Trouble finding a rental home or apartment? You're not alone

By Mark Bullion

June 27, 2012 Updated Jun 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- if you're in the market for a new apartment or rental home, chances are, you might have a little trouble finding one. But it's not a problem only facing Peoria, it's the entire nation.

Beau Ebenezer is fresh out of college and landed his first job in Peoria, but Ebenezer has been having trouble finding a place to rent.

"I've looked on just Googling and Apartment Finder and haven't really found too much," said Ebenezer. "A lot of the listings they have and once I call the place, I've gotten a lot of turn downs saying no we don't have that place."

So, the typical Googling didn't work, at least for him. That's when he turned to Craigslist, where he found a number of available places, but he kept a careful and close eye to the ads listed.

"You don't really know what you're always getting; sometimes they don't have pictures but most of the places I'm looking at I found on Craigslist," he said.

And that included an East Wilcox rental. Landlord Michael Covert said he only uses Craigslist to post his available units online and has done so the past 6 years.

"Some of my colleagues that are older landlords have called me saying, 'hey, Mike, come help me get my Craigslist thing put together because I hear that's the main vehicle to get tenants'," said Covert.

But according to Maloof Realty Relocation Coordinator Deb Coughlon, there still is an extremely high demand for apartment and home rentals and that, she says, stems from the 2008 collapse of the housing market. Since then, she said things have improved somewhat as Peoria's economy makes a slow recovery.

"They can be new hires, existing industry workers, but is having a hard time selling their outbound home so they either need short term rentals, long term rentals, or they don't know our market well enough," said Coughlon.

Going back to Ebenezer, he falls in that "new hire" category and he hopes he can make a decision very soon since he starts in the real world come Monday.

"In the beginning, I was getting no bites at all just saying no, no, no, you just gotta keep looking I guess and eventually hopefully you'll get a couple places," said Ebenezer.

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