I will fly to Fort Wayne, Indiana in April of 2012, I have traveled the world for 14 years, 90 countries. I average less than 300 USD per month for room.
It is almost funny, if I shift from thinking "Daily Rentals," to thinking "Monthly Rentals," I could live in regular room and probably travel forever in the USA on a 500 per month budget.
The Problems about Renting Rooms in USA.
1. I need a car to go and look because public transport is almost non-existent.
2. Need Furnished.
3. Receiving phone calls back, (If I was from France, and I needed to talk on the phone to receive calls, it could be impossible.)
4. Internet access.... (Probably free in all Libraries across the USA.)
5. No Deposit: (They could take months to return, even if they are honest.)
6. All Utilities Paid
800 Per month Budget it Easy in USA
I believe a site like this one, and trust me, I have not done much searching, but they could make this a no-brainer if I wanted to spend 800 USD per month rental.
This photo above is an example in Fort Wayne, Indiana USA, with 170 USD per month weekly, I would need to stay under 200 to be at 800 per month budget.
Renting 10-15 USD Per Day, or up to 450 Per Month
I was a Real Estate Broker in the USA for 14 years, I owned and managed up to 250 units. Bottom line is this, it is easy to evict me from an Hotel, but if I pay monthly, it would take a minimum of 45 day to evict me. Therefore, I know I must hoover around the cheap hotels, or deal with a lot of headaches. This room above is actually a Motel, not an apartment.
I will call up by telephone,
"Do you rent furnished rooms monthly or weekly?"
"I am searching for a room, all utilities paid, no deposit, move in today."
GREAT, extremely GREAT about the USA is Telephone.
I mean, it is a wonder on the planet, only in the USA can I call up, unlimited calls free on a land line, local calls, and let my fingers do the walking. This is truly a wonder for renting or buying in the USA. I do not need to go there, I can do 90 percent of my data collection by phone. I am 100 percent sure, I do not trust any business advertising on the Internet.
OK, I will say it, "Craig's List." Fort Wayne, Indiana
Here is a tempting Craig's List post for Fort Wayne:
$400 / 3br - 1 Room available in 3 BR Townhouse VERY close to IPFW&good area.
This room is one of 3 in the townhouse. There are 2 fulls baths and one half bath in the apartment. Pet friendly, rent is around $400.00 which includes everything. Very close to the IPFW campus and in a good area. Stove/oven, microwave, dishwasher, washer & dryer all in the townhouse. Back patio and good neighbors!!
How long to arrange from another city?
Say, I am here in Dominican Republic, I can call all these places on Skype.com at 2 cents per minute to call landlines.
I believe it would take me five days, working about 2 hours per day to find something, so about 10-15 hours of time.
Shy People Problem
I am alpha male, type A, and capable of making cold calls, this is easy for me and to boot, I am not lazy.
If a person is willing, gets on Craig's List, picks up a local newspaper and call all the advertisement, I am sure they can find cheap room in most cities. Transportation, maps, and dishonesty are still a problem, nonetheless this is possible.
Road Trip USA, with a Van Back Up
It is possible for me to do this, in some mix, live with friends, when I want or have problem, sleep in Van and watch downloaded movies on my computer. I also can trade advertising for free rooms.
Trading Advertising for Free Rooms
This alone, with the same 10 hour investment in calls, e-mails, and cold calls, then stopping in would allow me to never pay for lodging.
In addition, I can offer free advertising and help them list their Hotels on HoboHideOut.com, or 6.3 million city Hotel site:
Everything about renting cheap is a variable of time, the longer you take, the more patience you have, the cheaper the room. It is easy to do, educate yourself to the market, the map, and then rent the room. If you can sit down, and make this a job, work 4-5 hours per day find a room for two weeks.
Say, 10 days, at 5 hours per day, that is 50 hours of work.
You can go from the 800 a month rental to the 300 per month, and your 50 hours can translates to a saving of 500 USA, or you would be paid 10 USD per hour.
All is possible for the willing, and life is always good when you walk slow.
Andy Graham, 14 years of perpetual world travel, 90 countries, presently in a 10.23 USD per day room, paid daily, in the Dominican Republic.
My Odd Problem:
I wake at 4:00 AM in the morning, and want Internet in my room, this will be confusing and complicated as a digital nomad in the USA.