It’s official!!! You signed the lease, moved in with all your belongings, and began the process of “Pinteresting” your sweet new abode. Months later, your stomach drops when you receive notice that the owner will be putting your home on the market, giving you 30 days to vacate. Yikes!
Before you panic about apartment hunting on such short notice, here are some tips from someone who’s experienced this scenario first hand:
Use every resource you got!
While you may not be inclined to settle for any ole apartment, getting creative and using as many resources as you can is key to making sure you’ll fall as much in love with your next place as you did with the one you just lost.
In addition to checking Craigslist each day for fresh postings, I also signed up for HotPads, Lovely and Trulia to research other available apartments in my area. What is great about each of these apps is that they email you if a new listing has been posted, and you can customize your search with filters (cost, number of bedrooms, location, etc.) so you only see places that might work for you. In my case, I definitely utilized these filters since I wanted to stay in my current neighborhood near downtown San Jose and not have my rent skyrocket. I also wanted to remain within biking distance from a Philz coffee (please don’t judge me!). In addition to housing websites, I also signed up for a free trial with Roommates.com and created a profile to advertise myself as a potential roommate to other tenants needing to rent out a room. With all of these resources at hand, I felt like I had more control of the situation and it helped me feel more at ease with finding a new home.
Don’t be afraid to use other resources outside of technology as well! Many of my friends were willing to help out with my search, with moving a second time, and even offered me a place to crash in case I came out empty handed by the end of my 30 days. You never know how much help you can receive if you let people know of your situation. If they do help you out, you just might want to thank them with pizza or baked goods after you find your new home.
Be open to new experiences
While I usually enjoy living with roommates so that I can meet new people and socialize, I also considered studio apartments to increase the number of listings that I would be applying to. While I realized that a studio apartment in the Bay Area was a little steep for my budget, being flexible and viewing a few studio apartments got me in the house hunting mood again and made me feel better about losing my current place.
In addition to where I lived, I also re-evaluated whom I could live with as well. In the apartment I eventually found, the tenants emphasized and prioritized finding a dog friendly roommate. While I was unsure if the pooch was friendly (or even house trained), considering a furry roommate and sharing my eagerness to the experience made me stand out from other potential tenants. Simply having flexibility may help you find a place sooner than expected!
Don’t panic, the timing may work out OK for you
If you’re feeling overwhelmed like I was, you might get frustrated with the lack of options as you first start searching. What’s important to keep in mind is the timing of the rental market. Many housing listings are posted toward the end of the month, with even lower rent to find tenants quickly. Waiting the extra few days and being patient is worth it if it means snagging the better option!
While having only 30 days to find a place wasn’t ideal, I was able to find something quickly by remaining positive. In fact, I found a place that has cheaper rent and even comes with an awesome view of the city. Try thinking of this situation not as a crisis, but as an opportunity to find something that is a better fit for you! You never know what you’ll find, or how lucky you will get with your future home!
Our guest blogger Anna R. is currently a research assistant in a biology lab in the Bay Area and is interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Genetics. When she’s not daydreaming about food and browsing recipes on Pinterest, she likes to spend her free time dancing, paddle boarding and swimming. She’s been through a number of different housing situations and is eager to share her experiences with other MFA readers!
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