Life as a Renter
In my earlier days renting was the only option. It was very stressful to look for a good location and a place that fitted my budget. I always had to carefully scope the deposit requirements, length of the lease, and related fees to figure out how much total cash I needed up-front.
I recalled finding a studio in an area with easy access to the freeways. It cost as much as the two bedroom condo I had in Louisiana. Talk about sticker shock! After a few days of search I reluctantly decided it was not going to get any cheaper, so I went ahead and signed a one-year lease. I had sold all my furniture and miscellaneous household items and just came to California with my car and some personal belongings. Good thing I did, because the studio was as big as the living room I moved from.
After my year lease in the tiny studio, I decided find a two bedroom apartment. My journey of renting became more interesting as I kept moving south, and trading roommates to be able to afford the type of place I wanted to live in. By this time, online was available and a whole new concept of finding apartments came to life. There were choices galore, but very few apartments for rent met my criteria and my budget. Although, being able to narrow my search and post an ad for the roommates was indeed a time saver.
My roommates normally didn't have much furniture. Looking back, we didn't even missed it, because we were always working and only home to change clothes or to sleep so it didn’t matter. It seemed as if once we were settled a bit, we got notices of rent increase. Whether it’s a new remote control for the gate, or the new paved driveway, we were being charged for the new upgrades. Needless to say looking for apartments was a large part of my life then. My suggestion to renters is to negotiate a lease for the length of time you think you will need to stay in the place, otherwise, when the lease ends, and /or when there are new upgrades, the landlord can raise your rent.