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Old 01-16-2013, 11:30 AM
 
4 posts, read 19,586 times
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So we have been looking to move out and find a place of our own. We are 4 friends with one large dog (Labrador) in our late 20's with modest jobs and think we can afford roughly $2000-2600/month for rent. If I had to estimate (after taxes), between the four of us we make $80-95k/year or roughly $2000 per month each. Can we afford to get our own place? Maybe with increased deposits, pre-pay rent?

However when searching on craiglist, trulia, and other sites, there doesn't seem to be much in the tri-valley area, especially one that will allow a large dog, although a calm one. We have considered Mountain House and Tracy, but we work in Livermore/Pleasanton so the gas we save may warrant a higher rent payment. Other cities that work are San Ramon, Dublin, Danville.

Also how good of credit do we need for a rental? Our scores range from 600-770, with less than $2000 debt if any at all and one of us has $5000 in student loans. Two of us have 2 years of rental history in apartments a long time ago before we moved back home.

Two of us have a good bit of cash saved up as well. However I just started a new job and have no proof of income yet (past few years, been in school with a grant and self-employed). Past 6 months I don't have any significant income and lived off savings before a job turned up. The others have been at their jobs for at least a few years.

How much proof of income do we need for a place like that? Do they look at each person individually and compare it to their cost of rent ($500-650)? If one person fails the credit/income check, would they not be able to rent with us? Would getting a co-signer from one or all our parents help us secure a place? Do they accept multiple co-signers or just one person?

Does anyone have any advice to help us with the searching process or do we need a real estate agent to help? It almost seems like some renters won't take us seriously possibly due to the factors mentioned above.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, any feedback or questions answered will be appreciated.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:42 AM
 
920 posts, read 1,627,097 times
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A house, in The City, with several people and a big dog, for less than $3k for rent, with the possibility that one or several of yass may get into a disagreement and move on, or simply, move on, and then, you'll be short the money. Maybe you can find an idiot landlord, but, if there are any, they've already been taken. So no, I doubt that you'll have that chance....
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:09 PM
 
10,926 posts, read 5,781,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loloroj View Post
A house, in The City, with several people and a big dog, for less than $3k for rent, with the possibility that one or several of yass may get into a disagreement and move on, or simply, move on, and then, you'll be short the money. Maybe you can find an idiot landlord, but, if there are any, they've already been taken. So no, I doubt that you'll have that chance....

I can't be certain, but I think the OP isn't considering SF. Primarily based on this quote: "We have considered Mountain House and Tracy, but we work in Livermore/Pleasanton so the gas we save may warrant a higher rent payment. Other cities that work are San Ramon, Dublin, Danville."

Unfortunately, I'm not super familiar with these areas, but to me, $2000 sounds low for a house anywhere in the Bay Area...
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,001,201 times
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Landlords don't really care about your student loan debt so much (though they'll probably turn you down if you're paying like half your income in payments) and care more about your credit score numbers, which show how good you are at paying off your debt.

Also the dog, especially a big one, will probably KO a lot of your likelihood of finding a place, Bay Area landlords can be really anti-pet. You just kinda have to keep trying and hope you find a pro-pet landlord, it's easier in the burbs but can still be tough.

Also I've seen multi-roommate rentals be done two ways. One is to have one of the tenants be on the lease, and everyone else kinda moves in and out as they please, and the roommates negotiate stuff like deposits on their own. The other way is for all of them to be on the lease kind of as separate tenants with somewhat separate agreements with the landlord, which would mean each tenant has to submit their own credit score, and any new tenants would have to do the same and be added onto the lease. You see both kinds in the Bay Area, the first one because it's a transient area and people move in and out, and the second one because some landlords want to vet everyone and have more control over the lease, and they want to make sure they don't get a bunch of flaky people who move out immediately and leave one tenant who can't afford the rent. So basically it just depends, probably with a new lease you're more likely to see the second kind of agreement, where everyone has to submit their credit scores and sign on the lease, because the market is pretty hot.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:34 PM
 
10,926 posts, read 5,781,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Landlords don't really care about your student loan debt so much (though they'll probably turn you down if you're paying like half your income in payments) and care more about your credit score numbers, which show how good you are at paying off your debt.

Also the dog, especially a big one, will probably KO a lot of your likelihood of finding a place, Bay Area landlords can be really anti-pet. You just kinda have to keep trying and hope you find a pro-pet landlord, it's easier in the burbs but can still be tough.

Also I've seen multi-roommate rentals be done two ways. One is to have one of the tenants be on the lease, and everyone else kinda moves in and out as they please, and the roommates negotiate stuff like deposits on their own. The other way is for all of them to be on the lease kind of as separate tenants with somewhat separate agreements with the landlord, which would mean each tenant has to submit their own credit score, and any new tenants would have to do the same and be added onto the lease. You see both kinds in the Bay Area, the first one because it's a transient area and people move in and out, and the second one because some landlords want to vet everyone and have more control over the lease, and they want to make sure they don't get a bunch of flaky people who move out immediately and leave one tenant who can't afford the rent. So basically it just depends, probably with a new lease you're more likely to see the second kind of agreement, where everyone has to submit their credit scores and sign on the lease, because the market is pretty hot.
I think the OP is more likely to get the second type of lease because their combined income for 4 people ($80-95k/year) is the only way they'll be able to afford a place.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 14,947,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post

Also I've seen multi-roommate rentals be done two ways. One is to have one of the tenants be on the lease, and everyone else kinda moves in and out as they please, and the roommates negotiate stuff like deposits on their own. The other way is for all of them to be on the lease kind of as separate tenants with somewhat separate agreements with the landlord, which would mean each tenant has to submit their own credit score, and any new tenants would have to do the same and be added onto the lease.
Small chance they all would qualify individually.
OTOH, having only one person on the lease is a lot of pressure to be putting on one person, since it's an open invitation for all others to totally flake since they have no responsibilities to compel them to pay up.
They have to decide who's willing to put their names on a lease, because those people will have a legal right to live there, unlike the other guys, who can trash and dash without paying. Of course, they can also get kicked out of there in a heartbeat as well, but it can endanger the others if the landlord thinks they violated the lease having their buddies live there without consent.

Just a few well-learned words of warning: Best way for best friends to become enemies is to live together. Got to be able to get out of each other's way, sooner or later. Make it work, and a decent house can be had in many East Bay places, even with a dog.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:05 PM
 
Location: California
32,716 posts, read 36,159,761 times
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You would be better off living 2 and 2 and not all under one roof. I don't know if a house is what you really want, 2 seperate places to live mean only 2 people have to worry about the dog (a townhouse perhaps) and you won't scare off a landlord with 4 different ways rent might not be paid. Honestly, that's college living and you are beyond that. Privacy will be a concern x4, company will be a concern x4 and trust me, 1 or more friendships will be ruined if you are all under one roof.

Last edited by Ceece; 01-16-2013 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,001,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
I think the OP is more likely to get the second type of lease because their combined income for 4 people ($80-95k/year) is the only way they'll be able to afford a place.
What I meant was you have one person on the lease who pays the rent, and the other people pay that person in turn. When I first moved to SF I had a roomie situation like that, one guy was on the lease who had been there a couple years and when I moved in I gave him my deposit, and he gave it back to me when I moved out. At rent time I would pay him and then he would pay the landlord with one check. It's basically the landlord saying he/she doesn't want to have to get involved everytime someone moves in and out, but it's also putting a lot of trust in that one tenant for making sure the rent is paid and vetting new tenants who can pay the rent.

I think if you are starting a totally new lease with no old tenants this is probably unlikely to happen, it's more likely if you're moving into a vacant room in a place where one or more tenants have been living there for like 5 or 10 years.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Formerly Pleasanton Ca, now in Marietta Ga
7,868 posts, read 5,476,006 times
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Many leases do not allow subleasing or letting other tenants come and go. In the past I got burned as a landlord letting this happen.Not again.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:06 PM
 
4 posts, read 19,586 times
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Thanks so much for all the responses. It looks like we will all be signing the lease since it seems like a lot of risk for both parties to have it just with one person. There are limited homes that allow for a dog but we had a little luck finding a few that will take our clean/non-aggressive dog.

As for friends living together, it is a risk, but most of us have had living arrangements with 3-4 people in the past and we are beyond the college lifestyle of partying all night and having random guests over. We think we can make it work if we draft up a roommate agreement before-hand and discuss issues that may come up based on past experiences.

We did find a house for rent for $2400 but we will probably get turned down over a family, no dog, with a longer rental history, and a more secure job. They specifically stated that job status, security, and time there were a big factor. Since most of us have only been at our new jobs for on average a year, it doesn't look good even if we do have good credit and cash in the bank.
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