What I Learned About Renting While Living in Canada

When I moved halfway across the country to go to university at 17 it was my first time being away from my parents for more than a week. This was definitely not a problem; I had been focused on "getting out" for years. Unfortunately for me, my parents had no idea what they were doing, and neither did I. I've now lived in five different apartments of varying degrees of crappiness in three different Canadian cities with 10 different people. I would like to share with you some themes of my experience in the rental housing market, namely all the basic ways you can hopefully avoid similarly crappy experiences as much as possible.

How Much Would You Need to Earn to Afford a One-bedroom in Your County?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition looked at fair market rents (according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development), and calculated how much a worker would need to earn per hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment in their county (the "housing wage").

Help! I’m Breaking My Lease

I have six months left on my lease (I live in D.C.), and I just have to move for personal reasons.

Pro: There’s a Place to Hang Clothes. Con: Everything Else

The staff at Tumblr linked to some of their favorite blogs of the moment, and one of them is called "THE WORST ROOM"—a blog about "trying to find affordable housing in New York City" but is really a blog about some of the saddest rooms for rent on the market for crazy amounts of money. One thousand dollars a month to live in someone's walk-in closet! Is there any air circulation? Who knows!? My stars.

What Should a City Do When the Rent Becomes Too High to Afford?

Yesterday Ester wrote about median one-bedroom rents reaching highs of more than $4,000 in NYC, and earlier this month I linked to a story from Southern California Public Radio discussing the high rents in Los Angeles. As cities become wealthier and price out low-income workers and the middle- and creative classes, what can be done? Shaila Dewan examines this question in the It’s the Economy section of the Times Magazine:

The rules of the market say that in this situation, people should simply opt to live someplace cheaper. But in today’s economy, that’s not so simple. Detroit has very cheap housing, but unfortunately, all of it is in Detroit. Alternately, more desirable cities could build more housing to satisfy demand, but new developments don’t tend to have that effect.

Luxury towers are sprouting up, adding density to unlikely places, from the Brooklyn waterfront to San Francisco’s Mid-Market district. But adding inventory to the high end does nothing to help the middle — one of the many irritating peculiarities of the 21st-century boomtown housing market. Building new apartments can actually push rents higher, and amenities for the masses, like transportation and parks, may have the effect of pricing them out. Everyone wants to live in these places, so no one can afford to. What’s a global city to do?

The High Cost of Renting in Los Angeles (and Nationwide)

Southern California Public Radio station 89.3 KPCC is doing a project on the "rent crunch" in Los Angeles.

The Apartment Hunt

Hi Ben — I saw this ad you posted for a 1-bedroom: (link to ad). When is the move-in date?

The People Behind the Microstudios

In Harvard Magazine, the architects who won New York City's "microstudio" competition explain how they came up with their concept.

When Roommates Figure Out How to Split the Rent

Three bedrooms, three different sizes.

The Bait-and-switch Apartment Listing

It goes like this: You see a listing for an apartment on Craigslist (or a realty site) that sounds like it might be a great fit for you, but after contacting the broker you learn that it's already been rented. The broker convinces you to look at similar apartments, but none of them have the same qualities of the apartment you were initially interested in.

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back: Clean Your Filthy Apartment

Having evaluated the cleanliness of many an apartment and done the dirty work required to get it into shape for a new resident I know how to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

Bloomberg Announces the Winning Design for His Micro-Unit Dreamhouse

Would you live in one if you were looking for a single space in Manhattan? In theory, it looks great.