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WWYD.....Rent is over my limit **Update in OP


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What's with the ads?

#1 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:12 PM

So my house is about to be sold and I need a place where Aiden can walk to high school cause I work full time.

Rents are ridiculous in my area....Northern CA.....and I have found a great location, nice looking place and so close to the school...but the rent is quite high for my income.

How to I decide? It's the closest one I've seen that fits our needs. And there seems to be nothing available. The lesser ones really are cheap feeling.

Kind of sucks! My children have known no other home so I'm struggling with moving as it is.


Update.....I went with a two bedroom in the original complex I was talking about. Not the $1675 unit but one for $1540 which includes a storage unit. My teen will hopefully contribute $200 at the least and that makes it doable for now. If after a year we find it's too much we can look again. I feel like it's worth it to be somewhere comfortable and safe while we get used to this new life of apartment living. The advice was very helpful! I did look at the one bedroom and although it was quite big the one bathroom was throwing us a bit as we are used to having our separate spaces.

My house went up Fri and we already have a cash offer. So it won't be long now and we can finally move on. The boys are ready to start over even though it's sad to have to leave our home.

Edited by mommybee, 25 July 2017 - 01:43 PM.

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#2 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:16 PM

You can try asking them to reduce it?  Maybe offer some service in exchange like yard work or something?  They may so no, but you can ask.  Of course I don't know how much over the budget it is.

 

We once asked.  Didn't happen, but he didn't seem put off by the question. 

 

 


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#3 displace

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:16 PM

Is he just starting high school? I would maybe consider stretching the budget within reason for a limited time (1-2 years).

A bicycle commute can widen the search area to 5-10 miles possibly, depending on the area and initiative of the teen.

A city bus can help widen the search area even more.

Maybe a smaller apartment than you wanted initially?

(Hugs)

Edited by displace, 16 July 2017 - 04:54 AM.

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#4 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

Reductions are absolutely not an option. The market here is just too darn tight. And it fluctuates all the time. I tried.

I was thinking maybe short term as an option. Yes he is just starting....it's been a horrible divorce and his dad just moved 600 miles away so I have no one to help pick him up for me.

I'm kind of stressed about it all. :(

Edited by mommybee, 15 July 2017 - 06:24 PM.

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#5 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:24 PM

Man that is tough.  The school doesn't offer transportation based on income?  What kind of crap is that? 

 

 


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#6 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:24 PM

Can you rent back the house for a little while while you look around some more?  Maybe the purchasers would appreciate having a little more time.


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#7 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:27 PM

No buses at all for our schools unless your special needs. I can't believe it myself.

Terrible transit system too. One bus he could use but it only runs every hour so he'd have a long wait when school is out. I would just prefer being in walking distance. Cause this particular bus only goes one way so to get to school he'd have a huge loop around just to get there.

Both my boys are kind of sad we have to go from a house to apartment as it is. It's tough for us.
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#8 Liz CA

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:28 PM

Do you know any other parents with whom your ds could carpool for a small gas contribution? Would this widen the search a bit. I am never too comfortable with too high bills in ratio to income. Will you get some funds from the sale of your house that can supplement for a while?


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#9 zoobie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:30 PM

Anyone looking for a roommate?
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#10 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:37 PM

I don't know anyone to carpool with. I will get a small amount that could supplement but then I won't be able to have some savings to count on.

I don't want to move far and have to rely on anyone cause I will be stuck if something fails. He really had to be able to walk or maybe bike.

All the rents here are ridiculous.

My oldest has already been asked to pay a bit but he doesn't make a not of money yet.
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#11 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:38 PM

There are three of us moving into a two bedroom so a roommate wouldn't work.
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#12 Sadie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:49 PM

We pay around 60% of our income on rent. Double the amount that meets the definition of housing stress. But when you live in a crazy high COL area, what can you do? If the house is good, and it's not more than, say, half your budget, it's probably worth it, sad to say.
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#13 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:52 PM

Very tough. I assume moving to a more affordable area is out if the question?

How much over your budget is this place?

Are the less expensive options in your budget clean and safe? If yes, but they weren't as cool or cozy...I'd still rent there.

If you're over budget on housing what happens when inevitable emergency occurs? Will you have an e-fund?
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#14 Diana P.

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:54 PM

Have you looked at options beyond standard apartments? 

Converted basement? 

Something in the home of an older person who doesn't want to down size, whose family grew up and moved long ago.

Can you do a 1 bedroom with you using a futon in the living room space?

 

It's a crappy situation and you live in a very expensive area. I hope you can find something that will work, soon. 


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#15 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:18 PM

We pay around 60% of our income on rent. Double the amount that meets the definition of housing stress. But when you live in a crazy high COL area, what can you do? If the house is good, and it's not more than, say, half your budget, it's probably worth it, sad to say.

 

:scared:


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#16 Rosie_0801

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:28 PM

What does "cheap feeling" mean? I mean, if you're going to get tetanus from the bathroom wall, give it a miss. If it's just not pretty, well, money matters, doesn't it?

 

:grouphug:



#17 displace

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:28 PM

I think a bus every hour is a good option. Discuss with your teen. Unless school lets out 5 min after the last bus came, he'd likely be waiting less than an hour. What if he wants to join a club or something? In your situation I may insist a teen have after school activities so as to not be home alone for a while before adult supervision. Extracurriculars, athletics, volunteer, clubs.

I'd check on FB for your high school (a parent page), or a neighborhood page. Ours is active and maybe there are other parents/kids who would be willing to carpool.

I bet it s*ucks and I understand you're probably trying to help the transition the best you can. Especially if your finances and lifestyle are changing so much. But, I also would discuss it like anything else. Options presented to teen should be things you can manage. I'd also be careful about relying on exDH support. Sometimes an ex can act in very strange ways.
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#18 Starr

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:37 PM

I guess you need to see if you will have money to eat but it's really nice to know he can walk to school and related activities. 


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#19 Sadie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:38 PM

Hourly buses are a huge pita and a time waste, especially for busy people. I absolutely would not rely on an hourly service. Btdt and never again.
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#20 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:57 PM

I've spent more than 50% of my income on rent.  The rest of the bills get juggled, but if you're careful you can probably make it work.  Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do.  And get used to "cheap feeling" - nothing will come close to your house simply because it won't be your house.  Unless carpet tacks are popping through, asbestos is falling from the ceiling or it used to be used as a meth lab, it's probably fine.


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#21 SereneHome

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:25 PM

Can an 18 yr old get a higher paying job and contribute more?  Is renting one bedroom with a den an option vs a two-bedroom?

 

 


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#22 elegantlion

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

I'm sorry you're in this situation  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


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#23 Arcadia

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:46 PM

There are three of us moving into a two bedroom so a roommate wouldn't work.


When we stayed at Sunnyvale, California (just off El Camino Real), many one bedroom 675sqft apartments were occupied by three working guys. Many of us also had a grandparent staying with us a few months at a time so it was three adults and one child under 5 in a one bedroom apartment. Sofa bed in the living room and bunk bed in the bedroom was the common configuration.

My neighbors charge around $2,500 and up for rent for their one bedroom condo but the dining room can be converted into an actual bedroom. I'm near to Levi's Stadium.

Since it is legal for apartment complexes to rent three adults to a one bedroom apartment, I'll look at floor plans instead of number of bedrooms. Two bedroom apartment units might be smaller than a one bedroom condo.

Another way might be to go on a one month by one month lease now and get a one year lease later after school starts. We have to confirm our residential address on the first week of public school so people tend to stay put in rental properties until after school start and then look around for better choices.
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#24 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:00 PM

All things to think about....thanks

I have to count on the child support because without it we would be homeless. I just don't make that much money yet.

I'm hoping my 19 yr old can contribute more so we'll have to see about that.
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#25 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:20 PM

I would be looking at temporary short term stuff, even if it IS cheap looking, and definitely looking at options besides just straight apartments.  Right now things are very tentative and uncertain financially and you are all adjust.  That is hard.  But with so little financial margin I would be very worried about committing to something long term that would be such a huge financial drain.  As mentioned up thread, look at outside the box options, too, such as renting someone's basement, or seek people who are looking for roommates that already have a house maybe.  Just temporarily while you look for something better.  Seek a better long term option when you have less stress, maybe including relocation to a cheaper region to live.  I realize that you have probably felt you had looked at all options already and apparently really don't want to leave the area but have you genuinely really looked at other options in other areas?  High COL can be brutal and leave no margin for error.  What if you get sick?  Injured?

 

There are a lot of really nice places out there that apparently do not cost nearly as much as where you are currently living.  And most places I have ever run across provide bus transportation for students.  Surely there is some place out there that would be easier to live than your current location?  Do you have family elsewhere that might know of better options?

 

And  :grouphug: .  I really hope whatever happens you and your children end up in a good place.


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#26 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:34 PM

I'm just not going to be able to leave the area. I have no family to help me and I am just at my end of what else I can take. I don't want him to have to go to a different high school in some new area. He starts in less than a month and it's a really good public high school.

 

It's not like I live in some great fancy area. I need to know when I'm at work that my boys are fairly safe walking to work and school. 

 

Thanks for all the good advice. I was pretty sure I wasn't comfortable with it. I do have an emergency fund so that's good and I don't want to waste it. 

 

There just is no way I will live with other adults. The thought of sharing that kind of space just bothers me even if it means we get a 1 bedroom instead.

 

It may sound stupid to some but we've lived here 20 years. All my family is 500 miles away and I have my first good paying job but it's here. I can't just up and move away. The other cities around me are mostly the same but then my boys wouldn't know the area. The whole Sacramento region is in a rental crisis. 

 

My house isn't that great and my standards aren't really that high. 

 

I'm rambling, but I'm frustrated. 


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#27 vonfirmath

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:37 PM

*hugs* I'm sorry you're in this mess.

 


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#28 Rosie_0801

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:42 PM

My house isn't that great and my standards aren't really that high. 

 

I'm rambling, but I'm frustrated. 

 

I hope they don't have to lower any further.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:



#29 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:45 PM

(((mommybee)))

#30 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:52 PM

Huge, huge hugs.

#31 Liz CA

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:52 PM

Any chance you qualify for section 8?



#32 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:04 PM

I have a decent income and with child support I'm doing ok, so I don't need section 8, I'm grateful that I am getting by I just have never gone through this before. 

 

So for my house with all that's included I pay about $1500 that's including water, trash and sewer. 

 

These apartments I have been looking at are all $1500 or more, and some are so ugly they are not worth that. The one I liked is $1675 but then another $70 a month for water,trash and sewer. So it would be about 45% of my income. I will make a tiny bit from the house which will pay off the enormous lawyer debt so I won't have a lot of debt and I am a saver who has really good credit. My concern is of course getting stuck for a year with an amount that turns out is a bit beyond my ability. 

 

It seems like a bad idea, that's why I asked. I am considering the 1 bedroom idea but it seems difficult. 

 

My 19 just got a new job so I need to see just how much he can help but he isn't driving yet. If he was I would probably have him go live with his older brother so we could get something smaller.

 

I probably sound like a whiner but I haven't moved in 20 years. I have always struggled for money even while growing up but we always had pretty decent places to live so I've never experienced living in a one bedroom with three people. So I guess I just can't visualize what that would look like for us.


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#33 mommybee

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:22 PM

I have a tight budget because I have chronic health issues that cost me a lot of copays.

 

I am trying to decide if its worth it to feel comfortable and safe which helps with my stress level. But being so tight I can't save money will stress me as well.

 

I just don't know. 

 

I have high blood pressure now and I'm in constant stress mode.

 

I am blessed that I am not needing government assistance and I know that but it's still not easy. 



#34 Rosie_0801

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:25 PM

I probably sound like a whiner but I haven't moved in 20 years. I have always struggled for money even while growing up but we always had pretty decent places to live so I've never experienced living in a one bedroom with three people. So I guess I just can't visualize what that would look like for us.

 

No, you don't sound like a whiner.

 

 

One bedroom with three people will probably look like two people sharing the bedroom and one sleeping in a corner of the lounge.

 

I live in a one bedroom house and the bedroom isn't mine.



#35 Harriet Vane

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:40 PM

No, you don't sound like a whiner.

 

 

One bedroom with three people will probably look like two people sharing the bedroom and one sleeping in a corner of the lounge.

 

I live in a one bedroom house and the bedroom isn't mine.

 

I agree.

 

I grew up poor. After my parents divorced, we were in a tiny apartment. My mom slept on the couch. She seemed cheerful about it, so I didn't think one way or the other about it at the time. As an adult, now, I know it had to have been hard for her.

 

I don't know if you have the budget for loft beds, but they can make a real difference in how much space a person has. They are quite common in dorms.

 

If the living room is big enough, you may even be able to put a bed for you behind a screen or room divider. Another option is to put some big throw pillows on a twin bed so it feels like a couch. Or, consider a futon that can double as a couch during the day.

 

 

I'm sorry it's so tight.

 

Remember that right now you are working on making a start. You have a paying job and you are soon to be free of the divorce and the lawyer. You're a hard worker and you love your kids. It will get better. :grouphug:


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#36 Sadie

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:13 AM

I have a tight budget because I have chronic health issues that cost me a lot of copays.

 

I am trying to decide if its worth it to feel comfortable and safe which helps with my stress level. But being so tight I can't save money will stress me as well.

 

I just don't know. 

 

I have high blood pressure now and I'm in constant stress mode.

 

I am blessed that I am not needing government assistance and I know that but it's still not easy. 

 

Feeling safe is not asking too much. We could pay less in rent if we rented somewhere I didn't feel all that safe, and if we rented something that was too small, and if we rented something that was falling down around our ears.

 

A decent - not wonderful, but safe and won't kill you - home is not a luxury, imo. Not when you have kids, and you have chronic health issues etc.

 

I personally wouldn't worry too much about saving right now. More about just getting somewhere settled and stable - reassess in 12 months.


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#37 Sadie

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:16 AM

Dont worry about ugly though. Yes, it sucks to pay money for an ugly house. We're in a pink house right now...lovely! I just had to look past that. You can definitely do ugly if it's the right location, and the house or apartment itself is safe and fairly bland inside. 

 

I would suck up the 45% of income on rent. But I am maybe not someone to take financial advice from!


Edited by Sadie, 16 July 2017 - 12:17 AM.

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#38 SereneHome

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:46 AM

Moving is hard under the best circumstances and this must be beyond stressful. 

 

I always try to look at the worst case scenario.  Let's say you rent the $1675 apartment.  If I am reading correctly, the difference between what you are paying now and your potential rent will be 175+70=245.  If, let's say, you can't afford that $245/month and have to put it on cc - it's $3K.   There are lots of cc now that offer 0% if you have a good credit, so you could stretch out paying that back for another year or even 18 months.  But hopefully by then you'll be in much better financial place.

 

Not having to stress over your home is SUPER important.  We all have plenty of outside stresses - home should be a place where you feel good.

 

Good luck!!


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#39 Mothersweets

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:58 AM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  Shannon, I hope you find a good home soon. We're all rooting for you!


Edited by Mothersweets, 16 July 2017 - 12:58 AM.

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#40 luuknam

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:21 AM

I have to count on the child support because without it we would be homeless. I just don't make that much money yet.

 

 

What are the odds that your income will increase substantially within the next 1-2 years? Because I would be really hesitant to be that dependent on child support from an ex. So, you say that this place would be $245 over budget, but if you didn't include child support in your budget, how much would it be over budget then?

 

Since your son hasn't started high school yet, I'd be thinking very hard about moving right now. There are definitely parts of the country where you can rent a 2-bedroom in a decent school district for well under $1000/month, and where they actually provide bussing. The child support money you'd hopefully get would go a lot further, and while you might not be able to get a job that pays quite as much, the difference in income is nowhere near as big as the difference in COL, so you'd still come out ahead. And in some areas school doesn't start until some time in September, so you'd have over a month and a half. 

 

I know you said you don't want to move, but what I read is that you're about to limit yourself to a very small geographic area for 4 years, where if you don't get the child support you're supposed to get (for whatever reason), you'll be unable to pay your rent and will end up being evicted and homeless. At which point you might have to take some bad apartment somewhere not districted for the school your son is in, which might mean changing high schools, possibly in the middle of a semester. 


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#41 eternalsummer

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:42 AM

Waiting an hour for the bus is not a big deal, ime.  It's not super fun, but if it gets you in safe housing you can afford, definitely worth considering.


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#42 idnib

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:12 AM

It's not uncommon for people in Northern CA to spend more than 50% of their income on rent or mortgage. 

 

That said, it's not that big a deal for a kid to wait an hour, Yes, it's a bit of a pain, but he can read or do homework in the meantime. And if he's anything like many of the teens in my high school, he'll eventually meet someone who gives him a ride once in awhile, or he'll go to other kids' homes to hang out after school, or he'll join a club or activity.


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#43 Pippen

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:34 AM

I think a bus every hour is a good option. Discuss with your teen. Unless school lets out 5 min after the last bus came, he'd likely be waiting less than an hour. What if he wants to join a club or something? In your situation I may insist a teen have after school activities so as to not be home alone for a while before adult supervision. Extracurriculars, athletics, volunteer, clubs.

I'd check on FB for your high school (a parent page), or a neighborhood page. Ours is active and maybe there are other parents/kids who would be willing to carpool.

I bet it s*ucks and I understand you're probably trying to help the transition the best you can. Especially if your finances and lifestyle are changing so much. But, I also would discuss it like anything else. Options presented to teen should be things you can manage. I'd also be careful about relying on exDH support. Sometimes an ex can act in very strange ways.

 

I would check with the school guidance office regarding transportation options. They may have some ideas for you.  There also may be free/reduced rates for public school students. 

 

Of the options, I'd also go with the hour wait after school.

 

I would also check with the school to see what their rules are regarding being in the building after school. At my kids school they need to be out of the building within 15 minutes after the bell unless they are participating in after school activities. Many schools have after school study/tutoring options so ask about that. 


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#44 mommybee

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:12 AM

I understand the thoughts but I can't leave the area. My entire region is high unless I moved really far and then getting to work would be a stressor.

He starts school 8/10.

I hope my income increases but it will be a few years.

I can't help that I need the child support.

I guess until desperation happens I'm just not capable of leaving. It's too much for me to imagine.

I'm so confused.
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#45 eternalsummer

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:12 AM

Moving to an entirely new area with no real savings (6+ months living expenses at least) and no secured job is not a great idea unless you're desperate, imo.  Moving to an outer suburb, though, might really open up housing options.  $1500 for a 2 bedroom apt is crazy!


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#46 displace

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:55 AM

Hourly buses are a huge pita and a time waste, especially for busy people. I absolutely would not rely on an hourly service. Btdt and never again.

Maybe so. I currently live where there are no buses except a specialty commuter downtown. I used to use a bus in college which ran about every hour. Not awesome but doable. I'd have to plan ahead to make sure I wasn't waiting forever, but I'd bring homework and study while waiting. I think for a student doing student stuff it could be fine. And a good alternative to a bicycle when the weather is poor.

Edited by displace, 16 July 2017 - 03:56 AM.

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#47 kiwik

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:09 AM

Don't worry about ugly unless it is dangerous. My rent is about 40% of income and I suspect that is about standard for most people I know and some would be higher. The rental market is crazy in my city and to be honest unless it was a dump a landlord simply wouldn't let 2 adults rent a 1 bedroom unless they were a couple let alone 2 adults and a teenager. They may allow you in a two bedroom since the teens are the same sex. If you can manage try for at least 2 bedrooms to reduce relationship stress. I understand not wanting to move though - the idea of looking for a new job in a new area terrifies me.

Hugs.

Eta. The hourly bus service depends on whether your prior experience is of frequent buses or no buses but I know if ds10 went to the co-ed high school rather than the single sex one in a few years the bus would cost about $50 a week so being able to walk could be a big cost saver.

Edited by kiwik, 16 July 2017 - 04:12 AM.

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#48 Sadie

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:24 AM

Maybe so. I currently live where there are no buses except a specialty commuter downtown. I used to use a bus in college which ran about every hour. Not awesome but doable. I'd have to plan ahead to make sure I wasn't waiting forever, but I'd bring homework and study while waiting. I think for a student doing student stuff it could be fine. And a good alternative to a bicycle when the weather is poor.

 

I know. It's just that I bus it every day, and honestly, a 15 minute service is the only thing that makes that bearable and do-able. I feel like it was so hard to be efficient when we only had a bus per hour. 

 

As a wet weather alternative to biking though, it does make some sense. 


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#49 displace

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:29 AM

I know. It's just that I bus it every day, and honestly, a 15 minute service is the only thing that makes that bearable and do-able. I feel like it was so hard to be efficient when we only had a bus per hour.

As a wet weather alternative to biking though, it does make some sense.


:) I never had to take a bus for a regular commute after I finished my studies, or became a parent, or while working a full time job. I admit it would be a horrible option for me ATM if I had to wait around.
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#50 displace

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:31 AM

Another thought for OP- can you maybe give teen a ride once per day if the school isn't in walking distance? That way you can maybe drop off before school, and he can take the bus only once in the pm or something?

Truly, (hugs). :(
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