Need Advice - Finding apartment with roommates

#1
I'm moving from Los Angeles to BA in September. I found a place to stay for my first week there, though need to settle into something more long-term after that. How easy (or difficult) is it to find an apartment? I'm looking in Palermo. Will I be able to find a place within my first week?
Thanks in advance for any help!
Josh
 
#3
Hi Josh, I'm moving from Wyoming to BA at the end of August and I'll be looking for a place to stay/roommate on Sept. 1st. Palermo is roughly the area my school is located...Do you have a myspace/facebook or anything? Perhaps we could get to know each other and see if we could be a good fit for roommates!
-Jaime
 
#4
Hi Josh and Jaime,
Good decision to look for a shared apartment, en general it will be more fun and economic. Maybe I can help you guys I rent a few apartmebts which are perfect to share in good locations. if interested please send me a PM!

Cheers!
 
#5
Josh,

It will be nearly impossible to show up to BsAs and then move into an apartment that you like within a week if you are going to wait to find a place until you get here.

Most apartments that have a room opening up are put on the market a few weeks to over a month before the room is going to be available so that there is no money lost due to an empty room.

And if you go see a room, you better be prepared to "take mate". This means-

Drink an herbal tea concoction out of a gourd through a metal or bamboo straw. The flavor is that of "hay". Plain and simple. Don't let anyone tell you differently because if they do they are lying. The stuff tastes like someone shoved a straw into a hay barrel that had been sitting in the sun all day and then said "Suck all of the rainwater ouf of it until it's dry." And you will drink it. And you will act like you like it. Because if you don't, you will be exhibiting mala onda, or "bad vibes"... and you will not be offered the room no matter how bitchin' your vibes actually are.

The one exception to this rule is if the person offering you the mate has an open herpes sore oozing puss, you can fake sneeze a few times and say that you love mate, but that you are sick and you don't want to get the others sick. This will confuse them, because they don't realize that sharing a straw among several people is an excellent way to exchange germs, viruses (such as herpes simplex 1 and 2 or the black plague), and gingivitis, but the fact that you first said that you "love mate" will warm their heart and they won't completely understand your excuse, but they will most likely let it slide this time. But if you are asked back to meet all of the roommates at once, you had better hope that that oozing herpes sore has healed by then, because two refusals of mate when looking at an apartment is like three strikes in baseball.

And once you get past the tomando-ing of mate, you will ultimately pay much more than a local would pay for your monthly rent. No matter how great your deal is, a local will be shocked that you are paying that in "dollars", not "pesos". There are a few reasons for this:

1) You are here for a short time and are not going to sign a 2 year lease your first week in a new country.
2) You do not have a guarantor/guarantee (a person with wealth, property, and/or credit who will co-sign with you)
3) You are a foreigner which means you are RICH! No matter how broke you are or how many weeks in a row you have to prepare a vegetable soup with porotos (frijoles) and Caldo de Gallina at home because you can't even afford empanadas. To a local without substantial wealth, even "good friends" who you play soccer with once a week, you are a Dollar Sign (US, Canadian, or Australian), Pound Sign, or Euro Sign. If you are forced to kick in a little extra at dinner, then that's the way it should be, because you've got money.*

*(This applies to young people much more than to people who are older and to people scrambling for a living vs. people who are working in office buildings, own fairly new cars, and who are able to travel outside the country.)

The price that you should pay for a room in a shared apartment varies greatly depending on the part of town, the modern amenities in your apartment and the building in general, the number of bedrooms, furnished vs. unfurnished, and finally the length of your stay. That means you can find a room that's not great, but is convenient for possibly less than US$300/mo if you're here long enough to easily over US$600-US$700/mo if you have a cool pad. Almost everywhere you look will have "All Bills Included" which includes a phone that will not make calls to cell phones. (But can receive calls from them.)

I'm thinking that if you are planning on staying for an extended period of time, you should look for option like Jaime from above for at least your first few months/semester here. Then, once you get used to the city and you meet new people, you can change and look for something more long term if the first place doesn't work for you exactly.

My first year here I was here for 8 months. During that time, I slept in 6 different locations (3 were hostels) and 7 beds in total (I changed rooms in one of the apartments, because my initial room was only available for 2 weeks, but I HAD to get out of the hostel I was in). That might be a little on the high end, but changing apartments a few times your first year isn't that uncommon for young people.

Keep saving money for your move, keep checking Craigslist, try finding roommates in advance, and consider paying a little more at the start so that you can land and be settled. Because not knowing when you are going to get out of the hostel that you initially moved into can be a killer.

Good luck and bring peanut butter.

Napoleon