How to find an apartment in NYC
After the move - June 6, 2019
If you plan to live, study or work in New York City, one of the biggest challenges can be constant thinking on how to find an apartment in NYC. Students have the option of being in dorms, which can very favorably affect their budget. For the rest, unfortunately, the situation may not seem very good, because the prices of apartments in New York City are constantly increasing due to high demand. This is particularly noticeable in popular boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn… And Manhattan, on the other hand, is considered the most expensive place for life. Still, there is hope to find a nice and affordable apartment in NYC. Let’s see how!
Find a temporary place before you find an apartment in NYC
When trying to find an apartment in NYC, a search for a decent place can be delayed for several months. Let’s say you decided you are moving to Brooklyn. You have to carefully plan in advance and look for areas and places in Brooklyn that suit your needs. And during that time you need to have some housing solution. Maybe the company you are starting to work with provides temporary accommodation. Or maybe you have friends that you can stay at. Or rent a room in a common apartment or in a hostel.
In addition to the problem of high demand and low offers, if you are not a local New Yorker, be prepared for landlords to be willing to rather rent accommodation to a New Yorker than a foreigner. From their perspective, it’s quite logical: it is easier for them to agree, and it is also easier for them to check their credit rating.
Where to find an apartment?
People search for apartments mostly through specialized websites on the Internet such as Craiglist. However, apartments can also be found in advertisements in the local press.
The “viewing” process
The process of renting or buying an apartment may seem complicated, especially if you haven’t done it before. For example, you think that Bay Ridge may be a great potential new neighborhood for you… But before you rush and start calling Bay Ridge movers to relocate your things, there are certain procedures that you have to go through. Namely, you first apply to the landlord or the owner for viewing the apartment by sending a request together with all the necessary documentation.
If they accept it, they will invite you to look at the apartment, and most often in a timeframe with all other interested sides. On that occasion, you will have to give all the necessary documents and fill out certain forms. It should be noted that it happens that several dozens of interested people sometimes come to find demanding apartments in bigger cities. Then you wait to see if you have been selected. Documents that you may need can be:
- Copy of ID card, or for foreigners copy of passport and residence permit and visa
- excerpt from the credit bureau to check if you have a debt and regularly pay your loans
- Statement from the previous landlord that you paid the rent on time
- Proof of net income: the last three payroll or labor contracts
- If you do not receive income: the guarantee of a person who takes over the rent
Placing a deposit
Once you find an apartment in NYC you may need to place a deposit for your new place. You may have to pay a deposit ie a rent that may equal three rentals when signing a contract. Sometimes there is a possibility to pay in installments in agreement with the landlord or the owner.
After that, you may think about calling moving companies to get a free moving estimate. Also, when first going into the place, carefully review the apartment and take photos. It can often happen that there are some damages that you only notice later on.
What else do you need to know?
If you are renting a place, there is an option to pay only the price of the rent to the landlord and to pay the utilities and all other expenses yourself. The other option is to pay the rent with all the included utilities and other costs. In this case, you actually pay a lump sum: it returns a difference if you pay more than you actually spend, or you’re paying if you paid less.
Here you need to pay attention when signing an agreement. This is because sometimes even paying for all does not account for all costs (for example, the Internet). You can see the exact actual rental prices on internet sites with the offer of apartments. Prices of course vary depending on the part of the country, the city, the proximity of the center and other factors. Also, at this point, you may be seriously thinking about relocation so check moving tips online that can help you get the best deal.
Are there more options?
In the end, if it’s expensive for you to find an apartment in NYC for yourself, a very popular option is sharing apartments. For this type of accommodation, you actually rent a room. In this way, you share the living room, kitchen, and bathroom with other tenants. Accommodation is mostly shared by several people. In most cases, they are friends, especially in the case of students and young people. Still, there are also options in which tenants do not communicate with each other. This is more common with business people and elderly people. For renting a room in NYC, you need less documentation than for a classic apartment rental, and you do not have to buy furniture. There is also a rental option for a period of only a few months, which can be a good solution in the period when you are looking for an apartment.