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Old 03-23-2010, 09:49 AM
 
94 posts, read 300,698 times
Reputation: 31

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So obviously there is a bit of competition for Honolulu's more reasonably priced apartments.

What I want to know is how many times I should expect to get turned down for an apartment before I find one? (Or rather, how many times did YOU get turned down?)

We're looking for a fairly specific place (one bedroom [not studio], at least cat-friendly, hopefully dog-friendly, and under $1200), so how much time should we budget for "finding the place" and getting accepted? I know places like this exist, I see at least one or two every day on craigslist lately, but is it going to take us six months to get someone to approve us?

Right now the plan is to move to Honolulu about a month before classes start at UH—putting it at about July 22—and move into a short-term rental while we find a real place. Is a month of apartment-hunting (I will simultaneously be job-hunting) reasonable? We will obviously continue to look before actually flying out, but it seems as though a lot of renters don't want to rent to someone who isn't on the island yet.

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,753 posts, read 10,356,145 times
Reputation: 2464
Are you paying "application fees" for applying?
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:11 PM
 
94 posts, read 300,698 times
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Well, we're not applying yet—like I said, we're not moving out til late July at least.

That said, I assume we'll have to pay some application fees? Seems par for the course, no? I don't really understand if your quotation marks (or any part of your message) is meant to imply something.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,753 posts, read 10,356,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayteefoster View Post
Well, we're not applying yet—like I said, we're not moving out til late July at least.

That said, I assume we'll have to pay some application fees? Seems par for the course, no? I don't really understand if your quotation marks (or any part of your message) is meant to imply something.
Although I am not sure if it happens on Oahu as much as it does on the Big Island, firms (and individuals) that charge application fees have a relatively bad reputation for charging fees before you can even look at the apartment and suddenly inform you that either you do not qualify or it has already been rented. Essentially, they are simply trying to make extra money from the fees.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:15 PM
 
94 posts, read 300,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdand3boys View Post
Although I am not sure if it happens on Oahu as much as it does on the Big Island, firms (and individuals) that charge application fees have a relatively bad reputation for charging fees before you can even look at the apartment and suddenly inform you that either you do not qualify or it has already been rented. Essentially, they are simply trying to make extra money from the fees.
I have heard about that (and the more extreme version, where someone "accepts" applications from 3-5 leasers and collects deposits/rent from everyone only to disappear when four people all show up to move in at the same time).

Is there any way to avoid this kind of scam? Or at least weed out some of the offenders? I mean, I was planning that we'd spend at least a little on application fees, but if they're all always bogus...
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Chicago
40 posts, read 74,053 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayteefoster View Post
So obviously there is a bit of competition for Honolulu's more reasonably priced apartments.

What I want to know is how many times I should expect to get turned down for an apartment before I find one? (Or rather, how many times did YOU get turned down?)

We're looking for a fairly specific place (one bedroom [not studio], at least cat-friendly, hopefully dog-friendly, and under $1200), so how much time should we budget for "finding the place" and getting accepted? I know places like this exist, I see at least one or two every day on craigslist lately, but is it going to take us six months to get someone to approve us?

Right now the plan is to move to Honolulu about a month before classes start at UH—putting it at about July 22—and move into a short-term rental while we find a real place. Is a month of apartment-hunting (I will simultaneously be job-hunting) reasonable? We will obviously continue to look before actually flying out, but it seems as though a lot of renters don't want to rent to someone who isn't on the island yet.

Thanks!
I"m in the same boat...let me know how it works out for you. I'm moving to Honolulu in October.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,753 posts, read 10,356,145 times
Reputation: 2464
This is one of the reasons why I suggest renting a vacation rental through a site like vrbo.com or homeaway.com or similar. These sites make the landlord pay a fee to be on their site and if you do all of the renting and payment through the website, they guarantee no issues. I think vrbo does a $5000 guarantee. After you get out here, then you can physically check out places and make sure you are not being scammed.

Be very careful.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:38 PM
 
94 posts, read 300,698 times
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The only thing I'm worried about is that if a landlord is doing their due diligence, they're running credit check on applicants, which does cost money, justifying a modest application fee. Ugh, I hate apartment hunting.

But nobody's really gotten to my original questions.
We're planning on renting a room or small vacation rental for about a month while we find a long-term home. Is this a realistic amount of time to find a place meeting our admittedly narrow needs?
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:00 AM
 
820 posts, read 2,813,499 times
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A month may not be enough, but I don't want to get zinged for being negative!

You've mentioned a few factors that might make it a bit harder for you to find a place:
1. Pets - you say cat-friendly and also maybe dog-friendly. That's going to cut your list down, especially if it's a new dog, as puppies are going to need to be housebroken, and that means accidents along the way. Even a relocated pet may have some "spills" as they get used to everything.

2. One bedroom is less common than two bedroom, especially if not a studio.

3. Under $1200 cuts the list in half.

4. You are moving out here, and are a student. Landlords know you are going to probably move again soon.

5. You are going to be looking just before the school session starts, as are many others.

All that said, if you only have a month, then that's all you have. Hit the search hard, don't delay. See if you can share a place with someone else, which might be doable for the short term since you'll probably move again within 6 months. If someone is offering one bedroom as a roommate, then you can take advantage of the fact that they already have a lease. As already advised, check out a vacation rental for a month term, or two. See if you can afford that to get in and settled, then keep diligently looking for a more long-term spot.

Ask everyone you talk to about rentals. That means school contacts, their relatives, people who help you with relocating... you never know when someone knows someone who has a place.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
119 posts, read 348,681 times
Reputation: 50
I have contacted several agencies and I always have the same answer that you can't look for the apartment too early. I was advised to contact them again a month before our arrival. The reason (they gave me) is the market is always changing and a lot of people do month to month rent, so they don't really know what's going to be free and can't/ don't want to secure you an apartment months ahead.

I am getting uneasy because we will be moving by June this year and I'd like to know if we have a place to live or not, but I guess that's how it works in Oahu.
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