I need the help of the hive mind. Thank goodness for the internet.
Assuming all goes as planned, I’ll be moving in a little over a month. Into My! New! House! Scary.
I’m currently in an apartment with a roommate and I’ve invited her to come with me. I sort of feel obligated – otherwise I’m breaking the lease and abandoning her. She’s a friend, and it feels like the right thing to do. Besides, it’s a 3 bedroom house, and rental income will be awesome.
So here’s the question – what do I charge her for rent? Remember, we’re in the Washington, D.C. area, which is pretty pricey.
Currently, I pay the bigger part of the rent, and she pays $950, all utilities and cable included. In our house, the mortgage will be about $250 less than my rent, but that doesn’t include utilities or all the extra costs, like the security system I want to put in, and of course the awesome awesome taxes. Roommate is not the cleanest person in the world, so I’m also planning to hire a maid service to come in about twice a month. I’m thinking that will cost $80-$120/visit. It’s expensive, but it will save a lot of stress on my part, as I know it will infuriate me to have to clean her bathroom for her and clean the kitchen. (Yes, I realize this doesn’t make her the ideal roommate, but it is what it is.) The interior of the house is all recently refurbished and I really want to keep it nice.
The house is significantly bigger than the apartment, but the downside is that it’s much further from the Metro. She’s going to have to take a bus to the Metro to get to work (or ride with me when it’s convenient for her).
So what do I charge the roommate? I was thinking of asking $750 plus utilities, but after a quick survey of Craigslist, that might be high. So now I’m thinking $750 flat. Does that sound fair? Too much?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.