Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How Much Should I Spend On an Apartment?

So right now, the big question mark in my life is where am I going to live. I've spent most of my free time the last few weeks looking at apartment listings or going to go see places. One of the things I'm struggling with is figuring out exactly what I want. For me, I have a few requirements for the place I want to live and it is making it hard for me to find a place. These are

Cat In Chair

  1. They must take cats - I've joked with friends that I would give my cat up to find a place, but in reality there is no way I would do this. This eliminates a lot of places that just won't take pets.

  2. Must have a dishwasher - I don't do dishes. My girlfriend doesn't either.

  3. Must have a washer/dryer IN UNIT - I won't rent a place that I have to share a laundry facility. I'm lazy with my laundry, and don't want to be checking on it all the time

  4. I have to be able to get two parking spots - and I would rather they both be included in the price of the apartment.

  5. Roomy - Got to have enough room for the TV I'm going to buy.

  6. Clean and relatively new- I'm probably past the point where I can really compromise on this. When I walk into a place, I want to feel like it is bright and clean and that the appliances are in good condition.

  7. Budget - This is the most flexible component for me but perhaps the hardest for me to adjust. I'm just not use to spending money on rent. I keep debating like MoneyNing did not too long ago, how much should I improve my standard of living?

  8. In Pasadena - This is the closest place to my new job where I'm willing to live. I've lived there before

The first four are not negotiable. The fifth one is somewhat subjective as is the sixth one. My budget is pretty flexible. Before moving down, I thought I would be right in the $1800 mark but having looked at quite a few places, I think the number is closer to $2000. A question for me is if I want to go up to $2300. If I go up that high, I can probably easily get what I want. I can afford it, it is just a matter of if I want to. The last one I may adjust. I greatly prefer to live in Pasadena, but right now I'm not finding what I want in the area I want.

So what do you think I should do? Do you think I should just spend the extra money and get exactly what I want, or should I scale back my expectations a little bit and compromise somewhere else?


  1. $2000 per month? Jeez that's just under my mortgage + escrow + home-owner's dues for my condo :|

  2. Yeah, but you have to live in Washington :)

  3. It takes time to find the right place. Keep at it. Your kitty will thank you.

  4. [...] I finally found an apartment after a really long search.  I didn’t hit all my criteria for finding a place, but I’m really happy with what I got.  I looked at literally hundreds [...]