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Author Topic: Finding a place to live when you can't visit  (Read 946 times)

pete.

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Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« on: March 20, 2008, 09:19:21 AM »
So it's looking increasingly likely that i'll be moving across the country for law school and it's unlikely that i will be able to visit before school starts. Anyone have tips on finding a place to live from afar?

Blondie918

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 09:36:52 AM »
Rent.com is a good place to start.  Where will you be moving to?

pete.

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 09:43:59 AM »
i don't know yet (that's the other problem), but i live in virginia and all the schools i'm still considering are out west...

Blondie918

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 09:49:37 AM »
My brother who was living in NYC took a job a couple years ago in California, he had a week to move out there so really no time to visit.  He found his apartment on Rent.com and then went to apartmentratings.com to see what people were saying about it. 

Also, I found in the Students and Graduates boards a lot of people ask where to live for particular schools, some of the postings are a few years old but I've found them helpful.

yourlocalsuperhero

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 10:37:42 AM »
My brother who was living in NYC took a job a couple years ago in California, he had a week to move out there so really no time to visit.  He found his apartment on Rent.com and then went to apartmentratings.com to see what people were saying about it. 

Also, I found in the Students and Graduates boards a lot of people as where to live for particular schools, some of the postings are a few years old but I've found them helpful.

This is good advice.  When I moved for LS, it was a super-saturated market and I wasn't familiar with the neighborhoods. 

1)  Got in touch with a couple of students + other sources that helped me identify where in the city would alright.

2)  I used Craigslist (almost) daily, or several times daily.  When a place sounded like it might work, I would immediately get in touch.  Eventually, I talked with a manager at length, really got a sense of her and the place, and we both took a chance that has worked out.

3)  Try to get as short of a lease as possible and understand the terms in advance. 
Why is everyone so quiet?  Is this the democracy you wanted? (Subcomandante Marcos)

MissNatalie

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 12:14:53 PM »
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all of your advice.
Class of 2011

sydneybristow

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2008, 12:23:23 PM »
tag... will be moving far away and I don't know where to start  :(

I'm not sure whether you're looking for a place in DC, MD, or VA, but if you have any questions about housing (neighborhoods, specific apartment buildings, etc.) in the DC area, especially Northwest DC and Foggy Bottom, feel free to PM me. I'm pretty familiar with all the buildings in the immediate GW-area, and have friends in various other neighborhoods (Dupont, Cleveland Park, etc.), and could always ask them questions if that might help.

sydneybristow

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 12:43:37 PM »
tag... will be moving far away and I don't know where to start  :(

I'm not sure whether you're looking for a place in DC, MD, or VA, but if you have any questions about housing (neighborhoods, specific apartment buildings, etc.) in the DC area, especially Northwest DC and Foggy Bottom, feel free to PM me. I'm pretty familiar with all the buildings in the immediate GW-area, and have friends in various other neighborhoods (Dupont, Cleveland Park, etc.), and could always ask them questions if that might help.

Thanks we're actually looking at Arlington since that's where a friend from UG lives and my husband and I went to visit her and we liked it.  We will also have a car with us, so Arlington being on the orange line and all seems like a good fit.  My husband will most likely need the car to commute so I'll need to be within walking distance of the orange line.  He's started to look for jobs in NOVA, so hopefully he finds a job soon!  Otherwise, I told him he should broaden his job search to Maryland, but I really don't want to live way north because the commute to school would be too long.  On the other hand, if he can't find a job in NOVA it may be our only option.  In order for the move to be successful, he needs to find a job....

Awesome, Arlington is such a nice place! You'll have such an easy commute on the Metro. Yeah...one thing I've heard over and over from current law students is that the commute is a really important factor to consider. A friend of mine lived way out in VA her first year at GW Law, and she strongly disliked "wasting" so much time commuting - she moved much closer for the second year. What type of job/position is your husband looking for? Possibly GW could help you with its career center (maybe not the law school career center, but the main university one?) or job bank/postings?

Bliz

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2008, 11:02:30 AM »
I had to do the same thing, move without either seeing the place or meeting my future flatmate.

Regarding the place: Prior posters covered it pretty well. I don't recall if anyone mentioned http://www.landorslum.com/. Look at that as another check on the possible landlord of your place. You could also try http://www.backpage.com/classifieds/index and the local newspaper classifieds to find the place. Finally, I would try posing a housing-wanted ad on craigslist. It's been a very successful tactic in some of my past housing searches and those of my friends.

Regarding a possible flatmate: This is where I ran into problems. Here, the most important thing, assuming you're going to have a flatmate, is honesty. This actually goes for the place, too, but I'll speak of it in terms of the flatmate. Figure out what's vital to you for whatever reason. Do you need a quiet place, or, alternatively, a place where you can have dance parties in the common areas? Do dishes need to be washed immediately after use? Smoking? Pets? Dinner parties? No matter how insignificant or odd the issues, most, if not all, people have things they're particular about, and you need to figure out what those things are. Then make sure you and your potential flatmate agree on those issues.

iceepop

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Re: Finding a place to live when you can't visit
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2008, 12:57:12 PM »
I had to do the same thing, move without either seeing the place or meeting my future flatmate.

Regarding the place: Prior posters covered it pretty well. I don't recall if anyone mentioned http://www.landorslum.com/. Look at that as another check on the possible landlord of your place. You could also try http://www.backpage.com/classifieds/index and the local newspaper classifieds to find the place. Finally, I would try posing a housing-wanted ad on craigslist. It's been a very successful tactic in some of my past housing searches and those of my friends.

Regarding a possible flatmate: This is where I ran into problems. Here, the most important thing, assuming you're going to have a flatmate, is honesty. This actually goes for the place, too, but I'll speak of it in terms of the flatmate. Figure out what's vital to you for whatever reason. Do you need a quiet place, or, alternatively, a place where you can have dance parties in the common areas? Do dishes need to be washed immediately after use? Smoking? Pets? Dinner parties? No matter how insignificant or odd the issues, most, if not all, people have things they're particular about, and you need to figure out what those things are. Then make sure you and your potential flatmate agree on those issues.

Do you always call it a "flatmate"?