Let me tell you, apartment-searching in San Diego is nothing I have ever experienced.
In fact, I haven't really experienced home-hunting my whole life! So I guess it's not saying much, but others have told me it's a crazy situation, too. I will find listings online, ask if it's available or fill an application. First of all, if you're not planning on moving out within the upcoming week, they won't even talk to you. I applied to a place but didn't put the move-in date. I got a call in the middle of the store and the guy asked when I was moving out. I said, "Oh, probably not until the Springtime, so I was just holding a spot just in case!" I'm very thankful the guy didn't just laugh in my face right then. Instead he was VERY nice and gave me advice, telling me I shouldn't be looking at apartments unless I'm moving out that very month.
Alex came to visit in January 2022, we drove up and down every street in the neighborhood we wanted to live in, writing down the number and name of every apartment. (For those not in San Diego, there will be apartments hidden between houses so you might find 20 new apartments on one street alone!) We were able to look at a few. First one was so nice and actually had a bedroom, not just a single room (studio). Unfortunately we weren't planning on moving out until spring and instead were just looking around for an idea. But, if there is ever a chance to find apartments in that area again, why not!
The fact that you only have about 48 hours to make a decision on your apartment is NUTS. People move out, cleaners come in, and the next day it's sold. Not sure if it's just the times right now but it's CRAZY.
Best encounter was the last place we looked at from Facebook Marketplace: saw this little studio for sale in the area we were thinking of. We showed up, while they still had cleaning guys in there, and the man who posted the listing was outside. He looked annoyed, said "Are you from Facebook?" we said yes, he just like... motioned to the door. Alex and I walked in, there was a kitchen smaller than my current bedroom, and then a "living area" attached to the bathroom. We could have fit probably one bed. No closet! We walked out after looking (standing in the doorway and looking left and right, basically) and the guy looked at us. With the most monotone, not-caring voice, he just goes, "So do you want it." Alex and I looked at each other. He says, "I already have people looking at it, so." I just said nah and we walked away very fast!
Working at the park has given me so many opportunities to meet people and make money and friends. Luckily, one of my clients was able to recommend his apartment, right in the heart of where we want to live! He is in his eighties and rides a bike to the park every single day from his house, so knowing I could be that close to the park too, is exciting. He brought me there to look around with Alex and the landlord was telling us these crazy stories of the previous tenants.
We stepped into an apartment and the first thing that got my heart was the window! The entire back wall was just window from ceiling to floor- YES!
It was still a small studio but it was $1725 a month which was THE CHEAPEST in the area. So I had to go with what I got.
We are all standing in the living area, the landlord shows us around and then tells us about the old woman that used to live in that exact apartment. Apparently she had many dogs and was too old to bring them outside, so they used the floor. The dogs would bark and neighbors complained. (you're only supposed to have one dog) so the landlord went to her door and knocked on it saying she has by tomorrow to leave. The door wouldn't open, so the landlord unlocked it and went in, to see the mess.
The old woman living there was sick in bed, so the landlord called her an ambulance and she went to the hospital. The woman's daughters came and picked up the dogs and the landlord went ahead and called a cleaning company. Upon cleaning, she found a few hexes!
The old woman was practicing voodoo and she was trying to hex the landlord! She found symbols, burnt paper, dried herbs and flowers, cooked eggs and pennies with gum on them in a bag, on the walls, and hidden in corners of the house. But because her name was spelled wrong, the landlord didn't get the curses.
After the landlord finishes her story, she cuts back to professional manner and says, "Anyway, this is what your apartment would be."
To be honest it would have been cool to have lived in the "hex apartment" but someone has taken it! Alex and I found another studio in the same building and I am very excited to hear more stories and get to know more tenants. Every time I visit the landlord to drop things off or get information, she tells me another story of another crazy resident. I'm excited! haha
At least I will finally be able to understand what it's like to live on my own and pay rent and buy my own stuff and whatever. I feel a lot of friends of mine undermine me because I'm not "struggling" like they are. When I try to make an opinion on something, they come right back with 'Well you still live at home, so'. Now I'm hoping they will listen to me and my advice when they need help... or maybe I will understand them better! Either way it sucks to put someone down simply because their situation may be "easier" than yours. But that's another story.
Thanks for reading!