Day 6 | $0 paid | $90,717 till freedom
Now accepting applications to be my roommate!
$550/month for a fully furnished room of a 2,000 sqft 3br/2ba home, including all utilities (electricity/gas/water/wireless).
I think it’s a fair price, considering the competitoin and the overall value. I said in an earlier post, Brass Tacks, that I wanted to get $650/mo for $6,500 potential upside, but after looking at the market, I can’t go higher than $550. So already my assumptions in my original hustle plan are breaking down.
Here are a couple shots of the room.
I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t facing the proposition of having a roommate with complete and utter trepidation. That being said, it’s not like I’ve had negative roommate experiences that justify my current attitude. I lived with five guys and a girl for two years in undergrad in a small house off campus, and I had the time of my life. We all had something in common–we were all on the rowing team–so we had a common bond, it united us, it kept us all on the same schedule, and it helped with logistics and training. There was absolutely zero drama in the house. We were chill and we genuinely liked each other and spending time with each other.
A bunch of rowers lived next door, and one of them used to write words in maple syrup on our concrete back stoop as a practical joke. That back stoop led directly into my bedroom. More than one morning was spent scrubbing the syrup away. It really, really irritated me, and I looked forward to getting my own place so I wouldn’t have to deal with that nonsense.
When I graduated and moved down to Austin into a one bedroom apartment, I thought I would be glad to be living alone–after all, I enjoy peace and quiet and privacy, and I didn’t like scrubbing syrup off my stoop. But I wasn’t glad at all, and truth be told, I missed those maple syrup messages like hell. I was miserable. I missed the companionship. At our place in Ann Arbor, there was always somebody around to talk to, always somebody watching TV or cooking or eating something in the kitchen. I missed the random drive-bys from my roommates. I really, really missed the house parties.
We threw some epic bashes, and got several noise violations. Several hours before the party, we would put all the furniture away–usually in my room since it was the only bedroom on the first floor, then we’d got kegs. Soon, the house would be packed the house shoulder-to-shoulder with friends and strangers and we’d paly the worst techno music ever, mosh like crazy in the living room, and generally blow it out. The next mornings were spent cleaning up countless red plastic cups around the house and yard and steam-cleaning the carpet, creating the dirtiest, most foul-looking water ever.
One post-party morning, we found that somebody, probably in a drunken stupor, had somehow fallen and managed to wrench the shower spigot at a downward angle so that water couldn’t flow–they had effectively crimped the copper tubing that comes out of the wall. Because we didn’t have a soldering gun and couldn’t afford a plumber, we had to use our female roommate’s creme brulee torch to melt the solder around the copper tube to free it and replace it.
Anyway, it turns out I missed all of those shenanigans. So after a year of living alone, I rented the room out of a colleague’s house who also rented rooms to two ther guys. It turns out that living with teammates in a house is far, far different experience than sharing a living space with other professionals. Maybe it was just those guys–maybe other people have had different experiences–but there was not a whole lot of camaraderie. There wasn’t a lot of drama, either–after all, we’re dudes–but it didn’t have the same feel at all. We just kind of ignored each other.
I lived there for a year then went off to HBS, lived alone for two years on campus, then returned to Austin and continued living alone.
I’ve turned into the kind of guy who likes his space. I like blasting my music really, really loudly in the mornings and at night–so loud that my neighbors have complained (but only once). I walk around without a shirt on all the time–think Mark Wahlberg in Date Night. (I mean, I don’t look like him, but you know what I mean.) I wake up in the mornings and I don’t want to talk to anyone. My friends and I have a drink or two here before we go out, and sometimes we after-party here, too. I guess that’ll have to come to a screeching halt when I get a roommate. Oh, wait, I’ll be pedi-cabbing on the weekends, so it will be a non-issue. Ugh.
Life with a roommate is going to be difficult. It will mean sacrifice. I will screen carefully, but somebody who wants to pay off $90k in ten months can’t really be too choosy about their revenue sources. But life with a roommmate might be really fun. If they’re cool, clean, aren’t always home, then it could be relativley painless.
I posted the ad ten minutes ago and just got a call from Sarah. She just finished grad school and is relocating to Austin to work in the Finance Development Program at Dell. She wants to scope 0ut Austin and ramp up at work before finding a more permanent situation, so she’s looking for a place for six to eight months. She’s going to come check out the place when she gets to Austin next week. I never considered having a female roommate. I mean, that sounds…dangerous, and fraught with potential drama. But she seemed cool on the phone, so we’ll do the interview and see where it goes.
..and I just got a call from Mark who wants to check it out. He’s forty, divorced, living in South Austin but works in Pflugerville, and wants to shorten his commute. Two hits in thirty minutes. Not bad. I guess the price is right. Hopefully these candidates are, too.