New Grad's Housing Question

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scarletngrey
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 01, 2020 9:06 am

New Grad's Housing Question

Post by scarletngrey »

Hi. I will be starting my first FT job in MCOL area at the end of summer. 5k signing bonus and 68k plus year end bonus. My job requires that I move every year for the first three years for training. Relocation stipend (lump sum) depends on distance relocated and the first payment is 8k. I want my living situation to be as cost effective as possible. My main concern is the cost of furniture and moving it so often (possibly cross country). Ideally I would just pack up my hatchback and drive to the new location for convenience and to minimize moving costs. I've thought of a few options but I want to hear what the Bogleheads have to say about my situation. My options are:

Unfurnished apartment, buy furniture: Rent ideally under 1.2k/month. I have no current furniture so I would probably spend ~3k-4k from the relocation payment on a mid-grade bed, couch, dresser, kitchenware, etc. I will have to spend extra $ moving this furniture to the next location which could be costly. It would be nice though because it would be unused furniture.

Unfurnished apartment, rent furniture: Same 1.2k/month rent for the place. I found some companies that will rent furniture for a 1bed/1ba for $400/month. This is $4.8k a year but saving on moving costs. I also don't know how I would feel about using furniture used by someone else. Also I would not know the quality of the furniture. Not my favorite option.

Furnished apartment: I'm having a hard time finding realistic prices of furnished apartments online. My budget would probably be around $1.5k max if possible. No upfront furniture cost and less moving costs.

Thanks
Silk McCue
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Silk McCue »

With a small amount of effort you can furnish a 1 bedroom apartment for < $1.5k by hitting estate sales. People sell decent stuff for dirt cheap all the time. When you are ready to move donate the furniture to goodwill or sell it for half of what you bought it for.

Cheers
runner540
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by runner540 »

Used upholstery is not something I would want - pests are not worth the risk to me. It can be more cost effective to buy things once, that you actually like, and move it, instead of the hassle and expense of buying things three times, that might not be what you want to come home to every day.
I have an ikea dresser that I got for my first apartment. It still is in good shape after 12 years and 4 moves, including cross country.
Call and get some quotes for cross country move of a 1 Br apt. probably $1500-2000. Times two moves, it’s still less than the additional cost of furnished apt for one year.
bloom2708
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Location: Fargo, ND

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by bloom2708 »

$8k should cover moving basic furniture for a 1 bedroom apartment.

I would buy a minimalist set of quality items and plan to keep them. Moving is just part of the deal. Don't go cheap on a mattress at least.

Cheap laminated junk damages easily and so moving it often is hard on it.

Are you the type that likes hunting for deals on Craiglist and Garage Sales? That may help answer your question.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Fri May 01, 2020 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Jack FFR1846
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Buy a mattress (no need for frame or box spring) and then hit yard sales, salvation army, goodwill, consignment shops for everything else. When you're getting ready to move, craigslist it all. Move nothing that won't fit in your car. I know someone who owned a house and did this kind of selling (including a goat) and loaded his volvo and small trailer and moved from Mass to Texas. He told me that he bought everything new there and made out quite well between what he got selling off stuff and not having useless junk around that he'd never use.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
zimmer0
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:15 pm

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by zimmer0 »

Search your local FB Market or Craigslist for lightly used items. Have repainted/stained several freebies in our home.
Big Dog
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Big Dog »

if you are handy, Ikea is a great place for decent looking furniture. Plus you could sell the stuff at the end of the year. Mattess/bed at costco.
FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 11:22 am

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

I vote for option 1 - unfurnished apartment, buy furniture. Just shop once for items you like. You only have a year in each locale, so why spend valuable time furnishing a new apartment every time you move?

When it comes time to move, you can rent a U-Haul and a trailer to tow your car. You can hire local movers to load your stuff at location A and unload your stuff at location B. You can also find friends to do the loading and unloading, but movers know how to properly load a truck and tie things down. Although accidents happen, professional movers are generally pretty good when it comes to not banging walls and damaging furniture.
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Watty
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Watty »

scarletngrey wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 am Relocation stipend (lump sum) depends on distance relocated and the first payment is 8k.
One thing to check on is how much of that will be taxable. I would suspect that most of it will be and you may only be able to deduct direct expenses like a moving van but if you are not able to itemize your deductions that may not help. You can crunch the numbers but you might only get around $6k after taxes.

One thing to consider is how predictable your moving dates will be. That can be a problem if you have a one year lease and you do not move in exactly 12 months.
scarletngrey wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 am Furnished apartment: I'm having a hard time finding realistic prices of furnished apartments online. My budget would probably be around $1.5k max if possible. No upfront furniture cost and less moving costs.
I doubt that you will find a one that is not;
1) A dive that is intended for poor people that cannot afford a normal apartment.

2) An expensive long term hotel that would not make sense for more than a couple of months.
scarletngrey wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 am rent furniture
Be careful. Furniture rental companies are sleazy and known for being way overpriced shoddy furniture and charging lots of damage fees when stuff is returned. My impression is that they pretty much take advantage of poor people like payday lenders.

A couple of problems with buying used furniture;

1) If you do not drive a pickup it will be hard to get it home.

2) It takes time and you will be busy with your new job.

3) You will likely be in a city you do not know so you could end up in bad parts of town or it could take an hour to drive there.

That said buying used it really a good idea when you get into a long term situation but;

1) Buy used wood furniture, not upholstered furniture because you do not know what sort of bugs are in the upholstery. Even with wood furniture still wipe it down and clean it well before bringing it in your house.

2) Measure carefully it is easy to find something only to realize that it does not fit in your house.
scarletngrey wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 am My options are:
I think you best option is to just rent a u-haul trailer when you move and take your stuff yourself. A u-haul rental truck is also an option and you can either tow your car or make two trips.

One time when doing a 700 move when I was single I did this.
1) Drove my car to new city and found an apartment.
2) Flew back
3) Loaded up a U-haul truck and drove to the new city.

If you do this be sure to check out other brands, I have heard that some of them have better trucks than u-haul.

That was years ago though, now they have small shipping containers by a company called PODS, and other companies, where they deliver it, you load it up, then they move it to your new location. If I was doing a small move today I would price that out if I did not own a vehicle that could tow a u-haul type trailer. Be sure to check with your apartment building to find out their rules for using these.
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Tamarind
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Tamarind »

I vote, buy furniture, as little as you can get away with but of his quality, and use a POD or else rent a truck to do your move.
campy2010
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by campy2010 »

You could always live with roommates who already have big pieces of furniture and move the smaller stuff from place to place (or re-purchase as needed).
bltn
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by bltn »

My son s move last year across country to his first job involved moving his furniture from a modest one bedroom apartment. We used a well known moving company. 3000 dollars. Be sure to get insurance for the move.
BillyK
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:30 am

Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by BillyK »

I have spent decades living on the road moving from project to project throughout the country. Moving from apartment to apartment gets old in a hurry and expensive. Depending where you will be located, it is hard to beat Extended Stay types of hotel suites with a full size refrigerator and kitchenette. If you go month to month you don't pay the hotel taxes in most states since you are considered leasing which substantially lowers the rates. You get once a week house keeping which is nice too. The front desk will accept mail and deliveries so you don't really need to get a P.O. Box. Plus, it is convenient that there is always someone at the front desk 24 hours a day if you need anything.

I used to always have nice luxury type apartments, but it has turned into too much of a royal pain through the years. Now when I am out on the road, I try to simplify it as much as possible and eliminate the time of dealing with leases, utilities, furniture, moving, and often storage. Depending on the timing of your new reassignments each year, you may have to break leases by paying penalties. If you take shorter term lease, then you often can get caught paying extra month to month rental fees. It is just so much more hassle free living moving in and out of hotel suites for a year or less assignments.
Olemiss540
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by Olemiss540 »

BillyK wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 3:48 pm I have spent decades living on the road moving from project to project throughout the country. Moving from apartment to apartment gets old in a hurry and expensive. Depending where you will be located, it is hard to beat Extended Stay types of hotel suites with a full size refrigerator and kitchenette. If you go month to month you don't pay the hotel taxes in most states since you are considered leasing which substantially lowers the rates. You get once a week house keeping which is nice too. The front desk will accept mail and deliveries so you don't really need to get a P.O. Box. Plus, it is convenient that there is always someone at the front desk 24 hours a day if you need anything.

I used to always have nice luxury type apartments, but it has turned into too much of a royal pain through the years. Now when I am out on the road, I try to simplify it as much as possible and eliminate the time of dealing with leases, utilities, furniture, moving, and often storage. Depending on the timing of your new reassignments each year, you may have to break leases by paying penalties. If you take shorter term lease, then you often can get caught paying extra month to month rental fees. It is just so much more hassle free living moving in and out of hotel suites for a year or less assignments.
This would be my approach as well. Check out extended stay and see what the rates are. You can ALWAYS buy a bunch of stuff and/or rent a furnished place, but if the monthly hotel type of plates suits you just fine, it sure is convenient as heck. Even if it is just for a month or two while you seek other living arrangements where you might be able to rent a room in someone's house and use their furniture in the common areas.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.
BarbBrooklyn
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

For sofa and bed frame, check out Floyd.com. Easily moveable and flexible.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: New Grad's Housing Question

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

scarletngrey wrote: Fri May 01, 2020 9:28 am Hi. I will be starting my first FT job in MCOL area at the end of summer. 5k signing bonus and 68k plus year end bonus. My job requires that I move every year for the first three years for training. Relocation stipend (lump sum) depends on distance relocated and the first payment is 8k. I want my living situation to be as cost effective as possible. My main concern is the cost of furniture and moving it so often (possibly cross country). Ideally I would just pack up my hatchback and drive to the new location for convenience and to minimize moving costs. I've thought of a few options but I want to hear what the Bogleheads have to say about my situation. My options are:

Unfurnished apartment, buy furniture: Rent ideally under 1.2k/month. I have no current furniture so I would probably spend ~3k-4k from the relocation payment on a mid-grade bed, couch, dresser, kitchenware, etc. I will have to spend extra $ moving this furniture to the next location which could be costly. It would be nice though because it would be unused furniture.

Unfurnished apartment, rent furniture: Same 1.2k/month rent for the place. I found some companies that will rent furniture for a 1bed/1ba for $400/month. This is $4.8k a year but saving on moving costs. I also don't know how I would feel about using furniture used by someone else. Also I would not know the quality of the furniture. Not my favorite option.

Furnished apartment: I'm having a hard time finding realistic prices of furnished apartments online. My budget would probably be around $1.5k max if possible. No upfront furniture cost and less moving costs.

Thanks
Sublet a furnished place for a year? Find a roommate (so all you have to buy is the bedroom stuff?) Otherwise buy minimally, but buy stuff you like. Put a trailer hitch on your hatchback, rent a small uhaul for the bigger furniture pieces, and you shouldn't have too much trouble.
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