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Understanding Travel Nurse Housing & Avoiding Scams

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Are you a travel nurse or thinking about travel nursing? If you are, one of the big concerns that may come to mind is understanding and finding travel nurse housing on assignments.

Housing can be one of the more confusing and hard parts of travel nursing. Meanwhile, you don’t want to get scammed out of money while dealing with people over the internet. I’ve been a traveling healthcare professional since 2010 and have learned the ins and outs of finding housing.

Here’s a breakdown for understanding travel nurse housing and how to avoid the most common scams.

Have Your Agency Find You Travel Nurse Housing, Or You Can Find It

To start talking about travel nurse housing, we need to first talk about who finds you the housing. You can get housing 1 of 2 ways. Either you, the traveler, can collect a housing stipend and find housing yourself. Or, your agency can keep the money from the stipend and they will coordinate and secure housing for you. Here are some pros of you finding travel nurse housing versus your agency finding it.

Pros To Having Your Agency Find You Travel Nurse Housing

  • Less work for you
  • Don’t have to sign a lease
  • Landlords won’t run credit checks on you
  • You don’t have to pay deposits

Pros To Finding Your Own Housing

  • You get to collect a tax free housing stipend and use it as you want to
  • Choice of what type of unit you live in and where you live
  • Because you’re collecting a housing stipend, you may end up making more money over the course of your assignment

Looking at the pro lists, you might be wondering why anybody would find housing themselves. It seems easier to just have your agency find it for you. That’s where things get tricky.

Let’s think about it this way.

Say a housing stipend is $3000 per month and your unit is only $1800 per month.

If YOU kept the stipend and found your own housing, you would get to keep the remainder $1200 per month.

If YOUR AGENCY found you housing, they could keep the extra $1200 per month of unused money.

This is why many travelers end up taking the housing stipend and finding their own housing. While it’s harder and comes with slightly more risk, it often comes with a higher monetary reward at the end.

If finding your own travel nurse housing is for you, then here are some websites and recommendations on how to find housing and avoid scams.

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Top Places to Find Travel Nurse Housing

  • Furnished Finder
  • Airbnb
  • Landing
  • Extended Stay Hotels

Furnished Finder

Have you heard of Furnished Finder? It is an online platform for mid-term rentals that cater to travel nurses, traveling professionals, and people interested in furnished units for a few months. Furnished Finder is the gold standard of travel nurse housing and where most of the travelers I know go to find housing for assignments, including myself.

Furnished Finder is a search platform and not a booking platform. So, none of the actual booking, contract, or monetary transactions are done over Furnished Finder. They are done directly with the landlord.

You Can Use Furnished Finder 1 of 2 Ways:

  • Search for properties in the area that you’re interested in. You can reach out to landlords over the website.
  • Place an “in search of housing” listing for yourself. You list all of the details of your assignment and landlords can contact you directly if they are interested in hosting you. This is primarily how I’ve used Furnished Finder and found it to be very successful.

Read my Furnished Finder Review here.

Airbnb

When you think of Airbnb you probably think of vacation rentals. And for good reason. Airbnb is synonymous with short-term vacation rentals.

However, there are landlords who list their units on Airbnb that prefer to do month-long rentals or longer and like renting to travelers.

If you change the search criteria on Airbnb to 13 weeks, you will find available properties. Unlike Furnished Finder, all of the booking, agreements, and money transactions are done over the Airbnb platform. I personally like this added layer of security between you and a landlord. However, that often comes with higher prices on Airbnb.

Extended Stay Hotels

A hotel is a great option for travel nurse housing. Many hotel brands have extended stay brands. These hotels are more of a studio apartment or 1-bedroom than a hotel room. They come with kitchenettes, washer/dryers in the hotel common spaces, and other amenities to make you feel comfortable at home.

Extended Stay America is a hotel brand that works closely with travel nurses and offers discounts on longer stays. Readers of this blog get access to special promotional codes that can save up to 40% off stays of 30+ days or more. For current promotional codes, please read this blog: Extended Stay America Promo Codes.

Landing

Landing is a housing website with a subscription model. They have a network of apartments in over 300 cities across the U.S. which have flexible, short-term leases. If you plan to work in urban areas, a Landing subscription can be a great way to move around from city to city and have great apartments.

They don’t have application fees or deposits and you can transfer to any unit in their network with a 2-week notice if you are a member ($199/year fee).

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How To Avoid Travel Nurse Housing Scams

Travel nurses seeking housing are a target for scammers. We are on a deadline, not in the city where we are looking for housing, and may not know anybody or anything about the city we are moving to.

Thus, scammers try to seduce travel nurses into sending them security deposits for units sight unseen. Once you send the money, they ghost you, never to be seen or heard from again.

Some tips for avoiding travel nurse housing scams:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Grammatical and spelling errors in communications – scammers are often from outside of the US
  • Getting messages at weird times of day – like the middle of the night
  • Avoid forums that have unverified landlords, like Facebook Groups
  • It might be a scam if the landlord is super pushy to get your deposit and makes it sound like there’s a lot of competition for the unit
  • Wait until your in the city you are working in to find housing so you can view the unit
  • Again, avoid Facebook Groups and Marketplace. Those sites are swarmed with fake listing and fake landlords.

Will I Be Able to Find Travel Nurse Housing With My Pet?

The simple answer is yes. There are many units, hotels, and landlords that allow pets. When you search for housing on any of the platforms, you can filter for pet-friendly units.

Personally, I’ve found that some states and areas are more pet-friendly than others. I always think it’s worthwhile to research housing in the area that you want to go to before you apply for a contract and see what the availability of pet-friendly housing is.

If you have multiple pets, you may want to consider traveling in an RV. RVs are nice because they give your pet a sense of stability and you don’t have to worry about finding housing for your pets. RV parks tend to be pet-friendly which is a great plus!

Conclusions

Finding housing on travel nurse assignments can be a challenge. If you choose to find housing on your own, there are many verified housing websites and hotels that accept travelers. You got this!

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