1. Like I said, It’s not easy – It’s not easy at all. Unless you don’t really care about the area, the room or any details about where you’ll be living, you have a lot of work cut out for you. You will be spending many long and headache-filled nights researching areas and places to live. And they will ALL start to look the same at some point.
2. NEVER take an apartment sight unseen – If you bit the bullet and did this, you are a brave soul. Those websites they have for apartment buildings? They must have some of the most amazing designers. I went to an apartment in Midtown to check it out. The pictures looked great, the descriptions of the apartment were awesome but there was one thing that didn’t check out –the reviews. And the reviews checked out- The hallways? They stunk a horrible stench and were so dirty. The apartment itself? Absolutely disgusting- I’m talking mold in the fridge, crooked light fixtures, and brown tubs.
3. Survival of the fittest is an understatement – You may speak to someone the night before and then POOF that apartment is gone before your meeting the next morning.
4. Don’t trust the leasing agent – You can tell from the moment you shake hands if this will be a person you can trust. Are they dressed professionally? Well then, they care about their job. If they look like just another person off the street and proceed to tell you: “Don’t worry we’ll fix the apartment up before you move in” RUN! Run for the hills. If they’re showing you an apartment already like this, they’re not going to be doing anything to fix it.
5. Brokers will kill your bank account – On average, a broker’s fee is 15% of the first year’s rent. Why would I ever pay a broker to find me a cheap apartment? All the money I’d save would be going straight to them.
6. Leasing offices are the way to go – These people know their building, if you find a good leasing agent you’re set. You won’t be paying a broker fee and you’ll be meeting the person that will be taking care of you the next year.
7. Grab a good pair of shoes – You’ll be walking everywhere to find yourself the perfect apartment to live. And make sure to LOOK around the area. Is it a safe area? What will it be like at night? Is it close to a subway?
8. Do your homework – What did the rents go for in the building your looking at? What about rents around that building? What amenities do buildings around your price range have? You won’t be able to negotiate anything if you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a seller’s market so you better know your stuff.
9. Be ready to pay $2000 a month for a decent place – Unless you don’t mind living in a closet, you’re going to be footing a lot more money than some may expect.
Anyone can move to NYC but not everyone does. You move here to feel the excitement, to make the most of what this city has to offer. Manhattan is a very special place to live and it’s not for anyone but it could be for you. If you have dreams, if you have ambitions, if you like having the option to go to a hockey game after work or a play, if you enjoy having your friends just a subway ride away, if you’re a foodie, if you’re someone who likes stepping out of your comfort zone and discovering something new every day, this place is for you.