Finding Housing for your assignments

My biggest concern going into travel was housing. Planning stresses me out and does NOT come naturally to me, unlike my mother. Also, making decisions on housing just STRESSES me out. When I’m planning a trip, I look at several options to compare prices, aesthetic/comfort, area, past reviews, etc. This obviously isn’t a bad thing, but it is anxiety-inducing and time-consuming. So, being told I would have 2 weeks on average before starting a new contract to find housing, my pulse quickened. My recruiter told me it gets easier with experience, and I have found that to be true. But, why not make it easier for non-experienced! I went in blind, so all I really knew was Air BnB. If you read my Missouri post, you would know that I learned hard lessons about housing that assignment, and found some helpful facebook groups to join! I am going to list the facebook groups I recommend for travelers and housing. I will also provide a list of resources posted in a travel group with feedback on some of them. 

  • Facebook Groups to Join ASAP as a traveler:
    • Travel Therapy Therapists: I look at this a lot and have since posted on it myself, as well as replied to other posts in order to help other therapists. People post on here inquiring about what is norm in certain settings, contract norms, advice for moving to a new area, advice on if pay offered was too low or good, etc.
    • Travel Nursing: Places/Rooms for Rent: This is where I found my current roommate/landlord. People post on here looking for a place to stay usually saying where the contract is, what dates, what they prefer or mentioning they have a pet. Hosts also post their place on here including pictures, info on location, rent, when it’s available etc. (I’m back in TN, but now, I am paying ⅓ of the price I was paying in Missouri).
    • Travel Nurse Housing-Furnished Finder: This is sponsored by the Furnished Finder site you can also search online. I usually see hosts posting on this page and the one listed above. I have posted on here looking for a place and if I don’t receive any replies, furnished finder replies with a link taking me to a list of findings of hosts on their site near me!
    • Travel Nurse Housing- Gypsy Nurse: Same concept as the above two, but it is nice to expand options! I love to browse these groups even when I’m not looking for housing because I love seeing the housing options, as well as what people are charging in certain areas. The BEST is the comments, people get straight up petty in the comments like “Good luck finding a travel worker who would rent this for THAT kind of price.” And replies like “If you trolls can’t afford it, I don’t want to rent to you anyway.” Y’all, the tea is served and it is PIPING.
    • Therapy Gypsy Housing
      • I just joined this group today
  • Other online Resources (I have not used all of these but will provide feedback other travelers had if available)
      • Obviously cheaper when staying longer, but the fees can get you. I have been told that you can actually negotiate price on here (a host told me that). So if you are reserving for a month and it is saying $1300/month, there is somewhere you can go and offer $1000/month
      • I have also had someone tell me they message the person and negotiate and go outside the app, that way you avoid fees. You have to be careful how you go about this because airbnb monitors and can catch you. I have exchanged numbers on airbnb no problem. And this person mentioned they mentioned the possibility to a host and then did the rest through FB messenger.
      • Also I see a lot of airbnb hosts post to the above listed facebook groups, so there are easy ways to go about contacting them outside the app to negotiate price and avoid fees
      • Airbnb takes 15% so hosts will usually increase their rates by 15% to still make a profit.
      • Someone commented this tends to be expensive (never hurts to check out)
      • I have since tried using this and it is hella weird. I would get messages from roommate matches but couldn’t access the messages unless I “upgraded” and paid like a $5 fee for 3 days for “vip access”, just a heads up
      • This site lets you view neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, schools, parks etc. Get a commute report and see options for getting around by car, bus, bike, and foot. AND Learn about the neighborhood, view crime and safety, see what locals are saying, browse photos and places. I have not used this one yet as I didn’t know about it before this last assignment, but I will definitely turn to it for my next assignment.
      • I was initially confused by this because I thought this was for SELLING houses. However, on the app there is a renting option. Now, this isn’t the BEST for short term housing because it is usually posting of year long leases. However, I have heard of some contracts being a year long from the start. You still want to be careful with this because a contract can always end early and you don’t want to be stuck in a year long lease. Recruiters usually recommend month-to-month leases/contracts for this reason as an assignment can be prematurely terminated.
      • Rotating Room is a trusted short-term housing site to help professionals find and list their apartments and sublets to other students and professionals.
      • You do need an institution email (like a school email) to send a message to hosts on here
      • It’s not what you think, it is a site to book flights, hotels, and rental cars. But it does help find pet friendly hotels as well
      • Specific to Seattle, WA
      • This compares cost of living in cities (as well as demographics) and has tools such as Moving cost calculator, packing calculator, Move planner, and connect home services
    • Furnished Finders
      • I haven’t used them but I have searched them before and it is helpful. Also their FB group listed above is good
    • VRBO
    • Craigslist
    • Turnkey

Someone did mention that they had the best luck with a realtor. In some places, you pay the realtor to help you (i.e. NYC) but in other places the LANDLORD pays the realtor a fee to find them a tenant (i.e. Florida). Then in more rural areas, no fee is required. 

*BE CAREFUL OF SCAMS*: One of the many reasons I like the above listed facebook groups is that they will post busted scammers. If you are in a situation negotiating housing/price etc and you don’t feel comfortable, post to that group. You will get input from travelers and landlords about if that is something normal or not. I’ve observed a few rules of thumb with these groups: landlords usually do transactions through zelle (this is through the banks and all landlords love zelle), Paypal (do goods and services initially. It will charge them a fee, but if you don’t get the “good” you paid for, you can contest on Paypal), venmo, cash app, don’t EVER wire funds (scammers love wire funds because you never get it back). The more I drone on, the more I want to write a whole other post about avoiding housing scams, and I just might. If this is housing extremely far away from your home or last assignment, a lot of travelers stay in a hotel the first couple nights so they can go see the property in person and meet the landlord. I was staying in Memphis, TN between assignments and was lucky that I could easily drive 1.5 hours to Jackson, TN to see the property and meet my roommate before making any deals. Also, if you ever feel sketched out, google image the address and/or look it up on zillow. Some scammers are so lazy the pictures of the homes are completely different. I know this was a lot of info and I just hope that you find it helpful and use it in the future! Be safe out there y’all <3.

Tips For Travelers Uncategorized

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