Or, perhaps more accurately, how much are you willing to pay NOT to live somewhere you hate? I finally got to visit the Sight-Unseen House we have a chance to live in thanks to my partner's job, and though the yard is huge, there are plenty of bedrooms, and the rent is minimal... I really hate the house.
How could I possibly hate a house, you ask? Let me take you on a little tour:
Low ceilings: I'm 5'11", and I felt like the place was closing in on me.
Ceiling tiles: Thank goodness the ceilings are so low, allowing me a really good look at the acoustic ceiling tiles in the bedrooms.
Terrible carpet: Three rooms and the stairway have orange and brown long, shaggy, shiny carpet, the kind that always seems damp.
Horrible linoleum: Five rooms — including two of the bedrooms — have tacky old linoleum floors. In the bedrooms!
Saggy floors: Even if we could afford to put in hardwood floors, it would be impossible/insanely expensive because all the floors sag, are crooked, or both.
Wood panelling: The front room and stairway are entirely wood paneled. Not the cool, modern, Scandinavian kind — the dark, orange, 70s kind. The bedrooms also have wood paneling that's been painted.
Tiny bedrooms: I don't mind a small bedroom, but the layouts are awkward, with the closet and entry doors making it nearly impossible to fit a bed larger than a twin in a reasonable position.
Icky kitchen: Icky floors, icky countertops, icky cabinets.
Lack of interest: The interior of the house is entirely devoid of charm: no woodwork, no molding, no charming hardware or fixtures, no interesting details, no flow, nothing unique.
So, what to do? My last rent was over $1,000/month, for a little place I really liked: would I be willing to pay an extra $12,000/year to live somewhere I like? That seems insane. And if we do rent this house, how much money are we willing to pour into it? Sure, the rent is absurdly low, but fixing the floors alone would cost approximately $4,800, and that's if we do the work ourselves. Ideally, we'd also cover/replace the ceiling tiles, replace the lighting and ceiling fans, replace the countertops, redo the bathroom, and paint all the walls. I don't have an exact figure, but I'm pretty sure that adds up to... a lot of money.
So, what to do? Keep paying tons of money in rent each month rather than live someplace we don't like? Move in and drop a ton of cash making it into a place we're happy to call home? And where exactly will said cash come from? Or just live with all the ugliness, save our pennies, and grin and bear it?