Saturday, March 03, 2007

Carleton Lofts, here we come!

(This is a co-post from the both Megan and Chris)

Well today was our meeting with the Carleton artist lofts and we signed our lease!!! May 1st for apartment #213 here we come! They are checking with employers but they told us that we did meet all the financial requirements... the skin of our noses.

Boy did we come close to not qualifying! We didn't think we'd have any problems because we were mainly focused on the "maximum income" part- that we couldn't earn more than $37,000 (no problem there). But little did we know there was also a "minimum income" part- we had to make 2 times the amount of rent per month, or $1704. Because they initially in the meeting they didn't include any of my student loan money as income, we appeared to not make the minimum income. After watching our life flash before our eyes, Megan mentioned that financial aid gave money above and beyond tuition for living expenses. Now our rental advisor person decided that that *would* qualify as income, so with that added in, we make a combined amount of $1794 per month... juuuuuuust enough to qualify! Woo hoo.

Then we got to go visit our apartment- not a model, not an apartment with the same layout as ours, but our actual apartment! And it was better than we ever imagined. Click on the slide show below for a pretty good panoramaish set of photos. The camera filled up before I could get all I wanted but I think there are OK.

It was a great day in all, we feel very lucky to have found this place. It is like a dream come true!

-Chris & Megan


Bjorn said...

"A 22-year old student graduating this year who consolidates their $40,000 loan at 6.125 percent will need to pay $243 a month...until they're 52. By that time, they will have paid $47,494 in interest alone." Just don't let your dream of now become a nightmare in the future.

Megan Watland said...

... how do my student loans relate to getting an apartment? Are you suggesting that I a) not move away from home, or b) not have any student loans?

I think we did pretty well landing a subsidized, HUD, gorgeous apartment right near school, and unfortunately student loans come with the DVM territory. We are getting lots of coaching on how to handle our debt, and I am not planning on making the minimum payments on my loans every month until they are paid off...

Bjorn said...

Life is all about choices. The fact that you barely met the minimum requirements means you have to be really careful. You can always find cheaper rent. Using a student loan to pay for rent, is like using a credit card to pay for rent. Each dollar spent should hurt, and should be avoided whenever you can. Unless you can find a magic way to wipe your debt away. I'm just speaking from experience. I don't have very much student loan debt, but I have to make $300 in payments each month, on top of all the other bills that go along with living on your own. You do have more choices then to move out, or not move out. You don't need new construction, or a place that is as large. You could rent a room in a house with other people, and pay less rent. You've already made your decision, it's just important to think a few years down the road, where you will be, what you'll be doing. I just don't want you to have to spend all of your money for your four walls, but be left sitting on a crate, with another crate for a laptop.

Chris Schommer said...

The initial hurdle of the 2x rent was just to get in and is based on what we make together at this moment and then projecting that.

We would be crazy to think we could make it on that! I plan on making as much money as I possibly can in the next year.

Split between megan and I, this is only $426 pr person, and that is only $76 more than what I am paying for my crummy place right now (in suburban Northfield!). The market value for the loft is closer to $1400 pr month! We got lucky here.

Still it is more expensive than living in a split house or small apartment, or staying in Northfield but I think the value will come in other ways.

For me, it gives me an artistic community and hopefully some connections that could help me where I want to be down the road. That is absolutely priceless in my line of work!

I hope your house hunting is going good.

Bjorn said...

Just giving you something to think about. Getting a place, can be like opening up a funnel. You work and work and work, and are still broke, because all of your money is going into where you live. Just get a high paying job, then you don't have to worry about it.

loft neighbor said...

Welcome to the Lofts, we are neighbors...