The same place would have been rented for 2 x the amount I am paying in 2007 (700 Euro).. I know it because I was looking for a place to rent then in new buildings.Renting in my 3rd world country is not usually an option as most of the times is not legal (the owner does not want to pay taxes for the money he/she gains) and you really have no rights.
So the prices for buying went sky high in 2007 (the apartment I will move to costs 60.000 Euro now but 120.000 in 2008).
Guess what : now they do agree to have a contract and pay taxes for it.
The place a programmer lives in is not as important as the place he works at nevertheless there are a lot of programmers that do code at home for side-projects , their business idea or as in my case just fun ... well you need a good environment:
1) Quiet and no interruptions space- yes it does matter
2) Space for computer stuff : a computer book library , a desk with a top of the line(and very quiet) desktop , maybe another place to take the laptop to for a while(a porch/garden in a house is ideal),a router for sharing connections for your home network , a server (for your site) and maybe a printer.
3)Separation from other family members for a small while
I dream about the bionic office but I realize I will just get it at my home , never at work, because really programmers are becoming glorified typists and work conditions won't get better here (in my country I have see only one company using cubicles .. let's not even think about private offices).
My current place just does not cut it anymore .. too little , too old , too dirty , too many scratches from neighbors on my car (Romanian habit on cars parked in crowded places if you happen to find an empty spot(unmarked) expect to have a car key scratch on it when you return).
If you never code at home you can live in a crammed room in a big city and literally live at the office and in the city but for me the place I code in is very important.
So important I thought about buying a house in a small town and starting my own business (software of course) and you know what I would be a happier coder then the typical apartment renter/owner dwelling in a big city , working in a open plan office and in a Dilbert like company.
Maybe .. just maybe I could do it. Food for thought.
For now I can't wait to move ... to a place I thought I would never afford.
PS : I still blame Kyosaki for the real estate bubble .. because nobody could afford to buy a really comfortable place to live in(like a house with a garage and garden) .. without being a drug dealer and now everybody is defaulting on loans they took thinking the houses/flats values would increase infinitely and yes in Romania it was 3X worse than in US .