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Old 09-21-2011, 04:05 PM
1 posts, read 1,255 times
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I just accepted a job in Manassas and am coming from out of state, so am not too familiar with the cost of living (other than it's a lot more than I'm used to!). I'll be making around $37,000, and my boyfriend will be trying to find a job in the area as well (he just got his master's in political science). We'd like a two bedroom apartment, but most of the ones that we like seem to be $1400+. Is this typical, and am I crazy for thinking we can afford that? Would we even qualify for an apartment that expensive if we don't have verifiable income for him yet?

If anyone has suggestions of cheaper (but safe and nice) complexes please send them my way!
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:09 PM
Location: Prince William County, VA
664 posts, read 1,620,110 times
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I'm not very knowledgeable about what would qualify, etc. but if you find you need less expensive rent, you could consider renting out a basement. It's pretty common here (which really shocked me when I first moved here from So. Cal! )

Not trying to be too personal, but do you need the two bedrooms? Honestly, if I was only making $37,000 and my partner was still unemployed, I would not be "splurging" on an apartment with an extra bedroom, kwim?
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:10 PM
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Yes, that is typical for the area. In order to search some more, try zillow.com. Select Manassas, check only the For Rent box, also select More Filters. Type in your preferred housing and upper rent limit. I found six listings in Manassas at around $1000 in rent. I can't vouch for whether they are in a safe area though. These listings come and go on any given day so check this out for yourself.

There are some apartment complexes that can be rented if you meet income restriction requirements. They will probably be less safe than non-restricted apartments. You will probably be better off renting from a private owner, which you can find through zillow.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:21 PM
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Look for basements or mother in law suites, that's the only way you'll be able to afford a 2 bedroom on that salary. In general, you need to have verifiable income of at least 3 times the monthly rent to qualify for an apartment. For example, if you want a $1400/month apartment, you'd need to gross $4,200 a month, or about $50,000/year. Considering you will have to support your boyfriend until he finds a job, you'll want to cut costs wherever possible.

My fiancé and I live together in a 700 square foot 1 bedroom apartment...it's not exactly spacious, but that's what you get on an entry level professionals salary in this area.

Based on your income and living situation, I would suggest spending no more than $1100/month on rent, which probably means a 1 bedroom basement rental. That's what I started out in when I moved here!
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:42 PM
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I think $1400 is a lot for that salary, remember you still need to pay utilities as they are usually not included and that can run pretty high depending on the season and your daily use. You also need to factor in transportation costs, whether you'd be commuting using public transportation or driving, insurance, food, etc.... Why do you need the 2nd bedroom for? I think in your situation it would be wiser to rent a 1 bedroom at least till your boyfriend gets a job, with this economy that could also take a while. Good luck on your search though
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:44 AM
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$37,000 with basic health insurance is going to run you about $1,000 bi-weekly every pay period. You'd better find someones basement or spare room ($500/month) to live in and tell the Boyfriend to get job fast. Welcome to the area.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:32 AM
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Take a look at something like this: Basement for rent near Centreville (http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/apa/2605868924.html - broken link)

As others have pointed out, not only does a 2 bedroom come with a higher monthly rent, but utilities, insurance, etc. will be more expensive as well.

The posting above is $700/month and includes all utilities (looks to be a pretty good deal!), and is close to the VRE, which opens up the possibility for your boyfriend to easily commute to DC. Your take home pay, after taxes and insurance, will be just a tad above $2000/month. So, you should be looking at places in the $700 range (no more than $1000 with utilities included).
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