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Old 07-04-2007, 10:45 PM
Location: PA
21 posts, read 88,711 times
Reputation: 21


I live in Pa right in the heart of the Rust belt. I must move from my apartment of 12 YEARS because they are shutting down the building.the landlords have seemingly vanished from the planet.
I am closing my ***** Store at the same time since we can't compete with the big money chains from out of town, that have moved in...
Time to move!
I always dreamed of living in California. Now I must move there to get life changing surgery.
I intend to move to California in the 110 degree Desert Area (to save on rent).
OK. Here's the problem:
How do I rent an apartment there from here? 3000 miles away?
I have found properties I like on palm springs craigslist, inland empire craigslist and the Desert Sun classifieds and also on Rent.com. YAY!
How do I avoid getting scammed? I can't meet with them in person first. I realize I can see photos first.
Money is tight. I can't just fly there and spend money for a hotel.
2nd: How do I convince the prospective landlord that I am a good tenant?
I had a bankruptcy a few years ago still on my record.
I have paid my rent in full and on time for the past 12 years, but the landlords have vanished!
I also have rented a house for my ***** Store since Feb. 2005.
I can get a good reference from that landlord.
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:11 PM
Location: United States
117 posts, read 577,235 times
Reputation: 45
112 out here in Apple valley today. UGH! Cooled off tonight though to 90.
Thank goodness for swap coolers!!! ;-)

I'd go with a reputable real estate agency that specializes in renting.
I also sent you a PM.

Best wishes to you!
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:44 PM
2 posts, read 7,274 times
Reputation: 10
Both my son and aunt are realtors, appraisers and loan officers. If you want to rent, we can refer you to legitimate properties in the Inland Empire, or whereever you'd like to rent. If you like to buy, we can also help you with that too. I can be reached at ineedanotarynow@yahoo.com. Good luck
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:29 PM
Location: PA
21 posts, read 88,711 times
Reputation: 21
What about using paypal for a place I might find online? As an advance deposit, for instance?
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:07 PM
Location: baltimore, maryland (ugh!)
14 posts, read 40,333 times
Reputation: 13
I can share my experience with renting an apartment based on an online listing. I lived in MA and needed to move the MD for a new job. I had ZERO experience with MD, nor did I know anyone who lived there (here where I am now). I did talk to the HR person at the new job who gave me pointers on what areas to avoid, and this was definately helpful, and she also suggested some general areas which seemed okay, tho she was not all that familiar with them. With her suggestions in mind, I went online and found some places (rentnet.com I believe it was) that looked SO NICE. I called and was told that they had one that I could rent. I drove 9 hours (an overtaxed vehicle) and got there, only to find that it was not-well, let me saw this diplomatically-not exactly what I'd had in mind. The first negative impression was seen to be accurate over the next 2 weeks and I wound up moving across town (after only 2 weeks) to a place more-in my idea of "nice" (safe). I guess my pick was a gamble and it could have just as well been positive. I can blame the power of "creative photography" for choosing the one I did. Of course, I did not have access to this AWESOME website at that time. Hopefull, I will learn about good places to land for my upcoming move to CA in the coming year. As far as money for the apartment, I just gave them a downpayment for the apartment, and paid the rest when I got there. I guess in the back of my mind was that ultimately, if I just could not move in and they refused to refund the money, it would only be the deposit I'd lose. I think you can get some really good input from the really smart people in CA on this site-best of luck to you!
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:02 PM
Location: PA
21 posts, read 88,711 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks, justkathleen. Good to hear from someone who actually did what I am trying to do! Regardless of outcome. It sounds like all went well, in the end, for you.
BTW, I intend to move to the Coachella Valley Desert in 110 degree heat!!!!!
There HAS to be good deals around there now, for that reason.
As long as there's AC!
I want a cheap AND safe place. An anomaly in CA, otherwise. Rural Northern CA is cheap too, but is too far from the medical resources I will need.
(Although I DO realize creeps can, of course, still reside in the desert, too!)
Today I moved out of my apartment of 12 years and am residing upstairs in the house I rent for my retail store. I'm closing the store July 14th, out of business.
Mom and Pop stores like ours can't compete in today's market with Blockbuster, Family Video (The "Wal mart" of these type of stores) and Netflix
and the internet. I think they will be obsolete in a couple of years, anyway. It's just easier to watch a movie when all you have to do is order it with the click of your remote, in the comfort of your living room.
Even though I could stay in this house cheap right here, I want to relocate to CA before I get too much older. (I'll be 44 in September). Not much to lose, I guess.
Anyway, do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts about the safest way to send $ for a deposit (for instance).
I know that Western Union and services like that are dangerous to use because once you wire the money, it's gone!
How to make sure the other person will be held accountable and won't just "disappear into the night" with the money?
I'm so glad I found this site. Thanks again.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:52 AM
Location: United States
117 posts, read 577,235 times
Reputation: 45
Personally, I would not use Western Union. Seems every scam I have ever encountered used Western Union.

I'd first research the company or person I would be renting from and that I would be giving my rent monies too.

I'd then go with a credit card that will back up my purchase and that has fraud protection.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:26 AM
10 posts, read 37,606 times
Reputation: 12
This is what we did...
I looked at tons of listings online for apartments, figured out school district boundaries. Found out one of my online friends had family that lived in the area. Family person checked every apartment on my list in person, and emailed me the ones she liked the best.

From there it was phone calls to the apartment managers to ask more questions. Research the apartments online as much as I could.

Picked the best of the list, called and requested application to be faxed to me, faxed application back. Called to confirm they got it, later sent fees to hold apartment and app fees (used a money order and sent it Fed Ex). Called to confirm it was recvd and app had cleared, set up lease terms over the phone.
** Make a list, stick to it so you don't forget to ask many many questions***

Closer to move in- asked them to mail the lease so we can read it over ahead of time.

No problems using this approach thus far.
We move in two weeks.

Having someone research the areas for you will help you the most. The apartement manager remembered meeting the family friend.... paved the way for good communication back and forth.

I even considered hiring someone to scout out the apartments/take pics/gather info. Think of it as assigning a mystery shop

Good luck!
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