US: Guide to accommodation when moving to the USA as an expat

Gone are the days of finding an agent last minute or the day you arrive and running from house to house. You can look for a place to live online before moving! Take a look at your options before you lift a finger and you can get an idea of the city and the are you want to live in, organize a few viewings or meetings and bam! You have a place to live in your new city before you know it.

There are some major websites that now cater to most areas in the USA.

is one of the broadest and best. Type in your max rent and there you have it – options at your fingertips.

– it has a specialty section for students living off campus in their area to pair them with other students (handy!)

– let’s you specify if you need something specific in your for your new pad

– the world’s largest site for finding your next room/roommate

– has a handy dandy map to help you find a place in the area that you want (note, most apartment sites now have this but hotpads is easy to use).

– another great roommate option allows you to add a lot of detail to your page so you know what you are looking for.

If you don’t want all of that rent money going down the drain and you prefer the idea of buying the best websites for this are to follow. Note that there is a detailed legal process when purchasing US land as an expat. We do have an article outlining the basics here but do consult your lawyer as we are not them.

– This is one of the most established sites as it is operated by the National Association of Realtors. It is a very good place to start looking.

– A great resource for both buying and renting. It is the largest real estate site online across the USA and is worth looking at. I am signed up for their newsletter in the areas I was interested in and they would occasionally send me useful updates for that area.

– Trulia much like realtor has an array of houses, apartments etc.

– Connects buyers and agents with what is selling in that area


Physically moving is one of the most difficult parts but there are plenty of places to help you move. If you are moving internationally we do have a section about that here for the best freight companies and the cheapest / safest options for getting your stuff across the ocean.

If you are moving across the land within the USA there are some useful sites that can help you plan and budget for your move.

– Quotes and budgets to help you with your moving needs – this includes a cost calculator which is really handy

-You can shop for quotes with the specifics of your move, lock in a rate and book online.

– All the materials boxes, tape, rugs you will need for your move. Take our word for it, a few bucks on good tape and boxes can save you a lot of time and headache when you are actually moving.

Do you have something unusually large (like a car) that you’re not sure how to get from point A to point B? Try here.

– one of the best truck and van rentals across the country (do consider where you are going to park and load the truck before you hire the biggest one!)

– have a service where they have handymen for hire available at the stores. You can pull up in your van or truck at the time, set a rate with the worker, take them to the site and drop them back. It is a very thrifty way of doing it.

– A great website that is used to rate removalists to avoid getting people who will scam you or scratch your stuff.

If you are hiring removalists also try  in your local area. This helped us find some reliable removalists that were highly rated. They saved us a lot of time and money because they were so efficient.

One of the things that trips us up are our beloved furry friends. If you are moving with animals take a look at

Best of luck with the move and if you find other handy options please feel free to share in the section below or on our social sites.

Photo credit: Phillip Henzler –

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!