Help- Finding Housing Been Challenging

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    Hi Everybody! I am a new travel nurse and I just got my first assignment!!! I feeling so excited, yet terrified. I will be working day shift in the ICU at St. Thomas near Nashville, TN.

    Finding housing is proving to be VERY challenging. I'm looking for a room to rent and I've messaged a ton on people on Craigslist and Roomster and have heard back from maybe 2 of them. I have already had some contact with "Craiglist weirdos" which has made me question the whole Craiglist thing.The other issue is people do not want to rent out a place for only 13 weeks. I would like my own apartment, space wise, but really want to do the travel thing in an economic way, as I will still be paying my mortgage back home.

    If I were to find a short term apartment, I would have to pay to rent furniture, which is just a further expense. The thought of paying $800/month for an Extended Stay hotel is totally depressing to me.

    What does everyone else do? How do you find safe, affordable housing? What do you see as a realistic expectation of what you are going to spend on housing in this day and age in a city?

    Thank you for any and all replies!
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Have you posted your own ad on Craigslist? When I do, I get choices that are never advertised. Just say what you need and be sure to mention you are a travel nurse and where you are working (same deal when responding to ads). It is always a big plus since everyone knows we will be able to pay and it is a very well respected profession at a known local hospital. That is very different from people who advertising their own housing knowing they will get a lot of bottom feeders.

    Some people have luck with AirBnB or VRBO. Mostly those are too expensive for my taste, and not geared for monthly rentals. I did use AirBnB quite successfully in Europe recently, but no more than a week at a time.
    nonnahs and dance4life like this.
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    Thank you, Ned. Always appreciate your responses
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    I actually did post my own ad looking for housing and what I wanted to pay on Craigslist and have gotten more responses than responding to ads (so weird). I know you keep your budget low when you do traveling, I think I read you keep it at around $800? How much do you think is reasonable to expect to spend for something that is livable? I am not looking for something fancy.
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    I don't really have a budget, but it is very rare for me to pay over $800. I always look at the local market and try to get good value based on that market. I've never found extended stays very inviting or good value. They start at $800 and nice ones can be $3,000 or more. The cheap ones are noisy. Maybe some day. Frankly I'd prefer a run down 50s motel with a kitchenette over an extended stay and occasionally try negotiating for one but I've always ended up finding something better. Clearly my tastes are more eclectic that the average traveler, but I prefer character (in roommates too) over luxury, and not throwing money away. Sometimes something spectacular comes along at prices I'd pay for something mundane and those end up being memorable.

    Try looking at local property managers. More hassle than an owner who manages their own property, but I've had luck there when Craigslist lets me down. Recently I got a great rental that was a house getting through the estate process before selling - which cannot be rented long term. Most will have online listings with addresses you can Google and often even look at via Streetview before you go. They will have to check with the owner in most cases to get approval for a short term rental, but often it is a yes, again because they will know it is a travel nurse.

    If you can afford to motel it, or AirBnB it for a few days, you may meet a traveler in orientation with a two bedroom who will want to share. Often hospitals have bulletin boards with housing. It is stressful no matter what until you get settled into a new place.

    Also ask your agency what they would do if they were providing housing and look at that. Travelers Haven and Med Temp Housing both specialize in short term medical housing and a lot of agencies use their services. They are happy to deal directly with travelers but I've never tried them.
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    Ned, thank you so much! You are awesome. All great info I will have to chew on.

    Some things have started to come through with me posting my own ad on Craigslist ad (interesting). An RN who works at a local hospital in Nashville contacted me and has a room to rent and another local couple, who say they have a big house. I just hope I don't get murdered from an ad on Craigslist (lol).

    This whole travel thing is about getting out of my comfort zone and I know it may take some time to figure it all out. I'm not sure if I'm a "rent a room" kinda girl, but I'm going to give it a try.
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    There is always take agency supplied housing.
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    *VRBO* is THE way to go! Disregard the stated price and make the owners an offer- when they see you need an extended place, and are a nurse, you will be suprised at what you can find. More so if the local area is 'out of season'. But be sure to search only for owner managed places- the realtors that manage some of those rentals won't even tell the owners about low-ball offers because it affects their commissions. I've stayed in places for $650/month (furnished, and all inclusive including HSI, cable, and utilities) that listed a per WEEK charge of $650. Another tip is to search for owners that have multiple properties- they are typically loaded (as in filthy rich), and really don't care how much they get from their properties. It's more of a hobby for them.
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    Nashville Vacation Rental - VRBO 3475203ha - 2 BR Middle Apartment in TN, Beautiful, Upscale, Apartment in West End Here you go- their calendar is empty after February. I bet if you offer $800/month for 13 weeks they'll go for it. If not, there are over 100 others.

    -The King of Cheap

    BTW- forget Craigslist, it's 99% nonsense, and you are also risking your safety. That site lost it's relevance years ago.
    ASHRN828 likes this.
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    Aside from VRBO, Priceline will do in a pinch before you get your gonga deal from VRBO. I have officially cracked 'the code' of Priceline bidding, and have stayed in countless posh hotels for almost nothing, including now ($25/night, high-rise, majestic mountain and city views, and am treated like royalty, to include a free ugraded room). I also prefer the eclectic, and the nitty-gritty experience, but that should cost LE$$, not MORE.

    -The King of Cheap


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