Home Study in US [Rent Apartment] How to find a suitable place to live? 6 common steps to rent a place

[Rent Apartment] How to find a suitable place to live? 6 common steps to rent a place

by Jack
Rent Apartment
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Last Modified 2021年12月1日

Rent Apartment? I have lived in the United States for almost three years and moved twice. People around me often face the problem of renting a house in the United States. Whether you just came to New York to study, or moved from another city, or simply want to understand why New Yorkers like to move so much, then you can continue reading. This article is to provide a common process for renting a house, precautions for renting, and how to find a suitable house for you?

When I first came, I thought of these four questions: Where can I live in New York? How is the law and order in each district? How convenient is the transportation in each district? Where can I find an apartment?

The article will introduce the source of the house, find a suitable form for your house, and precautions for renting a house.

Priorities to do when entering the U.S.:

“Visualization Overview” Guide to Study Abroad

  1. Buying air tickets : [U.S. Travel] How do I buy air tickets in the United States? 3 steps to buy cheap air tickets
  2. Report to school
  3. Looking for a long-term rental house :
  4. Open a bank account :
  5. Phone number
    • Temporary sim card : 14 to 30 days temporarily, you can report safety to your family after landing
      • [Recommendation] (people outside US) directly use e-sim card, open online before departure, and use the Internet directly when landing: Mint Telecom
  6. Apply for a credit card (start to accumulate credit records):
  7. My website for studying abroad
    1. [Study in the U.S.] 40 essential websites for studying in the U.S.
    2. [美国求职] #0 A collection of job hunting resources in the United States, 15 must-have websites, 2 books, and 4 PROJECTS
    3. [Money-saving teaching] Rakuten cash back, saving USD500 in teaching a year
  8. U.S. Medical Insurance :
    1. [Study in the US] US study abroad insurance, 4 common insurance types, 5 cost keywords
    2. [Apply for teaching] Student Medicover US medical insurance, how to save $1500 a year? Easy application 5 steps
  9. U.S. stock ETF investment account opening: [Account opening teaching] Firstrade, an American brokerage firm, a 5-minute easy account opening tutorial
  10. Changing your driver’s license: [Study in the US] Taiwan’s driver’s license is exempted from the test and the US driver’s license is easily changed in 33 states

3 groups suitable for reading this article

  • Student: You just got an offer from the school and are going to study, and you have a rent budget. You may share an apartment with other roommates.
  • Freshman working in the United States: I have a rent budget and may share an apartment with other roommates.
  • Curious about US renting information: I want to know how to rent a house in New York and do my homework in advance for the future.

What should I do if I need a credit history when renting a house in the United States?

If you are worried about renting a house in the future, the broker or the landlord needs your credit history. If you want to accumulate credit history earlier, it is recommended that you can apply for a Deserve Edu credit card online.

After applying for the Deserve card, he will provide free real-time FICO score reports, which means that FICO scores will change over time.

How long can I accumulate the first credit report? Ans: You need to hold the card for normal consumption and repayment for 3-6 months.

It is recommended that the earlier you accumulate credit history, the credit history will improve over time (time accounts for 15% of the record score)

For international students who have just landed, how can they start accumulating credit history? The two most common ways,

  • Apply for Deserve Edu (SSN is not required): International students generally do not have an SSN when they first arrive in the United States. Further reading will introduce how to apply.
  • Authorized account : relatives in the United States who have a Credit Card can add you as an authorized account. This is the easiest and fastest way.

Extended reading: [Study Abroad Credit Card] Deserve Edu credit card, no SSN, easy application in 3 steps

6 common steps to rent a house

Rent Apartment
Rent Apartment

1. Browse Listings: 3 common sources of rental information

Below I will introduce three sources of online housing search, and attach the URL, which is suitable for friends in other cities who want to see the housing in advance.

The first one I use the most is the Facebook Club (New York House Fill in the Blank Questions), which was introduced to me by my friend when I was still in Taiwan. , A platform designed for international students that provides a variety of listings. I found my second residence in the above three days. The last one will introduce common home rental websites in the United States.

  • Facebook
  • International Student Forum
  • U.S. rental website
  • Building contact


The advantage of the Facebook community is that the response rate is fast, and you can usually see the relevant information of the contact person. I myself met a lot of very kind contacts and found a place to live quickly. Of course, you should also pay attention to the time of the post. If it is an article that has not been updated for a long time, it is very likely that the tenant has already been found. Happy House Hunting.

New York

Further reading: [New York rentals] Where is the safest in New York? Rent budget? 4 areas where international students in New York live


North Carolina



International Student Forum

Rent Apartment

Posting moves quickly, and the frequency of relocation will increase a lot during the graduation season or the inauguration season. Also because it is a student forum, most of the demanders are students, which also represent future roommates. There is a high chance of being students. If it is a student who wants to find a place to live quickly, it is very suitable to find a place to live on this platform. Inside, you can also choose a good location by region.

U.S. rental website

Rent Apartment

If you haven’t found a place to live, you can also use Airbnb (the first registration and free US55 credit) to find a temporary place. Trulia is the app that my friend recommends when looking for an apartment. The interface is easy to use and can also be set. The pictures of budget, area, commuting time, public security, and housing are also quite clear. The user interfaces of Zillow, Apartment List, and Streeteasy are also quite similar.

If you are looking for a broker to find a house, the broker fee usually falls on the rent of January to February or 10-20% per year

Find Broker knowledge

2. List 6 factors to consider for Rent Apartment

The following is a list of the main factors that I considered when I was looking for a house, because I was a student when I was looking for a house, and the budget was the highest for me.

2.1 Public order

For reference, the article will introduce how to use NeighborhoodScout

2.2 Peripheral functions of life

You can use google map and Yelp to find out what restaurants, supermarkets, gyms, libraries, parks, laundry shops, and cafes are nearby.

Rent Apartment

There is a drop-down field on the left side of Google Map, where you can search for restaurants, restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, and businesses that need a variety of life functions.

Rent Apartment

2.3 Traffic convenience

If you first use google map, mark the place to go to work or school, to estimate the commuting time and method. In New York, you may consider the distance from the subway and bus stops, and whether the subway is Express or not. If you are a driving friend, you can pay attention to whether you can park near your residence.

2.4 Housing function

  • rent
  • toilet
  • furniture
  • public space
  • Eat, drink and have fun around

2.5 Rental budget

The budget for renting a house is very positively related to the location. Of course, the above-mentioned comprehensive conditions will be designed. At the same time, it must also consider whether the rent includes water, electricity, heating, internet costs or building management fees. At that time, don’t forget to include these in your budget.

Extended reading: [American Life] Purchase of American furniture, 3 sources of furniture purchase, 10 commonly used furniture

Useful website: Renthop, you can search for historical average rents in big cities.

2.6 Roommate

If you are renting together, you will have roommates living with you. Living habits, work and rest will affect the quality of life, and it is recommended to find friends and roommates who have similar work and rest and have similar habits. These include: activity time (time to and from get off work, time to and from school), hygiene habits, frequency and time of cooking, bathing time, pets, smoking, drinking, and often taking friends home for a party.

3. Contact the rental office or landlord

By talking to the landlord, the landlord introduces the house, and can also understand whether the landlord is easy to get along with, and what to do if something breaks down in the house, and introduce it to some life weeks.

4. Physical or online viewing

It is strongly recommended that you must go to the residence. If you have not yet entered the United States, you can also use video to understand your residence. After all, it is possible to sign a contract for more than one year.

5. Sign or pay the deposit

When signing a contract, remember to understand

  • Lease time
  • Early cancellation clause
  • Water grid
  • Security deposit

6. (Optional) Purchase house insurance

In some buildings, after signing the contract, you will need to buy Renter Insurance, which is not expensive every month. According to different Zip Code, the price of each area will be slightly different, but the average price is US 10-15 per month.

8 common keywords for rental housing types

Rent Apartment

When looking for a house, there may be some room types and the availability of bathroom facilities and kitchens. Here are eight common keywords and their meanings. To help you understand the meaning of keywords, as well as the attached equipment and room types when viewing the house.

  1. House : Two to three-story independent houses
  2. Traditional : No living room
  3. Suite : Suite (with bathroom)
    1. Shared Suite: two or more people live in the same suite
    2. 2 Room Suite: Two bedrooms, sharing one bathroom equipment
  4. Studio : Suite (with bathroom, kitchen)
    1. Two or more people live in the same Studio
  5. Apartment : Shared living room, kitchen
  6. 1, 2, 3 bedroom : 1, 2, 3 bedroom Apartment
  7. Converted Room : compartment
  8. Furnished : Furnished

Practical table: find 4 common indicators for your house

When you choose a house on the Internet, you can sequence the factors that you will consider. Usually, you go to school or work during the day, and you usually take a break at noon or get off work to contact the landlord. I sorted out the forms I used before, which can help you sort by your needs and track the progress of each rental.

I have prioritized first. The main considerations are traffic factors and the house. When I was looking for a house, I used the budget of US600-900 with Brooklyn and New Jersey to search and choose the one I wanted. Rent, and based on the results of this condition, sort: transportation time> rent.

House AHouse BHouse C
NewsPost time
House link
Landlord Email/Phone
Water, electricity, internet fee5050
Housing functionfurnitureDoes not containContain
Toilet (separate/shared)ShareShare
Law and orderPublic security nearbySafetySafety
transportationDistance (company/school)30 minutes40 minutes
SummarizeadvantageNear to workCheap rent
Rent Apartment

Extended reading: [American Life] Purchase of American furniture, 3 sources of furniture purchase, 10 commonly used furniture

4 things to note when Rent Apartment

1. Credit history check

Most apartments, rented through Broker or through US rental websites, may require SSN surveys, but most of them are Chinese landlords who don’t need them, or school dormitories, you can sign a contract.

Further reading: If you want to accumulate credit records, you can refer to my article, [Study in the US] Can international students also apply for credit cards? 4 credit cards suitable for international students

2. House repair problems

If you are renting an apartment, generally speaking, the apartment will have a special repair department that will handle it, but you must confirm it before renting the house. When the house is in normal use, something is broken (heating, air-conditioning, kitchen utensils). How to deal with it. If you are a friend who has signed a contract with the landlord, you should also ask at the time of the contract that if something breaks down in the house, which part you have to deal with, and which landlord will help you deal with it.

3. Length of rent contract

If the job is stable, it is recommended to sign a contract for one year to one and a half years.

Sign up1. There is legal protection
2. During the contract period, you can ensure that there is a place to stay
1. The appointment date is up, you may be faced with finding the next place
Don’t sign1. Relative flexibility
2. Before moving, talk to the landlord in advance
1. If the landlord suddenly wants to take back the house, he must find the next place immediately
Rent Apartment

In the first two years of my arrival in New York, I didn’t sign a contract with the landlord. It’s good to pay the rent on time. The landlords are also very nice and enthusiastic, and sometimes they give us food, but in the second year, the landlord’s relatives If you need to come and live, tell us that you need to move out, and you will be faced with unexpected situations where you need to move. But the landlord informed me one and a half months in advance, so the time is quite abundant.

I am currently living in a house, a Chinese landlord, but I have signed a contract, but I can continue to sign if I want to live. In short, I have experienced signing and not signing.

4. Issues related to lease renewal and rent refund

When choosing to move or quit the rent, how to deduct the deposit, how to return it to you, and if the contract is terminated early, what compensation is required and how much will be paid.

Practical rental related websites

Law and order and rent

1. NeighborhoodScout

Applicable area: all over the United States

This is an American data-oriented website that visualizes the safety, prices, and housing prices of various regions. It is very suitable for finding places to stay and understanding the objective conditions of surrounding communities.

It is very easy to use, just lay down the area to be searched in the Search Bar.

Note: The free version can only search for Brough-level areas, such as Brooklyn and Queens. If you want a detailed report of the neighbor level (the Upper East Side of Manhattan), you need a paid version.

Rent Apartment

2.NYC Crime Map

Applicable area: New York

NYC Crime Map is based on the information published by the government on the New York Open Data platform. The visual map published by the New York Police Department website can adjust the date, map type, crime type, and further download the information.

The drop-down menu on the right provides different options

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3. Historical rent

Housing prices in the United States are public, so you can find historical rents and housing prices on the Internet. Renthop is a website that collects historical rents in different cities.

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