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Looking for a house while being too far away... HELP!


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Hi all! 

I'm an international student moving to the US to start my program and I'm desperately looking for an apartment. These are the two issues I'm dealing with:

1. I'm getting ghosted by the people in my program who offered me to help me with housing when I visited. They were so nice, attentive and helpful. They offered me to help me find a place, to visit it before my arrival, etc. Now that I'm actually asking them for their help, they suddenly disappear. Am I getting something wrong (maybe cultural?)? Did they actually mean they were willing to help me? Or it is just something you offer out of politeness? And if this were the case, am I being rude for actually requesting them to do what they've offered without really meaning to do so? 

2. How safe is it to submit a security deposit without having visited the apartment? I've had a Skype tour and I've talked with the landlord. Everything seems to be alright. But I'm still afraid to submit a security deposit... How common are rental scams in the US? Are there any red flags I should worry about? 

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1. (This section will be full of generalizations) When talking face-to-face, Americans offer help like candy. It's easy to ignore people or be lazy when communicating online. It's probably not you, as long as you're being nice.

2. Rental scams definitely exist, so be careful. They're less common with rental management agencies, but still possible. However, there are other problems with signing a lease without seeing the property. You cannot verify the condition of the apartment, and you don't know the condition of the neighborhood.


If you're so inclined, you can say where you'll be going, and maybe someone here can help. Good luck.

Edited by Bird Vision
Wrong word
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If its run by a management agency, you should be able to search online for reviews from prior tenants. I would be more wary submitting a deposit if its just some random person renting out an apartment in a home they own. 

Are you looking for your own place or a room with roommates? That will make a difference in what you might be able to do to reduce risk. Does the school offer housing to grad students? Many students out of the area may start off there and then move out after the first year (if this is a PhD program. It's not really worth the hassle of moving if it's a shorter program). 

Being that it's summer, it could be that a lot of students took vacation or are less productive and not keeping up with their email. Depending how long it's been since you reached out to your peers, I wouldn't write it off as empty promises just yet.

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