Apartment Hunting in Los Angeles is a Complete Nightmare
When I decided to move from a small city on the west side of Florida to the city of Angeles. I knew it wasn’t going to be living in an upscale apartment in downtown Los Angeles or West Hollywood. I pictured my apartment being small in an artsy part of Long Beach with a view of the beach. (If I was lucky). Instead, my apartment hunting experience felt like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Moving to Los Angeles
It’s always been my dream to live in Los Angeles ever since I was a kid. Stepping out from the Florida sun and into the SoCal has been something that I needed to do. Apartment searching wasn’t easy; as a matter of fact, it was one of the toughest things I have ever done. Apartment searching in LA is so different from apartment searching in Florida. For example in Florida websites like Curbed.com, Rent.com, ApartmentList.com, and Craigslist make it so easy to rent an apartment.
If you have a decent credit score you might end up paying a security deposit of a month’s rent. Or even half-a-month but in SoCal, this process is unheard of.
In LA a potential renter needs 3 months of rent and a security deposit of 3 times the amount of the rent along with a mandatory brokers fee. Most renters need to save money for an entire year just to move out. As I made my way to touring different apartments across all southern California. I came across what I call “Apartment searching in LA is a living nightmare”.
Los Angeles Apartments Are a Mirage Like Hollywood
This was one of the first apartments I came to look at that I fell in love with at first sight. It was a nice historic-looking apartment building with a classic LA-style apartment. Including a porch in the living room, a washer, and a dryer in the basement, trash chute so I wouldn’t have to go outside every time I want to throw my trash away.
After a few months, I came to realize this wasn’t the neighborhood for me. Don’t get me wrong this was a nice neighborhood but it wasn’t the right one for me.
Lesson learned: If you happen to find an affordable apartment in LA bigger than a shoebox it might be too good to be true. You’ll have better luck at winning the lottery than finding an affordable apartment near a train station. This is when I realized I should have gotten a rental property report from the Local Records Office.
The Cockroach Complex
Cockroaches and LA go together like burgers and fries. Every Californian knows this but cockroaches should stay outside, not invade your apartment for leftover food when you’re asleep.
This apartment was so small my bed touched three walls. But it was across the street from the train station, which went from LB where I lived to DTLA where I worked.
The apartment wasn’t anything to brag about but it was so convenient to commute to work.
The building was so rat invested that I got used to seeing them run around the hallway every time I walked out the door. When I would lay in bed at night it would sound like someone was trying to break in from all the cockroaches fighting inside the stove.
Lesson learned: With a good train location comes a downside. For some strange reason, I would rather live in an apartment with roaches and walk a block or two to the nearest train station. Rather than to have a some-what decent apartment and walk for 40 minutes asking to get mugged.