How to Begin the Search

Housing Lingo

Know the Market

  • Due to the attraction of living in the city, physical limitations of the area, and a limit of a housing, the rent prices are above the national average
  • Research and become aware of housing neighborhoods, average cost and availability
  • Posting typically happens 1 month prior (June for July, July for August, etc.)
  • Average 1BR apt. in SF currently list at $3096 as of April 2016
  • Average 1BR apt near USF average $2200 - $3500
  • For less than $1000 you'll likely be sharing a room. Over $1200 you can find a private room in a shared unit. The space between $1000 and $1200 will be up to market's availability.
  • USF Students typically live West of the University (Richmond and Sunset Districts)
  • Take a walk and look around the neighborhoods to get a feel for them

Steps to Take

  • Remember to breathe and relax in the process
  • Determine your rental budget (which will help you determine your options)
  • Assess your values, priorities, & flexibility
  • Determine when you need housing by
  • Check out open houses to gain experience with the process
  • Network with everyone you know and those you don’t to see who needs or has housing
  • Figure out if you want to join an existing community or join forces with others and look for an available unit
  • Create a bio post and send out to prospective people (if looking for a roommate via social media/Craigslist/etc.)
  • Create a folder/buy a notebook/whatever. Just get organized! The OCSS office can help you with this!
  • Narrow down housing options based on amenities, location, transportation, rent
  • Contact OCSS with questions

Get Financial Information and Documents in Order

  • Get organized
  • Budget: Whether on paper or digital, create a budget to determine how much you can realistically pay for rent. Your rent range will help to determine your options for housing
  • Create a US bank account if you don’t have one
  • Create a renter's resume
  • Collect pay stubs, scholarship info, bank statements; the purpose is to show you have the financial resources to pay your rent
  • Designate a co-signer if needed
  • If you have prospective roommates, start the convo now about rent range, co-signers, splitting of rent/utilities