If you're looking for an apartment to rent or share with a roommate, or a temporary hotel or motel. One of your first tasks after arriving in the United States will be to find a place to live. Initially, you will almost always find it cheaper to share expense with someone else. If you do not have a friend to live with, check the Roommate board. But if you are looking for permanent accommodation, the available options are renting an apartment or renting a house.
Apartments have one, two or three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms in addition to a kitchen and living room. "Efficiency" or "studio" apartments provide an inexpensive alternative if you want to live by yourself. They are quite small, often combing the living and sleeping areas into one room. You can also find furnished apartments. The cost of renting an apartment varies considerably depending on the part of the country and the local supply and demand. A one-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh might cost $400 a month while the same apartment in Boston or San Jose will cost $1,200 or more.

How do choose an Apartment?
As a first timer apartment hunter, consider the following to help you in decision making -
1) make a decision on your affordability of money.
2) make a list of your home needs and requirements. Like number of rooms, which floor? bathrooms?
3) walk through the property to see whether it appears to be well maintained.
4) if possible, talk to your neighbours and find out if they are satisfied.
5) examine the lease. A lease is a legal commitment to pay rent for a specified length of time. Every lease is different on the terms and conditions. If the terms of the lease agreement don't suit your needs, negotiate or reconsider renting the apartment.
6) does the building have controlled access and security?
7) does the building have a swimming pool, fitness room, Tennis courts, Laundry facilities, club house?
8) who pays the water bill? Same thing about electrical or gas utilities? Thermostat control?
9) before you move in, note any nonfunctioning items. Give a copy to the leasing office and get them fixed.