The first thing I need to say is this – all the money that people contributed to the Bob Colby Moving Fund via the “Do The Bob” show and individual contributions is still sitting in its own account, and will be used for its stated purpose when I actually manage to move.
The question is when that will be, and the short answer is that I’m not sure right now. I’m used to the Boston housing market (where it’s not that unusual for people to fork over a substantial share of their income in rent), so I assumed that since I had budgeted things out so that I could handle $650 or so in rent, it meant that I would be able to snag one of the places in that price range (in the Durham, NC area) – there aren’t that many and they might not be the most desirable, but they do exist.
Well, I was wrong. I spent a few days in Durham last week and the standard appears to be that your income must be three times your rent. And by that standard it looks like my modest Social Security check would not qualify me to live on my own anywhere in this country, with the possible exception of a run-down trailer park somewhere in the outback (actually, I would consider that if there was one within walking distance of a bus line, but I couldn’t see one in the area I was looking).
However, there is a range of fairly attractive two-bedrooms that I *could* afford if I had a roommate (assuming that they had a similar income to mine). So I will be trying to put together a friends-of-friends network that will hopefully uncover a suitable roommate in time (based on my roommate history before I found my current situation, I’d rather have some way to vet people as opposed to dealing with total strangers).
That said, what do I do for the moment? If you’ve been following the story, my main reason for doing this is so that I don’t completely exhaust my steadily-dwindling retirement savings (which at the current burn rate will be gone in less than three years). Since this moving project is going to take longer than I thought, I’m going to have to do some serious budget-cutting to close at least a part of that gap. Among other things, that means I won’t be able to play the scene-supporter role nearly as much as I have in the past. So if you don’t see me around all that often from now on, I hope you’ll understand – I’ll do what I can, when I can. In the meantime, I will continue to downsize, so as to be better able to jump on any opportunity that might present itself.