Guess what everyone…I MOVED! Not far actually, but I’ve recently been making a huge transition in my life. When I was 18, I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time and took on college. I stayed in San Diego for four years and moved in and out of dorms/apartments every year. To say the least, I got extremely good at packing, unpacking, organizing, and decorating (or I like to think I did anyways). After graduation, I moved back home to Orange County to work and build my savings. During that time, I worked full time as a Graphic Designer, discovered that it wasn’t the job for me, got a new job as a marketing manager, while simultaneously looking for my first official apartment out on my own. And of course, searching for a new roommate (most of my college friends moved away after graduation). So, I wanted to make a post all about how I found my current apartment, roommate searching, and more! It’s been a long and at times tiring process that I know a lot of you are going through currently. Keep reading!
I’ll be very honest with you guys and say that looking for a new place was not easy. It took months of online searching, visiting apartments, talking with leasing offices, and more. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you when looking for an apartment, it’s that the photos online are usually never identical to what the places actually looks like. A majority of the time, the photos online where highly photoshopped and staged to perfection. Lucky for me, the place I’m currently in is exactly what was advertised on the site. It was one of the only places that was honest. This is actually a very scary thought when it comes to looking for new homes or apartments. You’d think the companies and websites would want to be as true as possible, since moving is such a big decision! Especially if you’re moving across the country or to a new state. I didn’t move very far from home and I’m very familiar with this area so I had the luxury of checking out any place that caught my interest.
I knew the process was going to be a long one, but I didn’t truly understand how hard it might be until I was doing it. If you all follow me on Instagram, you’d know I was actually planning on moving to L.A. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to be and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for me there still. I even had a roommate all set up, however I didn’t have a job lined up. I had a plan, but ultimately decided that building my savings (and not blowing it on rent) was probably the wiser decision. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was in myself. Moving to L.A. has been one of my biggest dreams, and I felt like I failed myself. I’m naturally very hard on myself when it comes to every aspect of my life: work, school (when I was in high school and college), personal things, my blog/Instagram…the list goes on. But through this process, I’ve learned to show myself grace and that maybe things won’t always go how I plan them. And of course, there ended up being great reasons why I wasn’t supposed to move to Los Angeles.
So, months went by when I completely stopped looking for roommates and a new apartment. I continued job hunting (which if you’re in that process, you know freaking TEDIOUS that sh*t is). My full time job became job hunting. I focused on fitness and was working out a ton during this time. I also was doing a bit of freelance graphic design on the side between job searches. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t an easy time for me. I LOVE being busy and having a schedule. Looking back, mentally I was struggling with not having consistency and structure in my life.
However, as cheesy as this sounds…there is always a storm before the sun shines again. But eventually the sun ALWAYS comes back out.
And for me, it did! I ended up getting a random call from one of my favorite shops in town. One I had been shopping at for years actually! Not only had I gotten a killer job, but I also ended up meeting someone around this time who is now my boyfriend:) So long story short, I’m a marketing manager now and loving every minute of it! With my job now set in stone, I started my search for a roommate again. Again, I’ll be real honest with you guys: finding a roommate was HARD. I spoke with TONS of different people through Facebook groups that were specific to my area (for room and roommate availabilities). Most people were not the right fit at all, and others I actually ended up meeting. There were times when I thought something was solidified, but it ended up falling through. It was a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I’ll tell you this: nothing is for sure until you sign a lease with someone. Luckily, I ended up finding someone SO similar to me, who is now my roommate! Yay! That’s a pretty long story within itself, but I’m so stoked it worked out with us. All I can say is that God definitely had a hand in all of this.
Pro tip when searching for roommates: Don’t go to Craigslist. Just don’t. Head over to Facebook and find roommate groups for your area. There are some for Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. If you are in the OC area, I’d be happy to share the groups I was a part of. Although it may seem intimidating to find a roommate online, you can chat with whoever you like, FaceTime them, potentially meet with them (in a public space), and talk about what you’re looking for. BE AS PICKY AS POSSIBLE. This is your time to find someone that wants similar things as you and who you get along with.
Pro tip 2: When I was searching for an apartment, I used Zillow, Apartments.com, and any other service I could find online. Give yourself time to do as much searching as possible. Set a price point, find an area you love, consider your commute, and don’t settle. I printed out a ton of different apartments I wanted to check out and kept them in a pile. I visited every place and scrapped all of them except for the current apartment I’m living in. Like I said, this process is difficult but not impossible. However, I am SO happy that I was picky when it came to a place. My apartment is completely renovated, clean, and spacious. Very different from my first apartment experience, which taught me so much but not something I’d necessarily want to repeat.
When it came to my current apartment, I ended up touring it multiple times. I kept in contact with the leasing office frequently and wanted a place situated in the right spot in the complex. When I say I was picky, I was PICKY! There are some situations (moving being one of them) where you have to be attentive to every angle and consider any/all options and specifically what you want. Make sure you are happy with your decision, since this is where you’ll be spending a lot of your down time. Especially if you work from home, you want to be surrounded by a positive space that you adore. As for myself, I think I’ve found that. And although it wasn’t easy, it was worth it!
I hope you all enjoyed this post! I can’t wait to show you how we decorate the place. To be real, we still don’t have a couch, so once everything is put together I’ll show you more! I’m excited to show you my new home, which I’ve worked very hard for and love so so much. Please leave any questions about the moving process in the comments! I’ll be answering anything that you’re curious about! Talk to you soon! xx