Housing Stipend: What is a Fair Price for Travel Nurse Housing?

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By Furnished Finder

July 23, 2021

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What is a Fair Price for Travel Nurse Housing?

When you are working as a travel nurse, it can be a little tricky to figure out how much to budget for housing. The area of the country, the season you are in, and the number of short-term rentals available in the area will all affect how furnished rentals are priced. This can make it especially frustrating for new travel nurses to figure out what to pay for their short-term rental. 

Housing Stipend Calculator

Luckily, Furnished Finder has a tool that makes comparing all of the housing costs in a certain area easy. The Housing Stipend Calculator gives you a great breakdown of what is available in the area, how common certain amenities are, and what average rates are for private rentals versus renting a room. 

This is especially helpful because it gives you a breakdown of the types of rentals travel nurses are actually looking for. Most websites cater to either traditional renters and have prices based on unfurnished units with a long-term lease, or they are priced for vacationers and only offer a nightly rate that adds up quickly for long stays. With this tool, you can compare fully furnished spaces with monthly rates listed and short lease terms available as the standard practice. 

How much to spend on short-term housing?

Most experienced travel nurses will recommend spending a maximum of one-quarter of your monthly income (aka one paycheck) on your short-term rental. This allows you to allocate three-quarters of your income towards savings, expenses back home, or fun! For most, this is a manageable amount that will allow you to live comfortably while also securing safe, comfortable housing.

Now when it comes to deciding what a truly fair price is for the area you will be living in, some of it will depend on your personal preferences. For instance, if having a washer and dryer in your unit is a non-negotiable, your idea of a fair rate may be different than someone who is willing to make trips to the laundromat. 

What is the cost of living in your facility

Square one is looking at what pay packages in the area are looking like for your specialty. Unfortunately, the pay that hospitals are offering may not line up well with the cost of living in the area they are located. Ask your recruiter(s) for a ballpark range in the city where you are looking, and loosely base your housing budget on that.

Then make a list of what you really want in your housing options and a list of non-negotiables. These may change as you move through your search, but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what you really want in your living space.

Plug the city into the Housing Stipend Calculator

Next, plug that city into the Housing Stipend Calculator and see if your preferred amenities, the pay rates for the area, and average housing costs line up. I like to make sure there are at least five or six spaces easily within my budget because housing can fill fast. Don’t bank on scoring the one “budget” space after you secure your assignment, so make sure you have several options that would work. 

Adjust your expectations on your budget, if neccessary.

Along the way, you may need to adjust your expectations or your budget. Sometimes, you may find that pay rates for the area simply don’t line up with what you would like to pay for housing and the amount you need to pay all of your expenses back home. Don’t feel defeated–this just means it’s not the right time to travel to this particular city or state. Broaden your search, and the right assignment at the right price is sure to roll around eventually.

At the end of the day, it’s difficult to set a specific price range that you can expect to pay for short-term housing across the country. Plus, every person will have their own idea of what ideal housing consists of. Set your expectations, adjust as needed, and take every hiccup as a learning experience for next time!

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