Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Ads For Rent

July 3, 2013

Carol asks…

What are the requirements in renting an apartment?

I will be moving to Canada and settling alone renting an apartment. I just want to ask how renting works. I am a young adult. Sorry for some of my dumb questions. Do the owner of the apt accept cash or just cheque? Do I need to go to the bank and ask for evaluation for my salary earnings ? Do they do contracts like a year contract or can I leave whenever I want to as long as I pay the whole rent amount (if ever i would want to transfer) ?

Administrator answers:

You can’t just move to Canada. For the sake of the rest of the question… I would assume you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have a valid work or study permit. Otherwise, you’ll find living in Canada rather difficult.

There are not hard rules for renting. It depends on what you are renting and from who. Most larger apartments are run by property management companies and will require provincial ID (i.e. Your provincial driver’s license or a provincial ID card). Most will also run a credit check on you — which you’ll likely fail if you don’t have a credit history in Canada. Some may require references. If you try to pay cash… Many property managers will have a problem with this. It just isn’t safe carrying large amounts of money. No one will accept a check from a non-Canadian bank.

Room rentals, splitting an apartment with someone, rural/poorer neighbourhoods, etc. Might not require the credit check or sometimes not even references but… They will typically require Canadian ID.

Vacation rentals, time shares, apartment/condo swaps, and/or house sitting ads might accept credit cards (depending upon who is managing the agreement).

You require proof of legal residency to obtain provincial ID, to open a bank account, to obtain a social insurance number (i.e. Work), to attend school, etc.

Jenny asks…

How hard is it for a student to afford living in San Diego?

I am currently planning on going to a university in San Diego. (SDSU actually.) I know California is a lot more expensive than here in the North Texas area. So.. I’ve been looking at the university website and I’ve seen housing is quite expensive. At some point, I would actually love to have an apartment but considering Cali’s high costs, what is the average for an apartment there?
Thank you so much!

Administrator answers:

If you are working a minimum wage job part-time or living off of student loans, or a combination of these, you’ll need to have a roommate. I was in that situation throughout my college years at SDSU (bachelor and masters) and I always had roommates. If you can swing it, a two bed apartment with one roommate should work. Personally, I always had more roommates than that (in various combinations of rooms and roommates) so that I was able to get my masters with minimal debt incurred.

Getting roommates here is easy. At SDSU there are many bulletin boards where people post roommate wanted ads, also you can find these in the Reader (local free weekly paper), Craigslist, maybe even on SDSU’s website somewhere. Come down here and stay at a cheep hotel until you find one of these situations, or you can come down here and rent an apartment and find a roommate. That’s how most people do it until they meet friends here and make plans to rent places together.

Here are ballpark figures for apartment costs here. Within a couple of miles of SDSU: $900-1000 for one bedroom, $1200 for two bedroom; Mission Valley area (within 6 miles of SDSU, usually large complexes with lots of amenities, many singles): $1100 for one or $1400 for two bedrooms; beach areas (Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach) $1300 for one; $1500-1600 for two.

If you share a three bedroom with two other people you can probably get your costs down to around $500-550 a month.

You’ll find some under, some over, but that’s ballpark. Note that the SDSU area has lots of older units, fewer amenities, and there’s not as much of an on-campus life after school hours in the immediate vacinity as in other campuses, so after the first year at SDSU, most students move away from the campus area. The beach areas, and more recently the downtown/Gaslamp areas have more nightlife.

Oh, and PLEEZE don’t use “Cali”; most people who live here hate that. And certainly don’t use it themselves.

Chris asks…

How do I get accomodation in Krakow before getting there?

I have just received a job offer which starts in October and I would like to know if I can make arrangements for accomodation before getting there- I mean a monthly rent, not a hotel. Most of the sites are in Polish and I do not know the language, so I need something in English. I am looking for a studio near the city center. The agencies generally require people to go there and view the places for rent, but I cannot do that. What should I do?

Administrator answers:

Well, it might be a good idea to stay at the hotel, or hostel for first week or two because then you will be able to go and check out places and see them with your own eye – not on the photographs.

However if you really don’t want to do this then you can check out this site for seach:

(it’s already set to Krakow and apartment seach)

Most of the ads are in Polish so you might need a web translator. (this is another reason why you could stay at the hotel at the beginning and then ask some polish friend to help you find an apartment in Krakow. Polish people often try to take adventage of people who are outside of country and especially dont speak polish….. They may give you higher prices only because you are an international. I’m Polish from Canada, and I’ve seen this happening too many times. )

William asks…

what apartments in boston are good for college students?

my friend and i want to get an apartment together next year she will be going to mass art near the museum of fine arts and i will be going to another school around there. we want to find an apartment that is cheap and has other college students living near by so it is not boring does anyone know any good ones around this area?

Administrator answers:

The whole area around there has plenty of rental housing, but the big apartment buildings like Trilogy are out of your price range. Most college students get their apartments through Craigslist, the housing department of their schools, and brokers (which charge a month’s rent as a fee). Look for Kenmore, Fenway, Symphony, Northeastern, in the ads. Now is a good time to start, most of the student rentals are locked up by May when the college kids go home for the summer.

Be careful of any address west of Mass Ave and South of Columbus, you want to avoid Roxbury.

Lizzie asks…

What is a good salary for a single person in Phoenix Arizona?

All your bills payed, clothes, food, apartment, & going out on the weekend.

Administrator answers:

This is one of those questions that no one can answer for you, without knowing a whole lot about your life.

What kind of apartment? One bedroom? One bedroom plus den? Studio? Do you need a brand new building in a luxury neighborhood? Or are you happy living in a building that is safe but older and less trendy?

Where do you shop for clothes? Sears? Nieman-Marcus? Walmart?

Food is going to be about the same here as anywhere else. Just ask yourself how much do you spend at the grocery store now.

“Going out” covers a lot of territory as well. Does it mean movies and popcorn? Or does it mean dinner at a fine restaurant, then drinks at an upscale club? And for that matter, how many drinks? Five fancy drinks cost a lot more than one beer.

So you need to think about the lifestyle you want to live, and then add it up. Look at ads in the newspaper for apartments, and figure out the areas you are interested in. How much are the rents going for in that area? Then add the food number, which you should be able to figure out on your own. How many new clothes do you buy every month? What do you spend? Add that in, but add an extra cushion beyond that of 10-20 percent (or decide that you will live on a clothing budget). Then, the last item is entertainment and going out. And that is where you will really have to think hard, because unlike rent, food and clothing, the amount you spend is 100 percent up to you.

I realize this is not any sort of exact answer, but as I said, no one can tell you what’s right for you, so I hope I have helped, at least a little Some people raise whole families on $35,000 a year. Some singles find that money is tight at $80,000. It all depends on what you need to be happy.

Sandy asks…

What are some good, safe, and affordable apartment complexes in Sacramento, CA?

I will be moving to Sacramento, CA from St. Louis, MO in mid June and will be working at the UC Davis Medical Center. I’m looking for recommendations regarding good apartment complexes to live in in the Sacramento area, preferably within 15-20 minutes of the medical center. My main concern is safety, since I don’t know which neighborhoods are safe in Sacramento. I’m looking to spend between $600-800/month. Thank you in advance for any responses received!

Administrator answers:

Could I warn you about a scam that is going on?
People are posting townhomes and cheap houses for rent in sites such as craigslist and even the local newspaper’s classified ads.
There are no places. Just scammers using foreclosed properties.
They give you a key after you make the deposit, and when you show up with the moving truck the key does not fit the home.
Just a bit of warning.

All it takes is a couple of days to find a place.
I would spend the money in a cheap hotel and take two days off and drive around and visit apartment complexes. Have your “grocery list” of places to visit beforehand.
Never rent an apartment unless you can do a full walk through first.
You can talk to neighbors and ask them about crime in the area.
$600 to $800 a month is going to be nearly impossible.

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