Post # 1
I am graduating with my Master’s in August, and moving to live with SO (hopefully FI by then!). He lives in an rural area (he’s a graduate student) where rent can be higher than I’m used to. I should be finding out about a halftime position in the next few weeks, and after that, I’m planning on applying for a second job. We just found a place to live (to rent) that is absolutely huge, and most places that large are way out of our budget. It’s the perfect location, tons of space, has laundry, parking (all the necessary things we were looking for) and all utilities included. I’m nervous to sign a lease with him for it, only because I don’t know EXACTLY how much I’ll be making, but even if we took another place, it woudln’t be much cheaper. It’s a stretch, but not crazy. Would it be totally irresponsible to sign a lease when I don’t know exactly where my money is coming from? Granted, there’s still 4 months before I’ll be moving in and paying rent to figure that part of of life out (though the security deposit is upfront). Or is this just part of “being a grown up,” the uncertainty? I do have savings, but of course I was hoping they would stay savings.
If it makes any difference, I am 23, and my SO has a steady income from graduate school but he is also paying loans off from undergrad.
Post # 3
I think that if his pay alone can cover the cost of the rent/bills then go ahead and sign.
If you both are relying on your pay to be able to afford the rent/bills, then its not a risk I would take.
Post # 4
When we picked a place to live, we would only consider places we could afford on one salary, and the lower of our two salaries, in case, heaven forbid, one of us lost a job. I wouldn’t sign a lease banking on what you think you’ll be making..it’s risky business!
Post # 5
@AnnieAAA: Technically, yes, he could afford rent on his salary, but he wouldn’t be able to pay a loan payment at the same time. Right now he’s in school, so payments are not required, but he’s trying to pay off unsubsidized student loans (which are still acrruing interest), so payments will be more reasonable when he’s done with school and subdizied loans (ones that haven’t been accruing interest while he’s in school) are due. I wouldn’t really want him to have to pay the full amount, just because he does have those loans and it’s in our best interest as a couple to pay those down, so I would definitely use savings as a backup to pay for rent, just not ideal.
Post # 6
We did the one salary option too. If one of you can afford it (on top of the rest of your bills), then go sign the lease. Also be aware that most places will ask to see proof of income.
Post # 7
I did exactly what you’re doing right now. He was still at university, and I was only working part time. We could JUST about cover it and went for it.
Then I got sick. And my sick pay alone couldn’t pay the rent let alone the bills.
HOWEVER. we scrimped. we scraped. we went into overdrafts. AND WE MADE IT. it was tough, sure, but we look back on that time with the opinion that that was the hardest struggle we’d ever face – and we got through it. it put so much perspective in life – and we’re happy knowing that as a couple we got through the hard times.
My personal opinion is just go for it. If it’s not THAT much more than what you’d be paying for something smaller, I would bite the bullet.
That all being said – my home is a massive factor in my life. I couldn’t be happy living in a studio apartment, and I was willing to do everything it took to live somewhere beautiful.
Most people would tell you not to take the risk, and the sensible thing is to not risk it – but when it comes to a home, I do the complete opposite because it’s what my heart aches for.
Post # 8
I firmly believe that you should be able to pay all your major bills on one salary. I was raised by an accountant and Dutch woman, though. 🙂 Who, by the way, own their home outright, owe very little on their cars, and mom only works a few days a week. I’ll want to stay with our children so we’d never commit to more than MrJ can pay for. Rent is a little different since it’s easier to get out of, but you like to also save a little if you plan to every buy…
Post # 9
I understand the concept of being able to pay all your bills on one salary, but honestly in some places it just isn’t feasible. We could probably live on FI’s salary if I was laid off, if I got a part time job while looking, but we definitely couldn’t live off mine. We live in Boston, apartments are expensive, especially if you aren’t sharing with 3+people.
You said that everything is included in the rent for this large apartment (heat, parking, etc). What about the smaller places you’re looking at? If everything isn’t included in those, I think the larger place could turn out to be cheaper.
Post # 10
@AnnieAAA: I agree with you. If worse comes to worse and you can’t get a job or something happens to your job that you have lined up, you need to be able to pay the rent on his salary.
Post # 11
There is a lot of uncertainty with the way the economy is now so it’s not irresponsible to sign a lease if you’re not sure where your income is coming from. However, I wouldn’t want to put a strain on the relationship if something to happen. So…if you have substantial savings to fall back on and you’re ok with that possibility, you can go ahead to sign the lease. // This is a toughie! Good luck!
Post # 12
@futuremrsfitz18: This is exactly what we are thinking. And i’t smore than double the size. Most places we were looking at were around 1000/month, usually most utilities included, this is 1300, double the size, everything included utility wise. Just nervewrecking… this is my first “place”– I am living with a roommate at grad school, and my parents are helping me financially (which I really appreciate), but I just want to make sure I’m being responsible.
@mnp: I do have savings. Of course I want to keep it savings for future car/house/baby, but we gotta do what we gotta do. I’m going to talk it over with my parents (they have no debt, own their home outright, etc), but I realize when they were making this move in the 80s, things were different then, economy wise.
Post # 13
So turns out.. the landlord (who is a lawyer of all people ) only does “verbal leases” and apparently I have found out after the fact that this is very common in Vermont. However, since I am currently not living in that area, he required me to wire him the money, rather than send a check. It felt shady, so I let the place go. Hopefully a better place turns up… with a more traditional way of doing business. He might not have been trying to scam me, but it sure did make me feel uncomfortable. Thanks bees.