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!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
My roommate, who has been a fine roommate to me for the past year, is moving out, and I'm looking for a replacement. If you know of anyone looking to share an apartment in Portland, please pass this on to them. Thanks!

As seen on http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/roo/1533627195.html -

1 bedroom available February 1 in a 2-bedroom apartment on 50th and E. Burnside, two blocks from the 20 bus line, about a 10-minute walk from the 19 bus line, 5-minute walk from a 24-hour grocery store (QFC), 15-minute walk from either the Hollywood or NE 60th MAX stations. The apartment is generally pretty quiet. Rent is $360/month; electricity tends to be $18-$35 a month for each roommate (it runs higher in winter because heat is electric). If you want to share wireless Internet service, that's another $12.50/month. This is a modestly sized room, so no couples, please. The living room/kitchen/dining area are spacious. There's a balcony overlooking a courtyard that's pretty nice to hang out in during the summer (with lawn chairs/barbecue grill/etc.) Off-street parking is available. Space for bikes inside the apartment is also available. Apartment is on second floor with no elevator.

About me: 29-year-old queer guy, PhD student / research assistant in the computer science department at Portland State, amateur singer, volunteer tutor, vegetarian, feminist, agnostic Quaker meeting attender, native New Englander, ex-Californian, socialist. I'm car-free and ride my bike to work every day. I have two rabbits. Cats are allowed and I'm a cat lover. Non-TV-watcher, non-smoker, non-drug-user, and I don't drink at home aside from the occasional glass of wine. (Smokers are OK as long as you smoke on the balcony or outside. 420 is OK with the same rule as long as it's not a big part of your life.) I'm in the office roughly 10am-6pm on business days, and I would prefer someone who works the same hours or who leaves for work earlier than I do. I'm quiet; if I listen to music, it's with headphones. The exception is that I'd like to practice music before I leave for work in the mornings, so someone who leaves for work slightly before I do (so, before 9:30 AM) would be ideal. I have friends over occasionally, and have been pretty successful keeping common spaces clean in this apartment. I'm the kind of roommate who will wash a dish again if I find one that hasn't been cleaned enough, rather than complaining about it, and would like to live with someone who would do the same for me. I'd prefer to keep the house meat-free, but we could talk about that. I plan on living in Portland no longer than three more years, and thus in this apartment no longer than three more years.

I'm kink-friendly, trans-friendly, fat-friendly, and poly-friendly (though most of these labels aren't a big part of my life). I'm not home a lot and would like to have a roommate who isn't my BFF but with whom I can carry on the occasional polysyllabic conversation. To that end, I'd prefer to live with a student, professional, activist, artist, or basically anybody who has an inner life consisting of more than beer and video games (those things are cool, but if they're your entire life, we probably shouldn't live together). Please be either between the ages of 25 and 50 or ready to persuade me as to why your compatibility with me makes up for your age. If you're a libertarian, a religious fundamentalist, an anti-religion atheist, someone who "doesn't see color" or blames racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/other "-isms" on bad individuals rather than systemic biases, or politically apathetic, then we probably won't get along.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
My roommate, Jenny, may be moving out of our apartment come October 1, which sucks because she's the best roommate I've ever had. But, my loss may be your gain! If you're interested in living in a 2-bedroom apartment in between the North Tabor and Mount Tabor neighborhoods in Portland's east side, minutes' walking from a 24-hour grocery store (QFC) and the 20 and 19 bus lines, or know someone else who is interested, let me know. Walking distance from MAX and the Hawthorne/Belmont and Hollywood neighborhoods, cat-friendly, and the best part: only $360/month plus utilities. Vegetarian roommate preferred (or at least someone who's willing not to bring meat into the house).

I'll know for sure whether the room is available by the end of August. If it is available, and you want to move in sooner than October 1, that may be possible to arrange, because I'm going to be out of town 8/27-9/16.

If you know any queer-friendly folks looking for housing, preferably 25+ years of age, please pass this along to them! Thanks!

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

July 2014

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