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.

Makayla Grijalva

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?

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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. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.