Trusted Guide to Housing
Picking up your life, packing your coveted possessions, and having to narrow down your wardrobe can be difficult. On top of that, starting a brand new job in a new city can be scary on its own without the additional stress that finding housing somewhere you know little to nothing about can cause.
We’re on a mission to create the best experience possible for our Trusted nurses, and while we don’t provide housing, we’ve got knowledge and resources.
There’s a ton to consider and information to gather before making any real decisions. Things can sometimes move fairly quickly once you’ve applied to a job, so it’s helpful to do a bit of research beforehand so you don’t find yourself having to make a decision without plans for housing. The earlier you start looking, the more options you are likely to have.
First, consider what's most important to you:
• What’s your budget?
• Would you consider various types of accommodations?
• Do you want a roommate?
• How far are you comfortable commuting and by what means?
• What are you willing to stretch your budget for?
• Are there certain things that must be in walking distance for you?
• Will you need your accommodations to be furnished? To what extent?
I can think of a few times where I was down to the wire to find housing and either ended up paying an arm and a leg for an apartment or found myself in a cabin with an outhouse for the bathroom! So having answers to these upfront can quickly help you narrow down a list of options and hone in on realistic options.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Quality: There’s no better barometer for quality than peer reviews! Most options provide the opportunity to read through reviews, whether it’s directly associated with the accommodation or through a third party. We can’t stress enough how important it is to rent from someone who has a track record of being dependable and reliable. In a brand new place, the last thing you need is your housing falling through.
The reviews can also be helpful for gleaning details about what others liked or disliked (because sometimes what they didn’t like truly wouldn’t be relevant to you!), the area, the living conditions, and what you can’t determine from pictures.
Amenities: If you prefer to travel light, you’ll need something furnished that is stocked with linens, kitchenware, and additional necessities. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to avoid showing up just to find out you’ll need to buy a shower curtain, plunger, and a sleeve of quarters every time you want to do your laundry.
Location: This will be entirely up to you! Some people don’t mind a lengthier commute for more affordable or well-situated options. Others want to spend as little time possible commuting, while some want to diversify where they spend their time while they’re in the specific location. Check out the street view on Google Maps and take a virtual walk around the neighborhood! Pop the address (of work or the accommodation) into Yelp and see what’s around.
Flexibility: Do you need a place that’s pet friendly? If so, is there an additional pet rent or a non-refundable pet deposit that is not included in the listing price? What are the terms of the lease, and what happens if you must break the lease? What if your lease comes to an end but you’d like to extend? Can you have visitors? Is there a limit to how many visitors or the duration that they stay?
Some housing options request a security deposit or require you to pay the entire 3-months of rent up front. It can be worth it to have some extra money in your pocket so your housing options are not limited.
Consider what is going on in the area around the time you are looking for housing. If it happens to be the middle of Mardi Gras during your New Orleans contract, consider commuting over that downtown apartment.
Reach out to the host! Often times, they offer a discount for people renting their vacation home for an extended period of time. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Besides, we have been drug screened, fingerprinted, and likely had a background check within the last few months. This can be a relief for some, knowing they have a nurse staying in their place.
Finally, be smart. If it sounds too good to be true, or seems a little sketchy. It probably is!
AirBnB, Vrbo, and TurnKey are all great options for any duration of time! They come fully furnished with everything you could possibly need and are complete with detailed pictures and reviews. You won’t have to worry about setting up internet or paying bills, since all of this is typically included in the price when you rent. FurnishedFinder also offers short-term housing options specifically for travelers. Check local listings for apartments or condos that rent on a month-to-month basis. If you’ll be living somewhere near a university, students are typically looking for roommates or to sublease their apartments during certain times of the year.
Not all options are furnished, so if you find a great option that isn’t, inquire about whether they have a partner company for furniture rentals. The definition of “furnished” apartments can vary widely (which I’ve learned the hard way). They either come with the bare necessities or are completely decked out. Either way, you should think of it as you are paying to rent these items. If you prefer to furnish your own place to save money, this is doable but takes some extra effort! Thanks to marketplaces such as Facebook, Craigslist, Upcycle, and Letgo, you can get your place all set up for a reasonable price (and maybe help the environment in the meantime!).
There are several great Facebook groups specifically for travelers. The majority of them are nurses looking for someone to take over their current lease, have a place of their own they want to rent out, or simply just need a roommate. These groups are a great way to connect fellow travel nurses who can make for some great housing options.
Other Options to Consider
Craigslist: This can be really hit or miss. If you just so happen to find the right person, in the right place, at the right time, it might work in your favor.
Extended Stays: Some travel nurses prefer extended stays. Most of the time extended stays will offer a discount if you book with them for longer than 30 days! This isn’t always advertised, so be sure to inquire if you’re interested.
Alternative Accommodations: Have you considered a 5th wheel? There are quite a few travel nurses that travel in their RV’s and know all the ins and outs that come with it.
While we haven’t made it quite everywhere yet, we’re giving you the inside scoop on where we have via Trusted City Guides for the must-see’s, do’s, eats, and experiences (Here are our guides to Phoenix and Denver to get you started).
Make a bucket list before moving to each new location. Once you get to your destination, seek out locals who will give you the insider scoop on the real must-do’s. Soak up as much information as you can from your Uber drivers, new neighbors, or fellow nurses at orientation.
Facebook events are great! If you are looking for a particular event, whether it's hot yoga or the next beer festival in your area, check out the events tab on facebook.