LA Real Estate and Relationships Partially Decoded
You know the big three: house, relationship and job. Those who have all three going well at once are miracle workers. I usually have two running successfully at a time, but often not. What to live in, who to be with, what to be when you grow up? Last week I tweeted “Dwellings/men, they’re always lacking one or two things you really want, even if they have the rest.” Someone liked it and re-tweeted it. I firmly stand by this. Let me tell you why.
I finally signed a lease on my dream spot and it has my big three: dog friendly, parking and laundry. I saw people posting housing wanted ads for October with a dog because landlords now-a-days mostly don’t allow pets. I would drive by The Silver Lake Reservoir looking at all the dogs and wondering where the *beep do they live?
Though I haven’t online dated for the better part of a decade, I have theories about online profiles and online ads for places for lease in LA being similar. Don’t exactly trust them.
Always bigger in pictures. Ain’t it the truth? Look at most apartments and Tom Cruise and other actors. Photos show these roomy expanses or larger than life guys. When you see them in person, the spaces are cramped and the men are shorter.
Superlatives do not ring true. Watch out for catch words. For apartments, the word “stunning” means what you’ll be doing to the neighbors and locals with a stun gun when they try to rob you. With guys, you can verify their boasts and chest beating. Remember it’s truly what they do, not just what they say, ie. “I’m the biggest teddy bear”, etc..
If they don’t post it, they don’t got it. If you have to ask landlords about air conditioning and parking and if utilities are included, the answer is no. From talking with my friends who are now all OKCupid nuts, if they don’t list it, ask about it up front, ie. Don’t waste time – ask if they use drugs, smoke etc.. Some dates will just hide these vices from you and hope you don’t notice.
Ever since I was four, I’ve periodically “run away from home”. What can I say, I’m an emotional claustrophobe whose nightmare is turning Stepford and losing my own identity. Two years ago, I left my five year boyfriend and got two of the coolest sublets ever- both just impeccably designed. This month, I’ve done it again, but this time I signed a one year lease.
I do know a gal pal who moved in with her boyfriend, to have each of them move out, get their own year leases and now they’re moving back in with each other this month. Tis life. Because I’m easily suffocated, I am relishing free bird status again, even though many things have been jarring. I haven’t house hunted on my own for almost seven years.
Boy is a really neat and nice person and a looker to boot, but he’s also psychologically hooked on wacky tobaccy, therefore making him selfish, and has a sister who says things like “she’s so ugly, she might as well be a lesbian” and “his wet dream is a bus full of Japanese school girls” in front of me, and “friends” who pawn his stuff. Um yeah. I’m not so patient with people and I didn’t think our endgame goals matched up. Deal breakers for sure.
Boy told me that “it’s normal couples get sick of each other, but if you really care, you stick around”. Our definitions of love and friendship weren’t syncing. Main conflicts also included me being an East Coaster with major New Yorker sensibilities and he’s a Cedars Sinai born and bred Angeleno. Another offsetting: I speak screenplay. He speaks math now. He has everything else I thought I wanted, but lacks elements I require for non-platonic unions.
Boy and I used to joke (but not really) to people that we stayed together so long for two reasons: our dog and for the square footage. We once considered buying a house in Los Angeles together- now I’m glad we didn’t or else I’d feel stuck. Our renting power together was awesome but I still thought 900 bucks a month each was a lot.
My rude awakening came when I began searching for small dog friendly one-bedrooms a couple weeks ago. Friends offered places in the 1200 range and I thought that was steep. I was wrong. Most of my single friends living alone pay 1350-1500.
It’s been brutal- I lost my dream dog friendly duplex with shared parking and laundry by the Silver Lake Reservoir by ten minutes. The guy who had the appointment right before me took it. I felt a little heart broken and dejected, just like ending a relationship. I very soon got over it.
Went to a week day open house- got their five minutes before the door opened. This super compact Echo Park place was already crawling with people for a 1450/month with no air conditioning, no utilities and no parking, but with a killer deck and views of downtown. My friend and I grabbed an application and ran back to his house to fill it out and scan it and email to the owner. Still too late- she went with someone who applied earlier.
My brain was hurting from the dozens of hours driving around the east side of LA scouring for “For Rent/Lease” signs and my eye balls hurt from the tons of hours staring and refreshing a computer screen with multiple rental sites open- Padmapper, Hotpads, Livelovely, Trulia, Zillow and Craigslist.
Then boom at 9:09 one night a post pops up for my dream apartment, a William Kesling designed Streamline Moderne. I called right away and got an appointment to view it the next day. I was the 2:20. I was ready to put a hit out on the 2:00 and the 2:10. The 2:00 wavered, the 2:10 was late. I patiently waited for my tour and then whipped out a “prospective tenant summary” I typed up (my hard sell) and my check book. Deal was done. 2:10 showed up. Lease was being filled out for me. The really cool architect landlord had to call back the other 20 people who he had scheduled for viewings. I won, finally. I won. When it’s right, it’s right and it shouldn’t take too much work.
Not only was this place dreamy, dog friendly, in a secure compound surrounded with gating and bamboo, it has a fricking individual enclosed garage space for my car, a new silver fridge, and laundry too. Did I mention the sunken bath tub and the floor to ceiling casement windows? Hey CurbedLA, eat your heart out. It’s nearly impossible to find all of these elements for 1500.
Ladies (and gents), never say never. If I can find the dream dwelling, I’m sure we can all find our dream person with everything we need and want who will understand us and want to take care of us and makes us happy when we look at them, the way I feel about and want to take care of my new place. I’ll be in my new woman cave with my pup, in my ideal location soon if anyone needs me.
<3 T from T&A Do LA. “A” and I are now both east side singles together again.