Before making it in New York, you need to find an apartment

There is no place like New York — it promises mystery, beauty, surprises, possibilities, glamour, and endless diversions. Yet, the city is also downright unattractive; it is dirty and smelly and, at times, rude. New York is not a city that will hand you anything easy. American writer, E.B. White, writes in his book Here is New York (1949):

“… the city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience — if they did they would live elsewhere.”

I cannot help but chuckle. Indeed, finding an apartment in New York is frustrating and ridiculous, what do you mean the there is a broker fee? 15% of my annual rent? That’s more than one month’s rent!

Web Img / Credit: www.gonetonewyork.com

Web Img / Credit: www.gonetonewyork.com

Being new to the city looking for an apartment is hard and frightening, but it can be done. Here are some tips to getting your started on becoming a true New Yorker!

1. List your criteria in order of importance, for example, my list looks like this:price, location, proximity to public transportation, no pets, no smoking, safe/quiet neighborhood.

2. Research.Look up apartments in areas that you would like to rent so you could have a sense ofhow muchyour room should cost.

3. Walk around, take your time looking for your apartment.Yes, you need a place to stay, but you also need to find a place you are comfortable with. Check out the neighborhood, e.g. see what it is like at night.

4. Checkto see if everything works — hot water, gas, etc.

5. Be decisive. In New York, demandis higher thansupply.Hence, if you like a place, sign quickly.

note:Broker fee or no broker fee, that is the question. Brokers are nice if you don’t have time. Nonetheless, it is not cheap. Brokers usually take 15% commission (some “cheaper” ones take 10% or just first-month-rent). Do the math. A studio in East Village costs around $1800/month, and you pay $21,600/year. Your broker would take a cut of $3,240 (15%) or $2,160 (10%) or $1,800 (flat fee).

Personally, I find the concept of paying broker fee ridiculous and reject it on a matter of principle. Consider using resources like renthop.com, easyroommates.com, facebook, etc.

The best? The good old craigslist.com. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

4 thoughts on “Before making it in New York, you need to find an apartment

  1. Jessica

    I chuckle at this: “…New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience if they did they would live elsewhere”. What does that say about you? ;)

    Reply
    1. Sherry Post author

      Come and see it for yourself! The city is… so big and busy and glamorous and exciting, that one can select his or her New York and ignore the others. Haha, apparently I’ve lowered my standard.

      Reply

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