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Dana, Renter in Peekskill, NY

Im looking for an apartment ideally in Santa Monica, CA. Is it best to go through a realtor? How much does it cost?

Asked by Dana, Peekskill, NY Sat Mar 2, 2013

Im currently living in NY so apartment hunting is a little hard just by basing everything on pictures. I plan on moving out to CA in 3-4 months and would love to find a place in Santa Monica- im also open to anything in Manhattan Beach or Marina del Ray. My max is $1500 and im only looking for a 1 bedroom. Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Austin Chen’s answer

Both of my colleagues below are correct. The landlord will pay the fee to an agent, not you. Not all listings are available to agents. Craigslist &/or are great resources for renters.

You can really go about this so many ways; you have several options and resources at your disposal. To be successful though, I think you need someone who has hyperlocal knowledge of apartments in Santa Monica. I am not only a REALTOR® who specializes in the area, but I actually own a 9-unit apartment building in Santa Monica. I also know many apartment building owners/landlord who own in Santa Monica. I was born in Santa Monica and I currently live here with my family. If you want to move to Santa Monica, then I am the person you should contact.

Please feel free to contact me as I would be more than happy to assist you in your search.

Austin Chen, REALTOR®
Real Estate Investment Specialist
DRE #: 01898306
Office: 323.902.SOLD (7653)
Fax: 323.443.1093
Mobile: 310.948.2629
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
Hi Dana,

I'm not sure why that link isn't working but I will check on it. For now, please visit

All the best,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 5, 2013
Thank you ALL for your help!! I will take all of your advice into consideration before my move. You guys are great- I will be in contact with some for additional help :)

Jessica Acker- i did look at your website just to browse at some rentals, however the link under your rental tab said there was a file error- no actual page for that link?

Thanks again guys!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 4, 2013
Hi Dana,

I have several apartments available in the buildings I manage in Santa Monica. Just take a look at my website and let me know if you are interested in viewing anything. You can drop by my leasing department Monday-Saturday and we are located in Santa Monica.

All the best,

Jessica M. Acker
Wellman Realty Company
Wellman Property Management, Inc.
(310) 828-3132 Office
1415 Stanford St., Suite #2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
License # 01894323
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 4, 2013
Hi Dana.

99x out of a hundred you will do better with a Realtor, in my opinion. They will work tirelessly to find you a GREAT place to live.

This person will review your lease and make sure it is fair for you, and that you won't pay too much for the property.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 3, 2013

Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and Manhattan Beach are pretty pricey rental areas. If you go thru a realtor the homeowner pays the commission not the renter. For realtors check MLS.Com, Realtor.Com, Trulia.Com and Zillow.Com. Will be able to see rentals, asking price and photos of properties for rent. Also search Westside Rentals.Com and Craigslist. Rental available with Westside Rentals and Craigslist may or may not be listed with a realtor. Start your search now to get an ideal of pricing and locations. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 3, 2013
Hello Dana,

It is in your best interest to go with a Realtor, but when renting, you should also be looking on Craigslist, Pennysaver and Rent-me catalogs because not everything that is for rent is through an agency. If you're looking for quality living, I suggest going through a Realtor, if you're looking for a cheap place to live, then try finding it yourself. However, Realtors get their commission most of the time from a Seller or Landlord, not Buyers or Tenants. So for you, it would essentially be free. If you need a referral for a good agent in Santa Monica, please let me know. Good Luck!

Caroline Harabedian
RE-Search Concept
8700 Reseda Blvd., Suite 213-B
Northridge, California 91324
(818) 967-9626 mobile
(818) 979-0226 fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 3, 2013
Craigslist free, most other westside rentals charge a fee. Westside has been around a long time with varying reviews. Craigs is what it is and I believe the best for the market under 2k per month.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
Yes, contact a Realtor to represent you. It will cost you nothing. The Landlord pays.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
Hello Dana,
If you work with an agent, it wont cost you anything. The only limitation is with an agent, we are limited to either landlords we know are cooperating with agents for commissions and what is listed in the mls or openly advertises that they will cooperate with an agent.

There is Craiglist which a lot of people use for free or you can pay for a list of rentals from services like Westside Rentals.

If you like, I can assist you and it wont cost you anything. I could forward you what I have access to and if there is anything you would be interested in, just let me know and I can assist you with the showings, lease, etc.

If you would like assistance, please contact me directly. Thank you.
Richard "RJ" Kas (SFR, SRES)
"Representing the finest properties from Los Angeles worldwide"
KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills South
166 N. Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.859-5334 office - 310.488.9826 mobile - 310-278-4934 fax ATT: RJ - - DRE: 01352771
Sellers Buyers Investors Leasing Consulting
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
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