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The Homeless Games

The following is a tale of blood, sweat, tears, miniature psychotic breaks…

… and more tears…

and eventually… triumph.

(not an actual picture of myself or my apartment)

I legitimately spent the entirety of my summer searching for shelter and a place to sleep. Like a scavenger, of sorts. I started work in LA and, seeing as how I’m from San Diego, needed a new place to live that wasn’t 2+ hours away from my place of employment. This lead me to taking up the casual hobby of vagabonding and couch surfing, all the while living out of a suitcase. It’s more of an exercise than I anticipated, and a pretty cruel lifestyle choice.

When I wasn’t sleeping, I was hunting. Just like in the Hunger Games. Wait I don’t know, I never actually saw that movie. But when I first got to LA, it definitely felt like this:

LA apartment hunting in a nutshell

But seriously. It was like no one wanted me to grace their apartment building with my presence and unparalleled homemaking talents. Like, what the hell? I’m really clean and the neighbors will totally love me! It was like a fight to the death between me and all of the landlords in LA county, and Westside Rentals was the ring leader.

Somehow, a combination of my poverty-line income, no renting history and my roommate’s complete lack of employment/income wasn’t appealing to landlords. I don’t get it.

What’s worse is that moving to LA is essentially bankrupting your life before you even have the chance to start making money. I couldn’t believe the rent prices, especially given the conditions of some of the places I checked out.

This one is listing at $2,800/mo. No refrigerator. Parking included. Easy access to freeway.

I have to give it to WSR though – we definitely ended up finding the perfect place. However, weeding out the competition was no easy feat. I was absolutely shocked to find out that some things look better on the internet than they do in real life! Oh wait, no, I figured that out with Pinterest.

One apartment we went to looked amazing in the listing photos, and when we got there, this is what happened:

a photo of my roommate and me, looking at an apartment

Then an old lady showed up out of nowhere. We thought she was a witch. Turns out she was a neighbor.

“you have to get out of here! this house is infested with BEES!”

“Lady are you for real?”


“Okay Bye”

So there’s that. On  to the next.

Round 2 of apartment hunting was fraught with the smell of urine and carpets that looked like this:

thank you for truly capturing the moment

After 5 or 6 weeks of smelling other people’s pee, the moment came where the roommate and I were ready to just put a deposit on something. Anything that wasn’t entirely disgusting was fair game. In fact, we found something decent online, picked up the keys from WSR and went to take a look at the property, check in hand. We talked it over:

Me: “Hey, this place won’t make me want to hang myself every morning, what do you think?”

Roommate: “Yah, I don’t get the feeling that I’ll want to jump off the balcony in the middle of the night, AND there are four walls!”

Me: “Alright let’s do it.”

So we went back to fill out an application.

MID-application, literally sitting in the rental office READY TO GO… someone called and swooped it. Much like this:


We had had it. I decided we were going to live out of our cars and be homeless. Roommates without actual rooms. As I started to have the miniature psychotic break, we found a glimmering beacon of hope:

target has been sighted

It was time.

I was in go mode and no one was going to stop me. I didn’t care if I had to kill people. Well… that’s a small overstatement. But… I was guns-blazing. On a mission. Nothing was going to keep me from renting this apartment.

“LET ME PAY YOUUUU!!!!!!!!!1!!”

We had barely set foot in the door before I said “we’ll take it.” However, the landlord told us that there were two parties ahead of us in the application, to which I responded, “Here is two thousand dollars.”

Just kidding. But seriously. I was like, “here’s a check for the deposit. Now who’s first in line?”

We were. That’s who.

Through an act of congress, the works of God and the alignment of several major constellations, we were entrusted with a rental property.

Long story short, we got the place. Later, we found out that it wasn’t, in fact, a political/spiritual/astrological phenomenon, but our landlord had thought that my roommate and I were married (which is a major LOL for reasons I won’t get into). Whatever works.

So there’s the happy ending (for us, at least… maybe this makes you happy reading about other people’s happiness).

Gosh, I love moving.

To all future renters in Southern California, if you’re trying to avoid the urge to slam your head into a wall repeatedly while looking for a new home, go with Westside Rentals. The only reason we had the slightest shot at success was because of that wonderful, wonderful website.


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This entry was posted on September 18, 2012 by and tagged , , .
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