seems that any young person who gets a taste of living in
NYC dreams of one day moving here to live in a dream apartment
surrounded by the 24/7 hubbub and excitement of New York's top attractions.
For many people it remains just that - a dream. For others
plucky enough to land themselves a local job here, possibly
a roommate (or several), and can put up with the noise, the
traffic and crush of 8 million other New Yorkers it can be,
well ...a dream come true!
it's a jungle out there and finding an apartment in New York
may be difficult, but far from impossible. It takes a bit
of luck, a little knowledge and a lot of work, but rental
apartments are out there.
these hard-earned insider tips with real world advice on the
hunt for renting and moving into your new NYC apartment:
NYC vacation rentals
Some New Yorkers travel for part of the year and rather than
let their apartment sit empty, they make it available for
daily, weekly or monthly guests. This alternative to hotels
has been popular in Europe for years and is starting to catch
on in Manhattan. It's a great way to get the real New York
experience on a first visit.
the Web, begin your search at least several months in advance
using the search terms "vacation apartment rentals"
and browse the listings of reputable New York City vacation rental agencies
that will guide you by neighborhood to available apartments.
There you'll get a complete description and photos, a calendar
of available dates, and an online booking form.
forewarned, however, that as the NYC vacation apartment rental
scene rises in popularity, so do the cases of fraud and Internet
tip: avoid any listing that even hints at "too good to
be true"; and only deal with renters who accept credit
card payments. And NEVER ever fulfill a request for a direct
money wire transfer to reserve your apartment. Period.
NYC unfurnished apartments
New York, these may be rentals, co-ops or condos. All have
their advantages and disadvantages. Rents are high, there
are really no low-rent areas in Manhattan, and even the outer
boroughs reflect the cost of living in New York. You'll
hear plenty of stories about bargains, but they are difficult
addition to paying the first and last month's rent up front
to your landlord, there also are the infamously pricey NYC broker's fees - or money
you pay to apartment finders who do the work for you.
Manhattan apartments especially, brokers fees can run into
the hundreds or higher, but for an easier way to get an apartment
without the stress, it may be the best way to go.
will also see plenty of offers to purchase an "exclusive"
list of "no-fee" apartments, but if you decide to
go that way be careful. Many of them are an expensive way
to get free listings that are just as readily available in
the local papers.
best advice? Follow the same time-tested strategy for apartment
hunting you would use on the job hunt: search online or read
the papers, pound the pavement, and network. That last suggestion means telling everyone and your Aunt Alice that you're looking for an affordable apartment. Include every details you can think of so everyone knows what you're looking for -- including preferred neighborhoods and how much you can afford.
Some New Yorkers may live outside of the city and only
use their apartments when they're in town. Others with sales
or corporate jobs may have to travel for long periods (one
Manhattanite we know was posted to Europe for two years and
rented out her fantastic studio while she was gone.) Often
furnished apartments are short-term sublets (more on that
up ahead) but they are a good solution if you are in the city
for only a month or two and need a place to call home while
you work or study.
are also places that let out single rooms, like the "Y",
but make sure that cooking is allowed if you don't plan on
eating all of meals in restaurants. Eating out in New York
can take a big bite out of your budget even if you're staying
only for a short period.
Long term sublets
Some New Yorkers may choose to move out permanently, but are loath
to give up their hard-fought for piece of city real estate.
like furnished apartments, sublets may be rental units that
are made available by someone who will be out of town for
an extended period. Just remember when you sublet an apartment
the space will be yours only until the primary lease holder
wants it back.
hear plenty of horror stories about New York City sublets
- with good reason. Sublets are legal in the city only if
the landlord agrees to allow a tenant to sublet. Fact is,
however, most of the sublets you'll find are not approved
by building owners. And that puts you in a situation of having
a nice apartment at reasonable rent (by New York standards),
but being in danger of losing the place if the primary renter
wants you to vacate.
In short, cross your fingers whenever you enter into a sublet
arrangement. You have little to no legal protection against
price-gouging or being thrown out of your apartment on a whim.
Roommates / sharing an apartment
Among many singles and college students, a popular way to
get an affordable apartment in the city is to simply live with a roomate and split
$2400 rent split three ways makes more sense than trying to
swing the rent for a studio at $1800/mo when you are starting
out. There are plenty of pitfalls in this arrangement, but
when it works out well, it can be a fantastic experience.
sure when you enter the agreement that cleaning responsibilities
are clearly defined. Pairing a neat freak with a total slob
may be funny in TV comedies, but in real life it may make
a daily routine a nightmare. Also consider forgoing the land
line and opt for cell phones to avoid arguments about which
phone calls were made by each roommate.
the best rule for sharing is to be formal about it and get
everything in writing. Who pays for utilities and who buys
bathroom supplies can be the undoing of the best roommate
arrangements. If you iron out all of the difficult problems
beforehand, you'll be less likely to regret the decision.
tip for sharing? Find a roomie who works the night shift.
About the author:Midmanhattan.com is the source for information on vacations, tourist attractions
and insider tips on NYC.