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Hello everyone.

I'm from Egypt, & I'm moving into Carbondale, Illinois next August to start my PhD.

I'd like to ask as an international student who can't come to Carbondale until early August, would it be preferable to me to stay temporarily in the first days with someone or in a hostel while I look over studio/1-bed apartments on reality to decide which to rent (so I don't get stuck in something that turns to be bad) OR is it better that I just finish things online before I come & just go ahead & rent online so that when I come I don't find that all the good deals have been taken already?

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I thought  it is easier and more typical to sign a lease 1-3 months in advance unless it is for big metropolitan areas. Available leases are up online as soon as the previous tenants give their vacancy notice 60-90 days before the end of their leases, so it might be hard to get a lease on the spot after you arrived. Plus the process of settling down also takes time.

Several apartment rating websites as well as generic rating forums (google, yelp) might have reviews and pictures on the apartment units you searched. I have found those quite reliable. Another way to identify desirable apartment units is to ask your senior friends who are already there or on forums like this for recommendations.

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Thank you guys for your replies ? Well, most leases are 12-month, or at least 6-month periods.

Anyway, I think it's better to go ahead & rent anyway, & if I'm not satisfied, I may change the place next year...

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