Is Finding a Place to Live via Craigslist a Good Idea?

For this article, I’m writing about finding a room to rent via Craigslist. I’ve found living accommodations via Craigslist a few times in my life. For this post, I’ll go through the process of how to find a room and any mishaps that may happen to you along the way.

 

Why Use Craigslist?

The main reason is because it’s the most used tool available for finding a room. Also, Craigslist is an easy-to-use free site.

 

What’s It like to Find a Place to Live via Craigslist?

A few years ago, I needed a new place to stay. After researching, I found the cheapest way to live would e to rent a room from someone off Craigslist. I would aimed to receive free reign of the house. Basically, I’d have the homey life of living in a house for a fraction of the cost. Sounded good to me.

I opened up Craigslist for my city and began searching. I went to housing available for rent (I didn’t narrow it down from that). I also set my max price. Then I began searching. Each day I would search. I would email or call potential landlords. I’ve found rooms via Craigslist twice and both times it took me about a month of searching to find an acceptable room at an acceptable price.

After calling/emailing the landlord a number of times, I would set an on-site meeting. I did a handful of these. Basically, the person judges you and you judge the person and their house. Questions to ask:

  • Which would be my room?
  • How often do you have guests over?
  • What about household chores?
  • Where would I park?

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  • How often could I have friends over?
  • What’s the kitchen situation like? Would we keep all food separate?
  • Are there ways I could do extra chores to reduce my rent?
  • What’s your daily schedule like?
  • How would you like to be paid?
  • Do you have pets?

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  • How long could I potentially stay?
  • When could I move in?
  • Are there other roommates?
  • Have you had roommates before?
  • Why are you renting out this space in your house?
  • (If sharing a bathroom) When would you want the bathroom in the morning/evening?
  • Do you eat at home much? Would we get in each other’s way in the kitchen?
  • Is there places for storage within the house/garage?
  • What are your questions for me
  • Do I need to bring my own dishes?

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Once you’ve been on-site and asked all these questions, you have a great idea of where you want to live. Is this the right place or should you move on to another? I know it’s a cliché but trust your gut instinct. If a house or its owner doesn’t feel quite right – leave! I never found myself in an awkward situation, though. You get a pretty accurate read on a person just by emailing and talking on the phone.

I used this Craigslist approach for finding a room to rent and scored one for only $275 per month – including HOA, cleaning lady, and garage! It’s pretty silly not to at least give this method a try!

 

Will

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