It’s been a while since my last post, but there’s a reason for that. Remember me mentioning my Reserve commitment to the Marine Corps? Well, I got to spend almost the entirety of June in beautiful (read: blistering hot wasteland) 29 Palms. Upon my return, exhausted, burnt, and wanting nothing but some time to relax, I had to immediately catch up with my roommates. While I was otherwise occupied, I had left to my roommates the daunting tasks of visiting, choosing, and beginning the paperwork for our apartment – all without me. My input came in the form of sporadic messages of approval during the rare times I picked up one measly bar of service.
I’m grateful I can be involved in this process with two people who know me well enough, and whom I trust enough to make decisions for me. The biggest lesson we learned from the search experience was that nothing beats physically checking a place out. From speaking with my roommates about their time in Fullerton, I gathered that what we saw/read online was not always as it had been advertised. One of our initial top choices based on online reviews ended up being our least favorite location because the property and the surrounding areas looked dirty and poorly maintained. On the flip side, one of the places that we kind of liked online we loved in person; the grounds were nicer than we anticipated, and the staff was as friendly and helpful as they come.
One part of the process I was really concerned about was having to sign the lease agreement before doing an initial inspection of the apartment. That part seemed fishy, but because we were dealing with a property management company and not an individually owned complex, there was little negotiating. I had the benefit of knowing someone who had previously stayed in the same complex, and speaking with them cleared up my concerns. So, the lesson number two was to ask around! Something as simple as a Facebook post, or a quick visit to the internet, can reveal a lot of personal experiences with places that you may not have been able to gather otherwise. If the internet isn’t helping, try asking people around the complex. On their way out after visiting, my roommates caught a tenant walking around and asked about their opinion of the place. He revealed that the maintenance crew was friendly and efficient, but sometimes you had to remind them a few times before they got to you (win some, lose a lot). Regardless, the small flaws did not take away from the overall appeal and location (2 miles from campus and near just about any store you can imagine), so we were set! Once we decided on the place, submitted our applications (which usually cost around $30-$50 per tenant), got approved, and submitted our lease agreement, there was just one last thing to do – moving in.
The moving process was a little tricky. We opted for renting a moving truck because of the relatively short distance (130 miles), small amount of stuff we owned, and the availability of family members to help us move. I volunteered to drive the truck, having cargo carrying experience with the military. The process of loading and driving our things to the new apartment was smooth and problem-free. The problem came once we arrived and had to unload a few big, heavy pieces of furniture up a flight of stairs and into our apartment. My moving lesson number three was GET A DOLLY OR HAND TRUCK! We seemed to have neglected that crucial piece of equipment, which made hauling a 300lb fridge up to the second story a time consuming, physically exhausting task. Fortunately, I had my family and some friends there to help, and with sheer man power, we got it up and into the apartment.
So, it is with boxes still scattered, appliances unplugged, kitchen scarce, and internet finally up (Priorities: We have them), that we begin our new lives in a new place. Up next is figuring out the decorating a budgeting situations. Not to mention job hunting in a new city. Oh, joy!