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How to Look for an Apartment in NYC

posted by LIM College

NYC_ExteriorLiving in Manhattan, the most amazing city in the world comes at a price. A very costly one, actually, and it’s called RENT. This is a particular dilemma for students who come to NYC to study at LIM from all over the country and the world.

Most of us are pretty shocked with the cost of living in this beautiful, but ridiculously expensive city. There is still hope for those who want to live in the city that never sleeps, (and not end up broke before the first month of living here!)

1. Go online.

If you want an effective and cost efficient way to find an apartment, you should research apartments online. Real estate broker, Jason Misrahi, says StreetEasy is one of the best websites to look for apartments. There’s also Craigslist, but a word of caution. Not everyone on this site has the purest of intentions. You should always be wary and never pay for a deposit online before seeing the apartment. LeaseBreak has listings for short-term rentals and if you're looking to lease your own apartment, you can also post the info here. Usually, these places are also already furnished. Lastly, the site Naked Apartments helps you decide on a good place based on the neighborhood of your choice. 

2. Take a walk.

Since the weather is so nice now, you can walk around a particular neighborhood that you are interested in. Chances are, you'll come across a “For Rent” sign. Take down the number, if there is one and call. If there's a doorman, ask for the management office number. This is a great way to avoid paying for a broker’s fee, and you can kill two birds with one stone. Exercising and apartment hunting!


3. Waiting lists.

There are also a lot of affordable housing options through waiting lists or lotteries. You can apply through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corporation or the NYC Housing Authority. Because it is a lottery, you'll still have to look elsewhere, but it's worth a shot!

4. Go through the classifieds.

Looking-through classified ads may be an old school way of finding a place but hey, it’s tried and tested. Some of the ads are run by real estate agents so you’ll have to pay a broker’s fee, but landlords also post apartments in their buildings as well.

5. Update your status.

Use your social media to look for a new place. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all free. If you post a short message asking about places anybody knows of, someone is bound to reply. Word of mouth is also an effective way of letting people know you are on the lookout. A friend’s cousin’s coworker might be moving! You never know.

Also, living in Manhattan is not the only option. Living in the outer boroughs or even New Jersey may be a bit of a commute, but it gives you a chance to explore a whole new world far from school. Expect the size of your apartment to not be as big as your room back home, but, if you’re living your dreams, you won’t be spending as much time in it anyway. 

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: New York City, student life