Suggestions on living in a car

GIGorJOB

Member
While it is something to consider, you should think about a roommate or being someone else's if you don't want to deal with collecting, not paying, evicting, etc. If you have friends or family nearby offer to pay rent for a room, basement, garage, or if they might want to move in with you.

In my personal opinion, would strongly look into buying into a coop, although you don't actually own the unit, you have a more interest in the unit/complex compared to traditional renting, the maintenance charges usually offer tax advantages, and given the specific market, it/your shares could appreciate but these things may vary but overall it can be relatively inexpensive.

If your ok with a van/car than a studio or small one bed should suffice. It varies by state, region and complex but the typical downside is the screening requirements. Usually need to meet certain credit and income targets and possibly background, etc. The complex could also get into financial trouble and Bankruptcy which could cost you your investment or higher maintenance costs but look into the ones with strong financials and operating record, a local realtor can help you with this.

Also need to factor the new car payment, the auto insurance, whether you now need full coverage or not, PO Box cost, gym membership, etc.

Just to give an example, I have a friend who lives in one of the most expensive counties in the county but was able to find a very well run and maintained coop, with lots of amenities, where the maintenance only costs about $500-$600 a month, think he paid around $35k for a smaller studio and actually took out financing, 10%-20% down, it varies. On average that's roughly the same as what it would cost to come up with a couple months security and first month and is nearly half in some cases of what the rent costs in the same area for a similar type of living unit. Not saying that will be the case for everyone or everywhere but it's worth looking into.
 
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Pax_Buster

Well-Known Member
I don't need any sympathy. I am perfectly fine. Rideshare is not as great as it used to be. But even now I make decent money. I can afford a place to live. BUT I DON'T WANT TO WASTE MY MONEY ON RENT. I HAVE WASTED ENOUGH ALREADY. $50,000 wasted on rent in three years. I know where it went. It went to the landlord's mortgage. Nope, not anymore.
 

Iann

Well-Known Member
You're younger so if it doesn't work out like you planned, then it's easier to bounce back.

Maybe look into renting a parking spot you can sleep in?

In Portland you could get away with sleeping at the Airport Queue.

The newer minivans are really nice with tons of storage.
Decent gas mileage for their size at 26 mpg or go for a Hybrid for even better mileage.

If you have a storage locker you most likely won't be carrying around dirty clothes to funk up the place.

Some of the negative Nancy's here are telling you not to because they are afraid of trying things out of there comfort zones.

If I were in my 20's without any dependants I would give it a go.
 

Steven Ambrose

Well-Known Member
I know people may be giving some funny responses, but I find none of this funny at all. If the OP should happen to live in the area, they are free to stay with me. I understand there are things that people must do, but living in one's vehicle shouldn't be one of them and besides that, there are so many risks to doing this.
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
Not that I know but am now curious, does living in your car violate a health code somehow per region? Especially as a for hire taxi...?
 

Pax_Buster

Well-Known Member
I was pretty clear with my question. Some of the stuff posted in reply was really not asked for.
But thanks anyways.
 

Luckydraw

Member
Well I'll add my .02$. I live in the midwest and you can find 1 and 2 bedroom apts under 1,000. Some under 700$. Of course these arent perfect, but better than living in a car. Super nice 1 bedrooms in the area (underground parking, brand new buildings) are going for about $1200. Jobs are good and plentiful and gas is under $2.20. Having lived in the bay area long ago, living there is a lifestyle and the weather is phenomenal and would be a hard place to leave. However, I would never move back. I visit friends out that way often and take a look at real estate and it makes coming home better. I understand your situation and you have to choose whats best for you. At least give the car thing a few months try before giving up your current place. Again just my .02$ and dad advice....
 

Fusion_LUser

Well-Known Member
Seems like you made up your mind on this major move in life and more power to you... odds are not in your favor on this working out the way you hope but if it does you can come back to a group of strangers you don't know and laugh at their negativity!

One thing you should consider is a closed rooftop carrier vs. a open one...

Yakaima.jpg


Something like this will keep your worldly possessions dry and a little more secure..
 
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Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
I know people may be giving some funny responses, but I find none of this funny at all. If the OP should happen to live in the area, they are free to stay with me. I understand there are things that people must do, but living in one's vehicle shouldn't be one of them and besides that, there are so many risks to doing this.
You would let a complete stranger live with you? Just asking not mocking you etc
 

Oscar Levant

Well-Known Member
I thought a lot last night, and this is my final decision. I am serious about it.
I have decided to finance a brand new Toyota minivan for a little over $600 per month. That is half of my rent excluding the utilities. This Van will be my home, a home on 4 wheels, and my Uber/Lyft rig.
Any suggestions on living in a car will be really appreciated. I've never done this, so I really don't know much. Kindly list of few things that I will need while I'm living in a car. Pillows, a matress, a blanket etc. Just some things that won't affect my Uber/Lyft work during the day.
I checked this minivan and it is huge with plenty of storage, I'm pretty sure I could hide all that stuff somewhere in the back.
Any ideas will be much appreciated. I am really fed up with wasting a big pile of cash on rent.
I will talk to my landlord tonight if I still could use his address for my mail. That rises another question. How to have a mailing address when you're living in a car?

Just join your local YMCA for showers, etc. Get a P.O. Box, ( I wouldn't rely on a third party for mail ). You're good to go. Get a hot plate, refrig, etc. I've done it, and it's not an easy life. I need space, personally, so what I did was........

Or, do like me, buy a used manufactured home in a park. I paid $20k cash for mine, 10 years ago, the space rent's rent-controlled, and has been $650 for the last 10 years, I have 2 bedrooms, washer dryer, 1200 sq ft, and access to 2 swimming pools.

Much better solution, and I split that rent with my brother. Don't know if you can find one now for $20k, though, I bought when it was a buyer's market. I am in a seniors only park ( where the space rent is cheaper ) and in San Diego, the used ones like mine are now going for about $60k. But, if you live in a cheaper state, that's an idea. Unless, of course, you live in a tornado region. Not a good idea.

also, if you get in an accident with the van, and it needs body work, have money set aside for motels, about a week's worth is enough, just in case.
 
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observer

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Just when you think you have seen everything ridiculous in life some stranger advocates having “FUN” being on the street hahahah Jesus I stoop low, but I appear to have no self respect anymore if I am participating in a discussion that says this...wow. I guess I did it to myself in life, well you do live and learn lol

Some people would consider this an adventure, I know I would.

The OP seems to have made a decision to do this and is not actually being forced to do so. The good thing is he's thinking ahead and planning what he will need now, before he actually does it.

Someday he'll be able to look back and say "I can't believe I did that" and have stories to tell his children.
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
Last night I slept in my Camry. I was so tired I fell asleep like a baby. With just a pillow. A soft pillow and mattress and a big minivan will do wonders. I am convinced that I will have no problems. Tonight my landlord is getting a notice. Can't wait to get my hands on my deposit.
Thanks everybody
That is awesome, if you have time you should blog it each day, I for one am curious in length what types of challenges you face be it trespassing warnings or random people coming to your car etc and also the overall progress you make by doing this adventure! Can be a fun story to follow if you take a few minutes each day to document living in your car. Best of luck
 

Pax_Buster

Well-Known Member
That is awesome, if you have time you should blog it each day, I for one am curious in length what types of challenges you face be it trespassing warnings or random people coming to your car etc and also the overall progress you make by doing this adventure! Can be a fun story to follow if you take a few minutes each day to document living in your car. Best of luck
Oh yeah, thinking of starting a YouTube channel. Stay tuned. I will have a home which moves. It will move to wherever I want it. Yosimite, Lake tahoe, Bear Mountain...... I will be giving rides all over California baby!
 

Jay Dean

Well-Known Member
Some people would consider this an adventure, I know I would.

The OP seems to have made a decision to do this and is not actually being forced to do so. The good thing is he's thinking ahead and planning what he will need now, before he actually does it.

Someday he'll be able to look back and say "I can't believe I did that" and have stories to tell his children.
I have just seen to many nasty things happen on the streets to see this as any type of “adventure” but working in news I was previewed to that more than your average person. I could see going state park to state park as an adventure, but living in your car in a dense city..as an Uber driver lol sounds like a nightmare to me, we each have our own ideas of what fun is.

Still, it has me re-thinking taking an Uber again from anyone that drives a minivan..it automatically just makes me think of BO now in my head lol
 

Justea

New Member
I thought a lot last night, and this is my final decision. I am serious about it.
I have decided to finance a brand new Toyota minivan for a little over $600 per month. That is half of my rent excluding the utilities. This Van will be my home, a home on 4 wheels, and my Uber/Lyft rig.
Any suggestions on living in a car will be really appreciated. I've never done this, so I really don't know much. Kindly list of few things that I will need while I'm living in a car. Pillows, a matress, a blanket etc. Just some things that won't affect my Uber/Lyft work during the day.
I checked this minivan and it is huge with plenty of storage, I'm pretty sure I could hide all that stuff somewhere in the back.
Any ideas will be much appreciated. I am really fed up with wasting a big pile of cash on rent.
I will talk to my landlord tonight if I still could use his address for my mail. That rises another question. How to have a mailing address when you're living in a car?
As far as mail you could get a virtual mail box. For like $10 a month.
 

DeadHeadDriver

Well-Known Member
Since your 99.9% convinced sleeping curbside is going to be 'Easy', just a couple more experiential learning nuggets:

1. You mentioned mattress. Consider Thermarest Z-Lite folding travel pad. (Amazon; $15) Folds accordion-style to hide, yet comfy.
2. DO utilize the cargo-carrier type setup pic above post. Think about some cheap motion-detection lights to attach to underside of cargo box. Car thieves who want to check-out your interior will RAPIDLY leave when LED lights pop-on.
3. ----Speaking of Car Thieves, its easy to forget to Lock-all your doors prior to sleep. You will never forget once you scare/surprise one of these low-life's WHILE they are attempting to jimmy your lock & steal your Home with You in it!
4. Think about & Plan for WHO you will call to Bail You Out of Jail. (for sleeping in your car) Sure the charges will be as Fake as a Pax Poor Service complaint---and just like with U/L your & the Truth will NOT MATTER. Your Outbound call from the County Jail will need to be to a landline phone. No Cell Phone calls. (Right! Think grandparents or Church/Community group?)
5. Whoever will be agree to receive your phone call at 3:45AM will need to have access to probably $5,000 cash or extra 25% if Credit Card. Gonna be tough to find a Bondsman who would take such a small Bond, but thats a diff. problem.
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6. At night Stay in the City vs. burbs of SF. Big City problems means your less of target then in Marin Co. or Walnut Creek for example.
 
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