I have been researching “nicer” apartment complexes and it appears that one bedrooms go for no cheaper than $1,300, but usually hover more around the $1,500-$1,700 mark. Girl Ninja and I want to have some luxuries in our first place and don’t mind paying a little extra for some tennis courts, a workout room, or a pool, but I’m just not sure these benefits are inside of our price range.
I currently live in a two bedroom apartment in a very small 8 complex building. It is in the ghettoest part of a nice area and runs $1,200/month (split between me and the roomie). I wouldn’t feel good about Girl Ninja being in this complex if I had to go on a business trip. It’s a little too shady for someone as smoking hot as she is 🙂
I was keeping my fingers crossed that we could get a one bedroom in a large complex for $1,200. Sadly that’s not gonna happen. Girl Ninja and I are going to have to make one of the following sacrifices….
1) We sacrifice a larger apartment complex with amenities/security.
2) We sacrifice our paychecks
Seriously there is no happy medium. We either pay $1,200 for a quasi-ghetto place or fork over $1,500 for a place we would love.
Here’s two pictures of a $1,200 San Diego apartment on craigslist…
and here is what a $1,500 apartment looks like…
Quite a bit of difference in my opinion. I bring home $3,600/month after tax. If we find something for $1,200 that is 33% of my take home pay going to housing. If we pay $1,500/month that puts us up at 41%. I never thought I would even consider putting more than 35% of my pay in to housing…especially when it’s rent.
If you are wondering why Girl Ninja’s income isn’t accounted for, it’s because we decided to pretend like she makes NO money. Primarily because she doesn’t plan to work forever so we don’t want to get use to having her income and then take a huge financial hit when she quits. And secondly, she is substitute teaching and has made anywhere from $0/month (in the summer months) to $2,000/month (if she is able to get a job every single day). Her income varies greatly and I’d feel more comfortable pretending like any money she makes is just a bonus.
So now I query you..
What percentage of your income do you put towards your housing? (To figure it out, take your monthly mortgage or rent obligation and divide it by your monthly take home pay).
What is the maximum you would allow towards housing?
What’s more important to you, quality or price?
p.s. My share of the rent is currently 16% of my net income. This marriage thing is going to be expensive 🙂