If you’re moving to Los Angeles and you need a temporary place to stay you can try these tips for finding temporary housing:
1) Join online social groups for the area you want to move to and start befriending people. Ask them for tips on how to find a roommate.
2) Browse Craigslist for roommates or people subletting their apartments. Some people will even rent their apartments weekly which would be cheaper than a motel. The cheapest motel I found was about $230 a week and it was located in Sun Valley.
3) Hostels, which are temporary housing for travelers are a clean, safe option where you rent a bunk bed and live in a house with dozens of other travelers. You will pay between $12-$40 per night. You must have a valid out of state ID to book a hostel and you can book online. The drawback is there is a time limit, usually 2 weeks per visit. That should buy you enough time to find something more suitable.
4) Shared housing– which is similar to a hostel except they are designed for longer stays. You usually pay monthly. I have stayed in shared housing concepts all over Los Angeles and they were priced from $325 a month to $550 a month which includes all utilities and internet.
5) Sober living houses– Most sober living houses are not really sober living houses, they just use the name to appear acceptable. I have lived in a sober living house with no background of addiction. I do not recommend this option unless you have no other option because it is basically filled with people who are sad, bitter, old and unhappy with life and they will try to make you miserable too. But, it’s a pace to stay when you have nowhere else to turn to.
6) Couchsurfing – Go to Couchsurfing.Com and create a profile. I found someone willing to allow me to sleep on her couch for a week when I told her I was moving to Los Angeles. Since living here, my former roommates have become Couchsurfing hosts so I know that there are cool people who allow strangers into their homes for free.
7) Wi Spa – The Wi Spa is located on Wilshire in Los Angeles and is really a very nice, clean Korean Spa that you can use to shower and sleep. It’s quite beautiful, really. They have small lockers for you to place some of your things and they provide all toiletries including a t-shirt, shorts and bathrobe. They also have a computer lab and Korean restaurant inside.
This place is open 24 hours and the cost goes from $15-$35 depending on what time you get there; early mornings are your best bet for the best rate. You can stay for 24 hours at a time but there is no re entry if you leave. You can bring your own food and drink discreetly. You can charge your phone and they have a sleeping room. If you have a lot of luggage you will be denied entry so pack lightly with one carry-on bag.
8) Volunteer For Shelter– The HelpX program is a nifty program to join people who need help with their farms or businesses with people who want to travel frugally. You sign up for the program, choose the city you wish to visit and contact the hosts who will tell you about their business. After you arrive you will volunteer for their business for 4 to 5 hours per day in exchange for food and shelter.
9) Local Motels – Local Motels will offer you a temporary place to live. If you move to Los Angeles during the off season which is typically October through February you will find better rates. I found a motel for $750 a month but you will have to share a bathroom with other people. Google search for motels and call around to find a good rate. This way you will have a month of housing to find a more permanent place.
How do you choose which place to stay in?
Choose whichever is available. You will encounter roaches, bed bugs, cranky roommates, drugs and theft. That is not something you can avoid while living with other people. Just choose a place to sleep and remember that this is all temporary so don’t be so glum about where you begin, it’s only the beginning.