The big house hunt
The first big challenge for a new immigrant is finding an apartment or house to rent. (Even if you have the funds to buy a home outright, it makes little sense doing so until you are certain about where you are going to settle. As for getting a loan at this juncture, forget it).
The best place to start house-hunting is in the many rental listings publications available in all major cities. The magazines, like Renter’s News and For Rent, are free and can be found at street-corner kiosks or at grocery stores. Save yourself some legwork and make it a point to call apartment rental offices before you visit. Many building owners refuse to let out apartments to newly-arrived immigrants or those without permanent jobs. Neither of these is legal, but launching a lawsuit is probably not on your agenda at this point.
Most rental offices let out apartments on one-year leases, with the first and last months’ rent payable in advance. If you are having trouble finding a landlord willing to rent, you might want to consider paying up six months’ or even a full year’s rent in advance.
What if you cannot afford to cough up an entire year’s rent? Here are some ideas you can consider.
Not all apartment owners advertise in the rental magazines. Check your city’s Yellow Pages under ‘Apartments’ for more listings.
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