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Getting my own place: good idea or bad idea?

NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I want/need my own place.

I've been fortunate enough to bunk with some relatives for the past two years, and it was great. I didn't pay rent for the first year, but, thanks to rising prices in everything, I started helping them out financially by paying 300 a month in rent. All around its been pretty perfect living with them, up until now.

I live outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, up in the mountains, and it takes anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour+ to get anywhere. With rising gas prices, and friends who are picky about punctuality, and a girl I'm dating who lives on the other side of the city; the amount of travel I'm doing is becoming unacceptable.

This has become all the more clear whilst house sitting for my coworker who lives in the city. The amount of time and gas being used is cut almost in half. I'm saving almost 20 to 40 dollars a week in gas, and I'm getting to school, dates, and events on time.

I'm still not 100% sure about all this, especially since even getting the most basic info for getting my own place is somewhat challenging. It isn't that theres not a lot of it, quite the opposite, its that theres just so much info out there that I'm not sure where a good place to begin is. I guess I'm mostly worried about wanting to do this right, and not get stuck somewhere with something I don't like. I know I've got some money saved up for this, but I don't know if its enough.

I guess I'll breakdown the pros and cons of all this to give you and I a better idea of what I want/need.

Living w/relatives

Pros: Amenities (SAT TV, High speed net, own bathroom), low rent (300/month), Privacy, Good neighborhood, Clean Home

Cons: Long commute, low storage space, little to no activity in surrounding area, no personal friends in area

1 Bedroom Aptmt/Studio

Pros: location location location (hopefully), alternate transport, personal freedom, storage space

Cons: possibility of bad neighborhood, expensive amenities, contracts from hell, varying rent amounts

Well, overall I know my main gripe is transport and location, and I know I don't have it too bad where I'm at now, but theres a number of other small factors that are helping to push me into this decision.

So anyways, thats my deal. What do you guys think? Should I stay or should I go? Any advice on where to start and who to talk to? What do I need to especially avoid? Any unique and creative ideas?

Newtron on


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    khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    You might want to map out exactly how much you think its going to cost to live on your own. Rent, utilities, food, etc all adds up fairly quickly.

    khain on
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    Whiniest Man On EarthWhiniest Man On Earth Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    You definitely need to move out. It's a great experience to live on your own, and it seems like that's the way you're leaning already. Cutting out commute time not only saves money, but it makes your life work a lot better as a whole. Commuting and driving long distances just isn't fun.

    Look on craigslist for apartments in the neighborhoods you want to live in. Ask your friends where they recommend living or not living in your area.

    Whiniest Man On Earth on
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    An AngelAn Angel __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2008
    Check to make sure you aren't moving to a bad as hell neighborhood first. You don't want to live in terror.

    An Angel on
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    StaxeonStaxeon Buffalo, NYRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    The grand debate. If you have the financial means being on your own is an immeasurable experience. Like that final kick in the pants toward being in the "real world". If someone has the maturity level to try it I always recommend it.

    But renting can be a crap shoot. I've had 12 different apartments, all with various pros and cons on their own between landlords, location, roommates, rent amounts, facilities issues, parking, etc. No two places are ever the same for a variety of reasons. If you decide to move out the one key factor you have in your favor is that you're not under any pressing schedule, no lease impending renewal or expiration, such. You have the time to scout out a really good place, and not jump on a bad one because you have no other option.

    I'd say get your own place, but do it wisely and weigh your options carefully.

    Staxeon on
    Invisible nap is the best nap of all time!
    No man should have that kind of power.
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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    If you move out and get into financial trouble, will your relatives take you back in?

    If so, you've got a great safety net and should go for it.

    Trowizilla on
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    KivutarKivutar Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I was in precisely the same situation in precisely the same location some years ago.
    I moved out & haven't regretted it for a moment.

    I don't know precisely where in town you're hoping to end up, but rent on single bedrooms/efficiencies seems to be kind of volatile. Definitely shop around a bit, but be willing to jump on something immediately if it's a good deal & a place you'd want to live.

    Don't really think there's any terrible neighbourhoods to live in within Abq, except maybe the war zone. If you're in the University area, it's all student ghetto anyway but nothing that bad happening.

    I'd start by looking around on Craigslist or just walking through x neighbourhood with an eye out for "For Rent" signs.

    The only issue I've run into here with apartments is shitty landlords. Once in a while shitty neighbours, but I've always managed to resolve that fairly quickly. The landlord issue... well, avoid the slumlords. They shouldn't be too hard to spot if you take a look around their properties or talk to any current tenants. That aside, I had a spectacular landlord who sold their properties to a guy who won't fix anything, won't return messages, calls, etc. but who occasionally enters my apartment unannounced and also leases out to dubious tenants that he's afraid of evicting. Yea, I'm looking for a new place.

    Kivutar on
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