To sublease or not to sublease?
May 22, 2020 7:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm kind of stuck in-between two choices related to renting, and would like a bit of outside insight.

My lease for my current apartment has expired, but the corporate owner (Bozzuto) has been generous enough to let me stay on a month-to-month basis, at the same rate, because of coronavirus. Unfortunately, this rate is way too high for me to be able to afford, especially given that I was laid off and now work part-time at a retail job that pays less than the previous job (but still very well). I have been exploring options in the area, and am open to rooming up. I realize I had a bad experience two years ago, but that was probably an one-off.

There's a much more affordable apartment that's my dream apartment, one Metro stop above, also owned/operated by Bozzuto, which is very convenient and easy to get to/from work. I'd really prefer to stick to this specific apartment. I've been advertising a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom to lease together, for a while now on Craigslist and various Facebook groups, with no success. However, I was able to find two potential options at this apartment, and that's where I'm coming in torn.

Option 1:
Subleasing for 2-3 months (June-August); however, the main leaseholder might not return in August, depending on if her classes continue or not. If she does not return, I can continue to sublease until she returns, which might be next year.

It's a two bedroom/two bathroom, and her roommate hasn't been able to find a subletter for the other room, so that might mean I'd have the apartment all to myself, but maybe not. I was able to get confirmation that regardless of if another subletter was found or not, I'd pay for only my share of the apartment (the one room/bathroom).

A big con: potentially having to find another place/move again in August. Big pros is my own bathroom (given parcopresis), and a potential to stay longer or use this to "buy time" and find a longer-term place. The apartment/bedroom will be furnished.

$1200 plus ~$50 of utilities; sublease goes through mid-August, with the potential to extend depending on coronavirus and the occupant's school plans.

Option 2:
I'd have my own bedroom in a two bedroom, one den; two bathroom apartment. I'd, unfortunately, be sharing the bathroom with another occupant in the den. (I'd be in a true bedroom with a window; the den will be windowless.) What makes it easier is the entrance to the bathroom would be from my bedroom, with another door going out to the hallway (which is what the den occupant would use), so I'd have more "control" of the bathroom. However, going from living alone to living with two other people is making me a bit nervous.

A big con: Shared bathroom/parcopresis, not knowing who the den occupant is (they haven't found the den occupant yet). A big pro: the price, having a nice patio/deck for that apartment, cheap, the main roommate staying seems nice enough. The bedroom will also be furnished, at a small cost to me.

The apartment complex is very nice, similar to my current apartment; laundry in-unit, pool, two gyms, right next to the Metro, etc.

$1000 plus ~$100 in utilities; lease goes through March 2021.

Option 3:
Rent a studio in a cheaper apartment, also Bozzuto-owned/operated, in the same immediate area where I am currently. $1650 plus utilities, I'd live alone, have my own bathroom, but >$1600 is a lot.

Current situation:
My current rent is $1900 plus utilities (about $100-120 per month).

So, as you can see, I'm very torn and keep flip-flopping between both options. For simplicity's sake, I'd really like to stick with the three potential options (but preferably, the first two), but my thought process keeps looping between "well, let's just sublease; that'll buy you time to find someplace that'd be better, and by then hopefully coronavirus will have settled down" then "OMG hey $1000 a month plus utilities? That's half off your current rent! What's wrong with you?" so... I'm just plumb stuck.

Darn old parcopresis for mucking everything up; if not for that damn parcopresis, this would be a no-brainer decision to make.

Thanks for any input or thoughts you can offer!
posted by dubious_dude to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
I would do option 1. Option 3 is still too expensive, and Option 2...omg to go from living alone to living with 2 people sounds like a nightmare.

Option 1 saves you at least $700 bucks a month which will let you A. breathe easier right now while your income is lower and B. hopefully save up a little money so you can afford that dream apartment which C. now you'll have a little more time to look for.
posted by silverstatue at 8:01 PM on May 22


I remember you having some previous horrible roommate experiences that you asked about, I wouldn’t write off the last one as a one off. You have particular needs in housing and while it sucks that they’re expensive, you should honor them. The apartment with a random person living in the den sounds pretty awful even for folks with less need for privacy.
posted by momus_window at 8:57 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Another vote for Option 1, with Option 3 being second. Option 2, despite it being cheaper, seems like a non-starter since it's not significantly cheaper (especially once you add in utilities) and you'd have to share a bathroom with an unknown person. That person might be perfectly nice! But you don't know their hygiene and other bathroom habits (like, maybe they hog the bathroom for hours for shower karaoke sessions), and of course you have other perfectly valid reasons for needing your own private bathroom.

While Option 1 is a bit more uncertain in that you may or may not be able to stay past August, that's still potentially 2-3 months to save ~700ish dollars, which should defray the expenses of moving. If universities in the area are open and the main leaseholder wants to return to her apartment, I imagine that your advertisement for 2 bed/2 bath would gather some interest for an August start date due to other students also moving back for school.
Also, if I'm understanding the situation correctly, you might be able to switch subleases to the main leaseholder's roommate if her roommate hasn't found someone yet.
posted by devrim at 12:26 AM on May 23


I think for your long term happiness, you should prioritize having your own private bathroom- just like if you had a Great Dane you'd prioritize a house with a yard, or if you were extremely tall you'd prioritise finding a house with taller ceilings, or if you struggled with stairs, finding a house without stairs.
posted by freethefeet at 3:54 AM on May 23


Good morning. Thanks for the responses! I agree. I have decided to go with Option 1 and see from there what happens. :) hopefully it goes well *fingers crossed*
posted by dubious_dude at 7:18 AM on May 23 [2 favorites]


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