Finding an apartment here was TOUGH! …more on this in a minute.
There’s a lot of different ways to get your housing on travel assignment. By far the easiest way is having your staffing agency set up the housing for you. If you don’t know the area and really have no preference on location, the housing is typically pretty nice and turn-key ready. On the other hand, you could take the tax-free housing stipend and find housing on your own.
There is a financial advantage to figuring out the housing on your own and taking the cash. It keeps all the money in your reimbursement package and away from the resources it takes for a staffing agency to find and arrange your housing. In fifteen-or-so assignments, I’ve only had my recruiter get housing for me once. If you haven’t searched for your own housing on assignment, you’d be surprise at the amount of temporary and furnished housing that is available. Craigslist is how we almost always find our housing. If we can get to the assignment a few days ahead of time, that’s usually enough time to hit Craigslist hard and find good housing in a fun neighborhood before work starts.
It turns out Anchorage rental housing has a 98% occupancy rate. That’s REALLY high. We were lucky enough to have an open invitation with friends in Wasilla, whom we ended up crashing with for over 2 weeks. [whom?] There was so little availability in rentals around Anchorage that we really didn’t get a chance to see many apartments. Luckily, among the 3 apartments we looked at, was a nice two bedroom, utilities included, deck, washer/dryer, and parking.
The apartment is more than we like to pay for rent, but with a location convenient for work, plenty of room for visitors, and slim pickings for other options…. it’s worked out just fine. Which is a lovely segue to the larger message: With a little patience in finding housing and finding a job everything works out just fine. As a travel PT or PTA, you may go a week or two without a job or work for a week while living in an extended stay with all your junk in your car, but IT ALL WORKS OUT JUST FINE.
The Things We Look For In An Apartment:
-Furnished -Short-term lease
-Parking -Utilities included