When Will My Rent Become Too Much?


Now, I guess the question is how much I’m willing to sacrifice to keep that contentment alive. I don’t particularly want to leave San Francisco. I could move somewhere else in the city, I guess, but rents are high all over. Fleeing to Oakland like most of the artists and writers I know would add another hour to my already grinding commute, and any farther than that would require me to just work remotely.

This time around, I can probably scrape together enough to cover the increase. What about the next time, though?

I’ve never minded doing the leaving, but I hate being left behind. This feels like being left behind by someone who isn’t actually going anywhere, which almost makes it worse.

When American suburbs first came into being, they were a way for the middle and upper classes to live apart from the crowded, often diseased scrum of local cities while still working in them. Now, it seems like the opposite is happening — living and renting in the biggest urban areas is starting to become a rich person’s privilege.

And like a lot of my peers are asking about New York or Los Angeles, I can’t help but wonder: is living in the middle of the action really worth a solid grand every 30 days?

At this point, it’s hard for me to imagine being anywhere else. That said, it’s amazing how persuasive a rapidly emptying bank account can be. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

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  • Tania

    It sucks being an adult doesn’t it? I don’t mean that sarcastically, I’m 100% serious. We have to make choices all the time and sometimes it doesn’t feel like much of a choice if both options are not desirable but we do have a choice.  We can rent or we can buy, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. We can commute or we can live in a convenient area. We can live in a studio apartment or we can live in a house. We can live in a state with a high cost of living or we can choose to live elsewhere. As a Hawaii resident, the latter is a choice I think about often.

    I’ve heard many people whine and complain about greedy landlords (not talking about you my dear but I have a FB friend who loves this particular topic) and here is my take on it as someone who has owned real estate in the past. Buying and owning real estate is a risk with costs. I do not disagree with landlords charging what the market can bear on their properties because they need to make what they can when they can to cover the periods the property is not being rented out or when they occur large unexpected costs. I used to be an auditor and have seen landlords incur huge assessments on unusable properties from their owners’ association after Hurricane Iniki. If they had only charged enough to cover their costs in the good years, they surely would’ve gone under post hurricane.The mortgage lender doesn’t care whether you have rental income to cover your payment or not.

    That said your landlord doesn’t sound like they are meeting their obligations, you might find moving may be a blessing in disguise. Best of luck to you in whatever you may decide.