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Old 12.12.2011, 20:25
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How important is your living space to you?

Just looking at accommodation now and am seeing a wide variety of prices. I can get a small studio at dirt cheap prices, or luxury apartments for monthly rents that exceed my monthly salary!

It made me think about how high on the list should accommodation be? After all, a few hundred saved a month would be equal to the financing of a car. So would you prefer a slightly better apartment or a lesser apartment but with a car?

Most of the time, I end up just sleeping at home and then spent the rest of my time at work or out of the house.

EDIT: for the hard of thinking, the car is just an example, the point I'm trying to make is that on a fixed budget, if you spend less on housing, you can spend more on other things which improves your quality of life. The question is then, how much improvement in quality of life do you get from marginal spend on accommodation versus on other things?
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Last edited by Phil_MCR; 13.12.2011 at 12:15.
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:34
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

I prefer a better apartment with a car!
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:36
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

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I prefer a better apartment with a car!
would you take a worse apartment if you could instead spend the difference on a new handbag or designer dress each month?
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:39
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

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would you take a worse apartment if you could instead spend the difference on a new handbag or designer dress each month?


Actually, I'm quite cheap... No, not cheap, I want value for money. So it takes me a long time to choose so that I CAN have it all!!!!!

But in your case, I'd take the cheaper apartment to have the car. Actually, I feel like Charlton Heston... "You'll have to pry this car out of my cold dead hands!"
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:40
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

It's high on the list, and it's worth paying to have somewhere comfortable, but as long as it's a reasonable standard and I like the area I would go for the cheapest apartment that I can find.
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:46
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

My personal space is of utmost importance to me. Aesthetics are closely linked to my emotional state of well-being. I need to feel good where I am, I need to be able to project myself onto my space. I need high ceilings, I need something that is not a box, I like my old creaking wooden floors, I need crooked lines for the straight line is very often soulless, I need a space that I get to know and that gets to know me.

I need a space that can accommodate my few but much loved items of furniture. These are some of my best friends and I spend a lot of time with them. The thought of living in simply 4 walls for the sake of living breaks my heart. It's like anything I have to do, if I am going to have to do it then I will do it with love. I don't eat to live, I live to eat. I don't accommodate my space to live, I live to allow my space to accommodate me.

I spend a lot of time in quiet solitude and so my space means everything to me. I also have a car
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:49
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

My living space is probably THE most important thing to me.
I don't need top-of-the-line luxury or a super great view. But your home is the place that you go for more than just sleep. It is our place to relax, de-stress, escape the rest of the world, and to be ourselves. Things need to WORK. There needs to be enough room for everything to have its own space.

If I come home and there clothes all over the bedroom because there isn't enough room to put everything "away" I feel stressed instead of relaxed.
If the fridge isn't working and my milk goes bad overnight, which then means no coffee in the morning, I'm cranky and stressed.
I would gladly do without an automobile -- especially here in Zurich.

There are so many apartments here that I have seen that I would never be able to live in long term because the 60's orange, brown and yellow tiles with flowered lino flooring would drive me over the edge. Spend a little extra on the rent if you need to. You can always join Mobility if you want to have a car on the weekends or for special trips.

That't how it is for me anyway.
B
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:49
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

We are a family of 5. We chose our apartment based on the minimum we could get, within short walk to the nearest train station, close to my workplace.

We were lucky in being offered three apartments that fit our criteria. Which was basically 5 rooms, cheapest available.

We live without a car. It's a lifestyle decision. Back home in Sydney we would have never gone without a car. We are all healthier because of it, and quite frankly are put off having a car because of the hassle of looking after one.

The plus of our chosen apartment - location, kitchen big enough to eat in, own dryer, washer and dishwasher in the apartment, close to the train station, 5.5 rooms, low rent.

We turned down the two other apartments because one was very dingy - had windows only at either end of a very long rectangular apartment, and the kitchen was tiny and very old. The other apartment was on the top floor, slightly further from the train station, and I could not cope with the idea of having to carry shopping and children's paraphernalia up and down 7 flights of stairs several times a day...

With three kids, new is not better. I'd rather have an older apartment and not be paranoid about the kids marking the walls or the carpet...

Two of our kids share a bedroom. That leaves a small room to be used as an office/study/second living area/guest room. I'm sure a studio is great if you are a single person, who doesn't have guests too often. But it's awesome to have more than one living space in a shared house, so that you aren't 'living on top of each other' all the time...

Personally, noise, neighbours, feelings of safety, decent heating, access to public transport are more important to me than the actual fixtures/fittings of an apartment...
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:53
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

It's also very easy to over-extend yourself on rent, which is then relentless. Better to not overstretch...

That said, apartment standards are extremely high in Switzerland, so even a '1 room' apartment can be quite enormous. A friend of mine in Sydney lived in a public housing 'bedsit' that was 15 square metres including the bathroom...and she was expected to live there permanently for the rest of her life...
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Old 12.12.2011, 20:54
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

When I first moved here, I would have said not very important. A roof over my head, a garden for the mutts - I really didn't care about much else.

However I've completely changed my mind. Housing is my number one deciding factor now - not because I want a palace, but rather because I've learned the hard way that the wrong property can mean having to give up the thing that is most important to me. Living in a gold fish bowl leaves one vulnerable - and you have no protection from mobbing or pettiness.

To keep me and mine safe I need a very specific kind of property, and will not compromise.

Unfortunately, the kind of property I need does not exist in Switzerland - at least not one that is anywhere close to affordable.
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:04
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

It does exist Meloncollie, but not necessarily where YOU want it.

For me space, character, history, a good garden and a bit of land surrounded by nice countryside means everything. I can do without a posh kitchen or bathroom - but not space and light and direct access to a garden.Which is why we bought our place in the Jura mountains and not by Zurich or Geneva lake (where it would have cost at least 4 times more and just wouldn't exist).
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:15
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

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Just looking at accommodation now and am seeing a wide variety of prices. I can get a small studio at dirt cheap prices, or luxury apartments for monthly rents that exceed my monthly salary!

It made me think about how high on the list should accommodation be? After all, a few hundred saved a month would be equal to the financing of a car. So would you prefer a slightly better apartment or a lesser apartment but with a car?

Most of the time, I end up just sleeping at home and then spent the rest of my time at work or out of the house.

You may pay 2500.- for a nice apartment in zurich whereas if you look a bit further out you will get one similar for only 1500.-, wont be a problem as you have a car
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:21
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

A lesser apartment with car would be our choice, although neither of us would choose an apartment over a house if we could help it. It doesn't have to be posh, our recent 1950s house purchase needs to have the kitchen and bathroom renovated, but they're liveable for the time being until we have a bit more cash to pay to update. Couldn't do without the car though, how would I get to Aldi to do my weekly shopping without it? Living in a small village makes it more difficult to get out and about easily; on Saturday we only have 3 buses a day so if you catch the morning one you can't get back home until lunchtime or early evening.
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:39
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

before I used my apartment only for sleeping, was never at home so i had a very cheap apartment in an ok neighborhood with a very comfortable bed. the rest of my money will go on shoes, clothes, makeup and... drinks

Now as a mom the apartment area is a big deal as well as the comfort for my kids. Now I prefer to have a nicer apartment in a nicer area even if it costs more, so basically the answer will depend sometimes in which stage of life you are at..
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:45
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

I can honestly say that I get pleasure out of just sitting on our home every day that I am here: every single day.

Our decision was about the relative increase in quality of life. Adding 10% to rent budget increased our space area and quality and indeed location disproportionately. Coming out of a stone cottage back in Ireland the space we have here is just thrilling.

That said, for young guns about town, less interested in sitting and smiling into space, listening to Bob Dylan or Tom Waits the extra money to go and do stuff must make a great deal of sense
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Old 12.12.2011, 21:51
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

I love my pit.
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Old 12.12.2011, 22:01
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

When looking around I saw some different flats, but the difference between "functional but meh" and "wow" is about 1400 CHFs a month. And I was thinking there's a helluva lot of other stuff you can spend 1400 CHFs on a month (even in Swiss ).
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Old 12.12.2011, 22:02
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

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before I used my apartment only for sleeping, was never at home so i had a very cheap apartment in an ok neighborhood with a very comfortable bed. the rest of my money will go on shoes, clothes, makeup and... drinks

Now as a mom the apartment area is a big deal as well as the comfort for my kids. Now I prefer to have a nicer apartment in a nicer area even if it costs more, so basically the answer will depend sometimes in which stage of life you are at..
i can identify with the first paragraph...

...but not the second - though i guess i am not in the 'nesting' phase
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Old 12.12.2011, 22:04
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

Quite. It must be nice (when bought) or at least decent (when renting). But I never spend the absolute maximum I can afford, I need to have enough over to live comfortably.
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Old 12.12.2011, 22:11
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Re: How important is your living space to you?

Totally depends on your lifestyle. As a family we spend a lot of time in our house so it's very important - I value living space and a fab kitchen over bedrooms and bathrooms because I spend most of my waking time in the lounge and kitchen.

But when I was single I lived in a cheapish tiny flat in town and it was fab because I was never there anyway and I could walk both to work and home from the pub.

Priorities change according to your life.

Mind you, single guys trying to attract the ladies probably should think about getting somewhere nice - no girl is going to enjoy spending the night in a dump! When I had that apartment in town I spent most of my time at my boyfriends as he had a bedroom 3 times the size of mine and a much nicer bathroom
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