Madison Elizabeth

Be Happy. Be Bright. Be You.


Relocation Tips & More!

Hello my loves! It's about time I get on here and write a blog post! I have been so insanely busy and I feel like I haven't had any time to write. Side note: currently writing this 30,000+ feet up in the air on the plane back to SLC. But hey... I'm doing the best I can ;) I can finally say that all (well the majority) of my stress has subsided from this house hunting trip. Upon flying out to San Francisco I knew in my mind it was going to be a stressful trip but I don't think I realized the amount of stress that I was about to put on myself. I am a stress-case. I feel bad for anyone that has to be around me when I am stressed... because I am NOT myself. The four days that we were looking for apartments... I was a monster. And felt like crying every 2 seconds. I was treating this decision like a life or death situation.... hahaha (soo not necessary, but soo me).
I knew that this move was temporary but I wanted us to be happy and I wanted to walk into a place and just know that it was meant to be. And guess what.... that definitely didn't happen. Every place had pros & cons and making a decision was so hard (I can't imagine what buying a real house is like... yikes). I can't tell you how many times we said "well what do you think we should do?" And the answer was always "well I don't know." We had help from parents and our relocation agent, but in the end, it wasn't them making the decision, it was us. SO what did we do. We prayed. HARD. We had one day left and had to turn in applications and make a decision before leaving. We prayed that our minds would be eased, that our stress would go away, and that we would know in our hearts where we were supposed to live. 

SO.. we woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and our plan was to go to the 3 places that we were debating between. Place #1: initially we LOVED it... it was seriously the most beautiful apartment, and was #1 on my list the entire trip. Newly renovated, clean carpet, huge walk in closet, cute outside, etc. etc. etc. I seriously couldn't stop talking about it the whole trip. But something didn't feel right the second we walked in & started talking to the landlord. My stomach was twisting in a million knots and I just got this sick feeling inside to RUN. Hahahaha... sounds ridiculous. But I listened and the second we walked out I looked at Andrew and said, "NOPE." On to the next one. Place #2: Also LOVED this place the first time we saw it. Roomy, amazing windows, textured white walls, parking spot included, wood floors, and so on. Upon walking in the second time I got this feeling of peace & happiness. The song from grade school came into my mind, "this is the placeeeeeee." I literally walked around the apartment, looked and the landlord and yelled, "WE'LL TAKE IT!!!!!" She just laughed and said, "well okay let's get started on paperwork then!" 

That leads us to where we are right now. We will find out in a couple days if our application is accepted and from there we will know if we get the place or not. Of course we have a back up plan (place #3- which we love!) if all else fails. But we are hoping and praying that everything works out (fingers crossed!!). We are truly SO happy and so relieved as of right now. When we got on the plane I told Andrew that I didn't want to leave! I already love San Francisco so much & I'm so excited for this new adventure that life is taking us on. SO with all that being said and done... I wanted to give you guys some city relocation tips that I picked up these past four days :) Here we gooooo!

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH: Mistake #1 that we made was not really doing our research before coming out. We had 'heard' from people where the good/bad neighborhoods were in the city but that was about it. We sent our agent numerous apartment listings that looked so nice and her immediate response would be "ummm no that neighborhood is so sketchy, I would never take you there." SO.. with that being said, have a pretty good idea of where you want to live. Research crime rates. So important!

2. HIRE AN AGENT: Our agent, Jan, was a lifesaver. She knew the city like the back of her head. She new so many details about every neighborhood and always had an answer to our crazy questions. She had each day planned out by the hour of where we going to go. She gave us tours, advice, & most importantly, listened to us! If we didn't like a place... she didn't try to convince us to. She was so awesome and I definitely recommend finding someone to help you find a place!

3. ALWAYS ASK ABOUT RENT CONTROL: This may be something that just occurs in San Francisco... but i'll include it anyway! Basically, after your lease is up, buildings that aren't in rent control will increase your monthly rate by outrageous amounts. Buildings that are in rent control, can only increase them by like 1% per year. SO with that being said, find a building that HAS rent control.

4: FIND OUT ABOUT PARKING: I can't tell you how many places we looked at that didn't include some sort of parking. As most of you may know, street parking is a complete joke in San Francisco. You find yourself driving around the block 10 times before you find a spot semi close to where you are trying to go. This is something you need to ask the landlord about. Find out how busy the street is that you are wanting to live on. What's the parking like during the day... how about at night? IF a parking garage is available is it included in the rent or is it extra? You get the point. 

5. ASK ABOUT UTILITIES: Always ask about what utilities are covered with your rent. Most of the time you are going to have to pay for the majority of them, so make sure to ask what the average monthly cost is. Utilities can sometimes be an outrageous amount, so don't make the mistake of not asking and getting a huge bill once you move in ;)

6. ASK ABOUT WASHER/DRYER: In downtown San Francisco, the majority of apartments do NOT have washers/dryers in the units. They have 1 or 2 in the building that you have to pay to use. If you are wanting to find a place with one, you have to raise your budget by a lot, or move further away from the city in to the more suburban areas.

7. ASK ABOUT HOW PACKAGES ARE DELIVERED: I don't know about you... but I'm a big amazon prime shopper! So one of the questions I asked was where do they drop off packages in these old apartment buildings?! My fear was that something would be left outside and just get stolen! Most of the landlords said that they will bring the package into the building and just set it on the floor or something but from there it isn't their problem if it gets stolen. So make sure to put that you want to SIGN for your packages.

8. OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT: What floor are you going to be on? Do you mind having people above you? Is your room window facing the road? Is it a busy road? Is it going to be loud during the night hours? Is there a dishwasher? How much does laundry cost? Is there a disposal? Gas or electric stove? Electric, gas, or steam heat for the unit? Regulations/cost of pets? Deposit amount? Is it extra to have a parking spot? Where is the closest bus stop? Where is the nearest supermarket? 

Hopefully you find this helpful if you, or someone you know, is moving to a big city! It is so important to know every little thing about the apartment, house, condo, etc. you are moving into! Don't be afraid to ask a million questions.... I promise it will be worth your time! :)

xo, Maddy 


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