You are here:

Real Estate: Georgia/Can you afford a small apartment in a below avg. cost of living southern city, working a common low wage job?

Advertisement


Question
If you're a single male with no kids, in a small-to-medium sized southern city, like Columbus, (consider the cost of living...it's below national average) would you be able to afford a small apartment if you worked full time at some random job around town like fast food, target, walmart, best buy, a grocery store, etc.

Also, let's say you have a chance to stay in a home you will inherit, with the mortgage already paid off, would you be able to afford it working the same jobs as above?

Which would be the cheaper route???

I just want somewhere to stay on my own until I'm done with college

Answer
Assuming $10/hour/40hours/week =$1700/month~ less 20%taxes =$1360 Take Home.  In the small north Georgia town where I live, you can rent a 2 bedroom house for $500/month.  I don't know about Columbus which might be slightly more expensive due to the Military presence.  Get a roommate and you've cut costs in half and you make it easier on yourself.  I found that having a roommate just made my life a whole lot easier when I had a bit more cash.
So yes it can be done.  However if you stand to inherit a house, I'd sure go that route without question.  If you're a single male you certainly can do repairs on your own.  Get How-To books from the library and advise from Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware.  Remember to put aside money each month for taxes and insurance so you won't get caught without the money to pay them. Then your only living expenses are utilities.  No matter how little you make, always start a savings account for unforeseen expenses such as the furnace goes out.  Live within your means and don't get involved with credit. I had a house when I was single and always had a roommate.  Being a Landlord was pretty nice.
LJ, I totally agree that it's important for you to have the experience of being on your own and think everyone should have that experience. But even if you have a roommate, you are still on your on as far as the responsibility goes, 'cause I can assure you that your roommate won't even consider paying your share of the rent!
Good Luck to you, LJ and keep up with college.

Real Estate: Georgia

All Answers


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Sharon Huneycutt

Expertise

I cover an area of North Georgia in particular, but I'll be happy to help you with general Georgia Real Estate questions. I also could refer you to someone in a specific area if need be. A lot of people who want to move to the mountains don't really realize what it might involve. For instance, here in North Georgia, if you want a mountain view, you may have to drive up very steep roads. Will you have well water (That's usually good!)? Do you speak septic tanks? Have you considered that if you want really want to get away from it all, you'll do it on a gravel road? Where can I find a good Bug Out Location in North Georgia? What's difference between a Log home and a Log Sided home? How can I tell? What's a "Shared Well"? What do you mean "Easement"? Who takes care of the house when you're not there? Can I raise chickens? Where can you stay to check it out? This is a very popular area for second homes and investment properties or when you finally decide to get way from it all, I can find your perfect property. I can answer questions on North Georgia Mountain living, housing, land, amenities, and activities. We handle a lot of foreclosed properties in our office so I have become a Certified REO Specialist. REO means Real Estate Owned and is the industry name for a Foreclosure. It refers to "owned by a bank or other corporate entity". Of course since I'm in Georgia, I can help you with the way Real Estate is handled in Georgia. If it involves an area of expertise I don't have, I can probably tell you what kind of an expert you do need.

Experience

We've had property in the Ellijay area for over 15 years and I've been selling Real Estate for over five years. My husband, who is a Civil Engineer and Appraiser, and I built our own log home. We researched log homes and North Georgia for three years before choosing Ellijay. Because of the building experience and being married to an engineer/appraiser, my real estate experience is a bit more extensive than average. I also am an education freak believing that the more you know, the better off you are. My husband and I both like photography, so we drive and hike all over the mountains looking for pictures. I typically cover an area including Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin, and Union Counties. I occasionally venture off into Dawson, Cherokee and Towns Counties. Selling Real Estate in the country has a number of aspects not found in City Real Estate. Make sure your agent is experienced in country real estate if you're buying country property.

Education/Credentials
MHA, CMA, Licensed Realtor, Associate Broker, e-PRO, GRI, Certified REO Specialist. Realtors are required to have 24 hours of continuing education every 4 years. I have well over 200 hours in the past five years. That's almost 10 times the required education for an agent who's "just getting by". A Real Estate purchase is one of the most important things in your life. Don't pick the kid at the bottom of the class to help you with it. Those little letters behind a Real Estate agents name are an indication of their interest in doing the best possible job that they can for you.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.