As a new feature on the Lovely Blog, we are going to bring you success stories from actual renters and let them tell you what they did to nab their dream apartment. Today, we are starting with two dear friends of mine, Emily and Matt, who moved into their apartment in Duboce Park a few months ago.
Abby Pontzer (AP): Why did you decide you needed to look for a new rental?
Emily & Matt (E&M): When we met we were living in separate cities (me in SF and Matthew in Minneapolis). I convinced him to drop everything and he moved down the street from me. We were both living in pretty great houses with roommates in the Mission–not a bad situation to be in–however, when we got engaged last fall we decided to look for our own place together.
AP: Where were you looking?
E&M: We had a few neighborhoods scoped out. We love the Mission District but where we were was a little far from public transportation. I take BART to Oakland for work and Matthew needed to be able to get downtown quickly, so we were concentrating on Mission/Castro/Dolores for the access to Muni and BART. We also really like North Beach as a place to hang out, so we were looking there too.
AP: What was on your must-have list? What were your deal-breakers?
E&M: We really wanted to have more than one bedroom. Matthew has a LOT of friends who like to visit SF and we wanted to have a guest room to offer for visitors. That was pretty much it… location and space… without going broke. We really didn’t want to spend more than $3,000/month. That was the ABSOLUTE max.
AP: What made you stand out among the rest of the applicants? What tip would you take away from this experience?
E&M: I was the second person to call after the listing for our current apartment was posted and Matthew was able to look at the place that day on his lunch break. The first people in line didn’t take it so the management company let us know we were next if we wanted it. I really think timing was the biggest factor. We seized the opportunities we had, even though we were super tired of calling on listings and going to open houses. Our property management company was great too. They held other applications while I checked out the place and we took a day to decide. I think we really lucked out there too!
AP: Tell us about your new place! What do you love and what do you not love as much?
E&M: Our new place is in Duboce Park, an easy bike ride for Matthew to the Financial District and an easy Muni + BART to Oakland for me. We also lucked out and our landlord allows dogs, so we were able to adopt Draper, the most adorable dog in the world (even if he has attacked our blinds), and we take him to Duboce Park every day. We love the neighborhood and our wood floors and, now that we’ve done some painting, it’s started to feel like home. Not so much? Our very long, narrow hallway (which we brightened up by painting orange) and no possibility of in-unit laundry. There are hook-ups… but the door is too narrow for even the narrowest washer/drier.