Tiffany Gough thought finding a rental would be difficult. She didn't expect it would take 172 applications.
The mum-of-two, who has held the same job for 14 years, was searching for nearly four months.
She stayed with friends before finally getting approval for a home through PJ Murphy Real Estate.
"Considering we're both working and we've got good income - I've got a high school friend who is moving in - I didn't think it would be that hard to find something, but sure enough it was," she said.
"I've actually come to know quite a few people in inspections that have been to every single one that I've been to.
"We'd met each other at seven different houses in one day or in a week, and you just get chatting about how many houses you'd applied for and how long you'd been looking."
Ms Gough learnt she'd been approved for the three-bedroom home in Wodonga, on the Victorian side of the border with New South Wales, on Friday.
"It was actually my birthday and I was over the moon," she said. "That day, I'd had two rejections and I also had five more yesterday.
"It's great; it's got a nice big backyard for Zed to kick the footy."
PJ Murphy senior property manager Kerri-Ann Hudson said Ms Gough's case demonstrated how difficult it was for renters who ticked all the boxes, let alone for people who might not.
"We continually saw Tiff at properties, and she got so close so many times ... we were wanting to match her up with the best property for the kids," she said.
"So finally, we found this one, and before it was advertised after a tenant moved out, asked her to go and have a look at it.
"She always provides the right paperwork and is on time, and is a hard-working single mum, so we kept trying.
"It's disheartening for us as well when we see the same faces at inspections."
While winter is traditionally slow, PJ Murphy has been kept busy with 60-plus applications for every rental.
Ms Hudson said soaring sale prices had seen prompted investors sell, requiring tenants to vacate.
"We're coming across people from Melbourne and Sydney and we're taking some of them through on Zoom calls," she said.
"I had a couple from Melbourne drive down just for an inspection. They'd heard about the property through word-of-mouth.
"It's stretching out to places like Yackandandah.
"I'm heading on 30 years ... it's a very unique situation that I've never seen."