Sunday, December 21, 2014

Let's Catch Up Part I: Our New Apartment

So, my mom and I arrived and were greeted by Preston at our new apartment!! It’s a very cute little bungalow style place in Santa Monica. It’s in a small gated community with a total of 6 individual units. The new place is very small and eventually, we’ll need a bigger place since most of our stuff is still in a storage unit in Long Beach, but this little bungalow suits our needs just fine.

Preston had a heck of a time finding a month-month rental. When I was apartment hunting 6 years ago…these were readily available, but something about the changing housing market has made that not so now. Honestly, this place we are in was the ONLY place Preston could find with such an arrangement.

I just took these pics, so don't mind the Christmas decorations or SIX surfboards :P

Now, I love my husband, but he doesn’t always get bogged down with the details of things. I wasn’t quite clear on the arrangement that we had for the apartment. It sounded like a sublease, which I’ve known not to be allowed in California, but Preston assured me that he had spoken with the tenant and the building manager and all was well.

The tenant who had previously occupied the apartment had left quite a bit of furniture and kitchen supplies. My mom and I got to work cleaning and putting things away and in no time at all…things were coming together.

Preston returned to his old job that he had before our trip and so left the morning after we arrived to go to work.

My mom and I returned home from running some errands and were greeted by two men at the door…one of which was in a suit. They were VERY angry and demanded to know who I was and why I was in this apartment. I explained the situation to them and learned that THEY were, in fact, the building managers and THEY had NO idea that this tenant was subleasing their apartment. :( It was awful.

They told me that they were going to throw my things on the street and have my car towed. It was incredibly upsetting. I profusely apologized and got Preston on the phone.

As it turns out, the original tenant has been subleasing this place for some time because he had accepted a job in San Francisco, but didn’t want to be penalized on this lease. The property manager had an idea of this, but it was not confirmed until it was confirmed by me. I was honest and sorry and things quickly calmed down. THANK GOODNESS.

Both men became MUCH nicer and said by law we actually had 3 days to vacate. Since they were from a large property management firm here in LA, I asked them if they knew of any month-to-months, but they said those aren’t done. Wahhh. Again, until I know WHERE I’m working…it’s hard to commit to a lease. They left and I just sat down on the floor feeling completely overwhelmed :-/

Well, luckily, I was soon contacted by a higher up at this property management firm. He explained that they appreciated my honesty and were looking to do what they could to let us stay in the apartment. After contacting their lawyer, they said that we could legally take over the old tenant’s lease till February. YAY!!

It was really scary and upsetting for a couple hours, but all is well that ends well and we have a comfortable and cozy place to live until February.

The only downside is that the Santa Monica parking seems to be run by the mafia. You need to PAY to park where you live. Once you do this, you receive a flimsy parking permit that hangs from the rearview mirror.

So far, these have fallen once each for Pres and me and the tickets are $64. I got out of mine, so I hope Preston can get out of his. It’s CLEARLY such a racket. Why not have a more permanent permit?? Why make you pay at all? What is with the outrageous fee? Blah!!

Santa Monica is a big change from sleepy Long Beach. Long Beach is more community based and quiet and neighborhood-y. Santa Monica is urban and busy and FULL of people-many tourists. It’s a change, but I’m excited to live and try somewhere new. LA is so massive that moving to a new part of it is like moving to an entirely new city and I’m eager to explore our new home.

So, far it seems that our apartment is extremely well located. The only bad part about the location is that we are very near the high school, which gets a lot of traffic. Some mornings it can take 5 mins to back out of a parking space :P We are about a half mile from the beach, so it’s easily walkable. We can also walk to the popular Main Street area of Santa Monica and to the Promenade, which is a terrific outdoor shopping center. Life is good! 

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