tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Friends,

I'm in need of both some advice, and some help. I'm currently living in downtown San Jose in an apartment that I'm paying $1600/month for. I like my apartment a lot, but the rent is (too damn) high, and I'm in a situation where I have so much medical debt (thanks to being a second-class citizen!) that I have to pay off to the tune of around $2000/month that I have very little money left for any expenses after all that is paid. It's not a sustainable situation, since I keep going over budget.

I'm looking to move to someplace cheaper. I work in downtown Mountain View, and originally, I wanted to move close enough to work to be able to walk. However, I don't think that'll happen within my price range. I could do a little better, price-wise, by moving to Sunnyvale. That's still possible.

Here's my question, though: I'm asking myself, what if I moved to an apartment in the low end of the price ranges that are available, even if it meant I continued to have a 20-30 minute (each way) driving commute, *and* I was in a suburban neighborhood? I moved to downtown San Jose because I thought that living in a car-centric neighborhood (in someplace like Santa Clara, the outer reaches of San Jose, or Campbell) would be despair-inducing. But the truth is that I don't *do* a lot downtown. I spend most of my time at/near work. The main thing I take advantage of downtown is the San Jose library which is great, but I could still go occasionally. And, I'm driving a lot; public transit is nearby me, but not useful enough. So, why not go the whole hog? This would be temporary (6-12 months) and the advantage is that I could pay off my debt faster and not worry quite as much about not running out of money every 2 weeks.

But maybe I'm fooling myself! After all, I hated living in Seaside and Salinas. On the other hand, that was in large part because I had a job I hated, and it was hard to get anywhere fun from there. Here, I can get to San Francisco/East Bay on weekends and even on weekdays with the car. So would it be worth it for me to move to a cheap apartment someplace like Campbell (which does seem to have cheap apartments) if it meant saving $500-$600 a month on rent? I feel like it wouldn't really change my daily routine much; I'd still (likely) be driving to work most days. Oh, and I'd be saving another $110/month on parking.

I could save even more money if I lived in a room in a house, but that's hard to do with two cats and two bunnies. I'd consider it if I knew of a space in a house with cool people, though!

So the advice I'm asking for is: would moving to someplace more suburban and less transit-accessible, but cheaper, be a practical solution to my money problems? Or am I fooling myself and would I hate it every minute? And the help is: if you know of either an apartment or shared housing situation being available, please let me know! Here's what I'm looking for:

absolutely necessary: allows cats and bunnies; 30 minutes or less each way non-rush-hour car commute to downtown Mountain View (turns out this is a pretty big area: between Burlingame and Los Gatos north/south; between Woodside and east San Jose west/east)
strongly preferred: no carpeting; near Caltrain; allows subletting (as I may end up being away for a while for work; that's not for sure, hence why I'm probably going to go ahead and move)

I'm looking to move starting around Nov. 15, but can wait for the right place (I haven't given notice yet). My price range is $1100-$1400 for apartments, under $1200 (depending on circumstances and location) for a room in a house. Also, if you have suggestions for where to look for housing (obviously I'm looking on Craig's List, but it's full of spam as usual), I'd appreciate it. I know I know lots of people who live in this area!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwillen.livejournal.com
I think downtown Mountain View may be possible within your parameters.

I am currently living within rough walking distance of your office (I am near California and Chiquita) in a one-bedroom for 1250. When I was looking, I also found one just off Moffet, on Central Ave. north of Central Expy., for like 1150.

I used PadMapper, which I found to be a lifesaver. I'm not sure what its current legal status is, but it appears to still be operating.

There's some but not a lot showing within your parameters at the moment:

https://www.padmapper.com/?lat=37.391840164949265&lng=-122.07475662231445&minRent=0&maxRent=1400&searchTerms=Words+Required+In+Listing&maxPricePerBedroom=6000&minBR=0&maxBR=1&minBA=1&maxAge=7&imagesOnly=false&phoneReq=false&cats=false&dogs=false&noFee=false&showSubs=true&showNonSubs=true&showRooms=false&userId=-1&cl=true&apts=true&rnt=true&ood=true&zoom=14&favsOnly=false&onlyHQ=true&showHidden=false&workplaceLat=0&workplaceLong=0&maxTime=0

I am definitely not currently seeing anything truly excellent for your parameters, but some of the available things might fit. I think I had better luck because I was searching in the summer.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-14 05:15 pm (UTC)
ext_17921: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lindseykuper.livejournal.com
Yeah, actually, the first thing that came to mind for something in Tim's price range that was within walking/cycling range of the Mozilla office was "gwillen's apartment". But I assume gwillen isn't interested in vacating it. :)

The Walker Drive one that's showing up on PadMapper looks like it's in an ideal location. You could even bike the Stevens Creek Trail to get to work.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-14 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwillen.livejournal.com
Well, oddly enough I may be vacating it at some point, pending a potential vacancy with some friends of mine. But it wouldn't be suitable for Tim because the lease doesn't allow pets. (I've considered asking if I could get an exception, but I do not know the landlord's personal feelings on the subject.)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 07:13 pm (UTC)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
From: [personal profile] synecdochic
I don't know whether you'd hate it or not, but what about signing a one-year lease and approaching it as, if you absolutely hate it, you've got a clock ticking down until when you can move, and if you don't hate it, hey! Saving $700 a month!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-13 07:39 pm (UTC)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kake
Gut reaction: I think yes, it is a practical solution, because I get the impression that even though your living situation wouldn't be ideal, you're not currently in a place[0] where that would drag you down too badly.

[0] Not the right term — "state of mental health" maybe?

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-14 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_17921: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lindseykuper.livejournal.com
This is perhaps an extreme suggestion, but what about moving away from the Bay Area entirely and living in, oh, say, a university town in the Midwest? Mozilla's generally amenable to people working remotely, and your rent would be way less. You could try it for a year. It couldn't be worse than the 'burbs, could it?

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-15 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killerswan.myopenid.com
I once owed only $250 per month in Ames, Iowa! You know, the city and ISU campus is absolutely stunningly gorgeous this time of year...

Basically *every* 1BR apartment in Santa Barbara is in your price range, too, though. (Mine may be available quite soon and was cat-friendly when I signed my lease...)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-15 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wkfauna.livejournal.com
IME Campbell is really the middle of nowhere. I mean I like it and all, but the access points are usually very slow at rush hour. If you want cheaper but still close to Mtn View, I think Sunnyvale is fine. It's not the world's most exciting place, but it just got more express Caltrains and you can pleasantly bike to Mtn View from there.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-10-21 07:52 am (UTC)
biscuit1001: (Default)
From: [personal profile] biscuit1001
Of course, apply that kind of reasoning enough and I'll be living in Gilroy :P

Nooooeeeeeeeesssssssss!

:)

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Tim Chevalier

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