We pooled together the brains of our 3 awesome housing coordinators, Erin Welch, Shannon Schiltz, and Sara Winters, to come up with the top 11 tips for finding housing on your own. Here's what they had to say:
- Set a realistic budget for the area you will be working in. A quick trick would be to visit www.apartmentguide.com find an average rate and add $800 to that amount. The additional $800 should take care of furniture rental, utilities and any application fees.
- Be upfront & honest- Ex. Do you have any pets? If so, disclose the breed & weight of the animal. You do not want to get there and not be able to move in if you have a pet and it is not allowed at the premises.
- Ask the obvious- Do you allow 3 month leases? What is the monthly rent for a short term lease? What is included in this amount? What utilities will I be responsible for? What other fees will I need to budget for (application fees, administration fees, amenity fees, deposits, etc.). Does it include a w/d in the unit or is there one onsite? Any other specifics you are wanting…
- Ask for recommendations- During the interview process with the hospital ask them questions. Where are the safe/good areas of town I should start looking in? Where have other travelers stayed in the past?
- Search google maps- Check out the street views of a potential option. Make sure you know what it looks like around you.
- Allow adequate time to search. Not always a quick find. Note- application process for renting an apartment can take anywhere from 3-5 days to process.
- Here are some links to search; www.apartmentguide.com, www.apartments.com, www.VRBO.com, www.hotpads.com.
- Call local – try that cities Chamber of Commerce, Search property management companies in the area-If they do not have rentals they may know of someone who doesJ
- Furniture – CORT Furniture is a large furniture vendor that covers most major cities throughout the country, there are a few smaller furniture companies out there that are easy to work with (example: Brook, Scherr, Express) outside of your standard Aarons or Rent-A-Center.
- Hotels- You can call local hotels and negotiate with a sales manager for a 3 month stay. Make sure they have availability for your dates. They almost always will come down on the rate or offer a weekly/monthly rate. Tell them you are a traveling healthcare professional, sometimes they already have a discounted rate for hospital employees.
- Still struggling- finding 12 month leases only- ask what it will take to make a short term lease happen. Can I pay a premium on top of the rent? What are the lease break fees if 12 months are not fulfilled?
Happy Home Hunting!
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