4 Best Accommodation Platforms to Find Your Home On A Budget in the United States

If you are an international seeking a home abroad on a budget, you have come to the right place. Searching for an accommodation in a foreign country like the United States can be overwhelming at times especially if you do not know where to start.

Student housing is not always affordable and there are a lot of options available that students get to know about only after moving to the States. Whether you are searching for a studio apartment, a one bedroom, or a temporary space, these platforms can help you narrow down your options and better understand what you are actually looking for.


1. Zillow

The company was founded in 2006 and it is largely used for the real estate market in the United States as it features a variety of properties serving to buy, sell, rent, finance, and much more.

The great feature about this tool is that it lets you filter the available options based on your preferences when it comes to price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the home type (whether you are looking for an apartment, a townhouse, a house or a condo), and any amenities you may need. Some amenities, for example, include the pool, gym, parking, etc.

If you are interested in a specific place, you can also schedule an in-person or virtual tour to take a look at the property with the designated agent or landlord.

2. Apartments.com

Apartments.com works similarly. It shows available properties in the area based on the location you put in and filters the options that would work best for you. It features photos and videos of the properties and lists all the information on what is included. Always make sure to ask questions on what bills are included in the price as they might have not mentioned all the details on the website. On Apartments.com, you can also request a tour with the listing contact or send a message to obtain more information about the property.

Beware that the property might not look as is in the pictures. Make sure to tour the property before signing the lease or making a final decision.

3. Airbnb

Going on vacation? YES to Airbnb for your limited-time stay.

Moving abroad for some time? Also YES to Airbnb!

The company does not only offer short-term rentals, but it has been largely focusing on long-term services as well. They are affordable, especially if you are enrolled into a university program as, in that case, they might offer discounted rates for students looking for long-term stays. Most of their spaces are cozy and more customized than the traditional looking student dorms or regular unfurnished apartments to rent.

Also, some Airbnb hosts decide to rent only to international students and target them in their postings. Once you input your location of interest in the app or website, it asks you what type of options you are looking for: a place to stay (homes, rooms, apartments, etc), a monthly stay (same concept but longer stay), or experiences in the area. You can then select the dates and it shows the properties available. You may filter them by multiple criteria, such as price range, amenities, and type of place. Make sure to take a look at the reviews for each rental — some of them have what they call a Superhost making the stay more appealing as they take care of their properties and communicate with their clients if anything is needed. In some cases, they also provide instructions or additional information on things to do or how to reach certain places in the area.

4. Facebook Groups

If you are not on Facebook, we definitely recommend creating an account. There are plenty of groups where internationals post about any available room(s), apartment(s), and much more in the area of your interest.

Let’s assume that you are thinking of moving to Boston and you found a Facebook group called Boston Housing that has a decent amount of followers with daily/weekly postings, you can request to get admitted to it and post about yourself and what you are looking for.

For example, a sample post would be:

“Hello, my name is Mary, and I am an international student planning to move to Boston in January 2022. I am looking to move into a studio apartment within a $800 budget for 1+ year(s). Please let me know if you know of any availability in the area. Thank you.”

Facebook groups are also a great way to connect with people in the area and make new friends. If you are looking for a room, you may even find somebody willing to move into the same property with you from one of the groups you signed up to. Needless to say to do your due diligence before making any decision.