After a spectacular availability increase in my city which turned it into a "renter's market", I am shopping for a new domicile. A friend suggested I aim for the 90% solution, whereby if I view an apartment that has at least 90% of the features I am looking for, I snap it up. My question is as follows; is budgeting 25% of your income for rent and utilities a reasonable yardstick? Is that 25% of your gross income, or net? I've found a super-awesome apartment but it is at the limit of my 25% budget and is a fair increase over what I am paying now, but is far nicer.