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Old 12-13-2015, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Midwest
121 posts, read 163,629 times
Reputation: 77

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I was reading a thread about great places to live for poor people and someone mentioned Iowa. So I went on craigslist to look at their apartment listings. Wow. I'm amazed. Check this out: https://desmoines.craigslist.org/apa/5355386420.html -- Not a bad little room for $290. I'm paying nearly twice that here in Providence, RI for a room share. I share the kitchen and bath with two others, and there is no living room. Add to that having to deal with a loud and drunk roommate isn't nice either. Why is rent cheap in Iowa? Heck, I might move there. I could literally go anywhere right now once this month is over as I'm self employed.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:26 AM
 
Location: MetroWest Boston
317 posts, read 335,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pystachio View Post
I was reading a thread about great places to live for poor people and someone mentioned Iowa. So I went on craigslist to look at their apartment listings. Wow. I'm amazed. Check this out: https://desmoines.craigslist.org/apa/5355386420.html -- Not a bad little room for $290. I'm paying nearly twice that here in Providence, RI for a room share. I share the kitchen and bath with two others, and there is no living room. Add to that having to deal with a loud and drunk roommate isn't nice either. Why is rent cheap in Iowa? Heck, I might move there. I could literally go anywhere right now once this month is over as I'm self employed.
Everything is generally cheaper in the Midwest, at least compared to the coasts. Boston is one of the most expensive regions in the country, and that trickles down to Providence too. Rent and housing prices are cheaper because salaries are lower in these areas, and high paying jobs aren't as prevalent as they are in other areas. Housing prices reflect the median income for the area. So, the way to take advantage of this is to find a high paying job in that area.

That listing is really just a 250 sq. ft. room, though. Most rents aren't that cheap.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:59 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 1,149,479 times
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I will concur that Iowa is a great state to live for poor people. I'm one of them. I rent a studio in West Des Moines and can afford to live here alone. I certainly wouldn't be able to do that in Providence or Boston. It's definitely a struggle as a low-wage earner, but I get by and don't have to deal with annoying roommates. You can actually still buy really nice houses in Iowa for $75,000 in rural areas. $100,000 homes are still available in the Des Moines metro for an old fixer upper. That's unheard of on the coasts.

Rent is going up in the Des Moines area like it is elsewhere, but not nearly as much as I've seen in other cities. I've lived in my building for 7 years now and my rent has gone up $35 since I've been here, and it will inevitably raise with each lease given the current popularity of renting nationwide. If your sole consideration is living cheaply, then Iowa is a great place to come, OP!

It's important to note that the apartment you found on Craigslist for $310 a month in the Des Moines metro is atypical, and most apartments in the metro area are $500 and up and about twice the size. This seems like a hotel room.

Last edited by maniac77; 12-14-2015 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:58 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,375,215 times
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While smaller towns in Iowa are cheap to live in, Des Moines is actually somewhat expensive. Some see this as a bragging point, others see it as a selling point, some as a combination.

That's an extended stay motel way out in Ankeny. It's $310 per week, not month. Notice they don't specify in the listing. So, it's $1240 per month for a tiny studio/motel room. Definitely closer to New York, Miami, LA prices there.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:03 PM
 
1,153 posts, read 742,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieJonez View Post
While smaller towns in Iowa are cheap to live in, Des Moines is actually somewhat expensive. Some see this as a bragging point, others see it as a selling point, some as a combination.

That's an extended stay motel way out in Ankeny. It's $310 per week, not month. Notice they don't specify in the listing. So, it's $1240 per month for a tiny studio/motel room. Definitely closer to New York, Miami, LA prices there.
Living full time in motels is terrible, but they too are a business. Unfortunately some prey upon those who are incredibly poor AND who don't have enough credit or a security deposit to get their foot in the door of a normal apartment. Of course then you have to wonder why such people live in expensive areas. You really can't blame the motel for charging motel prices for it's rooms though. They were never meant to be lived in full time, and it must get very tough to buy food when you don't have access to a kitchen. Carryout is pricy when that's all you can get every meal.

Here in the Baltimore Metro (yes, I'm looking at a midwest move) a typical studio was $1,200 a couple years ago, but has now gone down to the 1,100 to 1,150 range because a lot of supply has been built since 2010 and because there's slightly less DC spillover than before. DC is trending up though because the influx of migrants over the past half to full decade have decided they would rather pay upfront for rent than commute. Iowa seems great, but I'm not liking the taxes and think South Dakota is more my cup of tea.

Good luck OP. I also understand that Rhode Island has some of the worst unemployment in the country, the lowest wage growth, high rates of drug use, a surprising amount of violence, traffic congestion, and is all around a difficult place for young people to prosper. Let me know if I'm on the ball about any of those. Always nice to hear 1st hand accounts.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,258 posts, read 17,891,518 times
Reputation: 12592
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieJonez View Post
That's an extended stay motel way out in Ankeny. It's $310 per week, not month. Notice they don't specify in the listing. So, it's $1240 per month for a tiny studio/motel room. Definitely closer to New York, Miami, LA prices there.
Not really.

First of all, I hate to split hairs, but they start at $290 a week, not $310.

What you're not taking into consideration is that the extended stay is fully furnished with a full kitchen and includes utilities, wifi, and housekeeping. You're not going to get that with a $1200 studio in New York, Miami, or LA.

The extended stay in Ankeny is a Value Place. They have a couple in the Miami area, prices start at $599.99 a week. But don't take my word for it.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:16 PM
 
2,055 posts, read 2,719,017 times
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Just for reference, in the Tampa/St Pete area where we are, the Extended Stays do not offer a monthly rate and the average daily rate is approx $80 w/ taxes, so figure $2400 for a month. That $599 figure for Miami may not include taxes, which are high in those places, but even so, that means Miami is at least $2400. That is a lot of money to stay anywhere for a month in my view. Which is why we booked through Airbnb when we moved here, and found a convenient studio w/ a queen bed, big screen TV, and fridge and microwave for $800 a month. It was great, and our room even had a private entrance and private bath. Extended Stays have terrible reviews out here too. If you are careful and read the reviews carefully, Airbnb is the way to go.

It's also good to look at different housing options no matter where you live. We're over 55, and many cities have cheaper housing and apartments for seniors (some start at 62 though). They seem to start around $500 a month for an apartment here w/ all utilities paid. We ended up buying a nice 1 bdrm mobile home in a senior park in St Pete for under $10,000 w/ central air and heat, fully furnished, etc in a 55+ park, and our monthly lot rental is just $287 incl water and lawn mowing. This has enabled us to live cheaply in a city that is experiencing a bit of a boom. Housing prices are rising here, and in every city in the US that is considered desirable. 12 Years ago when we moved from Hilo, Hi you could find a nice apartment there for $500. Now they're $1000 and more. My old $375 a month apartment in San Francisco is now nearly $4000 a month! In Iowa, you will have to deal w/ the winters, and down here it's the summers that get you.

Low income people, regardless of age, can often find better deals on housing in most cities and states. In a country where housing costs seem to be going crazier every day, it's good to explore all the options.

Here's what $1300 will get you in San Francisco, so you are lucky in Iowa. This place looks tiny, apparently the kitchen is so small that the fridge won't fit in there, and it's $1300 a month w/ an $1800 deposit. Oh, and there's no bathroom. It's also in an area that I wouldn't want to be in late at night. No pets, no smoking, no subletting, no this, no that.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/5349491452.html

Last edited by smarino; 12-15-2015 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:20 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,375,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duster1979 View Post
Not really.

First of all, I hate to split hairs, but they start at $290 a week, not $310.

What you're not taking into consideration is that the extended stay is fully furnished with a full kitchen and includes utilities, wifi, and housekeeping. You're not going to get that with a $1200 studio in New York, Miami, or LA.

The extended stay in Ankeny is a Value Place. They have a couple in the Miami area, prices start at $599.99 a week. But don't take my word for it.
They do have a Studio 6 (owned by motel 6) in Ft Lauderdale that has rooms at $69 per night for a week.

Contrary to their name, there isn't much "value" in Value Place, no matter where you are.
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:15 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,299 posts, read 25,394,113 times
Reputation: 54280
Quote:
Originally Posted by pystachio View Post
I was reading a thread about great places to live for poor people and someone mentioned Iowa. So I went on craigslist to look at their apartment listings. Wow. I'm amazed. Check this out: https://desmoines.craigslist.org/apa/5355386420.html -- Not a bad little room for $290. I'm paying nearly twice that here in Providence, RI for a room share. I share the kitchen and bath with two others, and there is no living room. Add to that having to deal with a loud and drunk roommate isn't nice either. Why is rent cheap in Iowa? Heck, I might move there. I could literally go anywhere right now once this month is over as I'm self employed.

I know! Much of the Midwest is like this! Crazy, right?

I lived across the LI sound from you, on the North Shore of LI. My house was $700,000 and my taxes were almost 20K per year.

We escaped to Ohio and bought a house for a fraction of that. You can buy houses for under 100K! And they are not in a slum or disgusting. NICE HOUSES.

That apartment you posted would be about $1500 to $2000 - maybe 3000- a month on Long Island, New England or NJ.

The Midwest ROCKS!
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:10 PM
 
Location: IN
21,715 posts, read 38,101,484 times
Reputation: 14285
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I know! Much of the Midwest is like this! Crazy, right?

I lived across the LI sound from you, on the North Shore of LI. My house was $700,000 and my taxes were almost 20K per year.

We escaped to Ohio and bought a house for a fraction of that. You can buy houses for under 100K! And they are not in a slum or disgusting. NICE HOUSES.

That apartment you posted would be about $1500 to $2000 - maybe 3000- a month on Long Island, New England or NJ.

The Midwest ROCKS!
Neighborhoods in the Upper Midwest tend to be nicer overall for a bit more in price because they tend to incorporate the tree lawn adjacent to the sidewalk which greatly enhances the value of properties, even in less upscale areas. In the Lower Midwest and South you can buy houses for cheaper but the overall quality "neighborhood" feel is less as the tree lawn is quite a bit less common and there tends to be less conformity overall (generalization but generally true).
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