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    Rent increase & disrupted plans - what do we do?

    So, our rent on our lease renewal has gone up by 10% and we're beyond frustrated because DH did not get a 10% income raise at work this year to catch up with the rent.

    We had originally decided to go ahead and move to another area of the state. DH will transfer to the new location. But this wasn't to be until 2023 after DD transferred to University. Best laid plans and all that...but the outrageous rent increase has caused us to rethink our plans. We've never lived in that part of California nor do we have family there. I've got a couple of spl needs mom friends who moved there and they're ok with the services so far.

    My question is, should we try to move now and rent in that area before buying next year? My worry is that I've noticed that apartment complexes try to rip you off if you stay in a unit for less than a year and we've almost 90% sure that that's where we want to buy because it's still somewhat affordable. DD will have to apply to attend that community college there and transfer to University from there and she is NOT happy but she understands why. Neither H nor I want to rent again. We'd ideally just love to buy and move into a home but I'm worried this might be a bad move. For one, our down payment will be lesser without an additional year's savings. Second, Murphy's law esp if we act in haste with respect to something as huge a purchase as a home. Third, this is an unknown area to us. Finally, we were 200% unprepared to move this year and the rent hike is extremely disruptive to our family

    What would you do in our shoes? It seems likes a good idea to rent except for the horror stories I've read in recent times about apartments charging an arm and a leg when you move out as cleaning fees, esp if you own pets (we have two cats). Plus the idea of moving for 6 months, then moving again is aggravating because it takes our son a while to settle into a new environment and moving multiple times in a short time frame will be very overwhelming for him

    While we're furious at the disruption, we've planned this home buying for so long that we don't want to screw this up in our haste to rush into a home just to avoid the rent increase.

    Help! I particularly cannot seem to think straight. DH who is usually calmer than I am is just as angry and confused as I am. I'm wondering what the smartest thing to do would be? Should we just suck it up and move twice? Or stay here another year, wait for DD to transfer, then buy in the new location as originally planned to minimize disruptions to our son and our daughter?

    BTW, the lease term is for 12 months, and requires 2 months' rent as lease break fee! The month to month rental agreement is a $100 more (which i am sure violates our rent control law but I have no energy to fight this travesty).

    Advice, please?

    #2
    I wish I could give advice for Californian's , but it is nearly a different country from the Mid-West.....

    Building is over $500 per sq foot out there..... It's almost "free" to live here, w/ r.e costs on average, much less than half that. Like $125-210 re-sale, and about $180-220 per sq foot to build brand new.

    Granted, your income will be limited in Mid-West. If you're working in our local industries, ( automotive manufacturing/engineering, healthcare, or financial) in Michigan you'll probably top out in the high $1xx,000's or low $200,000's. (I assume this is much less than California/New York income for a 10 year experienced person) but compared to living, the Ratio has to be wayyyy stronger in Mid-west (Income to home cost ).

    Comment


      #3
      Hmm unfortunately I am just like Amarowsky and cannot speak about California's ways.
      BUT, I would say this:
      My family just moved our permanent home from Washington to Texas (yah, big move... also I say permanent because we are usually traveling on the road, but anyway, we bought a home in Texas) and besides the insane cost of living and housing, one of the reasons we were tired of the West coast is the environmental issues. True Washington's forests are absolutely stunning, but we have a 3 yr old who started to have respiratory issues and is now in asthma medication because of allergies and smoke. The forest fires every year are absolutely insane and that does apply to California.
      We have family in Texas and year after year we monitored the conditions and so we are now much happier with a home in Hill Country over here. The price of living and real state is much more reasonable too although this particular area is increasing. The wife and I work entirely remotely (even before the pandemic, so I understand we do have advantages on that). But I would truly look into the advantages that other regions of the country can bring to you.
      I know other place I would love to live is in the east coast in places like Georgia (lots of people don't want to be there due the bible belt and its understandable,,, but I have recently travelled over there and there are some very charming small towns where one could make a nice life.

      In any case, good luck and my advice is, see beyond the bubble of what you know, get out of your comfort zone and you may find some amazing things!

      Comment


        #4
        So $1200 more for the year

        it’ll probably cost more than that just to move (boxes, truck rental, other costs)

        can you ask for a month to month lease renewal?

        wasn’t there a thing at one point where renters could break a lease if buying a home???

        Comment


          #5
          Has anyone's salaries kept up with inflation? Not to sound harsh but by your logic most of us would have to live in our cars. Food has skyrocketed, building supplies has skyrocketed, pretty much everything has gotten significantly more expensive. I received around a 1% raise. My wife received a 2% raise. I wouldn't be too concerned about a 10% rent increase. What choice do you have other than relocating to some place you may not like. Either that or move out of California. Increased rent should be the least of your problems or concerns living in that state.

          Comment


            #6
            I think it's wise to rent somewhere before you buy (in a new area). I am personally too lazy and chose buying over renting. So that's kind of "do as I say but not what I do" advice. But the last time we moved was pre-kids/early 20s so it seemed kind of low stakes. As things get more complicated (more jobs/people/etc.) and more people to make happy, I could see erring on the side of renting.

            You keep mentioning apartments. Would it be better to consider renting a house?

            On the flip side of the coin, I am in Sacramento and housing is crazy impacted. (I think you are in the Bay Area so feasibly this might be the area you are looking to move to?) It may be moot, may be very difficult to find housing of any kind. Hopefully you are moving somewhere with more options.

            Comment


              #7
              P.S. I could see not sweating the rent increase for just a year. But I could also see the benefit of testing the waters and seeing if you will be happy in new place. It's all a coin flip, I can see why it's difficult to make a decision.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                Has anyone's salaries kept up with inflation? Not to sound harsh but by your logic most of us would have to live in our cars. Food has skyrocketed, building supplies has skyrocketed, pretty much everything has gotten significantly more expensive. I received around a 1% raise. My wife received a 2% raise. I wouldn't be too concerned about a 10% rent increase. What choice do you have other than relocating to some place you may not like. Either that or move out of California. Increased rent should be the least of your problems or concerns living in that state.
                That’s the reality. Everything is costing more and everyone is charging more now. Even a haircut went up $1 for me. So it’s a great excuse for charging more.

                but employers haven’t given an out of cycle raise (for those who are lucky enough to get a raise each year).

                I gave myself a 2% raise by decreasing my 401k. I’ll still max it. Raise will be communicated in March.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I would suck up the 10% rent increase and just stick to your plan. That being said if you wanted to move then do that. But most people do not get raises that keep up with inflation. I believe we get no raise but I could be wrong.

                  I would also be really careful about buying before living anywhere. We rented twice between buying and thank god we did. The cities were fine. But the neighborhoods we picked would have been bad long term and buying and selling can be expensive. The move each time was still cheaper than being sad because of the neighborhood.

                  First time was a bad neighborhood. Never would live there and we rushed to get out. Imagine if we had bought? It would be disaster but the location was good. Thankfully it was monthly but we were limited because we had 2 dogs and knew we wanted to buy.

                  Second time we rented long term 1 year because we were unsure about our employment income and if we would stay in the city. We liked our neighborhood and it was affordable but the location for commuting was hard. We ended up weighing small versus big and location. So then we decided time was worth more. So yes it sucked that housing went up 15% YOY and we rented, but it was so nice to pay less to rent than the mortgage. So there was some benefits. We did save money and still spend a lot.

                  So it's not necessarily a losing proposition either way. Sounds like you had a solid plan, do your really want to give it up?
                  LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
                    I think it's wise to rent somewhere before you buy (in a new area). I am personally too lazy and chose buying over renting. So that's kind of "do as I say but not what I do" advice. But the last time we moved was pre-kids/early 20s so it seemed kind of low stakes. As things get more complicated (more jobs/people/etc.) and more people to make happy, I could see erring on the side of renting.

                    You keep mentioning apartments. Would it be better to consider renting a house?

                    On the flip side of the coin, I am in Sacramento and housing is crazy impacted. (I think you are in the Bay Area so feasibly this might be the area you are looking to move to?) It may be moot, may be very difficult to find housing of any kind. Hopefully you are moving somewhere with more options.
                    Housing appears to be impacted everywhere in California! We've researched places we didn't know existed in the state until a couple of years ago. The biggest over-riding issue is services for our son as he ages, so that he can age in place. We spent two weekends at a hotel on the outskirts of the town we've zeroed in on, and drove around. Shopped there, ate there, visited open houses to get a "feel" for the homes, realtors and neighborhoods, area, called police dept for crime stats, called the local Regional Center about services, called the district etc. I joined local groups on Facebook to interact with potential future neighbors but ultimately nothing will beat actually living there for about 6 months to a year to figure out if it will work out for us.

                    Logically, I know this but mentally it sucks because it would be two moves and more expenses. But it also gives us the ability to really take the time to choose a home at leisure, instead of being in a rush over such a huge purchase which cannot be reversed without more expenses and potential ramifications for our son. It's overwhelming because this decision is being forced on us before we're ready to take it.


                    Originally posted by Jluke View Post
                    So $1200 more for the year
                    Our new annual increase is more than $1200 increase because our current rent was much more than $1000! Month-to-month is a $100 more than the 12 month lease amount that is being offered, which is even worse, not $100 over current rent.


                    Originally posted by Jluke View Post
                    it’ll probably cost more than that just to move (boxes, truck rental, other costs)

                    can you ask for a month to month lease renewal?

                    wasn’t there a thing at one point where renters could break a lease if buying a home???

                    There is no such "allowed reason" here that I'm aware of where you could break a lease to buy. People have paid to break even if they've lost their jobs or got divorced or the main earner died or became disabled so the family could no longer afford rents! It's a travesty.

                    The month-to-month rent increass absolutely goes above the 10% rent cap laws, and I guess I could fight it but quite frankly not sure if they'd bite. These guys are bad asses and likely won't be intimidated because they probably have "in-house" lawyers to deal with angry, questioning tenants like me. It sucks because a move now would be so disruptive to all of us, including at DH's job. DD doesn't want to attend multiple community colleges before transferring and has settled into a good routine between her college & part-time job so this would also be disorienting for her. I'm just pulling my hair out in despair



                    Originally posted by thegoldbering View Post
                    Hmm unfortunately I am just like Amarowsky and cannot speak about California's ways.
                    BUT, I would say this:
                    My family just moved our permanent home from Washington to Texas (yah, big move... also I say permanent because we are usually traveling on the road, but anyway, we bought a home in Texas) and besides the insane cost of living and housing, one of the reasons we were tired of the West coast is the environmental issues. True Washington's forests are absolutely stunning, but we have a 3 yr old who started to have respiratory issues and is now in asthma medication because of allergies and smoke. The forest fires every year are absolutely insane and that does apply to California.
                    We have family in Texas and year after year we monitored the conditions and so we are now much happier with a home in Hill Country over here. The price of living and real state is much more reasonable too although this particular area is increasing. The wife and I work entirely remotely (even before the pandemic, so I understand we do have advantages on that). But I would truly look into the advantages that other regions of the country can bring to you.
                    I know other place I would love to live is in the east coast in places like Georgia (lots of people don't want to be there due the bible belt and its understandable,,, but I have recently travelled over there and there are some very charming small towns where one could make a nice life.

                    In any case, good luck and my advice is, see beyond the bubble of what you know, get out of your comfort zone and you may find some amazing things!
                    We did think of Georgia, and Texas, but not sure if H would find a job there easily. I don't care about Bible thumping folks. In real life, we keep to ourselves and are polite / civil to neighbors but we don't tell others how to live and would not tolerate that from others. It's not because we're anti-social, it's because life with a disabled kid makes it harder to have our noses up other people's business or be social butterflies so we may actually be ok there, if he can find a job there.

                    But that would also mean DD would have to live alone so that could only happen are she's transferred next year and living on campus. Michigan was on our radar a long time ago but i have health issues now that the harsh winters there may worsen.

                    The bigger issue is services for our son.

                    Cheaper states tend not to have good services esp as he gets older which is one of the biggedt reasons we've stuck wirh California so far and didn't leave earlier.


                    Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                    I would suck up the 10% rent increase and just stick to your plan. That being said if you wanted to move then do that. But most people do not get raises that keep up with inflation. I believe we get no raise but I could be wrong.

                    I would also be really careful about buying before living anywhere. We rented twice between buying and thank god we did. The cities were fine. But the neighborhoods we picked would have been bad long term and buying and selling can be expensive. The move each time was still cheaper than being sad because of the neighborhood.

                    First time was a bad neighborhood. Never would live there and we rushed to get out. Imagine if we had bought? It would be disaster but the location was good. Thankfully it was monthly but we were limited because we had 2 dogs and knew we wanted to buy.

                    Second time we rented long term 1 year because we were unsure about our employment income and if we would stay in the city. We liked our neighborhood and it was affordable but the location for commuting was hard. We ended up weighing small versus big and location. So then we decided time was worth more. So yes it sucked that housing went up 15% YOY and we rented, but it was so nice to pay less to rent than the mortgage. So there was some benefits. We did save money and still spend a lot.

                    So it's not necessarily a losing proposition either way. Sounds like you had a solid plan, do your really want to give it up?
                    No, we don't want to give up our plans. However, the 10% rent hike seriously crushes our budget and impacts our ability to save for our down payment at the current rate. That sucks even more. I do think renting before buying is a smart idea so we'll see. Rents are cheaper where we're planning to move but we'd need permission from his job to move this year and we'll need to find something soon. Ugh. I really hate the housing market right now.
                    Last edited by Scallywag; 01-13-2022, 01:56 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                      Has anyone's salaries kept up with inflation? Not to sound harsh but by your logic most of us would have to live in our cars.
                      So that was sarcasm - that rents go up by 10% while incomes don't. And I don't get it -- why would people have to live out of cars unless your rents / mortgages went up by even more than that? If you're referring to incomes, are you saying we should not be complaining about incomes not keeping up with housing & other COL?


                      Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                      Food has skyrocketed, building supplies has skyrocketed, pretty much everything has gotten significantly more expensive. I received around a 1% raise. My wife received a 2% raise. I wouldn't be too concerned about a 10% rent increase. What choice do you have other than relocating to some place you may not like. Either that or move out of California. Increased rent should be the least of your problems or concerns living in that state.
                      Wish it were as easy & as blunt as just "move, if you don't like it". And what should be my bigger concerns about living in California (aside from ever increasing housing costs)? Not being sarcastic but really want to know your thinking?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Would renting for a longer time (for example, maybe 1-1/2 or 2 years) in the new town make sense? Not only would that give you more time to save for a DP on a house, it would give you more time to get to really get to know the area and maybe be less disruptive for your son? Just an idea ...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Also, just because rent went up 10% doesn't mean his raise isn't keeping up with inflation.

                          For example, if your husband makes $100k and he gets a 3% raise, that's a $3000 increase. If rent goes up 10% and it will now cost $1200 more a year, you're still ahead.

                          Either way, almost everyone has less money due to inflation across the board.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'd take this as an impetus to commit to making a change. Knee-jerking and breaking a lease doesn't make much sense. Carefully plan it, execute it, and then live it. If it turns out your new situation isn't what you had planned or hoped, rinse and repeat.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If you want perspective help put the numbers. Raise 3% = $1000. Rent 10% = $1000. New rent will be $x, and old rent is $Y. What costs am i not considering? maybe we can make good suggestions to help.
                              LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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