- If the community has a website, check out the pictures on the website, but also ask if they will provide actual pictures of the units. Sure, the pictures of the apartments on the website might look nice, but that might just be a demo unit. I did this, and now I live in the demo unit. These units are going to be cleaner, with newer carpet and appliances.
- Another helpful hint is to check out Google Street View. You can see the neighborhood and also check out the cars in the place to make sure you're not moving to the absolute ghetto. What this won't get you, however, is a look at your neighbors... and this is why I now live in "Little Mexico". It's cool though, if you don't mind Mexican pop music and stares from all the residents.
- There are actually websites that review apartments. People can post about the noise complaints, the helpfulness of the front office, etc, etc. I found the reviews for this community and they talked about how loud it was and how unhelpful the office staff was. I shared those concerns with the apartment manager, and she got me a unit facing away from the freeway, and assuaged any concerns I had of the office staff being unhelpful.
- Because this community is owned by a larger parent company, I was not able to negotiate the rent - however, out on the West Coast it seems that they don't require first, last and security, which is definitely a money saver. I only had to pay first months rent, and a $500 deposit. That right there saved me $1500 up front, which I'm grateful for.
So now let's talk about luggage. You know how they tell you to never, ever, ever put valuables in your checked bag? Well, I didn't. But on the second leg of my trip, they made me check my carry on because there was no overhead space. I did not even consider the fact that in my carry on I had put ALL of my valuables. I didn't want to entrust the movers with jewelry and handbags, and I certainly didn't want to let the TSA pick through it, so I packed it all in my carry on. Fast forward three hours, I get both of my checked bags, but my carry on that was checked at the gate has not yet arrived. The American Airlines staff at LAX was ridiculously helpful, however, three days later, I still do not have my bags.
I've called twice a day since I arrived on Monday, and they are still unable to locate my bag. They're also skirting my questions about whether or not they will cover the replacement cost of the contents. They just keep saying that in 5 days if it is not located, they will submit it to the claims department and they will take care of it.
In said bag I have a very expensive Kate Spade purse, a Tiffany's necklace, a vintage Hermes necklace, my favorite Nicole Miller shoes, several dresses from J. Crew that I just bought, all of my make up, my contact lenses, several Spyder jackets and my UNDERWEAR. I always expect for the airline to lose my checked baggage, so I always bring a few changes of clothes in my carry on in case I'm without those bags for a few days. For them to lose my carry on bag just boggles my mind. My main concern at this point is, what TSA employee is wearing my underwear and walking around in my heels. I had to go to Sephora yesterday and replace all of my make up which cost about $100... which is absolutely insane because most of the stuff they lost was brand new. They better cover the cost of everything in that bag if it doesn't turn up... and if it does turn up, everything better be in there.
Please American Airlines, just find my bag today so that I can stop stressing out about at least one thing!