USA: apartment and renting

Parent Category: ROOT Published: Friday, 17 September 2021 Print
Apartments - USA

How to rent an apartment in the USA

Residents of the United States most often rent apartments (houses). It is so customary - to rent a house and often move to another area, city, and even state, if, for example, a good job was offered there. Another feature of the American “housing sector” is living with roommates.

In large cities, the rental price is very high, and often students and young people without a family prefer this type of residence. In New York, for example, almost every third tenant shares an apartment with other rooms.

Housing in America is different and differs in type, layout, and footage. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a large studio with an alcove and an erected partition from a one-bedroom apartment. What is hidden behind common names?

 

The main types of housing in the United States

  • Rooms (in a house or apartment). The most budget option, which is great for students, for example, or for the first time. Usually rented by private individuals.
  • Studio (studio) - this is the smallest version of the apartment, although there are studios of 100 meters or more. Here the living room and bedroom are combined into one whole. The kitchen can be either combined with this single room or be separate.
  • Apartments - located in apartment complexes owned by the management company. Often there are several additional amenities here, such as a gym, swimming pool, lounge area (including the rooftop), etc. The more amenities, the more expensive the rent. But any everyday troubles and breakdowns are the concern of management, not yours.
  • A condo is an apartment in an apartment building - the same apartment, only each condo has a private owner, and the entire complex is jointly owned by the owners. Condos are cheaper. With everyday problems, you will need to contact the owner.
  • House. For example, a single-family home is a detached house that does not have common walls with the neighboring building. One dwelling for one family. The sizes and types of houses can vary greatly from one another. There is usually a backyard.
  • Multi-unit house - a house with several apartments, but with one owner. Each apartment consists of a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and also has its separate heating and power supply (and very often a separate entrance and even a separate garage).
  • A townhouse/townhome is a hybrid of a house and an apartment, sometimes a bunk apartment. This is a building that has at least one adjacent wall to an adjacent building (usually the same). The construction of the townhouse resembles a separate single-family house, sometimes there is a small private garden (backyard). Often, townhouses are united by a common management association, which collects a fee from the owners and then pays some of the costs (building insurance, lawn mowing, cleaning, and garbage collection).
  • Ground floor unit (basement unit) - Usually in America, the first residential floor is slightly raised on the ground, and under the first floor, there is a laundry room, storage rooms, bicycles, etc. Sometimes this lower level of the building is occupied by residential apartments - ground floor apartments (basement unit). It can be an apartment, the floor level of which is at ground level, or it can be “sunk” into the ground quite deep (the windows in this apartment will be under the ceiling). These apartments are in less demand, but they are much cheaper than other apartments in the building. Typical American townhouse.

 

However, those who have just arrived in America and are looking for their first home have many questions about this, and renting an apartment immediately for a long time may not be so easy for “newbies”. Finding housing takes time. But if there are no hospitable relatives “in stock” who are ready to settle you for the first time (while you calmly look for suitable housing), then there are not so many options left. Of course, you can immediately pay six months in advance, but not everyone can afford it. Besides, short-term rentals are not very common in the United States, so finding housing for a few weeks or a couple of months is not easy.

 

Where to look for housing

  • Airbnb is the premier short-term apartment search tool. However, you need to be careful when using it, since many associations of residential complexes in the United States do not allow renting apartments for less than six months - as a result, there are cases when people are evicted from apartments, for example, at the complaint of neighbors.
  • Craigslist is one of the oldest and most popular classifieds in the US, and you can try to find short-term rentals with it, but there are a lot of scams and you need to be very careful.
  • Zillow or Trulia and local communities on Facebook.
  • GoMLS Miami (for Miami) and other local real estate databases.
  • Booking.com - short-term hotel rentals. Apartments.com: Apartments and Homes for Rent - you can find very good options.
  • Google Maps - Many of our readers have recommended this resource. 
  • Live with friends or relatives.
  • Value Place - in the process of searching for an apartment, you can stay in the so-called extended stay hotels.

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