1. We suffered a brief outage this morning when our host noticed that HTF needed to be moved to a different server due to a hardware failure. That work is now complete. Please post in the feedback area if you have any issues.
    Dismiss Notice

Moving out at last! Looking for more final advice.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Brian Harnish, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, now that I have my consumer debt taken care of, it looks, with very good probability, that I'll finally be moving out in a few months. I'm planning on having my own apartment by May 31st.

    However, I do have a couple questions:

    1. What are some good apartment rental sites? I'm looking for apartments in Orange County (more specifically Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Cypress, Costa Mesa, and Westminster). What are the probabilities of finding a Studio Apartment for around $600 - $700 per month in these areas? I'd love to live in Huntington Beach but it seems like Studios are upwards of $900/mo or more in that area. My income at the moment cannot support rent that high. [​IMG]

    2. What is the best way to find an excellent deal on an apartment without having to drive around for hours looking for them? I work full time and that leaves only the Weekends and early morning hours to look for an apartment. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave much time for me to look at apartments. Plus, some apartment offices are closed on the weekends. Is there such a thing as an apartment rental finding service? What should I look for in such a service?

    3. What are your tips for finding the perfect apartment with the least hassle and the most satisfaction?

    4. What do I need to look for when looking at apartments for rent? What kind of problems should I check for so that I'm not surprised (or get renter's remorse) later? What should I plan for (financially and otherwise) while searching for an apartment?

    Man, I'm excited, but I would like some facts and objectivity surrounding my decision. I don't want to walk in, sign the papers, and find that I'm paying through the nose for a crappy place. Thanks to everyone in advance for their help!
     
  2. Anthony_J

    Anthony_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    1.) Can't really help as I'm on the east coast, but I'm sure somebody will be able to help you out. Try rent.net, the local papers, or google for good leads or sites.

    2.) Talk to people. Ask your co-workers, friends, people you meet in the bars, etc. You'd be surprised how often this leads to finding a place. Worst comes to worst, you could use a broker, but they generally charge a thousand or so for a fee (although the landlord of the rental will pick this up in some circumstances). Do not, I repeat, DO NOT even think about taking a place without looking at it first. Note that most leasing offices will accommodate off-hours visits if you call and make an appointment beforehand.

    3.) There's a reason that residents tend to think it's a privelege to live in certain areas (e.g., Manhattan, Princeton, Los Angeles, San Fran, etc.) They're wicked expensive and it's very rare that you'll find a bargain unless you make certain concessions (e.g., find a roommate) Given your limited time, it might not be worth banging your head against the wall.

    If you're looking to keep costs down, look for a converted house or a roommate looking to share. Rental law tends to say that the more people sharing, the cheaper per person it will be (e.g, two bedrooms for two people or three beds for three people will always be more economical than getting a one-bedroom or studio by yourself) Stay away from high-end apartment complexes or areas that look expensive. They will be.

    4.) Since you'll be renting, you don't have to worry too much about structural issues or plumbing, etc. You can just call maintenance and have them fix it. Just make sure the place feels comfortable and big enough to you. Beware of love at first site. This is especially true with most high-end complexes as they'll suck you in with the amenities (pool, fitness center, tennis courts) or location, and you'll swear that $1400 a month for a 400 sq ft. studio is a great deal. You'll end up using those things two or three times over the course of your lease and will definitely overpay.

    Do ask about your neighbors. I tend to like living on the first floor because it makes moving easier (couches, RPTVs, etc), but some people have issues with the noise from above. Try to visit on a weekend afternoon or after work, when people will be home and active as opposed to during the workday. Remember, if you can hear them, they can hear you. Not only is there the chance that you'll get annoyed, but there's also the chance that they'll get annoyed (I'm assuming that you like to listen to movies at very loud levels - and subwoofer vibrations travel throughout most buildings). I never minded it though, and just had to be careful about watching movies too loudly late at night during the week.

    Also beware of proximity to railroad tracks, highways or major roadways with a lot of truck volume. Those things can be extremly loud...

    Forget the bells and whistle and concentrate on the basic necessities as you see fit. When I look for a place, I require good space, safety, air conditioning, washer/dryer in unit, and easy parking or access to the subway. Everything else is gravy and I'll think twice about paying for it.

    I found that I value proximity to the supermarket, convenience stores, and shopping more than any on-site fitness center or concierge. I can't stress this enough. Make sure the place feels comfortable to you as you'll be spending most of your time in the apartment. An prestigious address will not keep you cool in the summer, wash your clothes for you, or ensure that you'll be happy in your space.

    Financially, you'll be looking at security deposit (usually equal to one month's rent), pro-rated rent, furniture, and other incidentals upon move. For a $700 place, I'd assume that you'd need $1,400 in cash for refundable security and first months rent, and incidentals as necessary (I'd budget at least $300-$400 for housewares, etc, plus the cost of furniture, truck rental, etc.). For my first place, I ended up needing about $2,500 in cash for all of the one-time expenses, furniture, and charges (Considering your first sentence, you will not want to charge things). If you use a broker, plan on another $1,000 on top of that (one-time charge).

    Finally, if you have an extensive HT set-up, invest in renter's insurance. It's usually only about $100 a month.

    Congrats and best of luck!
     
  3. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1998
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    $100/month? That seems a little high unless your limits are $100+k.
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    1
  5. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice!! Eric- Yes, of course, that's one of my priorities: to find an HT-friendly apartment. I can't live without my DTS and Dolby Digital, baby! [​IMG]

    I just accepted an offer for a new job (whoo-hoo!!) so I'll at least be able to move out within the next few months after saving up for my deposit. Yup. Life is good. [​IMG]
     
  6. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Lake Worth, Florida
    Real Name:
    Gaston
    I live in a house now but when I did rent, to ensure HT friendliness, I'd jump up and down on the floor and pound on walls for solidity. If any failed this test... next!
     
  7. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you like to crank your subwoofer you should really try to live on the first floor out of respect for your neighbors. While the sound waves will still travel upstairs it is less likely to shake their entire apartment as it would if you were above them.
     
  8. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    0
    www.apartments.com
    www.apartmentguide.com

    Check to see how well the appliances are maintained... if you get a chance to talk to a tenant, ask how quickly maintenance comes when they have a problem...

    Check for pet issues

    Agree on the ground floor for HT issue... Also, it would be good if you can have the HT in a non-adjoining room (or at least wall) so it's not sharing a wall with your neighbors...

    Try and make it to the apts when people will be home (nights, weekends) so you get an idea of who lives there, when everyone isn't gone at work...

    Check baseboards of the apt for water damage (can be more important on ground floor)
     

Share This Page