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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you know, I am entering into a consumer proposal for a huge debtload. I'm in the process of looking for an apartment (my current one is very expensive and was a short term solution.)

We've narrowed it down to 2.

An entire house for $950 + gas, electric and water

An upper apartment for $850 + electric (water and heat are paid)

Pros:

The house has a room for DD15, who lives at her dads and is only here every other weekend, a fenced yard and a deck, as well as a large basement for storage. All appliances are included and are brand new (thus more energy efficient). With the yard I will have room for a small garden and a clothesline.

The apartment will end up costing less since I won't have to pay heat and water and is cheaper in the first place. It has a large walkup attic for storage, and I know the landlord and won't have to pay a deposit.

Cons:

The house is more expensive and paying the utilities leaves a lot open for question in the budget.

The apartment doesn't have a room for DD15. The appliances are older and potentially not very efficient. There is not a fenced yard for the dog but I can let her out the front on a lead to do her "business" in bad weather.

Here is the budget:

(Note - these numbers in italics are flexible - I may or may not have cable, for example, but I'm figuring it in) Utilities are based on what the current tenants are paying.

Income:
$2875

Electric: 100
Cable/phone/internet: 120
Car Insurance: $90
Life Insurance: $25
Rental Insurance: $25
Medical expenses: $50
Pet expenses: $50
Gasoline/car repair: $200
Groceries: $300
Savings account: $200
Clothing/HBAs: 100
Proposal Payment: $400
Kid stuff/gifts/entertainment: $100

This totals $1760, leaving me with $1120 for rent and potential other utilities.

Gas and water at the house right now, as of the current tenants:
average $90

So, what do you think? If I take the house, I can do without the cable and cut back in some other areas. It's not just about money - it's about a place with room for us and where we can set up a stable home - I don't want to move again for a long time. With the apartment there is a lot more financial flexibility.

One important note: In the first year of the proposal you are not allowed to pay bigger payments. There is no interest on the proposal.
 

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I'd go for the apartment and save money to help get you back on your feet. Moving again in a year or 2 might not be what you want to do but in the grand scheme of things it's a blip on the screen. Save now so you can enjoy more later.
How many bedrooms does the apt have?
 
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Yep apartment for sure, you can do a trundle bed kind of thing so your older dd sleeps in with your younger dd.
No deposit too, it's the one I'd go for in your situation. Good luck!
 
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If you go with the house would you be happier?

Happier even with less money to work with?

Happier to have a garden? A place for the dog to get out her energy? A place to sunbath? Fire up the grill?

Will the girls be happier not sharing a room? Siblings don't always like intrusion on their privacy/space. IF they would fight, are you willing to have the time she spends with you in conflict?

Are you someone who needs your space so you can take a deep breath?

I'm all for saving money, but if they are things about living in this apartment that could make you, your girls, and your dog miserable then maybe the house is the better choice.

If you feel you'd be just as happy in the apartment as in the house, I'd take the apartment.

Life is not all about saving money, you've got to be happy too. :)
 

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I personally don't think the approx. $200 gap between your budgeted expenses+rent is enough to cover utilities plus anything extra that might surprise you. I'd feel a lot safer paying at least (I know you said it could equate to more) $100 less per month. There's just too many variables; what if something goes wrong with your car? What if even though the appliances are new (in the house,) it's insulated like sh*t and you end up forking out way more in gas/electric than if they were old appliances? What if someone ends up in the hospital?

If it were me, and I'd be paying $400 a month to get back on my feet as it was, I would take the $100/month ($1,200/year...in case you haven't really looked at it that way) cheaper rental. Worst case scenario, you end up with extra money each month. What's so wrong with that? :D
 
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Honestly, if the extra money won't stress you out and the extra space makes your family happy I'd go for the house. We lived in way too cramped quarters for too long and are so much happier now that we have enough space for everyone and to enjoy the things we want to enjoy. If the money is going to be way too tight for you to feel comfortable though I'd go for the apartment and deal with less space. I just am willing to sacrifice for space because it is important to me. Then again, in other countries people live in much more cramped quarters and are very happy. Good luck!
 

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This may sound strange but...
Since this is winter, I would move to the apartment. You are strapped for cash now but won't be paying that "average" amount for heat. Since it is winter, you will be paying a lot more. I am also guessing that the utility company won't let you pay the average budget amount for that very reason.
You are also not the tenants there now. Do they have a dog which will need to be let out multiple times a day? Or are they stay at home seniors who open the door to no one?
I think that at this stage in the game I would rather put the money aside for paying down your debts.
 

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I did not see if you have an emergency fund or if you do how large is it in proportion to your proposed expenses. I would take that into consideration when making a decision.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for your input.

I had really pondered this whole thing, and I prayed about it and asked for the wisdom to make the right decision.

I got an email this morning from the owner of the house, saying that he had decided to rent to a couple that wanted to move in for Feb 1 (I won't be moving until March.)

It's interesting because I still ahd not made my decision. This makes it pretty clear to go with the house.

@ MzPepper - I'm just starting my emergency fund. I will top it off with my tax return in March.

So, even though I was lured by the extra space and fenced yard, the house is not to be.

The apartment it is. It isn't small, by any means - it is 1000 sq feet plus an attic. (Right now we are in 600 sq ft with an outdoor storage unit). The only size problem is the girl's sharing a room. They will just have to deal, however.

Thank you all for your considered advice!
 

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You can always ask if you can have a small garden at the apartment. I think the apartment is a safer bet since you never know what can happen and the price of electric and heat just seems to go up. Plus many times you need to wait about 6 months to get on any type of payment plan for utilities.
 

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hey with the apartment you could save more and maybe one day pay 100% down on an actual house
 
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We're a family of 5 living in a 1,000 sq ft apartment. Definitely large enough :)
 
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