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Old 04-04-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,989,323 times
Reputation: 781

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Had a couple questions about renting.
First, anyone know of websites with basic Q&As so I don't have to ask a bunch of noob questions here?

Next, some noob questions.

1. Do I have to sign or pay anything just to look at an apartment to see if I want it?

2. Does the security deposit vary based on your credit score? I was told this by a co-worker, or two.


I am planning to move in with my girlfriend. In Los Angeles we're looking to spend around $1200 plus some utilities, not to exceed $1400 hopefully.
We will bring home about $3000/mo and both have new car payments totalling about $650. No other real bills, so hopefully we'll be able to rent based on our lousy income, or IMO lousy COL in L.A.
Anyways, my credit is stellar at about 785, hers is average I am guessing.

Don't want to be getting my credit checked all the time for a place I don't even get to see first, or like. Also don't want to be paying a ridiculous application fee for a place I don't like, but am unsure how these things work.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,667,947 times
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First, no one can run your credit without your SSN. You will give that when you put in an application to actually GET the apt you want. When you decide on the apt, they will probably charge you an application fee - this is used to pay for pulling your credit report and their time. On the east coast, it is between $25-$50 - non refundable.

Once you are accepted, you will be required to pay a security deposit. I have seen it as low as $300 or as high as 2 times the rent. Just depends on the apt. The average is at least 1 month deposit, then you pay the first month when you move in.

You can look at apts all day long - and all it will cost is your time !!
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:31 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,989,323 times
Reputation: 781
Thanks sounds good...Can't wait to find a place.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,597,696 times
Reputation: 2977
1. No.
2. Sometimes.

Like the other poster said, they don't run your credit until you put in an application. Many places don't even do it then, but instead just pocket the money. (Usually $25)

You might be asked for 1st, last, and security. Meaning 1st month's rent, last month's rent, and a security deposit (As much as 1.5 times the montly rent) up front, so for a 1200 place, you might have to cut a check for $4200 up front!

IMO you are spending too much on rent. You should try to keep it under 30% of your income and put a nice chunk into savings for when the housing market finishes tanking, or a world tour, or starting your own business, or whatever. Try looking at independant operators instead of big complexes. Sharing a 1br saves money and is a quicker way to finding out if you and your SO are compatible. In the SFV, you shouldn't pay more than 1100 for a 1br/1ba and I'd shoot more for 800-900.


If you're looking in NOHO, Canoga Park, or Ventura I can make some recommendations.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:44 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,989,323 times
Reputation: 781
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
1. No.
2. Sometimes.

Like the other poster said, they don't run your credit until you put in an application. Many places don't even do it then, but instead just pocket the money. (Usually $25)

You might be asked for 1st, last, and security. Meaning 1st month's rent, last month's rent, and a security deposit (As much as 1.5 times the montly rent) up front, so for a 1200 place, you might have to cut a check for $4200 up front!

IMO you are spending too much on rent. You should try to keep it under 30% of your income and put a nice chunk into savings for when the housing market finishes tanking, or a world tour, or starting your own business, or whatever. Try looking at independant operators instead of big complexes. Sharing a 1br saves money and is a quicker way to finding out if you and your SO are compatible. In the SFV, you shouldn't pay more than 1100 for a 1br/1ba and I'd shoot more for 800-900.


If you're looking in NOHO, Canoga Park, or Ventura I can make some recommendations.

You point out some places under 1000 with paid utilities in the SFV and I will look. Omit, NoHo(gang areas), Sylmar, Pacoima, San Fernando, Canoga Park(gang areas), areas with new Mexican transplants like Panorama City, Granada Hills, Van Nuys....and I will check them out. I think I'd be more likely to hit the lotto though.

Realistically, I should be spending about $400-500 on an apartment IMO.
That's why as soon as I graduate college I'm leaving Cali and moving to an area where rent is about $600, combined would be $300/mo from each person.

But, I was actually looking in Valencia, Sherman Oaks, Encino or any area without a large hispanic population, and/or gangs, or any other less than desired types.

I NEED a place with secured parking, covered or not, and two parking spaces. We both drive brand new cars and I'll be damned if I move to a place like NoHo where people could care less about others property.

I work in Sylmar, and go to college in Sylmar and to CSUN. GF works in Valencia and possibly Agoura Hills. FYI
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,597,696 times
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Well, yeah, if you live in SoCal and have something against hispanics, then you're out of luck.

I think we're probably too different from each other for me to help you out much in your apartment hunt. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,989,323 times
Reputation: 781
My GF is Mexican, and I am Spaniard...better yet, I am an Califonia native and refuse to live in an area like Van Nuys Blvd or areas that house people who live differently than I do. I know many agree with me.
Unfortunately all the places I've ever seen for 700-1000 are in bad areas.
Thanks anyways.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,597,696 times
Reputation: 2977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hungry For Cheese View Post
I am an Califonia native and refuse to live in an area like Van Nuys Blvd or areas that house people who live differently than I do.
Yup. Agree. Sorry I couldn't help more. Your stated prices are about right (the minimum for a 1br) for the areas you're looking in and what you need.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
33,760 posts, read 31,904,835 times
Reputation: 49248
Most people have a higher security deposit if they have a pet.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,280 posts, read 15,743,377 times
Reputation: 17598
If neither you or your girlfriend are making much money, why on EARTH do you have ONE new car, much less two! To save money, I'd ditch the cars and get something used as well as look for an apartment with roommates. If anything happens- a lost job, medical emergency, car accident, etc- you two will be up the creek.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer or give unsolicited advice, but I'm getting financial disaster red flags.
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