For now, Craigslist is the most popular way to finding a place to live. It’s free to posters (except in NYC) and it is easy to search if you know where you want to live. I used Craigslist for years when I was looking for people to rent the single room in my house. With the popularity of the site, some problems have arisen.
There are people who try to take advantage of the unsuspecting. If it seems to good to be true it probably isn’t true. Craigslist has a very important list on how to avoid scams and how to stay safe. The link shows at the top of each search page for shared housing. If you are using Craigslist, read those instructions and follow them.
2) Everyone sees the same posting you do
The competition can be fierce. The person posting may be inundated with responses. So how do you get your response to stand out? You do it by writing clearly about who you are and what you are looking for. Do not send an inquiry that is “I’d like to see the apartment.”
3) Posters don’t reply
See above. Make sure that you have paid attention to what they have posted. If you are male and the person has clearly said they are looking for a female, they aren’t going to respond. Likewise, if you are a creative person and they are looking for a nine-to-five person. And don’t pretend. There’s no point to starting out on a lie.
4) Postings age quickly
Especially in a tight housing market. Because of the ease of posting, it is unlikely that a posting older than a week is still a viable posting. Craigslist asks posters to remove their ads but many do not. If for some reason the available space hasn’t filled with the first posting, the poster will likely renew the post.
Still and all, so far it’s the best place to look for and find shared housing. Use it carefully and follow the guidelines in Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates.