Please write a blurb here or on the wiki of how you'd go about finding a cheap place to live in your area.
If you live in a high COL area, rent a room. If you live in SF, earn a net monthly income of $5000 and rent a decent room for $750 month, your income minus rent comes out to $4250. If you rent a room in Topeka, you can expect to pay $250 for a decent room while earning a net monthly income of $3500 for a similar job. Although renting a room in SF is 3 times higher than Topeka and the income in SF is only +43% over Topeka , your after-rent income will be $4250 in SF but $3250 in Topeka.
In the area where I grew up along the Jersey/LI shore, a lot of people I knew would rent out a beach home at the winter rental rate for 9 months (which is cheap) and then share a summer rental with friends when the rental cost was higher. Sometimes, instead of sharing a summer rental, they would head inland a bit and housesit for a family who "summered" somewhere else to eliminate rent altogether for 3 months.
In my little town knowing whose house is vacant because they went into a nursing home is a good strategy. Adult children are glad to not have to mow the lawn and appreciate not having as many utilities to pay for.
We lives in DH's grandma's house. Its mostly okay, but stuff breaks constantly in a 130 year old house. If I was doing this with a stranger/aquantance I would ask around about how handy they were first
I knew a guy who bought the oversized Victorian, well worn after decades as a rental, he rented 7 rooms in Seattle. That initially covered his mortgage, so he was rent free. Then as rent went up, he started piling up money for repairs and vacancies. When he was laid off, he just sold the house at a profit, and left town. He said he made more from his house in those years than his labor.
As a current landlord, I wouldn't recommend this strategy to everyone, but if you are young and single, have enough reserves, it can work well in high COL cities. You need a high COL, to get quality room mates, people who would buy or rent their own homes in lower cost areas. You want to do this close to downtown. He was in the Madison neighborhood, I don't think it would have been as successful in neighborhoods with more apartments.
I'd say a big one is to consider "less desirable" neighborhoods. I don't live in a BAD area, but it's not a great area--just kind of old and small and run down.
This is a house not far from my own neighborhood that looks very similar to my own house.
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhom ... 7779-48749
So... my advice for finding a cheap place to live:
--Keep an open mind
--Consider less desirable areas--remember, you pay to live near the cool and trendy stuff!
--Consider roomates or other alternative arrangement--chores for rent? Remember, too, that it's generally better to be the landlord than the tenant!
--Be willing to invest "elbow grease."
--Look at schools. "Bad" schools usually mean cheaper housing. If you don't have kids, who cares if the schools are good?
jennypenny wrote:In the area where I grew up along the Jersey/LI shore, a lot of people I knew would rent out a beach home at the winter rental rate for 9 months (which is cheap) and then share a summer rental with friends when the rental cost was higher. Sometimes, instead of sharing a summer rental, they would head inland a bit and housesit for a family who "summered" somewhere else to eliminate rent altogether for 3 months.
I noticed the possibility of this strategy when checking out rentals in the state of Maine. I noticed in Sept a lot of furnished summer vacation homes go on the rental market pretty cheap. You get a beautiful house fully furnished for a steal from Sept to June. Then in July and Aug you could have an RV and go to a beautiful campground for 2 mos, and then in Sept go back to the furnished house. This would be a way to live relatively cheap. You would not need to own any furniture or worry about any house repairs or maintenance. You could also possibly find a vacation house to "house sit" from Sept-June and do it even cheaper. Perhaps the same house year after year.
You have to be a certain type of person to do roommates. I had roommates from 18-33 yrs old but would not want them again. I just enjoy my privacy and like my kitchen and living room to myself, and don't want to be forced to socialize with basically strangers that I didn't know before they moved in, have them bring their friends over, share the kitchen with them, etc... Especially when you are early retired and home often it doesn't work well. To me personally roommates are a complete non-starter. But for a twenty-something who works a lot, roommates are the way to go. After 35, I think much less so.