Just Pick a Place Already You Two!

My boyfriend and I are terrible – terrible – at making decisions. He’s so terrible at making decisions at 31 he has never left his house and after eight years of dating we’ve never moved in together. I’m slightly less terrible at making decisions, but I am not anywhere near good at making them either.

So finding an apartment is an extremely difficult #firstworldproblems challenge. We’ve seen over 40 apartments and every one is not up to my standard of living, especially for the price they charge! I always thought if I decided to move to San Francisco I’d be ok with paying an exorbitant amount for rent, but it feels wrong to pay so much to live in the burbs. I don’t care how great the town is.

Today we saw a 600 square foot apartment that, for $2200, provided a bathtub with extremely brown water. Then we saw a very old unit for $2050 with a kitchen barely large enough for one person to cook in. That one, by the way, is at the top of our list due to location and a nice outdoor patio space (well it isn’t exactly nice, but it’s rather large given most apartments in the area at that price don’t have any outdoor space.) Another apartment for $1900, with no outdoor space, was remodeled with a lovely kitchen and bathroom, but the actual living space was extremely claustrophobic.

In other words, we did not find our ideal apartment today. But we’re running out of time. I turned in my 30 day notice this morning. We need a place for April 1 or sooner. Preferably sooner. March 15 would be great. I need some time to move and get my current space cleaned out. It doesn’t help matters that I start my new job on March 17. I am utterly freaking out.

I’ve already agreed to pay a more fair portion of rent based on income. With $80k income 12.5% is about $850. My $125k income would offer $1300 per month. So we should be ok spending $2150. Yet I still grit thinking about spending $1300 a month when he’s spending just $850. I know, I know, if we’re going to get married in the long run that doesn’t matter anyway, but I’ll be literally doubling my current $650 per month rent. Granted, to be fair, he’s more than doubling his current rent. Or, he can’t really double it because it’s $0. It’s his first time ever paying rent out of college.

I guess a part of me still feels a little bitter because I spent my 20s paying rent and moving up in my career to pay that rent and save. I can’t harp on the past but I think I’d be more forgiving of an uneven rent split should he had been wiser about his finances in his 20s. It is what it is. I know he makes me happy and it’s not the end of the world if I pay more for my share of the place. To be honest I wouldn’t mind that much if for $1300 a month I could get a place that checked off my “must-have-if-paying-a-lot” list:

– in-unit washer/dryer
– outdoor area (patio/balcony)
– no more than 3 frightening reviews
– reasonable size kitchen. full-size stove/oven
– ability to park two cars without driving around for hours
– no weird brown water coming out of faucets
– close to work (less than 20 minute drive)
– close to train stop (walking distance to get home from work/social events in the city involving booze)
– either has pool or near a public pool or gym with pool (*nice to have)
– quiet / no thin walls where you can hear people above/next to you
– close to supermarket, ideally walking distance but short drive ok
– no more than 1 hour train ride/drive into city

I think those are my major requirements. Maybe I’m asking for way too much for a $2150 apartment. I’m sure I am. I just am struggling with being 30 and having a job that pays well and having to decide if I want to pay a lot more in rent to have an apartment that I like (i.e. pay $1600 per month vs $1200-$1300 on top of his $850) or just deal with living in a not-so-great space for 1-2 years. Of course since he’s going to become a teacher this will never become not an issue but at least then I’ll feel like he’s doing something he loves and giving back to the community, so I’ll be less uncomfortable with contributing more. It just makes it harder to hit my networth goals for the year, as I really want to get to $325k. Maybe it’s not the end of the world if I don’t. Or I can cut corners elsewhere.

It’s hard to think of myself as the breadwinner. I better get used to it.

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