favorite this postYour housing guide and craiglist ettiquette 2.0 (DFW)hide this posting
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These are guidelines and your results may vary but shouldn't by much. Feel free to let me know what you find so I can adjust scales for others.
Housing guide for rooms:
FREE to $300 = Caregiving, FWB and Labor. Shared bathroom.
$300 to $499 = trades for services when not working. Shared bathroom
$500 to $599 = Average room for rent and may include chipping in for utilities. May be in-law suite with private entrance
$600 to $749 = Premier locations. Better odds of private bathroom. Garage apartments, In-law suites and private entrances.
Housing guide apartments/homes:
$500 month if you don't mind gun shots or 2 mile walk to nearest store. Privately owned building. Sometimes felony friendly. Next to none for building maintenance. Broken glass and nails in parking lot. Someone always sharing their music.
$700 ABP efficiency. Managed property. No Felony in last 10 years. No evictions. Credit score above 500. Working 6 months. Security deposit. 1 month paid in advanced. Earning $2100 a month or $13 an hour full time. run down
$700 Extended stay motels. Small security deposit. No felony in last ten years. Evictions okay. No smoking in room. Bed bugs, roaches, mice and plenty of people to party with. May not have kitchenette. Open floorplan concept. May not have microwave or fridge.
$750 1 Bedroom. Managed property. No Felony in last 10 years. No evictions. Credit score above 500. Working 6 months. Security deposit. 1 month paid in advanced. Earning $2250 a month or $14 an hour full time. run down.
$800 1 Bedroom. Managed property. No Felony in last 10 years. No evictions. Credit score above 500. Working 6 months. Security deposit. 1 month paid in advanced. Earning $2400 a month or $15 an hour full time. Decent.
$900 2 bedroom. Managed property. No Felony in last 10 years. No evictions. Credit score above 550. Working 6 months. Security deposit. 1 month paid in advanced. Earning $2700 a month or $17 an hour full time. Run down.
$1100 Nice extended stay hotel. Kitchenette. Actual private bedroom. No felonies or pending charges. Larger security deposit. No smoking. Exercise center. Clean pool. Shared spa. Well lit. Most have private entrance rooms.
Managed properties generally use a rule of multiplying rent amount three times to be your minimum income to qualify.
Also note most managed properties will charge you a deposit for pets. If you sneak a pet, they will fine you for more than the deposit and you risk not having your lease renewed or a rent increase.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA). You can not just claim a pet as an emotional support animal unless your animal is registered. Search NOLO ESA Texas on Google for your rights and process to register. Landlords, if the person is claiming ESA, they are admitting they have psychiatric or emotional disabilities. Highly likely not an enjoyable person to live with if in a room share situation. As a landlord myself, as soon as you say therapy pet, I am passing you over. If you say you have an animal that won't eat my animal, they are welcome in my home.
Be cautious of any apartment that has fresh paint and new carpet. Most of the time it was paid for by the previous tenant's security deposit and when YOU leave the tenant after you will get new carpet too out of your deposit.
Best practices for engaging a craigslist stranger:
1. Do not exchange cell or email address in first contact. Do not reply to a post that does not use craigslist email relay. Flag it! Half the time it is a spam bot that will lure you to an autoreply message or you will start getting spam text and emails. If the poster is a noob and serious they will post again and hopefully learn to use the CL email relay and not their real email or cell number.
2. In your first email reply to a post, ask a few questions like...
--- What part of the city are they in?
--- Ask if they have been to a fake place like tulip gardens?
--- Ask if they think the Astros will win the Super Bowl?
--- How do they prefer to meet?
Also introduce yourself with first name only and a little about you. Send a CURRENT picture of you. Do not give any personal information like birthday, full name, drivers license until you have verified you are talking to a legit person.
3. If they do not answer reasonably like saying they have been to your fake place or ignore the Astros winning, you know you are chatting with an out of country scammer that will assume tulip gardens is real in hopes of getting your trust so you send them personal information and/or groom you for a large fake check they will send you to secure the room or purchase your item for sale in other parts of CL.
If their response answers each question reasonably, you know you are emailing a real person. Pretty much any answer to the Astros winning the Super Bowl question confirms a person. Even if they say they do not follow sports. If you get a sports fan, they may poke fun at you because the Astros will never win. LOL. You can explain later in your following interactions that you just had to make sure you were communicating with a real person.
If they dodge your your questions, demand, suggest or make excuse for to you email here or call here for details on your second response, reply back without using their link and tell them you will on their next reply once you know they are a real person. If after that response you get the same message back, guess what? You be emailing an autoreply spam bot spider or phish. Flag it!
4. A picture does not prove who you are. Anyone can grab a picture off the internet and say it's them. When I ask for a picture, I'm looking for gang tattoos, if you are a scary looking person and your age. A possible landlord can't discriminate in a CL post or risk getting flagged. Most people want to live with or rent to people their age. A picture saves time. You will inevitably be judged by how you present yourself. It can be through email or at the in person interview. If you are going to be passed over for appearance, might as well be during the email phase than wasting time at the in person interview to come.
5. Here's where things can get tricky and there is no sure fire way to making a good connection. At this stage, if your perspective landlord asks a direct personal question, answer truthfully. Do not volunteer negative information about you unless you have had positive experiences before for doing so. Everyone's story is different. Do not go in to detail unless directly asked to do so. You can also say, I prefer to talk about it on the phone or in person if you get that far.
6. CALL ON THE PHONE as soon as you know your are emailing/texting a person. No Skype, no facetime, no snap chat and definitely no facebook messenger. Do you want a possible predator to get more info on you through your online profile? When you are on the phone, you should only be talking about where to meet in person or general questions. NO personal information. You can tell them you have ID, but do not give your ID number. If you get hit with a direct personal question here that you think will go against you, ask to talk about it in person. For example, if asked about criminal history answer truthfully that you have one if you do and you would be happy to talk in person. Again, if they are going to critically judge you, let it be here, so no more time and energy is wasted. Like I said, you do not know who is on the other end. You could be interviewing with a person that has experience like me that has had a friend on parole or family member on probation. I might be more understanding of your situation and more likely to give you a chance to go oto the next stage. No matter what, be honest. Maybe you have a prostitution charge from years ago and the person you are communicating with has a sister who is an exotic dancer. You just don't know. If you make it to the next stage, that's where you get to fire back those uncomfortable questions and explain yourself further. I know by now you are thinking wow this person is so cynicle. They must think people are just rotten. There are mostly really good and genuine people on here. There are also a few that prey on the misfortuned and naive good people to continue their less than noble lives.
7. Now it's time to meet in a public place or at the place your are looking to move in to. Where ever you decide to meet, tell a friend that's where you are going. Have the friend call you every thirty minutes to check in. When you meet in public, text a friend the license plate of the car who you are meeting. Send a picture of who you are meeting. You can bring a friend too. Have them walk around with you to check out the living situation so you can talk later about anything that looks strange. You are going to be focused on the landlord's questions and may miss that all the previous roommates stuff is in the garbage out back that your friend will notice. (a red flag by the way) Do not have them present when it's time to share personal information. You should be able to talk openly about anything embarrassing to the landlord. You also want the landlord comfortable to share things that might be unpleasant to them. That's when the freaky shit comes out like walking around in boxers and painting toes in the living room. What are house rules and boundaries? Get to know the person you may be living with or in a contract with and a feel for what they need. Then negotiate. As a landlord, I have reduced asking rent if I like a person and think they have more to offer than just cash. If in the phone interview, you focus on rent questions, you are going to get my highest rate. If you have taken the time to come to my living situation and check it out, I know you are serious and least likely to waste my time. Is there a late payment fee? What happens if you are short on rent? Are there trades for lack of rent forgiveness?
8. Ask for a rental agreement and how they like to be paid. Be cautious of cash only transactions. If they don't do a rental agreement or accept cash only, it makes it so much easier to take your money and change the locks. Ask if you need to be added to their lease.
9. Do not pay an application fee or give landlord money to pay for background check.
10. Don't be surprised if landlord asks a lot of questions. An experienced legit landlord is going to ask similar questions that are on apartment application. How long at job, proof of identity, income, job stability, guests, length of stay and criminal record. Because you are renting from a person, you are going to get extra questions so they can figure out how much of an impact are you going to be on they way they are living. Do you share food? Put labels on everything? Bathroom schedule? TV schedule? Guests? Can they walk around in a bath robe? If sharing a bathroom, do either of you have a transferrable disease?
11. Be cautious of any rushed move ins. If your perspective housemate is not asking a bunch of questions about you and your history they are interested in your money. Ask yourself why are they so interested your money? Are they about to get the electricity shut off? Need bail money for their lover who will punt you when they don't need you? Facing eviction? Do you really want to move in to a place where the landlord cannot manage their money? Once you have moved in, you can count on them asking for more money as another emergency will surely come up. Same thing for someone who is in a rush to move in. They are getting booted. Ask yourself why are they getting booted and do not trust their word. A background check is in order here. Be ready to fess up. I've let thieves and ex-escorts move in but with additional rules and rental agreement clauses.
Failure to do these things and you are destined to be looking for a place again in the near future or scammed.
A craigslist stranger that has been a tenant and a landlord.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers