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Finding An Airbnb Apartment In Rochester

Renting an apartment in Rochester was not what I expected.

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ROCHESTER, New York- After finding it, let’s say, challenging to find an apartment to rent for a month in Rochester, we deferred to what has become our usual Modus operandi: Airbnb.

Do I like paying roughly 50% more for accommodation? No. Do I like paying a massive surcharge? No.

Do I like putting entire days towards finding accommodation and the hassles of not using Airbnb? No.

Airbnb is convenient — it saves a massive amount of time — there are not much in the way of security deposits, background checks, credit checks, potential scams, and all that BS that comes with renting an apartment in the USA without it.

I relented.

We’re only going to be here for less than a month, and in this situation Airbnb was the best option — even though we’re paying more for accommodation than we ever had before anywhere else in the world. It’s truly ridiculous what we paid, especially when apartments in Rochester can generally be had in the $850 per month range.

The kick in the balls is that this is one of the — perhaps the — worst quality Airbnb we’ve ever stayed in. The dude that runs it seems nice but doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. The furniture looks as if it was pulled from a trash skip — the arm rests on the matching pair of sofa chairs are oily and black — the legs on the tables are in a perpetual state of falling off, the blinds over the glass doors that lead out to the balcony don’t open.

“The last Airbnb guest broke them,” the guy renting the place said, as though the fact that we rented via the same site removed him from responsibility to fix or replace them.

A few days ago a guy climbed over said balcony and scrapped paint off the roof overhang. Piles of paint chips were left all over the place. He never returned to clean up the mess.

The place is hardly even third world quality.

The irony.


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Filed under: Accommodation, Apartments, New York

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

9 comments… add one

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  • Rob October 11, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Other than that, how’s the place?

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    • Wade Shepard October 12, 2018, 6:09 pm

      Excellent location. Rochester is a fun town. Full of friendly dive bars and cafes. It’s really difficult to just go out for a beer and type up notes or do some work because you end up talking to everybody and don’t make it home until the next day. I guess this is probably the best way that a place could be described.

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      • Rob October 13, 2018, 2:32 am

        It sounds like a place to find stories…

      • Wade Shepard October 13, 2018, 5:27 pm

        Yes, definitely!

  • Dana Hooshmand October 14, 2018, 1:50 am

    Totally feel your pain!

    Leaving San Francisco, USA (where I was for 2.5 years), feel like there’s a whole other tier of ‘first world’ that made SF in particular feel like a third world country for many reasons.

    New York is known for being terrible for AirBnB though at every price point – even $200 a night (work budget) didn’t get much. For work we used AirBnB everywhere except for NY (city/upstate), where we used hotels. I think the only solution is to avoid going there!

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  • Lawrence October 14, 2018, 7:35 am

    America, the land of my birth and the place that gave me the freedom to explore the world has really just descended into five or six well orchestrated industrial size scams to keep actual people from living and having all the money sucked upwards through fees and regulations (organized corruprtion). It is really sad. I mean like you have been saying there are so many interesting characters and stories, you could spend a lifetime just in Alaska but it is just untenable to live there. I am so grateful to have naturalized in Australia. Once I had to decided to have surgery I was faced with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills with no hope of actual recovery. I paid 300 dollars out of pocket in Australia, had surgery and was given three months disability support through rehab. The difference is night and day, it makes me a bit sad. Just got back to from a Northeast Asian trip (to see if my body could still handle it) and am now plotting Eastern Europe or even Africa. Glad to see you are still out there! Lawrence

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    • Wade Shepard October 19, 2018, 4:27 am

      Right on. People often ask about what I would do if I needed a doctor abroad. My answer: walk in, get what I need, and pay for it on the way out. That’s completely inconceivable in the USA but it is normal almost everywhere else.

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  • Ryan October 15, 2018, 8:47 pm

    We’re a traveling family and in a similar situation to you right now. We tried to rent an apartment in Fresno on a month-to-month basis but that proved too difficult. Airbnb was too expensive. So, we found a house sit up in Humboldt. It’s not where we wanted to be, but the NorCal experience has been nice.

    We’re flying back to Mexico next week and very happy to leave all the hoop jumping behind.

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    • Wade Shepard October 19, 2018, 4:23 am

      Good call. The USA is alright if you have some kind of permanent set up, but it is no longer kind to vagabonds.

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