High-Cost Cities: How to Navigate Housing in High-Cost Cities

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By Furnished Finder

October 19, 2021



How to Navigate Housing in High-Cost Cities

High-cost cities can sometimes make it difficult to have a successful and fun assignment, so allow me to make suggestions that may help during your next adventure.  Let me just start out by saying there is no Easy-Button here as we are all subject to the market. What I mean is that demand for housing is so high in these cities that it drives up the cost of rent for everyone. And while you can’t change the housing market, you can adjust the way that you do things, so they work in your favor. Be sure to read to the end to get discounts on hotels as well.

The first thing you should know is that you are competing against a lot of other people when you’re looking to secure a monthly furnished rental.  People across the globe are suddenly able to live and work anywhere, so we are seeing more relocating families and remote workers than ever before.  Secondly, don’t expect preferential treatment because you are a healthcare worker. Property managers don’t necessarily care what you do for a living – their job is to just make sure you are the best tenant for the property.

Since the focus of this article is the cost of living in cities like LA, San Francisco, New York, Boston, San Diego, and Chicago, here are 5 things you can do to help you navigate the costs of these high-cost cities:

1. Don’t Pay Booking Fees

Booking fees are a percentage of rent which is added to the total cost of your stay. Booking fees are annoying and expensive…especially if you are required to pay them every month! Booking fees are synonymous with vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO and can add up to 15-18% to the total cost. Still, if you can use platforms like Furnished Finder, you book directly with the landlord and can literally save hundreds every month.

2. Consider Shared Spaces

Rooms are probably the easiest way to guarantee that you’ll pay the least amount of rent living in a high-cost city. Of course, that means that you may need to make a lifestyle compromise since you’ll be sharing the unit with someone else, but the savings of a room over a private unit can sometimes cut your costs in half.  Many travel nurses prefer sharing space because it provides them companionship and conversation on their off days. While there are a lot of variables to consider when renting a room vs. a private unit, the cost savings alone are undisputable. Here is where you can search for rooms.

3. Know Before You Go

Make sure you really want to go there before you accept your assignment. That may sound pretty obvious, but there are travelers who don’t do their research before signing a contract and are absolutely shocked once they start looking for housing. There is definitely a trade-off when you decide to work in a high-cost city because you’ll be spending more of your stipend money on housing. The main thing is to educate yourself on the housing costs of an area when you are shopping for jobs, so there are no surprises.

4. Parking…Ugh

Yep. It’s common for properties in high-cost cities to charge extra for parking, making your cost of living even higher. Consider whether you need your car at all during your next assignment.  It if will cost you a couple hundred dollars extra a month to bring your car, maybe leave it at home and save the money. Many of these cities have excellent public transportation, and services like cabs and Ubers can help as well.

5. Hotels

If you’ve been doing this long enough, you’ve probably parked it in hotels a few times here or there. It could be for a few nights until your place is ready, a few weeks to scout out an area, or sometimes even for the entire assignment.  Since hotels are getting aggressive about marketing to healthcare workers for any length of stay (even for personal stays), more than 35 hotel brands have partnered with Furnished Finder to offer travelers discounts across the nation. Get up to 25% off (depending on the brand and your length of stay) when you book via Furnished Finder.

Every assignment varies, and housing is, of course, that big X-factor that can make or break an assignment…especially in high-cost cities. Start your housing search early… even before you accept an assignment!  Don’t get caught off guard by housing costs.  Good luck, and safe travels ahead!

Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Need to secure housing for your next assignment? Click here to search our housing page.

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