A few months ago, I decided I would continue renting since I’m just not in a position to buy anything yet. I made a move from a rental house, where I got to learn about repairs and high utility bills in preparation of someday owning my own little house, to a gorgeous apartment. Not only is the apartment big (bigger than the rental house I was living in), it really is the most beautiful building and unit I’ve ever seen which made my reluctance of moving into an apartment from a house completely disappear.

Some friends and relatives thought it was an absurd idea to move into another rental now that the housing market is finally at a more affordable level. Yet I know too many people who are stuck with houses that they no longer want, or can afford, so my decision didn’t seem so absurd after all.

And, something happened to make me appreciate apartment living all over again: I received my water, trash and sewer bill. For the month of November is was $11.99! Yes, you read that right: $11.99!

In comparison, at the rental house every month water, trash and sewer charges were hovering around $125.00. I never understood why the sewer and trash charges were so high at the rental house, but as you can imagine I was in utter disbelief when I received my current bill. My savings each month is much greater than I had calculated; I’m saving approximately $113 a month so far in utilities.

I haven’t received my electric bill yet, but I’m predicting that it will also be much less than what I was paying at the house. I’m ecstatic that my utility bills are quite a bit less than what I was paying; I can now budget some of the savings toward my savings accounts this year so I can reach my 2011 goal.

Have you recently moved and noticed a price increase or decrease in your utility bills? Are utilities a main benefit of renting?



  1. WOW! What a difference! We are on a septic system and our water bill for two months is around $30, compared to those on sewer whose bills are around $100. I would never want to be on sewer for that reason alone…

    Good for you! 🙂
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..Decluttering Challenge- 365 in 2011 =-.

  2. I wouldn’t get a house until I had a comfortable monthly buffer to fall back on. In addition to increased utilities, you also have home insurance, taxes, and repairs that are constant and never ending. I love my house but it’s been a heck of an eye opener seeing what a money suck it is.

    I hope you get to save tons of money this year and I’m glad you love your new abode. You should post some pics up.

    • @First Gen American – Living in our rental house, we learned all about repairs and constant money flowing out of our wallets – and it wasn’t even our house! I’ll post pics once we get the place a little more furnished – one down fall with a larger place: the need for more furniture!

  3. Good for you! It is hard to make that kind of change without support. Congratulations on the good judgment.
    .-= krantcents´s last blog ..My 2011 New Year’s Resolutions =-.

    • @Krantcents – When I first started looking at places to rent, I really didn’t want to even look at apartments. But this particular unit and building is not the ordinary apartment in my area – and that made a difference. Now that my water and trash bill is so low, it’s just icing on the cake, so to speak!

  4. @Jeff – I have indoor cats, so they’re just as happy here as they were at our rental house. However, if I had a dog, that would be different story. Dogs need lots of space to run! Or at least the opportunity to go outside as often as the weather permits.

  5. I’ve lived in apartments for a long time, and my condo is essentially a glorified apartment! There are downsides, but it really isn’t so bad at all.
    .-= Invest It Wisely´s last blog ..Happy New Year! =-.

  6. Glad you’re realizing some savings over the rental home! I had to laugh a little, because our utility bills (gas/electric) in our new home are LOWER than what they were in our rental apartment (in a 100-year-old home with an inefficient boiler). And our home is about 3 times the size of the 2-bedroom apartment we were last in.

  7. @Invest It Wisely
    That’s one good thing when it comes to condo’s and townhouses; the utilities can be kept low like an apartment’s! Multi-unit dwellings are usually more energy efficient since they retain temperature better. 😉

  8. @Penny Frugalista
    That’s crazy that your 100-year-old home is turning out to be less expensive regarding utilities than your previous apartment! When we moved into our rental house many years ago, I had already braced myself for the higher utilities; I just hadn’t realized how HIGH they would get. Of course, living in a semi-arid environment doesn’t do a lawn any good – so much of our water/sewer/ and trash portion of our bill probably had something to do with the lawn!

  9. Apartments are so much more efficient versus free standing homes and a lot easier to maintain for the landlords as well. I never really understood why people buy single family homes as investments because there’s so much more hassle compared to buying multi family, and the margins are lower… but anyways… How are you doing on planning for your home when you do decide to buy/build? Got a dream home plan yet?
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Creating Multiple Streams of Income =-.

  10. Ronald R. Dodge, Jr. Reply

    For me, I moved into a home from a rental in June 2005. However, even before then, I also had to do my homework. First and for most, I had to look at what were my total costs (accrual based) of renting vs owning. Either way, cause of a growing family, I had to move to a different place as the home we were in at that time was too small for us (even according to the county zoning bylaws as one must have a minimal of 250 sqft of finished area per household member). As such, I had to find a home that had a minimal of 1500 sqft of finished area to move out of the rental home of 952 sqft of finished area. We ended up moving into a home of 1750 sqft of finished area.

    As for utility usage on a proportionate basis, it worked out to be about equal between renting vs owning. Water and trash were an additional bills as were property taxes, MIP, Home owner’s insurance, and the interest on the mortgage. However, the cost of the rent went away along with the local city income taxes went away. As such, once enough savings was built up and the interest rate got to be low enough, the cost of owning has dropped to a point it was lower than the cost of renting. That’s one of 4 main factors you should look at when choosing rather to rent or own.

    As for the other 3, are you in a position, should you lose your primary income, do you have a recourse action without losing your home? We technically wasn’t, but I been very fortunate in many regards.

    Are you having to deal with slumlords who are just being so pushy that it’s actually pushing the cost of renting way higher (such as are they not fixing the windows/door to the area, or attempt to lay the blame of the funance/AC not working properly onto you, or attempt to make you out as wasting energy when the room that has the opened window is too hot while another room is too cold due to insufficient heat in that room with the heat controlled by the slumlord, not by you? Do they lay the claim you didn’t pay your bill ontime, so they attempt to kick you out within 3 business days out of retaliation all cause you didn’t go for that lease to buy contract after you giving them a 30 day notice of you moving out of the rental. Do they look for excuses to kick you out and then look for ways to charge you bogus charges and keep your deposit)? Yes, I been through all of these different night mares with renting, thus why I got out of the renting business as a tenant. Unless I have no realistic choice, I will never go back as a tenant in the renting business either.

    • @Ronald – I agree that it’s important to weigh all of the benefits of owning vs. renting. Where I live, rent can be quite a bit less than owning, and our utilities are much less as a renter. I think it’s because our old rental house was really an energy hog. Although becoming a homeowner is a plan I intend to accomplish in a few years.

  11. Houses are incredibly expensive. I am glad I have a home because of the kids, but unless the housing market is doing fantastic, I think owning a home in a money losing proposition these days. (Because of taxes, insurance, upkeep, repairs, etc.)

    Keep on loving that apartment!
    .-= Everyday Tips´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolutions – The Five S’s… =-.

    • @Everyday Tips – I really want to someday live in my own little house, but for now the apartment living is just fine. I really think it’s the layout (doesn’t feel like an apartment at all), it’s very spacious and our little patio is fine for now. I’m sure this spring and summer I’ll miss our back yard, but it will do in the mean time.

  12. Wow! That is crazy!

    Not quite enough for me to be willing to move back to an apartment… but definitely food for thought.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..2010 in review by WordPress =-.

    • @Nicole – I know. I was expecting a considerable savings on my water/trash bill, but I was blown away when it was so low! Now I’ll be really happy if the bill stays consistent from month to month. 😉

  13. retirebyforty Reply

    We downsized from a house to a condo and the utilities bills went down by around 75%. Of course we have to pay HOA and that amount is a lot more than the bills so …….
    We also went down to one car though so I think it pretty much evens out.
    .-= retirebyforty´s last blog ..Overheard In The Break Room- an xtranormal animation =-.

  14. Hi Little House, I’m glad to see more posts on the joys of renting! I save by getting free landscaping and irrigation water, since my landlord pays for them. Our A/C bill is also lower as the people upstairs like it cold, and the cool air sinks. Fortunately, they are rarely home too. 🙂
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Be Green- Save Green By Cutting Fuel Use =-.

  15. @Heather
    I’m not very familiar with swamp coolers, but they are supposed to be more energy efficient than A/C units. I’m a little afraid of our energy bills come summer since we normally get a few weeks of scorching weather. But, I’ll just have to cross my fingers and see!

  16. @Jennifer Barry
    I didn’t factor in free landscaping, but I’m getting that too! Saves me $100 a month, but I had already factored that in with my increase in rent – so for me it was really a wash. 😉

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