NYC Apartment Hunting Tips & Tricks

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I am finally all moved into my apartment in New York City, and let me tell you, it was one of the craziest experiences EVER! Even though apartment hunting in the big apple can be a little daunting and majorly overwhelming, I am here to give you 5 tips and tricks to hopefully make your experience go a little smoother!

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  1. Give Yourself Time- Don’t expect to find a place overnight! Give yourself at least one week in the city to look for apartments. I heard that the average person tours 20 apartments in NYC before deciding on one, so don’t expect to fall in love with the very first one you set eyes on. Also, give yourself time to get between apartments! Subways don’t always show up on schedule, so be prepared to do a lot of walking and waiting in between. This leads me to my next point!
  2. Plan Accordingly- This one may be obvious to New Yorkers, but to a small-town girl from Cincinnati, I had no idea how big the island of Manhattan actually is! So, plan which apartments you want to see according to the area you will be in that day. My roommate and I made a running google doc of all of the UES, Midtown, West Village, East Village, and Financial District places we wanted to see, and then picked which day we would be in each place (ex: Monday in UES, Tuesday morning West Village & afternoon East Village, etc.) Don’t be overly ambitious…my parents and I walked on average 11 miles a day to see these apartments, and that was with us staying in the same areas each day!
  3. NO Brokers Allowed- There is absolutely no reason to be paying a broker fee in NYC when you can easily find a place yourself if you just put in the time and energy! Broker fees in New York are INSANE so save your money and go find a place on your own! My next piece of advice is how you can manage to do this super easily.
  4. My Golden Piece of Advice- This is something that I wish I had known going into this experience, and it feels like a little secret that I have kept up until now! While you can search on Zillow, Apartments.com or Craigslist all you want, the real way to find a great apartment is by literally walking in and asking. You may think I’m crazy, but I swear I am living in a dream apartment with a dream budget for this reason alone! All you have to do is go to different areas of town that you may be interested in living, and walk up to the doorman or front desk and ask if they have a leasing office you can speak with. Some will, some won’t, but the fastest way to get an apartment is to find a place that has a leasing office (usually open on the weekdays only) and ask if you can go speak with them. Then just go say you are looking for an apartment and were wondering what they have available! The best places to go to are leasing offices, because they can usually show you available rooms right there on the spot. When I found my apartment we stumbled upon it, walked right into the leasing office, and toured and signed for the place all within an hour! If you want the fastest and easiest NYC apartment hunting experience ever, then follow this advice.
  5. Make Room For Roommates- While I do love my apartment and all of the amenities it offers, I will admit that we signed for a 1 bedroom for 3 people. How did we do it, you ask? Temporary walls! Basically, we signed for a 1 bedroom that had a HUGE living room area, and we put up a T-wall in the living room which basically created 2 new bedrooms and made the whole place super affordable! And yes, we still have a small living room area with a couch, ottoman and TV, and a bar top with chairs to eat, too! I do have a teeny tiny room, but I will do another post on how to make the most out of your small room in NYC later 🙂

I hope this post helps at least one person out there to find an apartment in the city! Though there may be tears and exhaustion involved during this process, it will all be worth it in the end when you are living in this incredible city!

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