Home, Sweet, Home

Houseboat PicDue to sickness, our first student video blog has had to be put back by a couple of weeks. But that gives us a great opportunity to cover a topic currently close to our hearts – house-hunting.
Now many of you live at home, with partners, parents, kids, dogs, fish etc. and don’t need to engage too regularly with the Bay Area rental market. But for those students who do – especially international students – it can be bruising. Rooms are scarce, affordable rooms are even scarcer and for every one of those, it’s a race to view and sign on the dotted line before fifty-five other people who all want to do exactly the same.
In terms of resources, the GGU app is worth checking out and if you know of anyone who has a room going, please put it on there so your fellow students can take a look. Craigslist worked for me for one house move. It was quick, easy and I found what I was looking for within a week or two. A more recent experience was more disappointing. Dozens of emails were sent out with only a very few responses. Of those, only one ticked most of the boxes. And the boxes it didn’t tick, were, unfortunately, deal-breakers. Luckily, with only a couple of days to spare, another place came through via a mutual contact and I move this weekend. But the process has been lengthy, distracting, stressful and hugely time-consuming. School work has suffered and I’ve had to take time off work for viewings.
So our tip is just to persevere. We nearly gave up multiple times, but then what’s the alternative? Based on our experience, our house-hunting tips are as follows:-
1. Pick somewhere you love and focus on that. For us, it made the search a little less overwhelming to concentrate on an area that we knew and liked. There was some flexibility for something amazing, but otherwise we stayed focused on just a couple of neighbourhoods
2. Check GGU App, Craigslist, Roomster etc every day. The perfect place could appear at any time and when it does, you want to be the first to see it.
3. Beware of scams. A couple of listings looked highly suspicious – the price was too good to be true, the owners weren’t able to show me around and they were very quick to request money. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Just keep trying. There’ll be anger and frustration along the way, but you’ll find something, eventually.
Good luck, everyone and happy house-hunting! And if you have a story to share, please send it to us at ggusocial@ggu.edu

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