Friday, July 27, 2007

Competing Demands

Getting permanent housing and a job in a big city can be a chicken-and-egg problem. Landlords want you to have a job and employers want you to have an address. My lawyer son in San Francisco is caught in this dilemma.

It’s difficult to know where you want to live until you know where you will be working. In large cities like SF, you could have a commute to work well over an hour depending where you were living.

But even getting short–term housing, the first questions they want to know are “Where do you work?” and “How much do you make?” “I’m looking for a job” is an instant disqualifier for most potential landlords.

When you send out a resume, you really need a mailing address – not so much because they want to check out where you live, but because they might need to mail something to you. So this gets very complicated if you have been constantly moving as has my son.

We suggested getting a PO box, but he claims you must have an address to apply for one. Does this mean homeless people can’t rent PO boxes? And if not, why not?

In the place my son is currently subleasing, the mailbox is locked which means he can’t receive mail. So when he asked us to send his passport, which was needed by a legal headhunter, we were in a quandary. I ended up mailing it to an old friend who does have a permanent address, where he can pick it up next week.

For his sake and ours, I certainly hope he gets a permanent place to live and a job, but I sympathize with the demand for a job and an address that makes it difficult to get either.


Blogger A Million Paths said...

This won't help in your son's case as he's already in SF, but what a lot of people do who want to move to New York, but can't yet move to New York, is they change their cell number to a NY number and use a friend's mailing address. When they get the call for an interview, they explain that they're out of town for the week and arrange a meeting time in such a way that they can stack interviews. It is a quandry though.

11:21 PM  
Blogger avocadoinparadise said...

When i moved to DC this problem was definately an issue. I got around it by getting a family member with a job to basically cosign for the apartment lease. Some landlords will accept that kind of thing, promising that someone else will pay the rent on the off chance that the temporarily jobless person can't. That's the worry afterall.....

12:03 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

So much of life seems to be "whom you know," which I've fought tooth and nail on principle alone. At some point, I'm going to have to accept that fact but I'm not ready for it.

I had my own fair share of issues in moving to DC; I fear I cannot leave. I wish your son luck.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Poor Daniel. San Francisco is a very difficult place to "break" in. REntal housing is so scarce that landlords can be very picky. I wish I still had friends there I could ask to help, but I don't.

Hope you're not worrying too much.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Aileen said...

Barbara- there are also things called "virtual offices" where you can "rent" an address. He could use your address when he signed up because it's for travelers/home office workers etc.

The logistics of moving can be tough! I'm planning to move next year (don't know where yet) and I'm starting to pull together the steps- so much to do!!!

Good luck to your son.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MillionPaths -- He did change his cell phone number, but is still struggling with the address issue, not having a friend who already lives there.

Avocado -- We have finally agreed to co-sign a lease so he can hopefully move ahead on this.

Kristin -- Getting settled in a new city is always tough. I'm just glad I haven't moved since 1971!

Reya -- Worrying is in my job description as a mother. It will be a great relief when he is finally settled.

Aileen -- Thank you for sharing the concept of a virtual office. This might just be the answer than my son needs.

1:28 PM  

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