I am one of the lucky ones: My roommate let me know with two months’ notice she would not be able to renew our apartment lease in Albuquerque. She could have only given me 30-days notice as a courtesy, but she was kind enough to give me a heads up.
I am one of the lucky ones: I could not afford the apartment’s rent on my own, but I was also financially privileged enough to consider other options besides finding a new roommate.
I am one of the lucky ones: I applied to several different single-occupant rental apartments in both Valencia County and Albuquerque, and either I did not put in my application quickly enough (even though some had only been on the market hours before I applied) or I did not qualify due to pets or an income barrier.
I am one of the lucky ones: I am a college-educated woman with a dual degree in journalism and political science, and a minor in history, working in the field I always intended for myself. I still only qualified for mainly low-income housing, most of which had months-long wait-lists.
I am one of the lucky ones: I wasn’t really ready to own a home yet. It’s a good investment, but it makes me feel tied down in a way I was not ready to be yet. But, it felt like my only option.
I am one of the lucky ones: The housing which didn’t require the applicant to make three-times a single month’s rent accounted for more than 50 percent of my entire monthly pay, not to mention utilities.
I am one of the lucky ones:I considered getting a new job with higher pay, possibly compromising my happiness in my current job in order to be able to afford a place to live.
I am one of the lucky ones: If I couldn’t find a place to live in Albuquerque or within the county, I could always couch surf with a friend in Santa Fe — doubling my daily drive — or borrow my parents’ camper to stay at a campsite with hookups close to Belen. I could also always move back home to Las Cruces.
I am one of the lucky ones: I had been looking at Zillow for months and considered owning a home since last year. I had enough saved up to be pre-approved for a mortgage; however, many of the homes on the market were well out of my price range.
I am one of the lucky ones: Previous to the house I ended up purchasing, I submitted offers on two other homes in the area and considered submitting offers to several others. Every single time, the price was pushed $20,000 to $30,000 over asking and essentially out of my price range.
I am one of the lucky ones: In the 11th hour, I was able to find a home to purchase, move-in ready, near work, within my price range and closed in less than 30-days to avoid a period in which I would have been without a place to live.
I am one of the lucky ones: I was never going to be without a roof over my head or without food on my plate. I had enough money saved to be able to explore home-buying as an option when my living situation became unstable. I had the support of family and friends around me to aid in this process. I have so many things to be grateful for, but this process still brought about hours of tears and uncertainty.
What if I wasn’t so lucky?
Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history.