Tips for Finding a Good Place to Live in Vancouver
You've decided to study in Vancouver! That's great - but finding a place to live in the city can seem like a huge challenge...Here are a few simple tips to make the search a little easier!
Connect with Housing Groups and Friends on Facebook
Connecting with those with similar lifestyles and interests via Facebook is one of the best ways to find a room-mate or place to stay. Your friends will likely have the best inside knowledge of what areas of the city are suitable - and which areas to avoid. Post a status message letting your friends know you are looking for a place to stay - teaming up makes things easier! Friends may also know others on the hunt for a place to stay so this is a good place to start.
Check out Craigslist
Take a look at places to rent under the "Housing" menu. There are many different categories to search (e.g.rooms wanted, sublet/temporary, housing swap) so make sure you select the type of housing you are interested in. Set limits on what you want to spend each month on housing and stay within these boundaries. You will also be able to customize your price range, square footage, and availability on the left hand side of the page. Be as honest as possible tom potential landlords about yourself and lifestyle, this will avoid future conflicts and ensure a good fit. It's a good idea to bring a friend when viewing apartments to make sure everything is safe, and give a second opinion!
Living with a family is often a good idea for international students, as the host family will help you learn about Vancouver as well as Canadian culture. Also, if you are new to the city, living at a Home-stay will give you people to socialize with from the start - making moving to a new place less lonely. Home-stay's are also great because host families will often cook, clean, and help you get acquainted with transit, events, and other things to do in the city. As Vancouver is such a culturally diverse city - there are many different home-stays available online. You should not have to pay a fee to search, match, or find a home-stay, as there are many free directories online - simply search "Home-stay Vancouver". Most home-stay's will detail the services provided; such as meals, laundry, internet, cleaning etc - so make sure you pay attention to these descriptions and know what to expect from your host family. Home-stays are generally less expensive than renting an apartment or single room.
Finding the perfect place to live is never easy - and can take some time. Don't be discouraged - reach out to friends, family, and coworkers...there are always people ready to lend a helping hand!