With this post we welcome our newest guest blogger, Kelsey.
STARTING MY ROOMMATE LIFE IN LA by Kelsey
Hello! I’m Kelsey, a 22-year old recent college grad, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life, except that I want to do it in the beautiful sunny California where I went college. I spent my summer back at home in Washington, trying not to think about the future. Unfortunately, the future didn’t feel like waiting, so I’m back in Los Angeles looking for a job.
My new roommate M and I have just landed a 2BR, 2BA apartment that we think is a spectacular find. Here’s how it happened:
While back at home first considering moving, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a roommate. My last roommate experience– freshman year in college– did not go well, but I knew I needed one now because my rent would be less and I wouldn’t be living alone. Also, I didn’t really want to live with a complete stranger and, luckily, I don’t have to. M, a girl I knew from college, had a job in LA so I contacted her for apartment advice, and it turned out that she needed a roommate. While we were friendly in college we were not that close but the next thing I knew we were searching (me long-distance!) for rentals together. We quickly found one place, and M had an appointment to sign the lease, but it didn’t work out. M ended up couch surfing until I came three weeks later to re-start the hunt.
I arrived with my mom, who was helping me move, on a Thursday. On Friday I half-heartedly looked at places online and complained that apartment hunting was the worst thing in the world. Saturday morning I called one place and made an appointment later that day. I arrived at the gated community in San Bernardino with my mom and the leasing agent immediately took us around the property and into the last 2BR, 2BA available—the apartment we were trying to get. It was perfect and I wanted it. It even came with a fridge! We went back into the leasing office to put a hold on the apartment and schedule a time to come back the next day with M. My mom and I drove past other places later in the day but never actually looked at any other apartments. I knew I had found where I wanted to live and saw no point in looking anywhere else.
Still, I was worried. We were originally trying to stick to a $1000 a month budget but this wonderful apartment was 20% more. I was happy to pay a bigger share and take the master bedroom, but I wasn’t sure that M would go for it. Luckily she did, and we moved in the following Wednesday. The whole thing seemed too good to be true, and it almost was.
I’m currently unemployed and my dad agreed to co-sign with the two of us to make our credit look better. Everything was fine until the leasing agent realized that co-signers couldn’t be out of state. They had to run our credit again using only M and me. Fortunately, we had surprisingly decent credit scores, so we passed. The mini-panic attack caused by that– along with the scramble to get our gas and electric hooked up– continued until I had keys in hand on Wednesday morning at 10:36 AM. Amazingly everything that day went perfectly, and even the IKEA deliverymen and the cable guy showed up on time. I felt like it must have been a record to have such a perfect a move-in day!
M and I have been in our apartment for a little over a week now. Living with someone else is taking some getting used to, but hopefully we’ll end up being friends during our 11-month lease. Stay tuned for more updates from my roommate life!