I moved out of my parents house officially for the first time in June. Come July my three dude-mates went through my things and stole $200 of me. I met those guys on Craigslist. I moved out in a week and hustled on Craigslist to find apartment number two, which truly turned out to be my dream apartment with three lovely young ladies. I really lucked out. A co-worker here was apartment hunting on Craigslist and when she showed up to the place she was held up and robbed.
I am not saying don’t use Craigslist, I am saying if you don’t have to don’t use Craigslist because relying on the integrity of strangers is unfortunately not safe or secure. I talked to some other folks I know about how they got their places, rooms and apartments and surprisingly there are plenty of other channels to go through for finding a nice place where you feel safe.
Ask Everyone You Know
Seriously, every single person. Post on Facebook, Twitter, any social media you have, ask, ask, ask around! This is the most effective way of getting a great deal and finding a reliable source. People on Facebook are always looking for roommates, subleters or may just have good tips. Go to your University class’ Facebook page and post there that you’re looking for a place, you’d be surprised at how many of your peers are looking to share housing.
The Rule Of Three
One bedrooms are pricey, two bedrooms are up there, once you get to three roommates or more the rent of an apartment per person will begin to drop. If you can find two friends willing to go in with you then you can skip Craigslist room hunting and use a broker to actually find you a shiny new, uninhabited apartment. You may get charged a broker fee but since there are three or more it will be a lot less pricey.
Use Online Resources
Looking To Just Rent A Room? Use Crashpad or Similar Sites
Crashpad is a social networking site where you create a profile and post your monthly budget. Those seeking roommates post ads for their places. This is far more reliable than Craigslist because you both get to see and learn a bit of information about each other before moving forward. Crashpad also vets its users so there’s a much lower chance for creepers. The site, like OKCupid or E-Harmony, will actually make recommendations based on your profile so that you get matched with super cool roomies you actually like and get a long with. No messy folks and clean people drama again! Some similar sites are Roomster.net and Roommates.com.
Talk To Your College or Student Life Advisor
Many colleges provide off-campus housing or have databases of places that typically rent out to students. Since it’s their job many times they’ll have excellent resources that you’d probably didn’t even think of.
ULoop is a resource designed specifically for college students. It connects you with home and apartment renters who have signed up for the sole purpose of renting their spaces out to college students. It can also assist you in finding jobs, internships and cheap textbooks.
Find Community Boards and Classifieds
It may be old school but reading the classifieds section can be a great resource especially since nobody else is really looking there so your competition is limited. Most coffee shops have community pin boards where locals will post roommate wanted ads and fliers. Hey, it’s worth a shot, you never know where you’re going to find that hidden gem of a loft space.
[Image via. Shutter Stock / haveseen ]