Although I've signed for roomates.com, I've decided to go for a home-stay. Costs are almost the same and a company will help me to find a place. It's better than just search one-on-one. And safer!
Suprisingly, I've been contacted through the site, but potential roomates asked me to come by and see the place, wich I won't be able to do 'cause I'll arrive just a week from the classes start. So I guess it wouldn't be wise if I let that to solve in just seven days. I'm eliminating problems before they even begin.
NYFA's LA Housing provided me a huge list of apartments, condos - even motels - and home-stay services. I've chosen Universal Student Housing. Seems good and it's the cheapest among companies alike. I'll tell you later if it meets my standards.
There's a special requests item on the application form. I thought of what would really bother me: the family mustn't be military neither have strong religious beliefs, preferably Democrats and I'll accept dogs only if it's a house. I don't oppose to kids except if they're spoiled little brats.
I've chosen some cities as well, according to a little research I did. I guess it's always wise to do that. When I moved to Sao Paulo (Brazil) I've done the same. Looked for researches mainly about ethnicity (avoiding places with a low percentage of white people 'cause I want to live in America not just in L.A. territory); income (above $50,000 median household at least) and education (almost always attached to income). You can find that information by neighborhood in Mapping L.A., a Los Angeles Times project. Those data are closely linked to violence statistics. The higher they are the lower's the violence. Haven't you ever consider that when choosing a place to live? You'd better!
So I came to this list of suitable cities within 5 miles from NYFA: Burbank, West Hollywood, Studio City (and Universal City), Toluca Lake (and West Toluka Lake), Sherman Oaks, Valley Village. I don't know if I guessed right. Maybe's pure bullshit. But doing that makes me feel secure in a hostile environment.