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Re: Finding a rental in the East Bay
Sorry, Homefinders recently went out of business, thanks to Craigslist and the sluggish rental market. UC Berkeley's housing office has a listing service that might cater more to the faculty/staff population, but you might have to be a UC affiliate to use it. David
I'm looking for feedback regarding the various rental agencies in the East Bay, particularly Homefinders, the Berkeley Connection, the Rental Solution and Ehousing. Is one better than the other? We will be looking for housing in 2 or 3 months and considering our two (wonderful, well behaved, well-trained ) dogs, the need for a yard, and our limited budget, I know it will be tough to find. I've looked for housing here before, and am not looking forward to the hunt again. We're looking specifically in the El Cerrito-Albany-Berkeley-North Oakland area. Thanks very much. Karen
You pay a lot up front, but the advantage is that if you plan on staying someplace for awhile, getting into a great rental is worth the cost in the long run. Our rental would not have been available to us if we hadn't used this particular service since it was never listed in the open market. Also, since we were moving from outside the Bay Area, getting up here to look at housing was expensive (a plane ride plus hotels) and a big nightmare. We did that twice and just about gave up. I honestly don't know if we could have done it any other way given the time crunch we were under. I hope this helps. Griffin
It is very difficult to find housing in Berkeley. If you are not affilitated with the University, the best thing you can do is to pay an agency for listings. The cost is $50-$60 for one month of listings and there are new listings every day.
I've lived in Berkeley for nearly 20 years and have had to search for housing five times. I always use an agency and most people I know use these agencies too - here are two places I've used that are reputable:
Two weeks ago I posted a request for housing in this newsletter and am happy to say that my search has been successful--after only two weeks of looking! I found a nice 3 bedroom house in El Cerrito at a very reasonable rent. I would like to pass on what I think helped me. Because things are so competitive now I prepared a Renters Resume to include with my application, as well as a cover letter highlighting why I was a good prospect which I tailored for each application. I found my house through Homefinders in Berkeley, as I did three years ago too. You have to call any new listing immediately--they often go in a day or two. Also we are a family of four, which my new landlord said worked in our favor since the owner preferred a family. Be persistent and visualize success!
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