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Old 09-28-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
150 posts, read 213,124 times
Reputation: 73

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The apartment I found in Pasadena was not advertised in any of the likely sources (ex. craigslist, westside rentals). The building manager just puts a sign out front when they have something available. Since the building is located on a street with plenty of cars driving by, I think this method works fine. In terms of price per square foot, we got a much better deal than anything we had seen advertised online.

I have to wonder if this really the better way to shop for an apartment. Now in terms of the larger corporate owned apartments, obviously those are all found online. But there are so many smaller buildings with anywhere from 5 to 75 unit range that I think are not always advertised online. Anyone found the same thing to be true in other areas besides Pasadena?
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Southern California
4,351 posts, read 4,975,203 times
Reputation: 2129
That is true throughout LA. Many management companies are actually detached from the owners. They don't care that they rent out the units for under "Market" rates, they care about least amount of work and turning the units fast. Owners are clueless that their units are renting for 10-25% lower than market. That trend is changing as people are selling their apartments buildings.

The old school mentality that section 8 tenants is a great client because the money always comes in, is still alive and strong. Those managers probably have never used craigslist. Even the owner doesn't realize what the true market rents are.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,211 posts, read 15,067,898 times
Reputation: 7983
It depends what you're looking for. It was far easier for me to use Craigslist, because I have two cats. I was looking for a building that accepts cats, but not dogs (I have nothing against dogs, but their owners have been a problem in the past - i.e. letting the dogs bark at all hours, not cleaning up after them outside, etc.). Rather than waste my time walking up and down the street taking down phone numbers and then calling to ask, "Do you accept cats?" it was easier for me to search online as most buildings aren't pet friendly.

If I didn't have any pets, then I would consider this method. In fact, it's how I found my old building where I lived for twelve years. I'm not sure it was such a great deal at the time (although I negotiated $25 off the initial rent), but it was under rent control, so I had that benefit.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:56 AM
 
4,212 posts, read 6,407,944 times
Reputation: 2631
Assuming you can see apartents in person and aren't moving from another place, walking the neighborhood is always a better idea. It's amazing what gems you can get for a deal. Corporate buildings that spam craigslist and every other site are generally huge rip offs. Small landlords are often clueless about how much rent they can get away with.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
1,585 posts, read 1,133,158 times
Reputation: 1979
If you live in the area and know what area you want to live in, the "drive by" is the best way to find a place I think.

But of you are moving in from out of state and have no idea, then sources like Westside Rentals and the small local papers (BH Courrier, SM Argonaut, Toulcan Times, etc) are the best.

I think online through the big, traditional "Rent.com" type sites and their outside the grocery store book cohorts are the worst unless you just don't care about the cost.
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