Los Angeles is often referred to as the City of Angels and is an exciting place to live, packed full of activities you won’t find anywhere else. At the same time, the lifestyle is also a key factor for many relocating there. Buried right in the heart of the entertainment world, you could be brushing shoulders with the world’s elite, but this can make finding the perfect home a struggle.
For students, cost is often key, and with LA being such an iconic location, this does result in prices being higher than many other places in the country. Househunting can be a scary task that’s often full of disappointment and anxiety, but this doesn’t need to be the case for students. In this article, we’ll share some tips to help you find your ideal LA home without as much hassle or stress.
- Start Early
Because property is in such high demand in LA and the wider area, you need to strike fast. If you’re looking at apartments for rent in Los Angeles, be sure to start your search as early as possible, especially if you want to be located close to in-demand spots like the university or entertainment areas. By starting early, you’ll have the best chance of finding somewhere that’s both nice and good value.
- Set a Budget
A budget is one of the most essential things when it comes to househunting, especially if you’re looking in an expensive area that is very popular. LA has a reputation for being pricey, and even if you’re starting to get desperate as school approaches, don’t get yourself into financial trouble because you can’t find anywhere that’s within your budget — trust your gut and keep looking!
- Consider Roommates
If you can’t find any single-person spaces that are good value, it might be worth looking at larger homes that have space for more than one tenant. Whether you want to be the primary leaseholder and have the responsibility of finding roommates or you want to rent a room elsewhere, this is something that many college students are doing in an effort to save some money for school.
- Explore Different Neighborhoods
While living near your school might be the ideal choice, this isn’t always possible for a variety of reasons, including budget and availability. Instead, it could be worthwhile looking at different neighborhoods that are still within a reasonable distance from your classes. Make sure to check for amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, and green spaces — these are all very important.
- Use Online Resources
Make sure to do your research before you commit anywhere, looking at crime stats and reviews left by previous tenants. If you still haven’t found anywhere, looking online could be your best friend — there are many places where apartments and rooms can be listed. That being said, going through a trusted provider is often the easier and safer course of action for college students.
- Be Prepared for Competition
LA is home to a very competitive rental market with (sometimes) hundreds of applicants all wanting to live in the same property. If you want to be among the lucky few who are able to live in that building, you should aim to have easy access to personal and professional references, proof of your income and credit history, and plenty of availability for viewings.
- Ask About Student Discounts
Some landlords and accommodation providers will be affiliated with the local school and may offer a discounted rate for students. While this may not be common in some areas, it’s always worth asking just in case – it could be the difference between your dream home and somewhere that’s just “okay.” These savings can be used on books, groceries, or even a little moving-in treat!
- Read the Lease Carefully
Before you sign anything, whether that’s an application form or a lease, make sure to check the document in full and look for anything that doesn’t look quite right. While most landlords won’t be looking to catch you out, you need to protect yourself and have a good understanding of what might be expected of you. If there’s anything you are unsure of, don’t be scared to ask! It’s better to have a complete understanding of what you’re signing rather than risk unanswered questions after signing it.
- Verify Public Transportation Options
You want to be able to get from point A to point B, and if you don’t have a car or can’t afford to keep one during your time at college, you need to check the transportation options. While many student accommodation locations will often have good transportation links, this isn’t always a given, while for independently leased places, this is even less so. To avoid being stranded, do your research beforehand.
- Join Local Housing Groups
Joining a local housing group on social media can be a great way to connect with fellow students who may be looking for roommates. Even if you don’t end up living with anybody for these groups, it can be a good way to meet people who are living locally and may want to hang out. This is especially helpful for freshman students who may not know anybody yet.
Renting an apartment in LA can be a rewarding experience as long as you do the right preparation. There is often a lot of competition for spaces, especially if you don’t know the area well — you can easily end up in the wrong area, which is why you should always do your research. That being said, there are many great options available that we’re sure you’ll love.