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Old 10-02-2012, 03:24 PM
 
14 posts, read 34,705 times
Reputation: 17

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I'm an out of towner heading to san francisco. I need to be there by mid February, but from November onwards, I'm pretty much free to move to SF whenever I want. Doing some online research, some people suggested out of towners to come to SF and live in temporary housing and search for a permanent one once they are in town and can see things in person. I'm not sure how much sense that makes for me since I'm only looking for a place to rent for myself (I want to live alone, so studio or one bedroom, but to keep budgets as low as possible probably a studio). It also seems like if I'm unlucky and my search takes a long time, whatever temporary housing I'm at could cost as much as rent.

Would it even be possible to rent without being in SF, what with the tons of other people that are in the market? I feel I would probably be at a disadvantage compared to the people who actually see the place in person. The only advantage I have over them is my flexibility. Someone on this forum said this:
"Christmas time. Nobody's looking, so you can get good deals if you agree to move in on New Year's". It probably wasn't 100% serious, but I could actually do that if that gave me an edge over whoever else was applying for the place I wanted.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:56 AM
 
370 posts, read 865,010 times
Reputation: 241
i think your biggest disadvantage is that you end up renting a place, that is in a bad location, horrible location,or is drastically overpriced.

Renting sight unseen in a tight rental market could mean you end up with a place that no one else wanted who had seen it..
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:47 AM
 
14 posts, read 34,705 times
Reputation: 17
you are probably right, I didn't think of it that way but that would make sense; if no one saw the place then dump it on the person that can't see it in person. But don't you think that it could work out better if I found a sublease? That's the option I'm leaning towards right now. I feel that might work out since the dates for a sublease is always random and I have the flexibility in my schedule to fit a sublease if the place seems nice. And plus, it won't be long term and if I know I'll be in SF longer I can look around while im there.

Also, do you think it's feasible to go about in the other option (go to SF and then start looking for a place)? It seems too unpredictable of an option.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:46 AM
 
370 posts, read 865,010 times
Reputation: 241
i think its feasible if its a sublease. Can you have a friend look at the place for you? That would help mitigate the sight unseen part if you trust them..
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 13,103,166 times
Reputation: 2958
1) reserve a cheap hotel room or use airbnb or whatever for a week's stay
2) Right before you travel to SF, go on craisglist and find as many apartment open houses as you can
3) go to as many open houses in SF as you can during that first week and be aggressive about applying. The SF rental market is extremely competitive even in a down economy and you MUST put in your application right away and be pushy about it, if you tell the landlord you'll sleep on it, the place WILL be rented 5 minutes later to someone else.
4) If you can't find anything during that first week, renew your temp hotel/housing, and just keep trying open houses. Also consider taking a temporary sublease, like 3 to 6 months (often someone will leave their apartment early and need someone to take over for a few months until the lease is up)...and it's possible that you'll have to live with roommates. At least you'll have a roof over your head, you aren't paying exorbitant hotel prices, and you have more time to look for a permanent place.
5) Keep in mind the SF market is completely insane right now so even if you have a strong budget (like $1500 and up just for a studio) then you are going to find it very hard to get a place. Consider Oakland and Berkeley which are less competitive and cheaper than SF, and a 20 minutes BART ride from downtown SF.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:30 PM
 
14 posts, read 34,705 times
Reputation: 17
thanks for your answers. I'm a little torn as to when exactly to go, do you think this ("Christmas time. Nobody's looking, so you can get good deals if you agree to move in on New Year's".) has any truth to it, especially when it comes to a sublease? I'm actually not entirely sure how long I'll be in SF; I know I'll stay till about May, but it's questionable after that. So sublease seems like my only real option right now.
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