Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Just over a week!

I can't believe that I am moving to Los Angeles one week from tomorrow! I went down to California a couple of weeks ago to go apartment hunting. It was unlike any other apartment hunt I had ever done. The housing market (at least for places I can afford) is very tight. I looked at several places that I thought I would be interested in, but the neighborhood made me nervous. Considering I am unfamiliar with the are I feel it is important to go with my feelings. Then I looked at an apartment in North Redondo Beach. I really liked the neighborhood and so I called to see about touring the place. When I called I was told to come to the office to check out the keys. Since I had no idea what things were like I thought, "Okay, I'll go eat lunch and then go the property management office." The place had just come on the market that day, but there was apparently great interest in it. My experience with the property management company left me a little nervous and so I held off applying. I decided, "well it doesn't hurt to apply," and so I went to the management office first thing in the morning. When I tried to submit the application, I learned that they had received so many qualified applications (in 1 day!) that they were no longer accepting applications.
After that I continued to look for places. I was growing very frustrated. Some of them were no longer available, others no one answered (or returned) my call. The app I was using showed one more place in the area, but the address was on street I had visited the day before. The street had high-voltage power lines running right down it and I felt I couldn't live on a street with those lines. I was so frustrated with my apartment search that I put the address into my phone a went there anyway. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised! This was a different part of the street. I was quieter and didn't have the high voltage power lines. It was a nice street and the building looked really nice from the street. I called to see about touring the place and the on-site manager answered the phone. He said he was showing the place until 1. Could I make it? I laughed and let him know that I was just outside the building.
The building has gate with an intercom system, and an subterranean garage with each tenet getting a remote. You enter into a courtyard and then the apartments are all around the courtyard, closing it in. The apartment was nice. The walls had just been painted and they were putting in new carpet on Monday (the 13th). I immediately asked to apply and the manager was like, "don't you want to see the rest of facilities?" Oops. He showed me the garage which comes with a storage locker in front of each space, the laundry room (amazingly clean), the pool (not big enough for lap swimming) and the community room which has a pool table in it. I filled out the application and the manager said he would call me either way. I was under the impression that I would hear from him on Monday. Regardless, he told me he would call me either way.
After that I couldn't find anything else that I wanted to even view, except for one place that was having an open house on Sunday afternoon. I considered going to Culver City (I had been looking in Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach and had elimination Hawthorne when I checked out places there on Thursday), but it just seemed too far away from work. I don't want to spend all day commuting (LA traffic is notoriously bad and I'm moving there from Nome, a place that doesn't even have a stoplight). So I went to the beach (Hermosa Beach in the afternoon and Dockweiler State Park Beach in the evening).
Sunday morning I went to church near the apartment I had applied to (it was actually even closer to the one that was having the open house on Sunday afternoon). The church was smaller than I expected, but super friendly. I really felt that God was telling me that was the church he wanted me in. This made me confident that I would be approved for the place for which I had applied.
In the afternoon I went to the open house. There was another prospective tenant there as well as the owner and her son. I really enjoyed talking with all three of them, but unfortunately, the other prospective tenant had come before and was now back and the owner made it clear that she had made the decision to rent it to him.
Now, I have only one option in the works and nothing else in the area I'm looking at. I don't really know what else to do. So guess what? I went to the beach. This time I went to El Segundo beach (There was more that went into the decision, but that's unimportant).
Monday I ran some errands and returned my rental car, but didn't hear about the apartment, nor did any of the other people I'd left messages for return my call. Before I knew it, it was time to go to the airport. Thus, I left California without an apartment lined up.  Needless to say, I was frustrated. I felt I had learned a lot about neighborhoods and orienting myself, but I really wanted to have a home for when I came back (although I was still hoping to hear from that one place).
I was going to call and follow up on Tuesday, but I got too nervous. Tuesday night I tried to look up the listing again and it had been taken down. The automated texting system said the place had been rented. Now I'm crushed!
 I got asked to go to LaVerne Griffin Camp (where I have lifeguarded this summer and last summer) on Wednesday and Thursday to lifeguard for one of the camps that had rented out the facility. I loved seeing everyone who works at the camp again, but I hated telling them that I hadn't been successful at getting an apartment.
Wednesday afternoon while I was at the lake lifeguarding, my phone rang. I saw that it was an LA area code and immediately became hopeful that it was the apartment I had applied to (which is kind of funny since I had left messages with a bunch of people). I went ahead and answered the phone, and it was! It was the manager and he wanted to know if I was still interested in the apartment. I told him I was and he said he was still waiting for approval from the owner, but should know by the next day. Suddenly I was excited again!
After lifeguarding I forgot my phone in my cabin when I changed clothes and so I didn't check my email until about 7:30. When I did I found an email from the manager. I had been approved, but they had in fact rented out the apartment I looked at to someone who could move in sooner, but they wanted to offer me another apartment. The other apartment is supposedly in better condition. It is the same size, but a different layout. It's also on the other side of the building and supposedly has a city view. The manager sent me some pictures (I'm going to include them here, but the previous tenants haven't moved out yet and so their stuff is still in the apartment) to help me get an idea of the layout and I have sent in the deposit and gotten a copy of my receipt. Unfortunately, the tenants aren't moving out until the 31st and then they are painting (they paint after every tenant) and cleaning the carpets. Therefore, I can't move in until the 4th of August (I arrive on the 30th of July). Nonetheless, I am excited. It's starting to get very real. I am in fact moving to Redondo Beach, California.
This is the view of the apartment I looked at. My future apartment is on the other side of the building.

Come on in to my new home (of course I don't currently own any furniture)

The bedroom is through a bathroom area. The sink is here and I believe the shower and tub are in a separate room to the right.

Another view of the living room and part of the kitchen.

The dining area and kitchen.