How to move to a cool area when you're young and broke and nervous
August 14, 2010 1:50 PM Subscribe
Doing my first house/apartment room hunting experience out of college and sort of unclear on the craigslist etiquette AND if I should even be looking. Would really appreciate input and advice. This is really long because I ramble...but I SWEAR it's good!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm looking for a room in a house/apartment so that I can be a little bit closer to my job and out of my parents house, since I'm starting to feel like living at home is just making me sort of lazy and depressed and anxious. Here are my thoughts/points that will somehow combine to make a series of questions, some of them can be combined to make super-questions. Sorry this is so scatterbrained.
1. I live in a boring suburb outside of an expensive major city and am currently commuting halfway around the loop of said city to get to my job, which is situated in an even more boring suburb outside of the city. It's an awful commute, usually an hour or more each way. I'd like to move to the hip/cool/semi urban walkable area that is about about halfway from my suburb to my job where it is well known that all of the young people go to live so they can be young and have fun. It is on the edge of my city (you probably can guess which city this is) and while I'd like to just live downtown it would be too tough to commute out and possibly make my commute worse. I have always dreamed of living somewhere where I can walk to everything; this place fulfills that dream and allows me to be closer to my job.
2. The problem is that this area, like the rest of the city is so damn EXPENSIVE. I want to live in a fun group living situation with many roommates, but even in this case it's tough to find places for under 900 dollars. While a lot of young people live there, they are still usually 3-10 years older than me and in a different life stage - more mature, more settled in their career. If they are my age -which many of them are - they make double my salary (which is barely 31k) and can support themselves entirely with their prestigious consulting/financial jobs. If I live there, my parents will have to subsidize a small portion of my living expenses like cell phone and car insurance which luckily they are very supportive and would be happy to do (I get along with them great and they just want to see me happy), but I still feel like sort of a baby that doesn't deserve to live on his own yet because mommy and daddy keeps him afloat. I have saved some good money living at home, but still not nearly enough (maybe enough to help me for 3 or 4 months)
3. This makes me feel intimidated by the roommates I've been meeting in my househunt, even if this is something they don't have to know about. I send out a LOT of responses on cragslist to pretty much every good deal that I do find in the area, but like I said, I'll usually show up to find that the people living there will be a little older and more established than me. In the past two cases, I've met them and was shown the house, and they've both looked at me like "so you ARE interested in the house, right?" and while it's the perfect location and (somewhat) affordable (would still need help from parents) I still feel sort of iffy about it because ideally I'd want to live with people my age who are in my life stage as far as experience, income, social lives etc. Still I tell them that I am interested because what am I gonna do, tell them "no I'm just yankin' yer chain"? And then I get really really anxious about them possibly accepting me, which would be flattering but I still sort of don't want to live with them, and there's always someone else who seemed so much better that I still have an appointment to view their apartment and I don't want to rule them out and blah blah blah.
*Long inhale after saying that in one breath*... SO. Here are my questions now that the preface to my novel is out of the way:
- Should I even consider moving out if I really can't afford to completely support myself? Should I just move to an inexpensive area in the boring ass burbs closer to my job? I could, but I'd be so far from all of my friends and would probably just have no life, plus I hate the idea of having to drive a half hour down to the hip young cool area to socialize every time I want to go out. The idea of moving somewhere where the only restaurants near my house are Chilis and TGI Fridays makes me feel depressed and goes against everything I've ever wanted for my post-grad life since I've been in college. Still...am I being a brat? Do I suck it up and move where it's a good couple hundred cheaper? Better yet, do I suck it up and stay at home for even longer till I save more money? (It's been about 8 months now and I'm starting to feel like I'm going stagnant)
- Is living with roommates who are older/more experienced than me really a big deal? Should I be concerned about it? I consider myself pretty mature and not loud/messy/fratty/etc, but how would you 25-30 year olds feel if an entry level 22 year old wanted to check out your group apartment? What if you discovered that mom and dad helped him float a little?
- When I meet craigslist prospects in person, what is the etiquette for checking out their place and deciding that I'm not really interested any more once I meet them? What if they email/call me to tell me that I got the room? Do I respond and lie to tell them sorry but I found another place? Also, if you show up to look at a place in the perfect location but you just don't feel like you vibe that well with the people, do I go with my hunch and decide not to live there?
- HOW can I find other young people to live with? How can I find my ideal post-grad living situation, or are my expectations to high? I already made a brief craigslist rooms wanted post (swear it wasn't as long winded as this shit, more like 3 sentences) but got no replies. I'd live with my friends, but they're all already moved out and settled in to their respective living situations, I'm just the friend who lives with his parents now.
Oh man, this is so long but I don't know how else to organize it. I guess the kind of answers I'm looking for are people who will read this monster and be like "holy shit that's long, uh, let me just tell you my experience/general advice" but if you want to try and answer everything then you wold probably be the coolest person in the world.
Also, if you were planning on saying something like "you are too anxious and mentally unfit to be living with roommates" trust me, I sort of agree, but I see a therapist who I really like and respect and he has told me that he thinks moving out would be a big improvement to my life and I think so too.