Okay, first of all, $2300 for a one bedroom flat? Are you kidding me? Really? Things here are soooooo much cheaper - our house payment is $1600 - 2100 sft, one of the nicer neighborhoods in town, and that's with 100% financing. I would cry if I had to pay $2300 a month in RENT!And, on to the obvious - THAT is a RAT? Now I know why rent is so high - look at the size of those rats! It looks like a Chihuahua!HAHA
I should note that I have not yet witnessed the RatMan. It is one of my great personal regrets--I will be leaving the summer, and may never witness the greatest hero (oustide of the NYFD) in Manhattan.
I think housing is so rooted in perspective - our 2BR apartment in San Francisco's Sunset neighborhood was $1800 a month, which was the going rate for the neighborhood, which was nice but hardly extravagant. In other parts of San Francisco like the Marina it could easily have been more than double (see http://www.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/73987506.html). If that same apartment were in Birmingham, Michigan it would be somewhere around $1200. If it was in Daniel's neighborhood I it would definitely be more than $2300. You just get used to spending more of your income on housing in expensive places. Daniel - if it is a priority for you to see the RatMan, you will make it happen. Chase the dream!
I felt that I had to throw my two cents in to this rent discussion. Here in Colorado, we are paying $700/month for our duplex--2 BD, 1 Bath, garage with all of the amenities. We are in one of the nicer areas of downtown Montrose too. I couldn't imagine paying $1200 and certainly not $2300 for a flat but that's Birmingham for ya!
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