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Renting from Afar

My journey choosing a rental when moving to the Wake Forest area, from Los Angeles, CA.

Kelly Lane

 When a career opportunity came up that I just could not resist, I knew I had to say yes, even though it meant moving from my 18 year home of Los Angeles, CA to the Raleigh, NC area.  I knew it would be a big change in general, and I was ready for it.  

    The buzz of a new position in North Carolina came about in late August of 2023. After nailing out details in early September and a goal of arriving in NC early October, it was Go-Time for home hunting.  I chose to rent for the first year or so to get my bearings, then move onto a purchase at a later date.  Knowing the area I’d like to begin my rental search was a key decision and I chose to use Zillow for the main search.  I found that and often had the same rental availabilities as Zillow, and Facebook Marketplace was a breeding ground for scams.  Beware of listings that seem too good to be true because as they say, it probably is.

     Rental searching from across the country was a bit of a conundrum because some places that I wanted to see would only take in-person tours, not zoom/virtual tours.  To be fair, I do prefer low-key rentals such as a personal home or guest house.  The bigger communities usually had no problem virtually touring the apartment with me, but then I felt that I wanted to see these properties in-person, ergo- the conundrum.  The homes that I was beginning to fall-for kept getting snatched up faster than Taylor Swift tickets.   The original idea of what I wanted in a home had to keep shifting as the pool of possibilities got smaller and smaller.  No problem, I’m flexible. 

     As soon as I landed in the Wake Forest/North Raleigh area, I began in-person touring apartments and just as they had disappeared in my virtual search, the homes began getting rented very quickly within the day I toured.  Just as I began to get deflated, the most beautiful place opened up, was in my price range, and the sunset will be beautiful off my balcony.  It was a bit further than where I wanted to be, but it is just what I was looking for.

     So, don’t give up on your searches, but do be flexible in your requirements and keep in mind to check out the food options, walking possibilities, and where your favorite stores are, or possibly where your new favorites will be.   If you can spend some time in the area before you move, that may be ideal to get a feel for the community.   I did not have the opportunity to do this, but I lucked out (performed in-depth delving) because I am already happy with my decision. To boot, the weather has been gorgeous the first week of my being here and I have met some incredible and kind humans.

Happy Rental Hunting. 

         ~Kelly L.

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