However, within two weeks of our arrival, we were working, earned our first paychecks, and signed a lease on an apartment. Today's short post in the series will go over how we found places to stay and then a place to live.
It's important to find a place to stay immediately. While sleeping in your car might be acceptable one or two nights, you run the risk of tickets for illegal overnight parking, being towed, and having your belongings stolen since everything you own is probably in the car with you.
You will also want to be showered and rested and without wrinkled clothes for the next day in order to go on interviews.
Temporary Housing Idea 1: Camping
Campgrounds are usually more secure than parking in some parking lot and many camp grounds have bathrooms and showers to clean up in. Some even have laundry facilities. Mister and I would have done this if it were not winter.
Temporary Housing Idea 2: Hostels
Staying at a hostel is usually cheaper than a hotel. You have so share a room sometimes or a bathroom, but you've got that bed! Hostels.com and HostelWorld are great sites to check with.
Try contacting the owner. Sometimes the hostel needs help and you can work out a work exchange where you clean/do small repairs/work the front desk for a free place to sleep.
Temporary Housing Idea 3: Hotel
Use Kayak and other discount travel sites to book rooms while you are still searching for that place to live. Even $50 per night adds up quickly and credit card rates are crazy
Talk to the manager of the hotel and see if they would provide a discount for an extended stay. Some hotels already have deals in place. Other hotels are made for extended stay and have suites with full kitchens.
Even the cheapest hotels can add up with $50/night becoming $350 +tax by the end of the week. And, if you put it on your credit card, it can get out of hand fast.
Permanent Housing Tips
Finding an apartment without cash for the initial deposit is hard. You'll be looking for something available now and it might not be the best fit, but you don't really have time to wait. When you search for places, look for apartments with:
- Flexible rent terms; month-t0-month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months
- Online payment portals including deposits
- Release from rent contract terms
How to Move with Nothing: Getting a Job