PEERS Perspectives is a blog series that offers thoughts and reflections from our staff and community members on mental health, current events, and the ways they affect our lives.

Today’s post on housing is written by Communications Coordinator Joshua Walters

The Housing Crunch and tips to find a rental property.

Here in the Bay Area our streets continue to overflow with the houseless. In part because of mental illness and drug addiction, also because home prices have become prohibitively expensive. Here are some tips when searching for a new place on Craigslist:

  1. Write an Ad about yourself and let property owners come to you.
  • The Ad should detail your positives but exclude any histories that could leave your character in question.
  • Important to mention where you want to live and your budget if possible, the rest of the blurb can contain things like your interests, family, are you a pet owner, have kids or other basic details.
  • Make sure to put your phone number on the ad so renters can contact you directly, as well as the move in date you are looking for.
  • Your name, age, and gender identification are optional. They will eventually have to learn this, but it’s not a must upfront.

  1. Create a rental resume to bypass any rental application
  • All rental applications want to know your income, or credit score; some want to know if you’ve been convicted of a crime or evicted. Some of this information may not be favorable for you and it will put you in question to leave it blank.
    • A rental resume bypasses the application process and lets the homeowner know basic things, like your employment history, other places you’ve rented, and any references you can give regarding this information.
    • Hand out the rental resume you create to the houses you visit that you want to rent from.

3. Don’t move unless it’s a good match.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to find the right place. Some people end up looking for 4-6 months, even though their window is only 30 days from when they give notice.
  • If it’s not a good fit, keep looking. Are you allergic to cats and there’s one there? Is it in a rough neighborhood? What’s the feeling you get from the other housemates and the landlord.
  • Move-in with people who you can count on and whose lifestyles match your own. The wrong roommates can be a nightmare, and it’s important to keep in mind that the people you live with will become as close as those you call family.