international student life

international student

How to find an Apartment when moving 500 miles away for College.

How to find accommodation far away when moving to college. Places to find, what to look for and how to avoid Crime.

Say you are moving to another state for college and looking for a place to live. You try looking online for apartments but the selection is so overwhelming and you don't even know if what is online is actually true. How do you get to find a decent apartment to move in to?

The trick is to first move to the city and find a short term accommodation while you try to find new more long term accommodation.

You can find an apartment that has a month by month lease, or a holiday apartment with roommates. Then once you get to town, you can then check out the area for other apartments.

Another option is to find a "long term motel" where you can stay weekly and then from there you can start house hunting.

Depending on the city you are moving to, it's good to check out AirBnB. Sometimes you'll find people willing to rent out for a couple of weeks. You have peace of mind because of the rating system there, plus they might be able to provide further help once you arrive.

Using AirBnB is more expensive than a month-to-month rental, but a lot cheaper than a hotel or motel. Another advantage is you can do it for shorter than a month (a week or two). The hosts are usually friendly and knowledgeable about their cities and they can even help you find a permanent apartment.

You can also use Craigslist to find people looking for roommates. However you need to be careful when dealing with people on Craigslist because there have been times when some bad people lure others and do bad things to them. This is however very rare.

Other places you can find accommodation include CouchSurfer , PadMapper and PlaceBee.

You can also seek the services of an Apartment locator. These are professionals who help people find apartments and are required to be licensed by their state. If you can, don't use one who asks for a fee from you, or a fee up front, any fee. They are usually free for the apartment seeker and are paid a referral fee from the place they locate you to. However in some areas like Boston where there is high demand for apartments, you will find that all locators will require a fee.

Don't forget to put their name on all paperwork, even the basic, initial paperwork you get from walking in to just view the place. Places follow the paper trail for referrals, so put them down as soon as possible.

Before agreeing to sign any lease, make sure to inspect the apartment and the general area and see if you like the place. Note that you can use Google Street View to check out the area on the internet. This will give you pictures of what the area at the apartments address looks like.

Another way to find apartments in a specific area is to Google the "Zip Code + apartments". This will give you results of all the reputable apartment complexes in that area and you can call them and try to do research on what you like.

Make sure to read online reviews but also check the dates of those reviews. You want the most recent reviews because some places will have had new management since the reviews and may have changed. Also take negative reviews with a grain of salt. Negative Reviews by people complaining about neighbors or rent hike in a recently improved area not as bad as those complaining about bug infestation and other bad things within the apartment.

You should also check your College's off-campus housing finder to find apartments near the college you will be attending. Also look at the commuter bus routes. These might give you an idea of where most students are living.

Finally check out Crime Reports . This gives you block by block derails of all crime in that area and will help you to avoid areas with lots of crime.