Disclaimers: I’m passionate about there being all kinds of affordable housing. I concentrate on the Twin Cities, where I live, but a lot that I say could apply for rooms in houses, condos and in apartments and one’s own apartment in the United States.
If one is in a crisis that’s not life threatening but that will lead to loss of a current residency, the best place to start is by contacting one’s local Department of Human services and they may be able to help.
As always, if someone is in a crisis physically or mentally, please seek acute help in clinical facility (i.e. a hospital) and they usually can help with ideas for potential housing retention or finding temporary housing once a patient has been treated.
I don’t ever mean to be mean spirited when it comes to this topic, I’m quite blunt though as there’s so much at stake, both for those who are looking for housing and for those who are providing it.
If I’m not clear about something, please ask for clarification before making an assumption. Thanks!!!
Here are the mistakes people make when looking for housing on a tight budget:
1. Not knowing their market…
Like at all. There’s no shame being on a tight budget. The problem arises when people have unrealistic expectations of wants vs. needs on what they can realistically afford.
2. Potentially insulting a reasonable and decent landlord by using an excuse for wanting to pay less than the market demands…
I see these kind of ads on Craigslist (more about that NEXT) where people use excuses like wanting to pay less for a room because their saving up for a house of their own, they want to travel, etc.
Yes, you dear potential renter may be an ideal person to live with. Most people though don’t rent out rooms in their homes or condos due to altruism, though.
If you wouldn’t go to a Burger King, a fancy steakhouse or car lot, expecting that kind of financial accomodation, why would anyone owe you space for super cheap, in what’s probably the most valuable asset financially and emotionally they own or will be paying off for decades or could be financially on the line if someone damages their property?
3. Where people look for housing…
Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist…
It may be a great place to get a cheap couch. It’s way less than ideal 95% of the time to look for a safe place to live.
Worse than that and heed this particular warning very carefully as I’m very clear about this, I see single women unsafely post pictures of themselves that are sort of risque, in nature. NO ONE ever asks or deserves to be raped or assaulted. But a lot of people both men and women on CL aren’t the greatest landlords, and may have harmful predatory motives, even if you say that you don’t want any type of sexual/platonic relationship but you post a picture that’s more appropriate for Plenty of Fish, then it is for LinkedIn
Expect a backround check and do the same and realize as police officers say about speeding tickets, most people get away with speeding hundreds of times before they’re caught, use due diligence when looking for a place to stay and only a reputable landlord would do the same.
4. Having a super entitled ATTITUDE…
People expecting somewhere for almost free, not having any income source and having a long list of wants vs. needs, see above 1,2 and 3, again and #5.
When looking for housing, making it clear you’re NOT open to a backround or credit check, you don’t know the market, you have a list of demands that belong on an expensive housing show, is an open invitation like the above 3 points, except that you are good humor to what would’ve been a decent landlord, had you come off as potential decent tenant.
5. Not realizing the seriousness of looking for housing, that you would for ANY of the most important decisions you’ll make, even if you’re not buying…
Where you look, where you live, who you live with matters. The same applies to you as a tenant, ENORMOUSLY.
So does the why and what you’re looking for in housing and being honest about past mistakes that could show up on backround check.
If you use a non vetted free site for housing, you get what you paid for, which at best is nothing, at worst is a total nightmare situation to live in, or you don’t realize one is the nightmare themselves which either/or, which could put you in physical, financial and legal jeopardy.
Have enough respect to be a decent tenant, expect to network (and have to work and research) for reputable housing and housing like many things of value and held in the highest regard, is NOT something people are just going to take your word for that you’re a good tenant and a good person, just like you shouldn’t take people’s word that they are a good landlord.
You wouldn’t get a decent job (or almost any job or anything of value) based upon one’s word, why would housing be any different?
If you can’t respect yourself enough to be a decent respectful tenant, think of what you’d want for a loved one, although that’s kind of difficult for people to do when in crisis of some kind, so get professional help for that, before making other major life decisions that could negatively impact your life or innocent others, if you have barriers that make looking for housing that’s in your income bracket unattainable for reasons other than financial and there is a ton of resources in ones locale, usually that can help, at least as a place to start, if you don’t know where to.
I’m far from perfect. And I have housing from a non profit that believes in second chances, which I’ve proved I was worth that.
All I’m trying to say is realize you get what you put into a housing search, you get what you pay for and this is too important of a life decision to not be realistic and educated of what you can afford and where you can find it.
Note: I welcome respectful dialogue or difference of opinions. Nothing triggering to myself or an innocent reader, will be published.
Please don’t waste my time or yours, with that kind of stuff. Thanks!!!