Help me find my hibernation spot! NYCer in search of a winter (roughly Dec/Jan -> March/April) apartment somewhere in the Deep South in a city that A) has much warmer weather; B) offers drastically cheaper rent; and C) is a small town (basically, anywhere that isn't a big city). And, once I have a few city/region options, what's the best methodology for finding a place to rent if there aren't active Craigslist listings for the city/region? Details:
Variables, in order of importance:
Any place with a High/Low that hovers around, at minimum, 60º/40º. After a lot of weather-table searching, it looks like this would limit me to coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Basically, I'd like to go outside around noon and be comfortable wearing jeans/button-up shirt (or, if possible, shorts/t-shirt). Sweater-weather at night is fine, although obviously it'd be nice to avoid (though it seems this would limit me to southern Florida).
*Really Cheap Rent (and How to Find It)*
In NYC, I'm used to paying between $600/mo - $900/mo in rent, and I'd really
love to take a break from that :)
Basically, the cheaper the better. As long as I have a semi-reliable internet connection, I can do my work remotely, so city/region job economy doesn't matter. I'm willing to give up as many amenities as possible for cheaper rent in return. There's a strong likelihood that I'll have another person with me, so that will help keep things on the cheap side.
For more populated regions, I've noticed that I can open up PadMapper
(which mashes up Google Maps and apartment rental listings from Craigslist, among others), scroll around certain cities/regions and find quite a few listings. However, outside of the larger Southern cities, Craigslist isn't actively used. What would be some good methods for finding housing in many of these smaller towns? Aside from focusing on a certain city/region -> finding the local newspaper online -> searching classifieds, I'm basically stumped. What are some housing-search hacks to help me find stupid-cheap lodging?
I'll mostly be focusing on a new creative project while I'm away from NYC, so I'm kind of looking to hole up for a while. This means that cultural activities I normally look for (great bars/nightlife, museums, fancy food markets, theaters, left-leaning political climate, etc.) would gladly be exchanged for extremely cheap rent.
Right now, my worst-case scenario is Savannah, Georgia: warmish weather and cheaper-than-NYC rent w/ apts I can find via PadMapper (although I'm really looking for much, much cheaper); but, it's also a pretty big city and has waaaaaay more diversions than I'm looking for.
So, any help? If anyone has any incredible suggestions involving Texas/Southwest/Southern CA, I'd definitely be open to hearing about them, although I'd rather stay on the East Coast. Thank you, everyone!