InvestiDate - How to Investigate Your Date
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Clues (blog)

Rentometer.com - the key to his assets

If I had the choice (and I do) to date a guy with a big heart
or with a big bank account – I’d take the big heart. But
that’s just me. And who am I to judge the wants and needs of
other single gals?

So, if you want to have an idea of how much your prospective
mate makes, or made pre-Bush economy, then a little creative
problem-solving will go a long way. Remember though, many many
people are looking for work these days.

A helpful site called Rentometer.com helps you figure out if
you’re paying too much for rent in New York City, the United
States, Canada, and London. So, if you can use the site to
rent-check yourself, you can also use it to rent-check your
date. In theory, New York City landlords require a tenant to
make 40 times the rent.

Checking your own rent is easy. After all, you know where you
live. Checking your date’s, well that takes a bit more
finesse. You see, the site requires a zip code and an amount
spent on monthly rent; though you can guesstimate both of
these pretty accurately.

Over dinner it’s not unusual to ask your date what part of the
city he lives in (pray it’s not Chelsea). Let’s say he says
Murray Hill. You may choose to ask if he lives alone (think:
studio or 1-bedroom) or if he has roommates (1 roommate? So, a
2-bedroom?). Usually, men will tell you “Oh a buddy from
college,” or “some buddies from college” - plural.
The information comes in handy on rentometer.com’s required
fields. If you have an address- great. If you don’t, it’s not
a dead end.

Rentometer has four required fields:

1. “I am” field, then you choose whether he is a tenant
or a landlord from a drop down menu.
2. “City & State, or Zip”field, you will need the zip. We all
know NYC living is expensive. If you don’t know his zip code
check out this NYC zip code cheat sheet. Another idea if you
have his first and last name is to run it by ZabaSearch, this
usually pulls up an address history.
3. “Current Monthly Rent”field, this you’ll need to guess. If
it’s a studio, guess for $2,000. If it’s a one-bedroom start
at $2,600 and gauge the response from there.
4. “Bedrooms” field is another guess. Studio or 1-bedroom are
more likely if he lives alone. Two bedrooms and up if he has
roommates. Click Analyze My Apartment.
Rentometer will then tell you if your rent (or his rent) is
too high, too low, of just about right. Then comes a sentence
chock-full of valuable information: “About 11% listings are
higher priced,” for example. So, you’re pretty accurate but if
you want to hit the proverbial nail on the head, try again.

If you click “Explain” you get more insight. If you click “Try
by Zip Code” Rentometer checks again results based on 1,000
properties within a few miles from your location.

Now, you’ve pinned him to pay $3800 for a two-bedroom. Don’t
go multiplying that by 40 yet. Did he have a roommate, say
he’s a fair guy and that rent gets split down the middle; that
brings him to $1,900 a month in rent. If he’s lived there for
more than 5 years he’s probably paying less than that too.
Regardless, that’s the number you’ll use to get an idea about
his income. In theory, a $1,900 a month rent (x 40) means he’s
making at least $75k in landlord terms.

So here you have it ladies, the key to the financials.