THINGS I LEARNED APARTMENT HUNTING IN LOS ANGELES
1. Nail down your budget, then assume you’ll be spending an extra $100 in utilities.
2. Question listings that are aggressively listed.
3. Cross reference those listings with http://www.bedbugregistry.com/search/
4. Then check the location on Crime Mapping.
5. Always street view those apartments.
6. Drive through the neighborhood at night.
7. I was always told Westside Rentals is a scam, but now that there are so many shady dealings on Craigslist that nowadays it’s just wise to bite the bullet and get an account. Share the cost with others also looking, it’s worth the hassle to avoid craigslist scams.
8. What’s a craigslist scam? People will copy listings… higher priced listings… and relist them at lower, plausible, prices. They will then ask you for a wire transfer.
9. Only about 10% of listings out there allow dogs. Some require a pet deposit of $200 - $500 on top of a monthly pet rent.
10. Charming, Quaint, Charismatic = Small
11. Junior, Artist, Efficiency, Bachelor = Studio
12. Search apartment ratings. Those awesome buildings with all the amenities tend to also jack up your rate after a year. Also some of those new buildings tend to have shitty unattentive management.
13. If you have a deadline, new listings on WSR actually do appear 2 weeks before you move, so don’t lose hope.
15. Find a listing? GREAT! Now the challenge is to make contact. Note that it is common for those landlords to not call you back.
16. Did you get an appointment to view? AWESOME. Ask a current tenant if they like living there. Then ask why the previous tenant left. Was it a grisly murder? Bed bugs? A 3rd equally horrifying situation?
15. GOOD LUCK.