First you need to find a great deal on a place with at least two bedrooms preferably close to public transit.
You will rent the whole home and are responsible for paying the whole rent.
How do you pay no rent when you are responsible for paying all the rent?
Rent out all the rooms to individual roommates.
You can live in the living room.
Often you should be able to pay the entire rent for the home from the rent your roommates are paying you.
You can let the landlord know you are the principal renter but you will have roommates.
You can divide the total rent for the home by the number of rooms, and charge each roommate that, or charge more for larger rooms or rooms with an en suite bathroom.
You shouldn’t let your roommates know what you pay in rent. It is none of their business.
Some will say this isn’t fair, you should divide the rent equally, and pay your fair share.
This perspective ignores all the risk you are taking.
What if all your roommates leave and you have to pay for the entire home yourself? You should be able to easily with all the money you have saved in your bank account living rent free.
What if your roommates wreck the place? You are responsible for the damage deposit.
What if the roommates don’t pay you on time? This happened to me a lot. The landlord will evict all of you if you don’t pay.
Besides, the living situation is not equal, one roommate will have the larger bedroom, and you are in the living room with no privacy.
Also, the roommates are getting a fair deal for a room or else they wouldn’t rent it from you.
You will need to set some rules with your roommates limiting visitors, time in the bathroom, kitchen, sharing the fridge, etc.
This may seem extreme to some people, but when you are starting out with little savings, this is one way to get ahead quickly. Most people are living far beyond their means. When you are just starting out in an expensive big city you cannot expect to have your own place right away, or you will burn all your money in rent and be poor forever.
The idea is not to do this forever, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with 3-4+ people will try your patience. But the more you will sacrifice the faster you will get ahead.
We did this for a couple years and saved up a down payment to buy our own home.