Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Apartment Search, From Beginning to End.
I have now officially been in Los Angeles for a little over a week... and luckily, I found a place to live! It's amazing. That's the view right there from our balcony! We looked at two places (called seemingly a thousand others) that were just wonderful and we FOUGHT LIKE HELL to lock one of them down. Finally, on the last day of hope, we got the one we wanted most. Here's the story.
On Tuesday, my Los Angeles friend/mentor/savior, Matt, took us around his neighborhood and the surrounding streets to look for rent signs. There were just a sea of "For Rent - 1bedroom" signs, so we felt really good about our quest! We called (and by we, I mean Matt, because he is a savior) and within an hour we were in a beautiful building adjacent to my buddy Casey's house. And by that I mean, there was a roof deck and if Casey was on his roof deck, we could talk to each other. With string cans, but still, we could talk to each other. The view on the deck was gorgeous and we immediately asked for an application.
We ran down to the grocery store for a money order for the application fee, the machine was down, so we ran to Bank of America where the guy was like, "This is crazy, it's a $10 charge!" and I was like, "Dude, I need it, I'll eat the cost, just give me the god damn money order!" and then we filled out the application and ran back to the building and handed it in.
We left so cocky. Oh how cocky! We stopped looking at other places, we went sight-seeing, we saw a movie in North Hollywood and ate pizza and went to bed on top of the world. This was so easy, idiots! We've been here one full day and we've got a place!
Cut to 9:30 am Wednesday morning (I had already been up for two and a half hours... jet lag is.... awesome.) We got declined. My credit score was on the low side (student loans are... awesome), but I also didn't have a local work history. A LOCAL WORK HISTORY?! No! Of course I don't! I just moved here! I called back and tried to talk my way back into the woman's heart, and she liked me so she agreed to help. I offered to pay a month's rent in advance to buy time while I looked for a job. She said she'd talk to the owner and get back to me.
I was feeling loooooow. But it was time to hit the streets! We walked across the city from the place we were staying (found on airbnb) and roamed up and down another area of L.A. that was still very close to my friends. We called a bunch of places until we finally hit this huge pink building. I was wearing a pink dress that day so I said, "This one will work. I'm dressed the part!"
We called, a woman answered and let us in right away. She said she literally just hit "send" on the Craigslist ad, so she was shocked we were already calling and that it wasn't even through the ad. Right place right time! We saw the place and fell in love again. It was similarly priced and had a balcony that overlooked the pool/jacuzzi area. Two huge closets. A TUB in the bathroom (no more stand up showers!) and lots of light and storage and space. We asked for an application immediately. And again began the race for the money order, application filling out and running to a FedEx Office to print out two recent pay stubs.
If you're thinking, "Hopefully this time you at least knew it might not work out and kept looking" you'd be wrong. We were even more cocky than the first time! We stopped looking and went to a coffee shop to wait for the manager to call us back. Eventually, we went back to our place and re-grouped slash went to bed early because fuck, this stuff is exhausting.
Cut to 9:30am Thursday. Both places turned us down. I felt the lowest of the lows. There was even a moment where I started just freaking out about how stupid I was for letting my credit score get so bad (GOD DAMN YOU STUDENT LOANS) and I swear Beau slapped me across the face. He didn't. But he should have. He did yell at me. It worked. I shut up. We decided we'd do what we could to get into those two places we liked so much since the managers liked us and wanted to help us.
We ran back to that area of town, brought pay stubs and proof of employment to one building. I called the Pink Building back and asked if we could have a parent co-sign the lease (which I'm crazy for not thinking of sooner!) and she excitedly said yes! So, I ran around the city printing out faxed information from my mother, calling my sister for help, calling my mom to get the info for the application, getting another money order for the credit check, etc. etc. etc.
After turning everything in, all we could do was wait. Wait for an answer, wait to be turned down, wait to be told we're young idiots. That night was a little less encouraging than other nights. I felt pretty depressed and exhausted. I thought it was only three days in and L.A. was chewing me up and spitting me back out.
Cut to 11:00am Friday morning. We got an apartment. We got the apartment! (For the record, we did not get the other one. But F that place in the A!) The apartment is a dream! And the manager is amazing. We're already going to be best friends - and we've even met her dogs and offered to watch and walk them.
So, four days and we got a place. That's not too bad! At this rate, I'll be a Muppet in no time. Oh, I should have mentioned, that's the reason I moved to L.A.