For anyone who has ever gone apartment hunting in Los Angeles before, you know how hard it is find an acceptable place.
For anyone who has ever done this with their significant other before, you may join me in referring to it as that time you almost lost your shit and killed a man.
It all starts off so hopeful and promising. Sky’s the limit when your combined income will get you an amazing one-bedroom, and hundreds of eligible options are just waiting for you.
Seven hours later you’ll be ripping a Westside Rentals sign from the ground and cursing your partner for their bad taste and fucked up 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, a man’s needs and a woman’s needs are VERY different.
A MAN LOOKS FOR: Location, Affordability, Roof, and Door (optional)
A WOMAN LOOKS FOR: Location (clearly 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.
Okay, I’ll admit some of my needs exceeded the bare minimum, but aiming high never killed anyone! (Circus folk except)
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 would be equally inconvenienced 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 tubby guy ever finishing a WHIP OUT obstacle. It’s not worth it. Just go home.
While this emotionally trying search is continuing (as different as your circumstances may be) here are some sample conversation topics you may encounter along the way:
The awkward “You know this doesn’t mean I’m ready for marriage, right”
The serious “No, I’m sorry, you can’t have a puppy…..Because you told me how your hamster died and I think you’re a sociopath.”
The typical “I can’t stand the way you (sneeze/snore/eat without chewing), you’ll have to change so I will like you more.”
The frustrated “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.”
And the ever popular “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” immediately followed by “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 that will become the base and you’ll go way over budget.
- 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.
- Women, if your man doesn’t step up to take that hit, introduce them to pass aggressiveness and a life without sex.
- 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 almost had to live in