Affordable Housing

By staff May 24, 2007


Be they ever so humble, our local pads are more than adequate.


By Hannah Wallace


I grew up in this town, so during my shaky post-college employment/unemployment roller-coaster-of-income, I’ve reverted back to rent-free living at the ‘rents more times than I care to admit. But when I’m not crashing in my childhood bedroom, I’ve managed to afford some pretty cool abodes—and my fellow proletariat friends do the same. This is what our incomes get us:


(On a side note, I was going to write about sub-affluent living situations anyway, but became even more motivated after recently discovering that Cheetah Club Boyfriend, who moved to Florida less than two years ago, was actually forced to rent an apartment that doubles as the Pinellas Park landfill. Poor guy.)



Recent college grad and Sarasota newcomer Megan landed her job at the magazine before moving here from her hometown, Orlando. She found an awesome apartment in Laurel Park—corner unit, hardwood floors, lots of windows, the whole shebang—and resides there with her cat, who is afflicted with leprosy or diphtheria or dysentery or some kind of bad humours (though she would like everyone to know that the cat is not contagious and she herself does not have any of those diseases). Her place is two blocks from both work and Cold Stone Creamery. I am jealous and I hate her.


BIG J, LITTLE J (what begins with J?)

A Bradenton native, 30-something Big J runs a home for lost boys in Samoset, near 301 and 38th Avenue East. He owns the two-cum-three-bedroom, one-bath house and rents out the other two rooms to a variety of guy friends (current tenants are Little J and salesman extraordinaire Scooter P), creating an awesome frat-house environment. Actually, Big J’s pretty fastidious—and a handyman to boot—so it’s a tidy (if smoky) little frat house. And while both Js have a long commute to their Clark Road jobs, they can carpool, so it’s not such a hardship.



With an eight-year-old hockey dynamo to nurture, the Harribles bought a two-bedroom, two-bath house near the ice rink in Ellenton (technically, “Palmetto,” though I’ve never quite figured out how you can drive east through Ellenton and wind up in Palmetto again). They, too, both work in Sarasota (in fact, Coach Mr. Harrible works in Venice), but considering the amount of time they spend at the rink (not to mention the difference in house prices between here and there), I think the commutes pretty well even out.



A couple of years ago I landed a 10-foot-by-16-foot studio guest house (with an admittedly large bathroom) in the back yard of a modest-size home in Indian Beach. It’s small and has no stove, but it’s also hidden from the street, close to work, and I don’t have to share a wall with anyone (so I can crank up my Glengarry Glen Ross DVD without fear of frightening the neighbors). Plus, I have a yard in which to place the overflow when my guests exceed my home’s capacity (which is 2.5 people). This is what I can afford when I stick to the “your monthly rent should be one-fourth your monthly income” rule my mother taught me. And you know what? It does just fine.

Filed under
Show Comments