For anyone who has ever hunted for an apartment in Los Angeles before, you know how hard it is find a decent place.
For anyone who has ever done this with their boyfriend or girlfriend before you may join me in referring to this event as your own personal Hell.
The hunt starts off so hopeful and promising. Sky’s the limit when you’re combined income will get you an amazing one-bedroom, and hundreds of eligible options are just waiting for you to choose from.
Seven hours later you’ll be beating your head against a Westside Rentals sign and cursing each other for thier bad taste and definition of what’s livable.
As I’ve recently learned the cause of this friction isn’t due to the shitty market and high costs of California living, it’s simply because, like in most cases, guy’s needs and girl’s needs are VERY different.
A GUY NEEDS: Location, Affordability, A roof, and A door (optional)
A GIRL NEEDS: Location (meaning walking distance to shopping/grocery store/entertainment), covered parking, onsite maintenance, washer-dryer, a view, a gym, pool and a unit in a large, well managed building.
Ok I’ll admit some of my “needs” may have exceeded the bare minimum but aiming high never killed anyone! (Actually it probably killed lots of people. Most of them apartment hunters)
Maybe you already know the particular area to search, but we had needs in opposite directions and therefore the greater Los Angeles area to decide from. We searched everywhere from Hollywood and Beverly Hills, to Westwood and Brentwood before we finally honed in on Santa Monica as the official destination. That way we’d both be onconvenienced every morning.
Unfortunately locating a place where affordability met my wish list in one of the most expensive cities in Los Angeles was about as impossible as the fat guy ever finishing a WHIP OUT obstacle. It isn’t gonna happen. Stop trying. It’s just sad…..
While this emotionally trying search is continuing (as different as your circumstances may be) here are some sample conversation topics you may encounter on the side:
The awkward “You know this doesn’t mean I’m ready for marriage, right” convo.
The serious “No, I’m sorry, you’re not ready for a puppy. I’ve seen you kill 3 plants and a goldfish” convo.
The typical “I can’t stand the way you (sneeze/snore/eat like a caveman), you’ll have to change so I will like you more” convo.
The “I really hope you don’t still think it’s okay to leave a (pair of boxers/hair extension chip-in/2-day-old banana peel/etc.) sitting there when we move in together” convo
And the ever popular “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” convo quickly followed by the “Ooooo! How about this place on (5th)!/OKAY!!”
These are inevitable. But stay focused and keep your eye on the prize.
- Set a list of must haves in order of importance knowing which ones can be the first to go.
- Make signals for, “I love this place,” “I could consider this place,” and “get me the fuck out of here now” so you’ll stay on the same page when dealing with building managers.
- Set a price cap… then be aware you’re going to ignore it and go way over budget anyway.
- Make a pact that when you can’t afford rent you’ll ro-sham-bo for who has to throw themselves in front of a car to collect insurance money.
- And most importantly.. HAVE PATIENCE! Patience for the liars on Craigslist, the creative photographers on Westside Rentals, the endless driving around the block and above all, each other.
When it’s all over you’ll have an exciting new place to call home, that person sitting next to you who really isn’t all that bad after all and a fat glass of wine to wash away the memories of those rank post-crime scene apartments you saw.