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Renting soon after arriving

Renting soon after arriving

Old Jul 23rd 2016, 8:57 am
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Default Renting soon after arriving

Hi

I am moving to California in a couple of weeks. I have accommodation sorted for the first couple of nights (and can stay in a hotel beyond that if need be), but essentially I need to find myself an apartment as soon as possible.

To do this, I will need a decent wad of dollars available to pay deposit and first month's rent. I obviously won't have a US dollar bank account immediately (and I guess I can't get one until I have an address), so what's the best way of me getting easy access to a few thousand dollars to pay/transfer to a landlord as soon as possible? I have this cash available in sterling.

I'm guessing my debit card will only allow me to withdraw a few hundred dollars a day. Let's not even think about the terrible exchange rate (although my new employer is offering a salary advance, but again... presumably that's not possible until I have a US bank account).
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

When we did this a long time ago I brought several thousand $'s in Travelers Checks with me. I also had a UK Visa credit card which worked quite nicely.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
When we did this a long time ago I brought several thousand $'s in Travelers Checks with me. I also had a UK Visa credit card which worked quite nicely.
Ah travellers cheques are a nice (if retro) option here. Thanks.

Edit: Although apparently quite expensive. I need to find out how much cash my UK bank will allow me to withdraw abroad.

Last edited by bobbiecowman; Jul 23rd 2016 at 3:21 pm.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by bobbiecowman View Post
Ah travellers cheques are a nice (if retro) option here. Thanks.

Edit: Although apparently quite expensive. I need to find out how much cash my UK bank will allow me to withdraw abroad.
Maybe someone will come along and comment but my more recent experience of a few years ago when I got my VISA CHIP and PIN UK Debit card I was unable to use it at US bank's ATM's. (I tried it out of curiosity at a couple of ATM's and also to buy something at a grocery store).

Now that the USA banks have started issuing CHIP'ed debit cards then maybe UK CHIP'ed debit cards will work now.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by bobbiecowman View Post
Ah travellers cheques are a nice (if retro) option here. Thanks.

Edit: Although apparently quite expensive. I need to find out how much cash my UK bank will allow me to withdraw abroad.
I have a WeSwap card which would be useful, except they only allow £500 per day in ATM withdrawals.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Open a US bank account on Day One, using your employer's address. Chase happily did this for us.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

You'll find it extremely difficult to rent an apartment by just waving a wad of cash in someone's face. They are hellbent on checking your credit history (you'll have none) so you'll need to do a lot of sweet talking, or have your employer act as a guarantor.

You'll also need a lot more than the first month's rent and get ready to pay first, last and security deposit (we shelled out more than 6 grand up front for our current place).

Secondly, it's very hard to find anyone renting month to month or offering leases under a year in length so you might want to give yourself more time than a couple of days to find a place because you'll be stuck with it for a year. Also most places are unfurnished.

Where are you relocating to?

I would suggest that you find an airbnb place for the first month so you can open a bank account and judge the housing market.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
When we did this a long time ago I brought several thousand $'s in Travelers Checks with me. I also had a UK Visa credit card which worked quite nicely.
Do travelers cheques still exist?
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
Do travelers cheques still exist?
Yes indeed, I saw someone cashing some at the customer desk on a New Zealand cruise in 2014.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
You'll find it extremely difficult to rent an apartment by just waving a wad of cash in someone's face. They are hellbent on checking your credit history (you'll have none) so you'll need to do a lot of sweet talking, or have your employer act as a guarantor.

You'll also need a lot more than the first month's rent and get ready to pay first, last and security deposit (we shelled out more than 6 grand up front for our current place).

Secondly, it's very hard to find anyone renting month to month or offering leases under a year in length so you might want to give yourself more time than a couple of days to find a place because you'll be stuck with it for a year. Also most places are unfurnished.

Where are you relocating to?

I would suggest that you find an airbnb place for the first month so you can open a bank account and judge the housing market.
I'm moving to San Francisco, looking for a studio apartment. Yes, I've seen some of the adverts wanting deposit + first and last month.

I am prepared to stay in a hotel or airbnb for a while if necessary, but was hoping to measure that in days rather than weeks.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
You'll find it extremely difficult to rent an apartment by just waving a wad of cash in someone's face. They are hellbent on checking your credit history (you'll have none) so you'll need to do a lot of sweet talking, or have your employer act as a guarantor.

You'll also need a lot more than the first month's rent and get ready to pay first, last and security deposit (we shelled out more than 6 grand up front for our current place).

Secondly, it's very hard to find anyone renting month to month or offering leases under a year in length so you might want to give yourself more time than a couple of days to find a place because you'll be stuck with it for a year. Also most places are unfurnished.

Where are you relocating to?

I would suggest that you find an airbnb place for the first month so you can open a bank account and judge the housing market.
This is all very true. We got our first rental with no credit history by paying first and last month's' rent as well as deposit, submitting a letter from hubby's employer - large, well-known multinational - with the salary on, and luckily having landlords sophisticated enough to understand that not having a credit history wasn't the same as having a poor one.

They said afterwards, once we got to know them, that the decider for them to take a chance on us was that it was a corporate relocation and 'Megacorp wouldn't have wasted all that time and money relocating someone dodgy'.

OP, with no credit history you'll also probably have to put down substantial deposits for your utilities. Budget about $500-1k for this, depending on the size of the place you're renting.
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Old Jul 23rd 2016, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Yikes, then you are going to have to rethink your strategy: almost everything will be 'open house' in SF and you'll be competing for a place with people with long credit histories and fat cheque books and a list of previous landlords who will vouch for them. My current landlord pitched all the interested parties against each other in a blind auction: this is the rent, how much are willing to pay above that, how much deposit will you give me and when can you move in. We pitched only $50 a month over the rental price but could move in the next day so I think that's the only reason we got it (and I'm 45 mins outside of SF). Read up on the rental market in SF. It's horrific.

Depending on how much you can realistically blow on an apartment you might want to look at the modern/lux apartment complexes (they offer gyms, parking, pools etc and look more like hotels) and are more willing to work with people who can pay vast chunks of the rent up front in lieu of credit histories.
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Old Jul 24th 2016, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

You can use something like radpad, https://www.onradpad.com/paymyrent to pay the landlord using your UK credit card. You may want to contact them first to see if this is an option. They just send a regular check to the landlord each month.
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Old Jul 24th 2016, 5:01 am
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
My current landlord pitched all the interested parties against each other in a blind auction: this is the rent, how much are willing to pay above that, how much deposit will you give me and when can you move in. We pitched only $50 a month over the rental price but could move in the next day so I think that's the only reason we got it (and I'm 45 mins outside of SF). Read up on the rental market in SF. It's horrific.
I think this is probably illegal, it certainly is in Oregon and California is a more tenant friendly State. If this happens to you it's an easy way to make money. I think it's 3 months rent plus that he would owe you.

if you can turn it into a fair housing issues, then it turns into several hundred thousand dollars. A lot of small time landlords and some property manager are ignorant of the law. In Portland its a 96% occupancy rate. We always rent our property same day if one ever becomes available.

Last edited by mrken30; Jul 24th 2016 at 5:04 am.
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Old Jul 24th 2016, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Renting soon after arriving

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I think this is probably illegal, it certainly is in Oregon and California is a more tenant friendly State. If this happens to you it's an easy way to make money. I think it's 3 months rent plus that he would owe you.

if you can turn it into a fair housing issues, then it turns into several hundred thousand dollars. A lot of small time landlords and some property manager are ignorant of the law. In Portland its a 96% occupancy rate. We always rent our property same day if one ever becomes available.
In a market where people are begging you to let them rent your crappy studio for 2000 a month anything goes.
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