Finding Housing as a Travel Nurse
Finding housing as a travel nurse can be a real challenge. While some travel nursing agencies provide housing, others supply nurses with a stipend to cover housing costs. The stipend amount often depends on location, assignment, and company.
When nurses don’t use their entire stipend for housing, they can consider the leftover money as extra income. In this article, we will walk you through the process of securing high-quality housing as a travel nurse.
DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
Before you start your search, you should write down a list of your needs. Consider things like proximity to work, access to appliances, security, and parking. Not all housing options offer premium amenities, so you should determine what things are a priority to you in your search.
Travel nurses often need to find housing for 13 weeks, although they can have contracts as short as 4 weeks or as long as 24 weeks. These shorter timeframes may make it difficult to secure a rental since most landlords are looking for tenants willing to sign a 6 and 12-month lease.
SPOTTING & DODGING SCAMS
Housing scams are common online through sites like Craigslist, Facebook, and even Airbnb. It’s important to learn how to spot scams so you can most effectively avoid falling prey to them.
It might be a housing scam if any of the following are true:
The prices are low or “too good to be true.” Scammers use very low prices to lure in their victims. If the price is much lower than the market price, take a closer look to ensure you’re not getting scammed.
The property manager cannot be contacted easily. If the listing can’t or won’t provide a phone number, that should be a red flag to you. Providing a Google Voice number or a number with an area code that doesn’t match the area code of the property can also be warning signs that something isn’t right.
The property manager refuses to meet in person at the property. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to meet in person, either. However, asking to meet in person is a good way to ferret out scammers.
The listing contains poor grammar or alternative spellings. If the listing has poor grammar or uses British English spellings, it may be a sign that the property is managed from outside the country. Since many of these scams come from outside the US, this is a major red flag.
The listing contains sob stories, emotional appeals, or extreme urgency. All these things are used to make you act without fully vetting the seller.
They ask you to wire money. Wired money, whether through a bank or a peer-to-peer money app like Venmo, cannot be refunded.
You can avoid these scams by staying in a hotel, using Airbnb, or using a trusted corporate housing company. Find as much information as you can about a property or company before making your reservations. This may save you money and stress down the road.
HOTELS AND MOTELS
One option for housing is to stay in hotels and motels. This can be a good option if you’re only staying for a short time or if you need housing until a longer-term solution is available.
Hotels and motels can be very costly, so they should only be used as a last resort. If you must stay in a hotel or motel, talk to the manager to find out about better rates for extended stays.
EXTENDED STAY HOTELS
Extended stay hotels are hotel rooms that include a kitchenette. Because some hotels label themselves as extended stay hotels without having a kitchenette, it’s important to ask about all amenities. If you need a coffee maker, microwave, oven, fridge, or any other amenity, find out in advance whether they’re included.
These hotels can be a good option because they don’t require a lease and are often less expensive than regular hotels. Because the amenities are included in the price, you’ll have a pretty good idea of your costs in advance. Use coupons or negotiate for a better rate if you need to stay in an extended stay hotel.
One major drawback to extended stay hotels is that many of them are in less desirable areas far from work, shopping, and other services. They also often fail to have all the amenities you may need, forcing you to pay extra for things like laundry.
APARTMENT AND HOUSE RENTALS
Apartments and house rentals can be affordable options. However, changes in travel plans and short stays may lead to unnecessary costs. Even when landlords are willing to rent on a month-to-month basis, the security deposits can add up quickly and take a long time to get refunded.
It is equally important to clarify whether the property is private or not. Many times listings claim "private entrance" or "private room" when the "room" you are renting is part of an occupied house - not private in the least bit.
Additionally, most rentals come unfurnished. This means you need to either transport or purchase basic necessities like beds, bedding, furniture, dishes, and more. The costs of furnishing each short-term rental can end up costly a significant amount.
Corporate housing offers fully furnished apartments for short-term housing needs. This option allows you to book a reservation for a fully private apartment and move in without needing to worry about furniture. The proximity to hospitals, good communities, and better rates make this an amazing option for travel nurses.
While the amenities differ between companies, the amenities included at 5R Suites include a fully equipped kitchen, available parking, air conditioning and heating, TV, streaming services, Wi-Fi, fresh linens, luxury bath amenities, in-unit washer and dryer. They also have housekeeping and concierge services available to their guests.
Not only do these apartments cover your basic needs, but they create a home away from home for you to enjoy in your downtime.
One of the benefits of working as a travel nurse is the opportunity to explore new cities. Corporate housing offers housing in safe and convenient neighborhoods near shopping, restaurants, and other businesses.
This is a great option, especially if you’re traveling with a spouse or partner. When you factor in the value of the included amenities, corporate housing provides an exceptional option for your housing stipend.
To find out more about our corporate housing options, click here.
What else is important to consider when looking for housing? Let us know in the comments below! ⬇️