Saturday, October 10, 2009

Introduction - Finding Accommodations/Housing in the United States

Finding accommodation at a reasonable price in the U.S.A. may be difficult in some areas. This section gives you information about the American housing market, and give you some tips to help you in your quest.

In most of the U.S. there are no problem finding accommodations. However, in some cities like New York, the demand is high and rents can be very expensive.

Most Americans live in houses, apartments or condominiums (a flat in a development with common areas such as pool or gardens). Compared with Europeans, Americans move much, and it is normal to move 500 km or someone to drop everything and move to the East Coast to the West. This implies that there is much movement in the housing market.

Prices, both for rent and to buy, are determined by the size of the dwelling, which is measured in "square feet" (square feet, to convert to square meters by multiplying the number 0.3048).

The number of rooms that appear in the ad include bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. The kitchen and bathrooms are not included in the number of rooms, but know in advance because some owners may be very creative when counting. The studios have several names: studio, bachelor, or efficiency, and most include a separate kitchen or kitchenette, and bathroom.

Generally, the higher floors of a block of flats are usually more expensive. You pay for cleaner air, more light, less noise from the street and, sometimes, a good view.

In the U.S., you can rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment. More often than not it is unfurnished, but often come with kitchen, refrigerator, air conditioning (in the south) and, sometimes, dishwasher. The furnished apartments usually come only with the essentials, like basic furnishings and plain light bulbs, curtains and kitchen basics. Some apartments have no central hot water, so you must check if you have to install a heater.

Most residential blocks built before the 1950's have a common laundry with washers and dryers. The modern apartments often come with washer and dryer.

The Housing Market - Is It Difficult To Find Housing/Accommodations?

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