Renting in LA – 2014

los_angeles_la_traffic_jam_824823This will be a series of blogs on finding the will of God in this move and all we learned in the process. What happened when we couldn’t see which way to go? Day after day, praying, waiting. I looked to God to speak the way He used to speak. He was not going that way. It’s all about relationship – following Him as we live and move and have our being in Him. But, for today here is a small rant about just a small bit of what we went through. The rest is coming over the next week. Enjoy!

Okay my take on the LA rental market. Renters beware. I will be concise with lots of grace. My qualifying statement is this: If you are called to be here or you are here due to job or family, I get it. That is why we are here. We love it but…..

Here it is on renting……..here goes.

Started looking. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Middle Class – are you kidding…..disappearing as quick as can be expected. Investors buy houses -raise rents to an astronomical degree.

6a01156faec925970c017eead49c16970dExample: Went to look at a small house in Ventura along with 24 other people who also wanted to rent this house. Competition was in the air. We took a non-violent approach (haha!) and opted out of the fight, trusting God to provide. After all when the norm is rents from $2300 – $3000 WITH an additional down payment to secure the place of at least $3000-$5000…..well that makes one wonder. What the heck am I doing here?

But we persisted…..Long Beach, Lakewood, San Diego, Thousand Oaks, Encino. Woodland Hills, Ventura, Oxnard…….it’s all the same. Ridiculous and stressful. God help young people that want to live here. They may have to sign away their first born as down payment. We talked to one couple that rented a house in Ventura. Eventually they moved and when they went back to buy a house in that area, prices had risen tremendously. They found themselves in a bidding war with investors that were buying for profit……..oh yeah!

And what about the realtor that told us she had 8 contract going in rentals because they are going so fast………….

Then what about the great townhouse we went into in the San Fernando Valley, wanting to rent it and after we signed the extensive application form along with great credit….they chose someone else. But, we persisted.

This is only the half of it. Call it stressful……..please don’t move here unless you are well aware of what you are going to face. The pictures paint this great picture of hip, trendy LA – beaches, great weather. BUT remember this…………..when you get up on a Saturday morning, thinking, “Hey I love California! Let’s hit the beach today!’

IMG_5859Well………….at that exact moment, or at least within a few hours, perhaps a million other people are thinking, “Hey I love California! Let’s hit the beach today!” Get the picture. Don’t worry, you will, as soon as you hit the 5, or the 101 or the 405 – they will all be there. Haha!

Then the icing on the cake…amidst all the joy of looking each day, for some place to rent,  ravaging Craig’s List and Zillow and other sites……we smiled as we faced bumper to bumper traffic to get to our destination…

Whoosh! That took some time but wow do I feel better? Yes I love Calfornia. It is my home after being here for over 25 years in addition to living overseas. But, the question is – does California love me? I love LA – or I think so……

The good news……..rented a great apartment in Oxnard/Ventura and will give it a few more years……then what? I am not sure. Living for the moment and trusting God.

IMG_1197Breathing now.

In Christ
Debra Westbrook

2 thoughts on “Renting in LA – 2014

  1. Must be quite a story about the one that you finally did rent. Will be looking to hear more of how this has resolved itself. After being in Oxnard/Ventura I sure can see why people would want to live there with the sun, the ocean and the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables! May you have a great “moving” experience as you continue your journey!

    • Thanks Meri. It is a great story as God keeps showing us how to walk in the reality of Christ in me, the hope of glory. Ventura/Oxnard was not our first choice which is quite funny because when we finally saw this apartment, it just flowed in ease and withing one hour we have a great apartment. 🙂

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