How to Land Your First Apartment in New York City

Photo Credit: Sex and the City

Photo Credit: Sex and the City

By: Ashton Hayley

Apartment hunting in NYC is a daunting task, and for a good reason. For most people planning on moving into the city alone, you need to scrap everything you thought you knew about apartment hunting because in New York City it is something else! Here are some tips to help you on that journey.

Prepare yourself and research the market

Your dollar is going to stretch about one-fifth of the way it used to. No longer are you guaranteed a washer and dryer in your price range or in a luxury building. Make sure you note this before you make the trek to any apartment in NYC.

Make a list of the non-negotiables and start there

Do not make your non-negotiable list too long! Consider what's most important to you, do you require a dishwasher, washer/dryer, elevator, or great location? If you don’t mind going to a laundromat, you might be able to get a better location and vice versa.

Use your resources

There are plenty of online tools to find roommates, a spare room, etc. There are Facebook groups where people put up listing when they have an empty room that they need to fill, or a group of girls moving to the city and they need one more female to complete their squad for an apartment. Check these out because it’s a nice way to find a roommate/apartment without going into it completely blind.

Find a Roommate

Most people starting out may not be able to get that beautiful one bedroom or studio apartment solo, so roommates are a great way to go and it’s a great way to make new friends in your transition. Always, always do some checking up on any potential roommate though! Look at their social media profiles, and grab a coffee with them prior. It’s perfectly acceptable to creep on someone you’re signing a year lease with!

Keep calm and be patient

The apartment hunt can last up to a few a months, so jump in and don’t be afraid. Living in New York is an experience in itself so let the wind take you where it wants and be flexible. You’re probably not going to get the first apartment you see, and while you’re looking for apartments, you’ll learn more about what you really want, and what you’re not willing to budge on.

Bonus Tips:

-Search for “No fee” apartments.

-Your upfront cost is going to be double the rent plus an application fee.

-You will need a proof of income that equals or exceeds 40x the rent price.

-Just breathe, everything will be okay!


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