January 29, 2019

I hate Zillow.

Thank goodness we found Jett a place to sit and watch the squirrels. 

+I called about a property that was ideal for us. Just perfect. I left a message. The guy called me back. He asked if I'd seen the house. I said no because we were military and living out of state but I'd love to apply for it. He said it wasn't available until July. JULY.
He had listed it on Zillow in OCTOBER. That should be illegal. What purpose is possibly served by listing something 9-10 months in advance. He said he wanted to see if anyone would be interested. Well, all he's really getting, I'm sure, is the opportunity to field calls from people who need a house within a month or two. He even sounded like a jackhole and I kind of want to link to his listing for you.

+Zillow doesn't take properties down right away after they're leased and they certainly don't make any notations if there's multiple applications/leases getting ready to go through. I called more than one property manager/owner who said there was a lease going through and it would "probably" work out. One lady had a showing scheduled with me and, when I texted to confirm, she said Yeah, we can meet, but I have a lease getting ready to go through on it. She wasn't even going to tell me this. I have a special word for her too and want to link to her profile.

+In military towns, it's common to find a house online, work with the rental agency over the phone, and rent site-unseen. We've done it. It worked out just fine. This is also the benefit of the Automated Housing Referral Network. They know they're working with military families. Pittsburgh doesn't use the AHRN because they don't have a military installation. Trying to explain to people/owners/agents what we're looking for and why we're moving is headache-inducing. At least, at Ft. Leonard-Wood, I could say I need a house and they knew what I meant.

+Houses in Pittsburgh for rent are actually few and far between...all of them mostly being really in the city. Every one I looked at generally had something big wrong with it that was a no-go. One was on a hill comparable to the Manitou Incline. One was "renovated" and all they had done was put in new countertops. One was perfect...and then I realized there was no driveway/garage/shed and only on-street parking. Also, Pittsburgh is comparable to the hills of San Francisco...it's actually one of the countries hilliest cities. We're coming from the Great Plains. It's unsettling.

+When listing our Laramie house to rent, we realized very quickly that saying "no dogs" when you have nothing to lose by letting a tenant have a dog is a stupid move. It takes so many houses out of contention. MOST people have pets, you know? However, in my experience, a lot of places take a $500 pet deposit. Not in Pittsburgh. Every place I looked at wanted an additional month's rent as a pet deposit. UGH. I felt like I was being swindled. And they acted like it was the norm. It's not the norm.

+Also, speaking of pets, as an agent, when you ask me who will be living in the house and I say "...and two dogs", don't let your face fall and look disgusted for a second WHEN THE LISTING SAYS PETS ALLOWED. What is wrong with you? At least know your property a little better than that.

+And, also...pictures, Zillow. There were a few houses where I actually wanted to volunteer to do new pictures for the person and put them up for the listing. If you use blurry flip-phone pictures, you're not helping yourself. At least make the place look good and let a potential renter judge for themselves. Isn't the idea to get people to the property? If your agent doesn't offer professional photos, find a new agent.

+I was semi-interested in a property and thought it'd be a last resort for me to go look at (nice place, just far from work for Scott). When the agent called me back (after 3 days), she said that the bank that has the loan out on the house has to vet any potential tenants and no one has passed the vetting process so far. I've never heard about such a thing.

+Trying to rent in Pittsburgh was a nightmare, especially because I was looking for a place on my own (and to the lady who gave me the disgusted look when I said there would be two dogs and who assumed it was just me renting the house, I wanted to punch her in the throat...just because I'm looking by myself doesn't mean I'm living in a place by myself, moron...also, lady, leggings aren't pants). We're lucky we got into a place that has more "right" than "wrong", to be honest. It'll be fine for the amount of time we'll be here and eventually I'll do a quick overview of the pros/cons of the house (the biggest con being the additional month's rent as a pet deposit and the yellow front door...spoiler alert).


  1. I loathe Zillow! It is the worst platform for homes.

  2. That really, really doesn't sound fun. I'm glad you found a place that does have some "pros." I've never actually had to search for a place to rent yet, which is weird, I realize (we rented the home that my parents own in Michigan, lived in school-assigned housing in China, and are currently renting an apartment owned by a friend here in Malaysia) but Angel has recently started looking, and what I find most surprising is the absolute awfulness of the photos. Like, you're going to the trouble to take and upload photos, and they're going to look that bad?

  3. I didnt even know what Zillow was... I guess that's a good thing.
    A months rent for having a pet? That's ridiculous. & you're right, I would think MOST homes have pets any more - why are they making it so hard?
    See, you should have come to Louisville - HAHA - sorry - had to :)

  4. Zillow is the worst. Our last realtor recommended Realtor.com for more up to date stuff. That's what we use now, but it isn't always the best. We're looking at renting in a non-military town next and there's places few and far between!

  5. Ugh, your rental house hunting just sounds AWFUL. Leggings aren't pants... hahahaha!

  6. I've never found zillow very helpful either. I hope you have better luck soon!

  7. Zillow pisses me off because it will STILL show me things out of the parameters of what I'm looking for. Also, I agree 100000% on pets. Try finding a place that will accept cats - damn near impossible.

  8. Woooooowwwwwwwwwww.
    Every single one of these is why I too do not care for Zillow.
    But some of these, just woooooow.


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