For her 1st blog post, Lise wants to help you in your apartment hunt giving her trick that can save you a lot of trouble!
Are you one of the happy people moving in the Bay Area in this beginning of academic year? Great!
I know getting settled can be overwhelming, especially when you have to look for an apartment to rent. If you come from Europe, one thing you have to know is that the whole renting experience is quite different in the U.S. than it can be in the old continent… Especially here where the competition between potential tenants is really high.
I would not advise you one great city, neighborhood or even a type of place to live in the San Francisco Bay Area because I guess it all depends on your own personal wish list. However here is a helpful website while looking for a rental: http://www.apartmentratings.com/. In the Bay Area, you have to know that there are a lot of apartments’ buildings (also known as ‘Complex’ or ‘Residence’) so once you’ve picked a few to visit, check their tenants’ ratings on this website. It would give you a good idea of whether you would enjoy living in the complex.
In the U.S, you will find ‘complex managers’, or ‘residence managers’ or also called ‘on-site building managers’ (for instance in France we sometimes have a Concierge – but it is different). American Building Managers are usually more involved in their tenants’ everyday life than in Europe (which can be good or bad, depending on the person that manages your building…). For instance, apartments here will come with the major kitchen appliances such as the fridge, the oven, the gas range…etc. and the residential manager is the one in charge of having them fixed if necessary. As a matter of fact, you won’t even be responsible of changing the light bulb! He/She is also the one that collects the monthly rent check, the one who makes sure the buidling is not falling apart and the ones who decides who can live in the building or not. Having a bad building manager can be a real nightmare, that is why you may want to check the tenants’ reviews on the manager and how he/she responds to their demands. If he or she has bad reviews, don’t live there! Trust me, it will save you a lot of trouble.
Good luck in your hunt!