How to find housing?
While some employers are able to arrange housing for you, many are not. So in most cases, you'll be responsible for finding housing that is inexpensive, comfortable, safe, and close to your work site. We encourage you to ask any potential landlord a list of questions to help ensure a safe and secure living situation. For jobs where housing is not arranged, you'll want to do research to find housing months in advance of your arrival in the U.S. The tips and resources on this page can help with this process.
Even if you've secured your housing in advance, you may find that the housing isn't immediately available when you arrive in the U.S. You should come prepared to stay in a hostel for a few days until your housing becomes available. Hostel.com is a helpful resource for finding an affordable, temporary place to stay.
Types of Housing in the USA
Housing options vary across the USA. All cities and even most small towns have apartments available for rent. Larger cities have more options, including apartment sublets, rooms for rent, homestays, and university-style dormitories.
Renting an apartment by yourself will provide you with the most freedom; however, it can also be very expensive.
Share A cost-efficient way to live in an apartment is to share it with other people. You agree to divide responsibilities and payment of rent and bills.
Another option is to sublet an apartment from a tenant who leaves for a period of time – a few months or longer. You assume the responsibilities of paying rent and bills and the original tenant assumes all responsibilities under the lease.
To rent, share, or sublet an apartment, you are typically required to provide a photo ID, a letter from an employer with salary information or proof of sufficient funds from home, bank account information, and checks/travelers' checks.
Dormitory-style Apartments and University Housing
Dormitories typically have a greater sense of community and social interaction and will allow you to meet other students. Most often, dormitory-style and university housing will require you to share a bedroom and bathroom with other individuals. Most dormitories also provide essential housing needs, such as furnished rooms, Internet access, kitchen and laundry facilities, and, in some cases, even meals.
Homestays offer participants the opportunity to improve language skills and sample American culture in a unique way by living with an American family. Participants will typically have their own bedroom and arrange to take an allotted amount of meals with the family each week
Hostels are great for temporary accommodation while you look for something more long-term. Hostels typically require you to share a bedroom and bathroom with other residents, but they also provide opportunities for meeting other young people and making friends.
Ready to get started? Keep the following information in mind as you look for housing and start viewing potential apartments or residences.
Resources - Where to Look
Start by talking to your employer about the area where you will be working and the neighborhoods they recommend: What are the best websites, newspapers, or other resources people in the area use to look for housing?Refer to some of these websites
Educational Housing Services
American Homestay Agency
New York Homestay
Roommates can be found through word of mouth once you arrive in the U.S. or through websites such as Roommates.com.
Some roommates like to write a contract in order to delegate all responsibilities and outline how space will be shared; it is recommended that you do this before finalizing housing with roommates
Questions to Ask
-Cost of housing per week or per month?
-Cost of housing deposit? Refundable under what conditions?
-Is housing arranged by employer?
-If yes, employer-owned or third-party owned?
-Is housing an apartment, house, or motel?
-Is cost of housing deducted from paycheck? If yes, pre-tax or post-tax?
-How many students per room?
-How many beds per room?
-Are male/females living in the same accomodation?
-How many people total will be living in the housing?
-Do tenants have a lease?
-Are utilities included?
-What are transportation options from housing to job site?
-Cost of transportation?
-Is transportation arranged by employer or third party?
Average monthly housing costs really depend on location, the type of housing, and what is included (furniture, utilities, etc.). Shared housing can range from $80-$120 per week, but the cost will vary depending on your location. To find the average rent price in your area, please check the Fair Market Rent cost.A security deposit (equal to one month's rent or more) as well as first and sometimes the last month's rent are due when you sign your lease.Often, a one or two year lease is required when renting an apartment.
We advise you against signing long-term lease agreements. Depending on the housing arrangement you select, we recommend that you try to negotiate a shorter lease or a month-by-month lease. This is important in case you need to leave the U.S. early; there may be a fee for leaving before your lease ends, so be sure to discuss this before signing a lease or housing agreement