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View Full Version : Interesting (ingenious?) way to cut housing costs


ReneeQ
04-16-2006, 01:08 PM
This is inspired by the "Oprah/Minimum Wage" thread. I didn't want to post there and hijack that thread.

I just found out last night from my MIL that my husband's cousin recently moved back to our area. She is working at a nursing home making around $11 an hour and living with a girlfriend (who also works with her) in one of those extended stay motels. At first I felt so bad/sad to hear that she was having to live in a "motel."

Then my MIL proceeds to tell me, oh, no, they LOVE it. They were going to live there temporarily, and now don't want to leave! It costs $180-$200 a week, so they are each paying only $90-$100 a week. They have two beds (not sure if twin or double, but that wouldn't matter), a bathroom, SMALL sitting area and SMALL kitchenette. Unlike an apartment, they didn't need a deposit, which saved them money they didn't have.

For that $90-$100 a week each they are getting a safe place to stay (I know where it is, and it's pretty nice), maid service, clean towels and bed linens that they don't have to wash. Maid service might be weekly, not daily, but still. They have NO utility bills, as, like with any hotel, water, electric and phone (local calls only) are included. (Keep the room as cool as you want in the summer, take a hot shower for as long as you want). They also have free basic cable, and of course, a free TV to watch. They can use the pool and have a community laundry room on the premises.

My MIL (her aunt) asked this cousin how long she could stay there and she said some of her "neighbors" had been there for years. She and the friend/roommate don't always work the same shift, which gives them some alone time.

In watching the Oprah show on minimum wage and discussing housing costs in that thread, this seemed like a great solution to the housing problem FOR SOME. I KNOW this wouldn't work for everyone and wouldn't work forever, but is an idea. I find it very interesting, and perhaps ingenious. No deposit, no utility bills, lots of perks. Interesting.

babiesX2
04-16-2006, 01:37 PM
I lived in an extended stay hotel suite for several months in early 2005. It is a long story, but I was pregnant with the twins. We live in North Louisiana and the level of care our babies needed while in utero was down in Baton Rouge. I was in Woman's Hospital for about 6 weeks (5 weeks, 1 day prior to birth and 6 days following birth). The twins were born at 30 weeks so they needed NICU time. I just couldn't leave my babies so far from home by themselves, and Dh didn't want me to either. Dh went around checking them out prior to my d/c. We paid a weekly rate and it was very economical ($180/week). It was truly my home. Dh would come on his days off (he works shift and has extended periods off). There were many people "living" there the same as me. I know our situation was more unique than most, but I would get glimpses inside other people's "apartments" and I would see a home set up just the same as we had done. I think many people don't look into this option because they think it is too expensive. I can't tell you how many people told us we should go find a furnished apartment. We looked into that first and the costs were astronomical compared to an extended stay suite. Considering all the perks you mentioned extended stay is a bargain!

Edited to add: I forgot to say that I stayed there the 1st time for almost 8 weeks when Madeline was discharged home in late April. I stayed there a second time in late June for 2 weeks when Lydia was transferred back down there for a final surgery. It was a bette option than a regular motel because I had Madeline with me and I needed the kitchen.

MrsPete
04-16-2006, 04:30 PM
When I was in college, I was a Resident Advisor. This job didn't "pay" in cash, but I received a free private dorm room , 50% of my in-state tuition, my telephone service, and some money towards my meal plan. Other RAs who were in on-campus apartments received slightly different benefits. Because I didn't get a paycheck, I didn't pay taxes on these things. Because I was an RA, I was also first in line to get a job as a front-desk attendant (paid minimum wage); the job entailed sitting in the lobby to give change, manage a couple rental items, etc.

For a poor kid, that RA job was a Godsend.

In the adult world, I know several people who desperately want someone to "live in" with their elderly relatives, but no one will take the job. I know one single mom with four kids who always has a college student live with her in exchange for child care after school and some evenings. Years ago I had a friend who lived in an apartment in the back of the funeral home for free; his "duties" were all after-hours. If a patient died, he took the hearse over to the hospital and picked up the body. He didn't have to do anything with the body -- he just had to drive the car, wait while the hospital people loaded it in, then leave it in the car until the funeral home people arrived first thing in the morning.

These " free place to live spots" may be rare, but they are out there.

kwnancy
04-16-2006, 05:21 PM
Housing in Key West is VERY expensive. I work at a campground and part of my pay is an RV site. We've lived here almost 10 years and absolutely love it! Not for everyone's situation but for our family it's worked out quite nicely.

jennifer293
04-16-2006, 06:17 PM
Our whole family lives in TN, but Dh's stepfather got a job working in Atlanta. Well he tried the commute daily and it got to be too much so the company got him an extended stay hotel room, and he lived there M-F and came home on the weekends. He lived in the same room for 4 years before he quit his job. He had his own recliner and such things he brought from home to give it a more homey feeling. I think this is a great idea especially for those who may be looking for a new fresh start somewhere and want to test a few places out.

sk!mom
04-16-2006, 07:23 PM
My retired grandparents lived free for several years at a feedlot/ slaughter house. They had a small two bedroom home with all utilities covered and a small paycheck. All my granddad had to do was open the gate for cattle deliveries that would come in over night, count the cattle, and sign off. He didn't work a day job but a younger person could have. I still see this particular job advertised from time to time in our local paper.