In Which I Learn That My Dream Apartment Might Be Affordable

This week, I saw a sign listing apartments for rent and the unit prices, and I realized that I could actually afford to live there.

Micro-Lodgings

Above is a rendering of micro-apartments being stacked in NYC, which Pop Up City notes will occur this spring. We’ve written about these micro-apartments before—they’re meant for singles earning less than $77K a year and mirrors the kind of small, modular housing found in dense cities like Tokyo. Only 55 micro-units will be available for rent once this project is completed.

Talking to Millennial Homeowners Who Just Bought Their First Home

“We were surprised by how fast everything happened. We weren’t planning to buy something so quickly, but ended up finding the right house in the right location and at the right price.”

Talking to a Millennial Landlord

“Well, I knew when I bought the place that I wasn’t long for Ohio. I was there for a job and was only going to buy a rentable property. I decided to become a landlord because this condo was in a larger building, maybe 60 units, and within walking distance from the capital. I figured if I couldn’t rent that, then the whole state had collapsed into a sinkhole.”

Why I’m Not a Homeowner

Right now I can tell you all about my career goals but can barely say anything about where or how I might want to live, because I’m still hoping to make that decision with someone else.

What About the Millennials Who Aren’t Homeowners?

Is it our student debt, our decision to move to high cost of living areas, the fact that putting a large percentage of our income towards rent precludes us from saving up for down payments, or something else?

Talking to a Millennial Homeowner Who Wants to Sell Her Home

“Part of the reason for moving is also so we can either pay less in rent or mortgage and bank the difference to help us get more financially secure before kids, and also have a larger down payment for the forever house.”

Talking to a Millennial Homeowner

My friend Mo Hayes and her husband Jeff fall into this dual category of Millennials and homeowners. In fact, the two of them bought their home while Mo was still in college. What prompted them to join the 33.3 percent of Millennials who are homeowners? I asked Mo about her decision.

How A Person With a Five-Figure Income Buys an Apartment in New York City

When The New York Times ran a story in late June on income-restricted housing, I almost didn’t read it. After a six-month apartment search on a New-York-poor budget, I was something of an expert on the ins and outs of different types of buildings. But I had just curled up with a mug of coffee at my parents’ suburban kitchen table, their print Times arrayed before me.

It’s Heating Season In New York City

I spent all night freezing my ass off and debating whether I should get out of bed to put on a sweatshirt, which means it must be late October in my rented apartment!

“Now Tell Me Where You Keep Your Valuables”

From Erika Hall’s essay “The Roast in the Fridge,” on her mother, eminent domain, feminism, and being an outspoken woman.

How Much The Borrowers Owe Us

We moved in nine months ago, and The Borrowers have already constructed a nice little nest out of some of our stuff. Here’s what we’ve lost in our apartment:

When Your Dad Lives in a Dumpster (Voluntarily)

Jeffrey Wilson is an environmental science professor and a divorced dad who is living life like it’s one big experiment and writing about it for xoJane.

Do You Have Any Mortgage Questions?

I received an email from Liz, a licensed loan originator and self-proclaimed mortgage person, who suggested that readers here may be interested in an “Ask a Mortgage Person”-type column. Perhaps! Send your mortgage questions to understand.mortgage@gmail.com and we’ll see how this goes!

I Bought a House When I Was 21

When I tell people that I own my house, and that I bought it when I was 21, they always want to know how could she afford it? I can see in their faces that they’re wondering if I’m a trust fund baby, if my rich boyfriend bought it with me, or if I secretly make money doing something tawdry. Nobody ever asks me that question, but if they did, I think they’d be disappointed in the answer. My secret: I just saved my money.

I Spent $3,500 on Shredded Newspapers to Insulate My Home

Still feeling the financial pinch from the house purchase 10 months earlier, I had to make my first capital improvement: attic insulation. Exciting, huh? It wasn’t exactly a homeowner’s dream project.

One Way to Afford Living in an Expensive City: Live in an Abandoned Office

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but if you’re looking for some cheap rent, you could consider applying to become a “guardian” of an abandoned office building. Nicole Vloeimans, an NGO worker, pays $635 a month to live in one, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Too Much House or Not Enough

I found this post on house sizes by country via Radiolab, and it asks: How much space is enough? That depends of course on how big your family is and what you do (my parents knocked down walls and built additions to their house because they needed space to dance). I live in a small studio apartment, which I think is perfectly at the moment, so I agree with what the author of the post, Lindsay Wilson says here: “In my mind if you have decent ceiling heights, good windows, clever storage and not too much stuff a little space can go a long way.”

Where the Middle Class Can’t Afford a House

Atlantic Cities looks at the metro areas in the U.S. where homes are least affordable for middle class families (or families earning the median income in the area)—San Francisco being the worst, according to an analysis by real estate site Trulia. New York, of course, also makes it near the top of the list, but New York is a city of renters (and I imagine San Francisco is one too). Where is the housing stock most affordable for median earners? Cities in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan make the list, which you can see in full below.

Residents and Developers Clash Over Microhousing in Seattle

The Stranger has a nice in-depth, 6,000-word story on the developers who are building affordable microhousing units in Seattle, and the residents who are fighting against it.