.)
11-19-2017 06:21 PM
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Seth_Rose Offline
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Thanks for the feedback guys! I'll go through a few of the posts here and respond.
(11-19-2017 02:25 PM)The Beast1 Wrote:  Solid mid 5 figure salary, so 50k a year?

I tried to do the same with 60k a year and was living hand to mouth in Boston. My one bedroom was 1550 a month back in 2014.

Your utility budget is way too low unless the places you're looking at includes internet, electricity, water, trash, and gas in the rent. Internet ALONE will cost you $50. Electricity is going to be roughly $30ish unless it's also being used for heat. Apartments that do joint "heating" thing tend to be utter shit and do a poor job of keeping up in the bleak midwinter. You should be budgeting at a minimum $150 per month for utilities.

One portion of your biweekly paycheck will go into rent alone. That leaves one paycheck to pay for utilities, food, incidentals, funstuff, and hopefully savings/investments.

Drinks at local bars will be outrageous in the middle of a hip spot. Easy to spend upwards of $60 in a single night for a pleasant buzz. You can mitigate this with a flask and free seltzer water. Forget about sit down restaurants, you'll only have a few bucks here and there for take out.

You absolutely should NOT be dipping into your savings and you should be investing that with the intention of saving more.

Here's the cold hard truth, inner city living on your own has been priced out by 30 somethings who make 6 figures a year. The only way to make it work is with room mates which is the epitome of absolute suck. I'll never ever do room mates again. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you're ok with this, then proceed. Every room mate i've had has been pretty meh.

Though there is the possibility i'm just not a good person to hang around!

Personally, I would find a way to work remote and move to a cheap place to stack cash while being mobile. I have a friend who is a DBA making 68kish and he lives in central America and switches between countries for fun while still keeping regular east coast hours.

I think you hit the nail on the head here. I'm in a very similar situation to what you were. As for 30-somethings pricing these apartments out--I agree. I saw very few 20-somethings in these apartments. Many people I know in DC from grad school were stacked inside small apartments.

And yes, location independence is the long-term goal.

(11-19-2017 03:29 PM)redbeard Wrote:  You didn't mention how old you are or how much you make at your job and side biz.

Age -

If you're under 30, get a roommate. Girls care...sure, but as long as your roommate isn't a cockblock it won't hurt your game. You'll just have to do most of the heavy lifting outside of your apartment, and only head back when it's time to bang.

Salary -

You shouldn't be spending more than 20% of your take home salary on housing (rent + utilities). Big difference between 50k and 80k (which is what I consider mid 5 fig).

Side biz -

There's a point where you can make enough money with your side biz to cover the rent difference. If removing the commute adds one more hour of work, where you can make $20/hour, that's $20*5*4 = $400 more a month you're making. If the rent difference is $300, that's a nobrainer.

If I was in your situation? I'd find a three bedroom with two game aware bachelors and work my ass off to get out of DC.

I actually mentioned that I am in my mid-20's. But yeah you're numbers make sense. Not sure where I can find a place for 20% of income unless I get a room in some house for cheap.

As for making additional money on the side biz, that's what I'd like to aim for. Not sure if I should bank on that though.

(11-19-2017 03:56 PM)Spaniard88 Wrote:  If $1500 in rent makes you break even at the end of the month, you're poor, man.

Not third world poor, but to me, being business-minded, the important number is how much you have left after all expenses are accounted for. If your number is zero at $1500 in rent, that's not good.

If I was in your shoes I'd move to a place like Austin, TX. As long as you can keep the same salary, you're instantly better off, in addition to benefitting from a more mild climate and a younger population.

Take a look at the numbers: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/co...gton%2C+DC

Why be poor if you don't have to be?

Right now you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, you can shave the commute and shoot yourself in the foot financially, or keep the commute and throw away a significant portion of your life sitting in a car, podcast or no podcast.

I say it's a false dichotomy and you've got to think outside the box, move to a thriving city with a lower cost of living and increase that very important number, the amount you have left after all expenses are accounted for.

Thanks for the honesty. However, moving to a different city isn't really feasible. My line of work keeps me in DC, maybe New York, which is even more expensive. I am fortunate enough to have a job that pays decent. I'd love to live abroad in somewhere like Southeast Asia where the cost of living is cheap, but I don't have the means to do so yet.

As for the two options you gave, keeping the commute seems like the smarter option. It's not a fun choice, but definitely the smarter one.

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As a general question: What is the best way to go about finding roomates? I don't want to deal with Craiglist. I could ask co-workers and see what comes up. Just not sure the best way to find guys who are cool and won't be a pain in the ass to deal with.

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(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 06:30 PM by Seth_Rose.)
11-19-2017 06:27 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
The answer to most of your problems is to increase your income.

Some places have a high cost of living associated with them, that's the unfortunate reality. If you're in a very geographical dependent industry it could be a problem that's difficult to overcome.

Buying a condo or house is a solution especially if you want to stay in the area. It can also bog you down from moving farther away. If you have a good rental market, you could always rent it out of course, but don't think that you can just set it and forget it.

But again the root of the issue is your current income stream.

Here's just a few things to consider:

1) Is your resume up to date and professionally written? Even if you like your job you should still apply and see how good it really is. If you're not getting calls within a week, something is wrong (assuming you're in a robust industry.) Related is your LinkedIn profile getting hits? Are recruiters contacting you?

2) Can you move somewhere with a lower cost of living?

3) Does your company have different locations? Is it possible to transfer to another location with lower COL with your current salary?

4) Do you have any sort of side hustles that can produce income on the side? Or a part time job?

5) What about snagging a LTR, having her move in and splitting the rent?

You're off to a great start with your savings, however not having it grow because of expensive rent isn't a solid long term strategy.
(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 06:34 PM by Neo.)
11-19-2017 06:34 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Neo, good tips, thanks man. Yes, increasing my income is the way to go. And yeah I am definitely in a geographic dependent industry. As for buying a place, a few guys have suggested that, though I am hesitant to do it for several reasons: a.) I don't want to be in DC long-term b.) I am not bullish on the market here c.) Lots of debt. and I got a few more. Though as Steelex wrote finding a foreclosed property is a smart bet.

As for your questions:

1.) Sort of--but I like my current job, and would really be only looking at jobs in DC anyway.
2.) Not right away as per the previous points.
3.) Yes, a few, but in places like New York, Hong Kong and London. Not exactly cheap living.
4.) Yes. This is definitely what I should focus on. Though my dad recommended to me I don't budget hypothetical income, and keep side income as savings, which I agree with.
5.) I'll pass haha

Hope I'm not being too difficult with this, just trying to get feedback from guys here, as I know most here are pretty financially savvy. Worst comes to worst I'll stay in my situation and maybe wait to see if I can get some roomates. As of now none of you guys really think getting this apartment is a smart move.

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(This post was last modified: 11-19-2017 06:44 PM by Seth_Rose.)
11-19-2017 06:42 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I feel you on the commute issue, my max commute time is 30 minutes. Studies have shown a negative correlation between length of commute and reported happiness for employees.

There's not much to mentally masturbate over, Seth. If you don't like the rental rates that would put you in a closer proximity to your workplace finding a roommate you can tolerate is the most logical thing to do. If you don't want to pay the rent and continue the commute, find a new job in a different city in the same field with a comparable rate of pay with less hellacious commute.

You said you ruled out roomies, the most rational option, so that only leaves the latter. Well you could sit on hands passively hoping a nice apartment in your price range materializes, which it may, but no telling when that could happen.

What's a solid "five figure" salary?? I make about $55K and my best friend from high school makes $95k. We both make five figures but his rent is almost my monthly net pay. (I'm guessing your salary is 50-60k range, since $1675 is high to you).

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11-19-2017 07:13 PM
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RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
(11-19-2017 02:39 PM)Kona Wrote:  I say think about the cost of the gasoline with your two hour drive every day. Plus you got car insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc. Then you got parking. I just went to dc and parking is bullshit.

Then also consider that since you say overtime is a possibility, well work an extra hour or two.

The additional rent will work itself out.

Aloha!

Agree with this. If you move to the new place, are you in walking distance to work? If so, can you get rid of your car? How much would this save you per month? Presumably when you go out drinking getting home to this central location will cost a lot less in uber/cab fare too? Work that in too.

Then on top of that you need to value all the extra saved time and effort of the commute. If thats 10 hours+ a week I'd personally value that as worth a few hundred a week. But I absolutely hate commuting, especially in winter.

You're also young and you've got savings. You can sign up to a 12 month lease and see what happens. If at the end of that your side income hasn't taken off, or you haven't gotten a raise in your main job, then you can move somewhere cheaper. But in the meantime hopefully your economic situation will improve, and the place will become more affordable. And having this 12 month trial period over your head will motivate you to go out on dates/socialising more while you've got the nice place.

So the worst case scenario is you have a really fun year living in a nice place, and forego a year of saving. Meh. In 30 years time I'd wager you'll value the memories of the year of fun more than the extra few thousand bucks.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2017 06:58 AM by zatara.)
11-20-2017 06:57 AM
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Seth_Rose
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Post: #17
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Zatara that’s a great point. And maybe after a year I could even find roommates after going out and meeting people.

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11-20-2017 07:39 AM
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This Is Trouble Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
You mentioned mid-5 figures, but does that mean 45k or 70k?

Maybe I can give some perspective with similar numbers:

For perspective, when I lived in LA, my rent was $2k. My salary was $86k pre-taxes. And I wasn't able to put much money away most months, at most maybe $500. And that was without a car payment, and I usually walked to work so I didn't spend too much on gas (ditching my car in LA wasn't feasible). My student loan payment was $55 a month, so nothing there. I just could never get truly ahead, between the ridiculous tax rate for a single guy who didn't own + the high rent.

You must also factor the cost of the fact that if you are living in a central hip, modern area - you will be going out more often, too.

With all of that being said...

I know how much MORE miserable I would have been if I'd been forced to commute an hour+ in LA traffic every day. Being in that area and paying the high rent was offset by living 5 minutes from the beach and having a good social life because of my logistics.

At the same time, there's a reason I quit the job and built my business. There was just no escaping the financial prison, no matter how hard I tried. I have no doubt in my mind that if I'd been doing an hour+ commute every day, I definitely wouldn't have had the same energy I did to work on the side business at night. Being able to be home in 5 minutes, have a bit of time to unwind, and then start the side work - that was only doable because I paid the premium.

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(This post was last modified: 11-20-2017 08:09 AM by This Is Trouble.)
11-20-2017 08:06 AM
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Seth_Rose
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Post: #19
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
^ Agreed with This is Trouble.

Right after my divorce, I was paying a ridiculous $1600 a month in rent to be a 10 minute bike ride from work. I wasn't shopping for best value -- I just wanted to get the fuck out of my marriage and house that ANY apartment within a 10 minute radius from my job would do. And that apartment took me in quite fast.

But I'll say this. Had I kept my hour+ commute, I wouldn't have had the energy to build my business online in the evenings. It's a trade off, knowing that high rent is only temporary.
11-20-2017 09:13 AM
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The Black Knight Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
I've been in your shoes and know the local scene; just so you know where I'm coming from.

That said: you are trying to have it all and are missing the big picture.

The long-term goal in your case is location independence. But you waste time in a poorly paying job that is also very geographically limiting; limiting you to living in expensive places to live and do business. How does this help you achieve your goal?

You mentioned a mid 5 figures income. If you mean the 40-60k range in the DC area, that's basically poverty wages; especially so since you have some debt (the student loans). You're not flush enough to live alone let alone buy any property.

Are you on track in a worst case situation (i.e. online side business goes nowhere) to at least stack some decent money if you end up staying? By that, I mean: Will you hit 100k+ in the next 1-3 years if you stay in your current career path? If not, you need to drop the geographically limited career and leave the DC area or move back home. Otherwise, you're just wasting time and money.

There are plenty of mid 5 figure jobs throughout the US in places with much lower taxes, lower rents, better commutes, better business environments, and better women.

You stay in the DC area for stable 100k+ money, power, passion for some political cause, or connections (business and/or family). That's why people accept the premium in taxes and overall COL. Roosh, a DC area native, very recently had a post about how he'd consider living in the DC area again but it was the high COL that was an overwhelming killer for him. The math simply doesn't make sense and he already has a successful online business infrastructure.

These are your options if location independence really is your top goal:


1. Take your savings and move to much cheaper part of the US and get another mid 5 figure job that is far more mobile. A career field that lends itself to location independence and/or at least has openings throughout the US. Stack more cash, enjoy a better quality of life, maintain your independence, and have some protection if the online business thing fizzles out. You don't want to be one of the many poor souls trapped making ANY 5 figures salary in the DC area in your 30's with a 2 hour+ rush hour commute.

2. If you are on the path to breaking 100k+ in your job in 1-3 years AND you like the work AND it's very stable, you have to make a judgment call on whether it's worth wasting years of time to stack a bit more cash. This mostly comes down to the cash flow of your online ventures, your savings, and your tolerance for risk.

3. Move back home, quit job, and focus on online ventures. Leave once profitable and comfortable.

3a. Move back home, work job, and stack cash faster so you can quit comfortably and move overseas to focus 100% on online business.

4. Quit your job now and use savings to get set-up overseas.

5. Depending on the jurisdiction and your exact income, you might qualify for subsidized housing. This means you could get a $1700 apartment in a good location for $1000 for example. But getting these places are not easy. You can PM me if you have questions.

Signing a high price rental lease that forces you to even entertain dipping into your savings when you're barely making any money is incredible stupid; especially if your goal is to become location independent. No money = no location independence.

The more cash you have and/or the more mobile your source of income(s), the better the odds you successfully escape. Period.

The bottom line is you have a little bit of savings and a low paying very location dependent job in an expensive region.
And you want to spend more money while possibly dipping into your savings AND invest more time into a location dependent job... just to save some time on a commute? This is not remotely the best option for your long term goals. The options I listed above are FAR better if you really want to escape.

Keep in mind that you think saving 2 hours on your commute a day is gonna be a game changer but there are guys out there (like some guys on this forum) who left their jobs and moved to Thailand with 15k in savings to launch their ventures with very little to fall back on. They are putting in 10-16 hour days, are basically in survival mode, and will kill any potential competitor that even dares to pop their head with some half ass effort.

Location independence via a online business income is not a given. It's a competition. Are you being the most competitive you can be?
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2017 10:41 AM by The Black Knight.)
11-20-2017 10:37 AM
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kosko Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
The general rule is that housing costs shouldn't be more than 30% of your gross income. 20% isn't realistic unless you live in the Sunbelt. If you're in the coast 20% will equal some sort of substandard housing of either being a dump or far away. If you're in a costal city the market will only go so low with those tight vacancy rates, you will only find deals to meet that criteria. In Canada we use the 30% metric. Yes, it's best to find as cheap as possible. But, if you use the 30% number you won't drown yourself with housing costs.

Housing is where you get real money back in your pocket if you're aggressive in bringing down the costs. Run the numbers and only go into something if it's sub 30%, if not wait it out for deals, or look for ways to boost income up. It isn't worth it to drown yourself unless you value that extra two hours that much.

If you want apartment deals you look for refurbished basement units that are in border parts of sketchy or old immigrant areas. Also look for areas with brand new, literally this year, art peices opening up as arts are sensitive to living costs and these see the "setllers" of gentrification. They are the ones to bolt expense housing first and set up shop in a new area. Luckily in the States these areas are still central versus elsewhere so you could technically find deals in the 'diamond district' border if you search this way. What this does is cancel our half the population to live there as woman won't go for those units, the price will reflect that.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2017 11:01 AM by kosko.)
11-20-2017 10:42 AM
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Kissinger2014 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Why the reluctance to get a roommate? Of course it is ideal to have your own place, but the important thing isn't that you're best buds with your roommate. The important thing is that he (or she - I've had female roommates that have worked out fine) is respectful and pays the bills on time. Given that you live in DC, one easy way to filter people is if they have a security clearance. If they do, it's likely (not 100%) they are not drug users or actively involved in criminal activities. And since being financially irresponsible is a factor in losing one's clearance, they would be motivated not to be delinquent on any financial obligations.

And if you find someone who works in consulting or goes on TDY often, you might have a roommate that is often traveling for weeks at a time, essentially giving you your own place.
11-20-2017 11:55 AM
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Sonoma Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Is it possible to semi-lower your communite by getting a gym membership by work and then going in super early and then passing time in the evening?
11-20-2017 06:10 PM
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Seth_Rose Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Well, after some deliberation the verdict is in...

[Image: too-damn-high.jpg?resize=676%2C459]

While taking the plunge and living there for a year wouldn't be the end of the world, it is not a financially smart move. Also, as The Black Knight pointed out, I am missing the big picture and not moving closer to my goals. Instead I was just looking to "buy time". I just finished a Master's in May and started working full-time after that. I guess I fell victim to the "Sunk cost fallacy" and felt obligated to stick to a desk job. Well, that's not what I want. Life isn't bad sure, but not something that I am excited about. Location independence is really what I am after. Moreover, while partying in DC would be fun, I'd much rather party in Budapest or Bangkok.

So, I will probably stay in my current situation for 3-4 more months. Hopefully, I can find some roomates. If not, then maybe I will just suck it up and live with family for the whole year or at least part of it. By then I will have well over 2 years living expenses saved. While that is nice, I think it is smarter to put more emphasis on income, no? That is what will pay my bills in the long-run, as the savings is finite. While I have a couple of websites now, they aren't exactly cash cows. Although when I got home from my commute today I saw I had made $45 from an affiliate sale! Nice, but not sure if affiliate sales of dating programs is sustainable, or what I want to do.

My best bet is probably to put my head down and grind out work and implement my ideas in the next few months. Peter Thiel said something along the lines of take your 10-year life plan and make it happen it 6 months. I have the next two years already planned out roughly with websites and business ideas--surely I can start work on them sooner. Worst comes to worst I am in the same situation making a little higher income. The next step after that will actually be to take the plunge and go abroad, but I will take it one step at a time...

Thanks for the feedback too guys. You saved me a lot of money!

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(This post was last modified: 11-20-2017 09:46 PM by Seth_Rose.)
11-20-2017 09:44 PM
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Peregrine
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Post: #25
RE: Is my (Future) rent too damn high?
Proud of you for making the responsible choice here. It's certainly not easy, but future you will be grateful.
11-20-2017 10:36 PM
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