HOW TO LOOK FOR ACCOMMODATION ON CRAIGSLIST
Craigslist in the US is very similar to Halo Ads in Serbia. On the website you can find all sorts of things, anything you can possibly imagine. Here we will focus only on shared rooms. So let’s start from the Craiglist’s homepage.
First thing you should do is choose a city in which you want to search for rooms. We decided to go for Boston.
By choosing a city a new page with a bunch of links pops up, but DO NOT PANIC, we highlighted what you will need, and that are rooms/shared.
When you click the link rooms/shared, you get a new window in which you have to define your search.
On the left you can choose some tags- you only want to see the results that have photographs, a little lower you can choose price range. Let’s say, you want a private room with a bathroom. You get the gist.
You can see that the results are a little bit all over the place here location-wise, so in the upper search bar you can define the part of the city which you want to search for. There you have to do a little bit of work before the next step- you have to get informed about which cities are safe, good for living, well-connected with other locations in the city, etc.
Depending on your location choice, you can get different results. On this concrete example, Dorchester in Boston does not stand for a safe neighborhood (South), therefore there are much more offers there than in other parts of the city. Cambridge is a student part of the city and the demand is very high since there is only one result when we limit the price range up to $500. As a third example, we chose East Boston, the part of the city which is for no particular reason underrated, but is certainly becoming more and more popular. There we raised the price range to $700 and got some more interesting results. We chose one of them.
On the last page you can see the more detailed accommodation description, very often with many more photographs. Sometimes a map is included, sometimes it is not. If you want to see the accommodation in person then you should click the REPLY button in the upper left corner, and it will show you the options of getting into contact with the person who submitted the ad. Contact can sometimes be included in the accommodation description.
You should be aware of the following- the variety of accommodation depends on the season. Summer months can be more interesting, especially in student cities like Boston, because a lot of young people are migrating to other parts of the state or going back home. In articles to come, we will try to explain some other ways for searching for the accommodation, but for now, Craigslist is number one search engine.
IMPORTANT RULES YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
Deal locally, FACE-TO-FACE — follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts!
- Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
- Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.
- Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
- Don’t accept cashier/certified checks or money orders – banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
- Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”.
- Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).
- Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.
- Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
Jan 8, 2017