These apartments are the reason I still live with my parents

It's no secret the rental market in Dublin stinks. If you're not a lottery winner or a high earner, the apartment options available to you are dire. I know this because I've looked. At 27 years of age, I'm living with my parents over 35 kilometres from my place of work. I commute for three to four hours every day, depending on bus and train times, which naturally eats into my social hours. 'Just move closer to work', I hear you say. Well, I would. But something about paying €1,000 a month (excluding bills) for a dark, cave-like studio doesn't sit well with me. For as long as I can live at home, I will.

Related: House hunting in Dublin 4: May the odds be ever in your favour

My boyfriend and I have discussed moving in together. Two salaries are better than one, right? You'd think that, but no. Even when we combine our budgets, the apartments available to us are for 'single dwellers only', or they are equally as far from our workplaces as we already live. The majority of the places within my price range are listed as STUDENT ACCOMMODATION ONLY. They write it in caps so there's no confusion; if you have a full-time job, you're not welcome here. Similarly, if you have any earthly possessions, they're not welcome either. Can't fit your clothes, groceries and books into the narrow wardrobe provided? Forget about it.

While my situation is far from ideal, I am nonetheless aware of how lucky I am to be able to live at home. Others aren't so fortunate. Just last week, a fellow writer shared her experience of house-hunting in Dublin 4. "Twelve people standing outside a red brick terraced house, willing to kill or more realistically, hand over €1,400 hard cash and a kidney for the chance to live in this Dublin 4 abode," she wrote. I'm thankful I don't have to face Hunger Games scenarios like that. Still, my options aren't great. Below are three examples of the cheapest rentals in Dublin City right now.

Summer Street North, Dublin 1 – €950 per month

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While this studio apartment in the North Inner City appears to be in good condition, it's reminiscent of student accommodation and lacks both storage space and light. For me, at almost €1,000 per month, it's overpriced. Its only saving grace is the bills (heating, wifi and waste collection) are included in the €950 monthly rent.

Photo: Arkcon Lettings, via Daft.iePhoto: Arkcon Lettings, via Daft.iePhoto: Arkcon Lettings, via Daft.ie

90 Upper Dorset street – €1,000 per month

This €1,000 rental price excludes bills, meaning I'd have almost no disposable income at the end of each month to enjoy life. While the apartment is conveniently located, the kitchen is minuscule and there's little to no storage. What's worse, I wouldn't fit in the shower after a large meal. Sure, it could be made more homely with furnishings, but it's not for me.

Photo: Alliance Auctioneers via Daft.iePhoto: Alliance Auctioneers via Daft.iePhoto: Alliance Auctioneers via Daft.ie

61 Grosvenor Square, Rathmines – €950 per month

Here's an example of a place I could afford if I was sharing with someone, but the advertisement (and the bed) specifies it "suits a single person only". The apartment is conveniently located within a five-minute walk of Rathmines village and has been well maintained, but it's very small and not suitable for a couple to stay in. The house search continues.

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Photo: Paula Keaney via daft.iePhoto: Paula Keaney via daft.iePhoto: Paula Keaney via daft.ie

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