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Advice on rental apartment vs town house choice

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM
  • 8 Replies

My family and I are going to move soon (from our current apartment to another one). Crime, roaches, and ghetto neighbors was something my husband and I could tolerate in exchange for cheap rent when it was just the two of us but we now have two children (a 2 year old and an infant) we realize we need to move. The problem is that rent in nice areas of Connecticut are not exactly cheap.

Anyways, long story short, after our fixed expenses (daycare, rent, utilities, internet, phone bills, all minimum debt payments) we are going to be left with anywhere from $1500 to $1800 a month left for day to day expenses (groceries, gas, diapers, entertainment, etc.) depending on the rental we go with.

Our favorite choice is a a 2 floor townhouse with 1 1/2 baths that has a basement with washer/dryer hook-up (as you know, little kids means big time laundry). Bedrooms are on the 2nd floor which I like because I feel more secure not having the kids bedrooms on the first floor.

Going with this choice would leave us with $1500 for the day to day expenses I mentioned earlier. Do you think that is a comfortable amount?

Our most affordable choice would be an apartment that has the same number of rooms (minus the basement) however we would have a neighbor above us and the bedrooms would be on the first floor which as I mentioned earlier bugs me. It is only 1 bath and we would have to use the coin-operated laundry facility in the basement. However, this choice would leave us with $1800 for day to day expenses?

Utilities are included for both of these.

What are your thoughts? What would you do?

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM
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Replies (1-8):
by Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM
$1500 a month seems like a lot for gas/groceries/entertainment. If you like that option best, move there.
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by Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Seems doable to me.

Track your spending for a month or two...down to the penny.  Then you'll have a good idea of what you're spending for what and where you can make cuts if necessary.

by Jocelynn on Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I would opt for being able to do the laundry, but then , calculate the laundry expense using the coin operated ones and the difference in the amount of rent you would be paying having the luxury of the washer and dryer. If the deal of the kids sleeping on the first floor is a huge issue, then the decision has already been made....

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

 I"d go with the first one. Personally I like being able to toss my laundry in whenever I have time. Toss a load in and walk away to cook supper, etc. I think the $300 savings would get eaten up quickly with using their laundry facilities. You can toss a load in the dryer only to find out 30 minutes later and a couple of dollars that it's not heating up.

The downside is that you'll have to invest up front in the cost of a washer & dryer if you don't already have them. I'd check out some estate auctions to see if you can get them cheaper.

by Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

$1500 a month?

I don't know the pricing up in CT but it sounds comfortable.  My husband and I just had to move for the roaches and overly ghetto neighbors who had the roaches and were just plan loud.  I never let my kids play outside much for the most part unless things were quiet or took them somwhere else. We have about $400 (if we are lucky) for day to day expenses and the pricing here isn't that high.

So depending on how much you plan on going out, groceries, and gas that should be fine.  To help out a bit more, there are sites online that you can get ecoupons for diapers and more.  For those, if you have a warehouse like Sams Club or Costco, I'd get diapers from there.  It should help out if there are really high costs in your area.

by on Nov. 3, 2013 at 11:27 AM
I have about $550 extra spending money per month. It works because it has to. I watch every penny, cut coupons and buy everything on sale or at a bargain price. This is the hand I was dealt so I have to make it work for now....Get the apt with a washer and dryer. I'm lucky, I have a washer and dryer in my apt, with 2kids. I couldn't live without them.
by Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM

laundry costs alot go with the better house

by Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Coin operated laundry machines vs buying your own....

New washer/dryer combo costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3000 if bought together. You could buy the washer and then the dryer later and air dry for a month or so.

coin operated machines can cost from $1 -$3 per wash and up to $6 for drying per load. So if you do two loads a week you are looking at between 6 and 12$ a week or $24 and 46$ a month. Cheaper, but in the long run ....convience.

There are a few other considerations:  Is it a fenced yard? Is it a finished basement? Has it been checked for mold? Is it a HOA? Honestly I would take the townhouse over an apartment because I just don't feel safe anywhere that allows maintence to have a key.

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