Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Housing Hunt: LA Edition (Summer Specific)









It can be difficult to find a short-term (most internships run for 3 months) apartment in LA. It can also be DOWNRIGHT impossible if you don't live relatively close to here already. Also, if you didn't know, NO companies in LA (that I know of) provide housing for interns.

Don't worry though! The Hollywood Intern Diaries is here to make it seem just a little bit less stressful. Just scroll to the list that best fits your locale situation.


You Live Here Already/Live Around LA/ Live Within Driving Distance/ You Plan to Stay in a Hotel or Motel Until You Find a Place:
Great! Believe it or not, you have a HUGE advantage in getting housing. Actually going to the place gives you the opportunity to show your interest, sign a lease, and allows you to get housing secured (not to mention you will know exactly what you're getting into.)

-FIND HOUSING:
Your best bet is finding housing on Craigslist under the "Temporary/ Sublease" tab. I would start looking for housing YESTERDAY. Also, try Santa Monica College's Housing Website for some apartment listings by students for the summer. Budget for $700-1,400 depending on location if you don't have a roommate.

-NEIGHBORHOODS to Focus On: Westwood (UCLA), USC, Santa Monica. These are around college campuses and will likely offer a discounted price if you sublet from their residents heading home for the summer.

-TIPS:
Since affordable housing is SO IN-DEMAND in LA, many people will be looking for the same summer apartment you are. My best tip is when you like a place, ask to sign papers then and there! It will save you another trip, get all your ducks in a row, and you get the place! So just grit your teeth and lay down the deposit on the first viewing.
Also, teaming up with a roommate will also help the process as many subleases need multiple people or you could split the rent and share a room with a friend.
Finally, ALWAYS RENT IT FURNISHED- unless you already have furniture. An ikea bed alone can set you back over a $1000 dollars.

Money is NO OBJECT/ Your parent's are paying/ You got an awesome Full Time Paid Internship (good for you!)/ You don't live around LA or don't want to deal with Craigslist: 
I'm very jealous, by the way. But good for you! Here's some easy and more expensive housing options.

Short-Term Rentals, Extended Stay Hotels, and Corporate Housing places are your friend! These are more expensive options (usually about $2,000 a month, some are less depending on location) but they allow you to lease the apartment for three months over the phone/internet. You don't need to see the place in person. They are furnished, no middle man (current tenet), and they often allow pets.

Here's the best website I can give you, it's for Equity Apartments.

Tips: Pick one nearest to your internship, traffic can be a bitch in LA. Roommates will cut the cost in half! So consider getting one even if your parent is Jay Gatsby. You have to eat too!

You are coming from out of town and can't afford 2,000 a month in Rent:
I am so sorry, this will be a very stressful process for you. But New York, LA is not. And there is options for you!

- Loriff. This is a great resource I stumbled on some time ago. They offer shared housing for "artists" and "hollywood interns" that is way better than staying a hostel, most of the people are from out of town as well. They include everything in their cost ($550 a month) including sheets. The lease is also month by month and if you find somewhere better you can move! Great first month option if you're not sure about staying the whole time. You fill out the application on their website and you can get a spot without going there! They have multiple locations close to all the major studios. Here's the website.

-Motel Route: Or you can pay about $238 dollars a week in a Motel until you can find someplace better. I've had many friends who have gone this route and have moved in with friends at our internship or who signed a lease on an apartment- planning to stay in LA after the internship is over. This would be the best time to start contacting craigslist, as you'll be in the area and can say "I can come tomorrow."

TIPS FOR ALL:
1. Never settle. If you feel unsafe, DO NOT RENT THE APARTMENT. Some parts of LA can be very sketchy at night, and so can roommates you don't know. Check the place out and use your own judgement. Also, I would recommend taking a friend when you look at places.

2. Know your price range. Don't message people with $1,300 apartments if you can only afford $800. That perfect $800 apartment is on craigslist, you just need to find it.

3. Parking. Always ask about parking. LA is a car city and it can be difficult. Street parking may be the bane of your existence so ask if you can purchase a parking spot in the complex. Be sure to factor that in to your monthly rent cost.

4. Jump the gun. Keep messaging them, let them know you want this apartment more than anything, don't take "I'll get back to you" as an answer. Go the place, sign the papers, put down the deposit, and get the apartment.

5. Avoid Hollywood. Stick to the more income-friendly student neighborhoods: Los Felix, Burbank, Glendale, Santa Monica, Korea Town, Westwood, and select areas of USC.

Good luck!













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© No Experience Required Maira Gall.