I know I should be posting *more* as the move gets closer, but things have been so crazy that I just don't have the time or energy to think anymore! The big news: we signed a lease on a new apartment in LA. We had a couple generous friends look at some places on our behalf in person, but each one had one glaring issue or another (didn't include parking, the place was way too small, no dishwasher!! I can't live without a dishwasher anymore). We first wanted to take a cuter, older place in an interesting neighborhood like Silverlake or Echo Park, but we ended up taking one of those luxury high-rise-y places smack in the middle of Hollywood. Hollywood! Right on Sunset Blvd. Although that sounds glamorous, it isn't. Living in Hollywood is kind of living in Times Square. You just don't want to live there. It's full of tourists and pretty dirty and run down. Except at least in Times Square you have great access to all the subway lines...not so in Hollywood.
The apartment we took is about the same size as our current apartment but is a fully upgraded loft for $200 less than what we're spending now. I think there's less of a gamble taking a place like that instead of duplex or cottage when we can't see the place ourselves. We also had the option of signing a 6-month lease for the same price, so we did that in case we end up despising the place and want out early.
And wow, was it easy to get the place. We emailed the manager of the building our credentials, and got an email back in 30 minutes saying "you're approved!" We thought we'd get a bit more questioning since our jobs have us located in NYC, and we don't have jobs lined up in LA yet. But they didn't ask any questions. We also got to pick our move-in date (what a luxury) and chose the exact day we'll be landing in LA next week. No hassles, no guarantors, no brokers, no fees, no time pressure at all. What a relief. NYC real estate is truly psycho.