Monday, June 15, 2009

Three Names on the Doorbell

I guess you could sing that to the tune of "Three Coins in the Fountain," but it's not a song. To me, it was an economic indicator. I noticed that two apartments in my building, both two-bedrooms occupied by roommates, have gone from having two names on the mailbox and doorbell to three.

These are not large apartments but I guess they are trying to make ends meet by squeezing in a third roommate. It's interesting to see these small signs of tough times. Have you noticed people around you making money-saving changes in their lifestyles? In what ways?


Gene said...

Hi, Mme X -

I worked a Census canvassing project earlier this year in which we (theoretically) asked everyone whose door we knocked on if there were separate living quarters in the house. Not many people I talked to in flyover burbs said yes, but more than I expected clearly were thinking about it. The heart-tuggers, though, were the homes with no one home, dead flowers in the front porch pots and utility cutoff notices jammed by the doorbell.

Anonymous said...

There are three houses on my street that are for sale. The prices are still quite high, but we'll see how long they remain empty.

scotttheorange said...

Perhaps a dumb question, but do you know there are actually 3 people in the apartment? One of them could've subletted for a bit and kept their name on the plate for mail or something.

SuperCop said...

My roommate will be moving out in a few months and I've done alot of thinking on whether I want to replace him with one roommate or two for a nice 3-way split. Its a 3 bedroom, 2 story, single family home. Right now the rent is split 50/50, and he has the two upstairs bedrooms. Ive decided that once he leaves Im going to rent out the two bedrooms to one person (target single parents in my ads or someone that would like a home office). The new split is going to be $750 for them and $350 for me. I have the basement with my own entrance, bathroom, and access to the garage. I decided to do this for a few reasons:

1) Though I'm not strapped for cash, hoarding away a few extra hundred a month never hyrt anyone. Besides, I need every little bit for my down oayment when i buy in two years.

2) Finding one quality, trustworthy roommate thats not a pothead or late with their share of the rent is hard enough as it is much less finding two.

3) 3 people would feel claustrophobic to me. Also, I'll know exactly who it was that ate my Cap'n Crunch cereal.

Madame X said...

@ scott, I do know a couple of the girls who live in one of the apartments, and have met one of the people in the other apartment, but I don't see them often enough or know them well enough to have any idea what the actual living arrangements are.

@ supercop, yeah, you definitely have to watch out for those potheads who eat the Cap'n Crunch!

Thrifty gal said...

Not only could the 3rd name belong to a former tenant/subletter, as someone suggested, but it could be that someone is just receiving mail for a friend who moves a lot, is out of town, wants to hide bills from a spouse, etc.

Someone in my building recently added a 3rd name to the mailbox (it's a 2-br place); I don't know if there are 3 people or not.