biglaw how much to spend on rent

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biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:59 pm

Earning market in SF/SV. 210k stuloans. Assume spouse also works and makes ~90k. I've seen rents for 2 bedrooms upwards of 3.5k. That seems like so much it might as well be worth buying a house. What do people think? Are there any books to read about financial planning / etc. a la OneL etc.

azntwice
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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby azntwice » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:30 am

my friend says to take your salary divided by 40. that's how much you can afford to spend on rent per month ($4k for standard 160 biglaw). however, i would divide whatever number you get by 2 if you're trying to pay back loans.

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Glock
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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Glock » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:00 am

Depends on the property values in your area. It makes more sense to rent in many places, but in other places it makes more sense to buy. If you rent I would do so cheaply and accelerate your student loan payoffs. Once you are out from under that you can make a move.

What does a house comparable to the 3.5k rent cost to buy? I generally lean towards buying so that my monthly payment is building equity (a risk, but it usually does).

With your spouse making 90k it really doesn't matter what you guys do. I think you'll be okay. You'll be making well over 5x the national median household income with a moderate debt load that is less than 2 years post-tax combined income.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:42 am

In a similar situation (SF/SV COL, spouse making low six figures salary + significant additional equity in stock options), but zero debt due to help from family. However, I would like to repay my family in some way, either in $$ or gifts (probably not the full amount, but not chump change either), and start saving towards a home.

We're probably looking to spend ~$1500 per person (so, $3000 rent with my SO's contribution) for a fairly nice place. This will be less than what I'm spending to live in a closet in NYC right now during law school. Very excited to begin post-law school life outside NYC!

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:09 am

Sorry to hijack, but also in similar situation (but no spouse, so no second income). SF/SV with market pay. ~180k student loans. Options of living at home and commuting (which I would rather not do) or living closer to work and getting a studio/1 br. Suggestions on a rent ceiling?

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby shmoo597 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:05 am

azntwice wrote:my friend says to take your salary divided by 40. that's how much you can afford to spend on rent per month ($4k for standard 160 biglaw). however, i would divide whatever number you get by 2 if you're trying to pay back loans.


This is really terrible advice. 4k for a 1st year biglaw associate? that's insane. After tax, you're making 100k. Paying 48k a year in rent is really, really dumb, even with no debt.

OP, in SF you should be able to get a decent 2 bedroom apartment in a good area for $2500 a month, and a really nice place for 3k. If you want a 1 bedroom, even cheaper - $2000 a month will get you a really nice place. And if you don't mind living in SOMA or in some non-super desirable area, you can do even better. Just have to look (this does take awhile and will require many open houses and being proactive...some places will be 3.5k like in your OP but just ignore those and keep looking). If you're splitting it with your wife, should be fine. $1000-$1500 a month is a good target. I just spent several months looking for a place and I'm familiar with the market. Ended up with an awesome apartment in a great area.

Figure you're take home after taxes is 100k. 50k to loans, 15k to rent, leaves you around $3k a month for food, entertainment, buying shit. It's not a bad life, even with the massive debt - especially if your wife is chipping in. And 5 years down the line, your loans will be paid off and you'll move in house to a stable, 9-5 job paying 120k a year. Enjoy!

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:10 am

shmoo597 wrote:
azntwice wrote:my friend says to take your salary divided by 40. that's how much you can afford to spend on rent per month ($4k for standard 160 biglaw). however, i would divide whatever number you get by 2 if you're trying to pay back loans.


This is really terrible advice. 4k for a 1st year biglaw associate? that's insane. After tax, you're making 100k. Paying 48k a year in rent is really, really dumb, even with no debt.

OP, in SF you should be able to get a decent 2 bedroom apartment in a good area for $2500 a month, and a really nice place for 3k. If you want a 1 bedroom, even cheaper - $2000 a month will get you a really nice place. And if you don't mind living in SOMA or in some non-super desirable area, you can do even better. Just have to look (this does take awhile and will require many open houses and being proactive...some places will be 3.5k like in your OP but just ignore those and keep looking). If you're splitting it with your wife, should be fine. $1000-$1500 a month is a good target. I just spent several months looking for a place and I'm familiar with the market. Ended up with an awesome apartment in a great area.

Figure you're take home after taxes is 100k. 50k to loans, 15k to rent, leaves you around $3k a month for food, entertainment, buying shit. It's not a bad life, even with the massive debt - especially if your wife is chipping in. And 5 years down the line, your loans will be paid off and you'll move in house to a stable, 9-5 job paying 120k a year. Enjoy!


Thanks! Although trying to stick to the firm thing, and not go in-house. We'll see how that works out...

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:57 pm

If you want to be conservative and safe, rent an apartment based on your wife's salary alone. I've heard the salary/40 a lot, and for $90k, that's $2250 per month. If either of you is laid off, you'll be able to afford your apartment, and if not, you can pay off your loans much faster and have some savings.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be conservative and safe, rent an apartment based on your wife's salary alone. I've heard the salary/40 a lot, and for $90k, that's $2250 per month. If either of you is laid off, you'll be able to afford your apartment, and if not, you can pay off your loans much faster and have some savings.


This makes sense and from looking around 2.2k gets a really nice 1 bedroom (with an office), and decent 2 bedrooms in that area. For just 800 or so more you can get almost any place around.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Earning market in SF/SV. 210k stuloans. Assume spouse also works and makes ~90k. I've seen rents for 2 bedrooms upwards of 3.5k. That seems like so much it might as well be worth buying a house. What do people think? Are there any books to read about financial planning / etc. a la OneL etc.



Are you looking to live in SF or outside the city? I've been doing the same search with basically the same background as you (spouse likely to make somewhere in the low to mid 6 figures, roughly same student loans, etc.). We are also looking at having a kid at some point after I start at the firm. For the amenities that we want, like in-unit laundry, apartments seem to creep to around $3000 for a 1BR and $3800 or so for a two bedroom. However, the same type of apartment is substantially cheaper in South SF, Daly City, etc. (and commutable via BART).

ETA: All that said, it probably doesn't make sense to buy in SF, given the rents: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html

Given the low occupancy rates of condo communities, that doesn't seem like a good buy either because your share of HOA dues will get to be absolutely bananas.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Earning market in SF/SV. 210k stuloans. Assume spouse also works and makes ~90k. I've seen rents for 2 bedrooms upwards of 3.5k. That seems like so much it might as well be worth buying a house. What do people think? Are there any books to read about financial planning / etc. a la OneL etc.



Are you looking to live in SF or outside the city? I've been doing the same search with basically the same background as you (spouse likely to make somewhere in the low to mid 6 figures, roughly same student loans, etc.). We are also looking at having a kid at some point after I start at the firm. For the amenities that we want, like in-unit laundry, apartments seem to creep to around $3000 for a 1BR and $3800 or so for a two bedroom. However, the same type of apartment is substantially cheaper in South SF, Daly City, etc. (and commutable via BART).

ETA: All that said, it probably doesn't make sense to buy in SF, given the rents: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html

Given the low occupancy rates of condo communities, that doesn't seem like a good buy either because your share of HOA dues will get to be absolutely bananas.


I'm looking further south. Maybe should PM each other, lol, seeing as how we'll be in the same boat. Also thinking about a kid down the road...

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:34 pm

What about NYC?

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about NYC?


Think about 2-3k is conventional wisdom for the nice places in Manhattan or Brooklyn

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby kaiser » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What about NYC?


Think about 2-3k is conventional wisdom for the nice places in Manhattan or Brooklyn


In Manhattan? Def more than that for "nice places"

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What about NYC?


Think about 2-3k is conventional wisdom for the nice places in Manhattan or Brooklyn


When should we consider buying, instead of renting (in NYC)?

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Bosque » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What about NYC?


Think about 2-3k is conventional wisdom for the nice places in Manhattan or Brooklyn


When should we consider buying, instead of renting (in NYC)?


I would actually be interested in having a conversation about this generally.

I am going to be in DC. This is the first time I have lived in DC for an extended period of time (other than last summer and when I was little and not paying attention to neighborhoods and such). I don't really know where I want to be, so right now my plan is to rent for the first year (either a 1 bedroom if I can find a cheap one or find some roommates), and then start thinking about buying a place after a year. I am thinking I want to spend no more than $2-2.25k a month inclusive (so rent, utilities, parking, ect. all added together). I figure that will give me time to get a feel for where I really want to be/see if I am still single or if it looks like I will need a bigger place.

Good plan? Bad plan? What would/are you guys going to do?

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby DCDuck » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:31 pm

I am also going to be in DC. I am hoping to spend $2000 for a nice, safe 1br with an easy metro walk, but not including parking or utilities. To make this happen, I am looking at NoVa. If you want to live alone somewhere other than a studio for that budget, you'll probably need to look to VA or MD. If you don't mind roommates, or don't mind being far from public transportation, you can live safely in the District for less than $2k.

This is what I was thinking, anyone have thoughts on this? I lived in DC for a couple years, but not making nearly as much money. I'm hoping for better living situation this time around.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:52 pm

Gosh that is a lot of money down the drain for rent. I'm going to continue to live like a broke college student until I have a good chunk of money saved and my loans paid off.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Bosque » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:10 pm

DCDuck wrote:I am also going to be in DC. I am hoping to spend $2000 for a nice, safe 1br with an easy metro walk, but not including parking or utilities. To make this happen, I am looking at NoVa. If you want to live alone somewhere other than a studio for that budget, you'll probably need to look to VA or MD. If you don't mind roommates, or don't mind being far from public transportation, you can live safely in the District for less than $2k.

This is what I was thinking, anyone have thoughts on this? I lived in DC for a couple years, but not making nearly as much money. I'm hoping for better living situation this time around.


I think I would still be ok with roommates... depending on the roommates. At least for the first year. I am still in the early twenties age group, so living thrifty while looking for a more permanent solution seems ok with me for now.

I actually was thinking about NoVa for when I buy a place, probably the Arlington area. I guess I might as well look there for rental deals too. No better way of figuring out if I like living there than actually living there, eh?

I am working by the convention center right off Mt. Vernon Square, which means I really can be on any metro line. I guess right now I am thinking of looking in Arlington, Logan Circle, parts of shaw, and maybe Capitol Hill. Any other's you would suggest adding, or would you strike any of those off the list?

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Bosque » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gosh that is a lot of money down the drain for rent. I'm going to continue to live like a broke college student until I have a good chunk of money saved and my loans paid off.


Also this. I am still having a bit of sticker shock, considering I have never lived anywhere (on my own) I had to pay anything north of 1K.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby PeanutHead » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:10 pm

There was a fairly useful DC housing thread a while back. I would look it up, but I'm too lazy.

I live in a giant basement 1 bedroom on capital hill. Rent is under 1300/mo. utilities (all) included. Red line from Union station or the circulator bus (the good bus) both make K street area fairly accessible. My place is not fancy, but I really don't understand the logic behind renting a killer place that you are going to spend hardly anytime, but that's just me.

Anything on the west side of town (where all the law firms are) is going to be 2k and up. Arlington is actually pretty nice, cheaper than DC, and the orange line dumps out right near where all the firms are.

I'm planning on staying here (have a biglaw DC job) and living basically the same lifestyle I am now and paying down my loans as fast as possible.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gosh that is a lot of money down the drain for rent. I'm going to continue to live like a broke college student until I have a good chunk of money saved and my loans paid off.


I don't see any reason NOT to. I mean, shit. Live cheap until you have most of your debt paid off. You won't live in squalor if you only spend ~$1000-1500 per month in rent.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby tlstlstls73 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Gosh that is a lot of money down the drain for rent. I'm going to continue to live like a broke college student until I have a good chunk of money saved and my loans paid off.


I don't see any reason NOT to. I mean, shit. Live cheap until you have most of your debt paid off. You won't live in squalor if you only spend ~$1000-1500 per month in rent.


What if you're tired of living cheap in college and law school and want to actually enjoy your life during what little time you have not slaving over biglaw hours? I'm sure some people just live large, pay the minimums on their loan, and hope they will not get pushed out of biglaw. Read an article the other day about some big VC with a net worth of millions who still is paying his student loans off. This debt is often at a fixed interest, and maybe the 100k interest is worth it to someone who hopes to make north of 500k/year within 15 years and wants to put roommates, small apartments, and top ramen behind them! Irresponsible young lawyers unite!

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm looking further south. Maybe should PM each other, lol, seeing as how we'll be in the same boat. Also thinking about a kid down the road...


Email me at omnomspamnom at gmail. I'll delete this after I hear back from you.

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Re: biglaw how much to spend on rent

Postby azntwice » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:17 pm

shmoo597 wrote:
azntwice wrote:my friend says to take your salary divided by 40. that's how much you can afford to spend on rent per month ($4k for standard 160 biglaw). however, i would divide whatever number you get by 2 if you're trying to pay back loans.


This is really terrible advice. 4k for a 1st year biglaw associate? that's insane. After tax, you're making 100k. Paying 48k a year in rent is really, really dumb, even with no debt.



Yes, the 4k is a ceiling -- not a target -- which is why I said you should divide the number you get by 2. I personally wouldn't want to spend 4k on rent either, but if you're in Manhattan (which I know OP is not), you're going to spend at least 1500-2k/mo no matter what, plus utilities, cable, etc. /shrug




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