Hi all! As anyone who has tried to move to the city will tell you, one of the most challenging things to do is find an apartment. Sometimes NYC real estate can feel like The Hunger Games, but there are some ways to make the apartment search a little easier.
- Establish a budget: Before you even begin looking at apartments, it’s so important to establish a budget so that you don’t get your heart set on a place that is way out of your budget. Sit down, do some number crunching, and get ready for tip number two, which is…
- Be willing to compromise: Do you value space or location? Do you want to be in a busy area or do you want to live in a quieter neighborhood? If you’re moving to NYC you will need to start asking yourself these kinds of questions. I’m going to be honest here: you are not going to get a studio apartment in Manhattan for less than $1600 (not including utilities), unless you squat in a subway car. I ended up focusing on places in Manhattan because I valued location over space, but if you’d rather have more space and are absolutely against roommates, start looking at places in the other boroughs. Also, don’t expect the same amenities that you’d get in Small Town, USA.
- Utilize your network: The first step is to reach out to your connections through social media. Don’t be afraid to put your feelers out and ask around to see if someone knows someone looking for a roommate.
- Social media is your best friend: The way that I found my apartment was through a regional alum Facebook group for my sorority. There are a ton of Facebook groups where people post room listings. One more reputable group that I utilized is Gypsy Housing NYC, so definitely check it out. Plus, with Facebook you have a little bit more of an idea of what you’re getting than, say, Craigslist.
- Check out room share websites: Again, slightly less sketchy than Craigslist. While I ultimately found my apartment through personal connections, I found Roomshare.com and Roomies.com to be helpful resources. That said, be cautious whenever you use the internet for something like apartment hunting!
- Try to see the apartment in person: I know that this can be hard, especially if you live across the country, but I cannot emphasize the importance of either going to the apartment to see it in person, or having a friend/family member go check it out. Especially in the city, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Another alternative to physically going in person is Skyping with potential roommates — people are usually willing to do this.
For those of you making the move to the big apple, good luck! Whatever is meant to happen will happen. For those of you who already live in New York, what are your best apartment hunting tips?
Until next time,