Oct. 13th, 2012

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
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!

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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