A few months ago, I wrote to Offbeat Home & Life with a question borne of frustration and hope. My boyfriend and I couldn’t figure out how to move to another state (it was a horrible chicken-and-egg problem). The question was posted and I got dozens of answers! So many were so helpful, especially those that suggested finding a private landlord who would be understanding about people earnestly looking for work in a new state.
This is how we pulled it off, with your help…
After my parents moved to Oregon, (foothold established!) I started flinging resumes at job postings faster than ever before while using their address as my own. And then, something new happened: I got a call from a potential employer. I told them I’d be available for an interview next week and started packing the good china.
Once in Portland, we slept on an air mattress in my parents’ brand-new micro-apartment for three days. We drove around looking for apartments during the day, while I prepared for the job interview at night. Our first day of searching was fruitless. All the rent was too high and the complexes were too corporate to take us without jobs. I started to tear up at every mildly hopeful song on the radio, and brace myself for going back to California without an exit strategy.
The second day was another day of searching followed by the job interview. No pressure. My partner was calm and solid as a rock, while I was trying to pretend that the whole situation didn’t turn my insides to Crampy-Gelatin. We pulled into complex after complex, and kept finding that the manager was Out to Lunch at the oddest hours. We were near the end of our list and met with one astonishingly skeezy property manager, whose tiny little dog jumped me and left my legs bleeding. I was Deeply Unhappy. As we pulled out of the skeezy complex, we saw a smaller, brighter set of apartments right across the street.
We pulled in, just to check it out, and everything was so Very Nice. But, we couldn’t see any likely management office and my legs were still throbbing from that hateful little dog. I’d given up. Solid as ever, my boyfriend pointed out the man who was using a rake on the lawn and suggested we ask him. He turned out to be the owner of the place!
We adored him. He was kind and seemed to like us, too. I told him about my job interview and we mentioned our savings. The three of us chatted awhile and we found ourselves filling out applications that night, right before the job interview.
The next day, I had high hopes about getting that position and a desperate need to hear back about that awesome apartment. Jobs are nice but what I wanted was somewhere to live. Then the Landlord’s wife called… my credit report came back in the red. I was floored. When I told her that I had never used a credit card because I had a substantial savings and didn’t see the point of going into debt, she forgave the whole rating thing entirely. She chuckled and told me not to panic, that they considered other things in the application. It also helped that my boyfriend had just paid off his car and had a sterling rating.
We had an apartment. Shortly after, I had a job! We had an egg, and a chicken.
Thank you, Offbeat Homies for giving us the hope and courage to go on an insane road trip and actually find a human landlord rather than a corporate one!