Looking for a place to live in NYC is quite a bit different than it was in Raleigh. Back in January, Logan and I drove around Raleigh, walked into rental offices, and found a beautiful, spacious apartment in a matter of one day.
Little did we know that we wouldn’t ever move into that place, and that we’d be thrown into an entirely different level of searching in New York.
Perhaps that was just some junior varsity practice for what we’d face here.
The process looks something like this:
- Research the neighborhoods and settle on your favorites.
- Peruse Craigslist, StreetEasy, and other sites to find available places. There are hundreds of new listings every day.
- Email the real estate broker listing the apartment to schedule a viewing.
- Wait more.
- Keep waiting.
- Finally hear back from the broker and a) find out that the place was already snatched up. Yes, it was just posted this morning. Return to step #2. OR…b) View the apartment. See that it is not at all what you thought it was and move on. OR…
- Put in an application. Turn in tax returns, bank statements, IDs, passports, DNA samples, etc.
- Wait. And prepare to pay over 3x the rent upfront for all of the fees and deposits.
You get the idea. Things just aren’t as simple.
Another thing we’ve realized is that pictures can be both humorous and deceiving. Here are a few of my favorite types of photos that brokers post:
CROWDED WITH STUFF: WOW! This photo really makes me want to move in here!
NOT OF THE APARTMENT AT ALL: This really gives me a feel for the apartment. Thank you.
VERY OBSCURE PHOTO OF APARTMENT: Again, this one image really gives me a good feel for the layout of the apartment.
It’s also helpful to know the euphemisms:
GARDEN or PARLOR-LEVEL APARTMENT: You’re essentially on the ground level with bars on your windows. Creepers may or may not look in your windows as you sleep.
JUNIOR 1-BR: Considering a queen size bed will barely fit in a normal 1-BR, I don’t even want to see the junior version.
HUGE: Probably right around 600 square feet.
CHARMING: A bit outdated and run down.
FLOOR-THRU: Really long, narrow apartment with no windows in center rooms. Really awkward for furniture. Typically these places are closet-less.
STEPS TO TRAIN: Half of a mile to subways.
Well, there are probably 100 new listings since I’ve drafted this post, so I better get back to them. Craigslist awaits!