TIPS FOR FINDING AN APARTMENT IN NYC | How to Search, View + Get Approved During a Pandemic

hello everybody my name is chelsea

callahan and welcome back to my channel

if you have been following along with my

channel you know that last week i just

moved into my

very own studio apartment in new york

city which i honestly

i never thought would happen i wouldn't

have been able to do it if it weren't

for the pandemic it's really

sad for multiple reasons on many levels

but here i am

in my own place filming my first video

in my new apartment i was able to find

this apartment

pretty easy and i'm going to share with

you all of my secrets all of my tips

on not only how to find a really good

place but how to avoid scams along the


these are also tips on how to actually

get the apartment that you apply for so

i'm gonna be addressing the entire

process great let's get into it so let's

talk about

searching for an apartment sometimes

it's really hard to know where

to look i'm going the no broker route

because as we've established i'm on a


all the freaking time the first resource

i used was street easy

this is actually my favorite one and i

believe it's the most popular way people

find an apartment without a broker

it covers all the boroughs and you can

enter as many specifics as you want on

exactly what you're looking for

it not only has rentals but it also has


if you're looking to buy property and

you can search like per

location you can search if you want like

a washer dryer and a unit you can search

by price but my favorite part is is that

you're able to save

your searches which means you don't have

to re-input all that information every

single time

and it will email you i think every day

i think i get an email from street easy

every day still i haven't turned it off

yet so based on the search that you save

it will notify you right when

something's posted which is actually how

i was able to get my apartment

because i was near first in line and i

couldn't have known if i wasn't notified

really early on sometimes you see the

perfect apartment and it's just too late

so you want to be

first so that's the best tip i have for

you is to save that search so that you

are notified

and so you don't have to keep refreshing

the page every five seconds because i


not a lot of us have all the time in the

world to do that similar to street easy

is and zillow the more

places you're searching obviously the


apartments you will be able to find i

also included craigslist in my search

but in new york i found it's a little

bit more sketch to search on craigslist

there's just

a ton more scams but there are hidden

gems in craigslist so don't eliminate

this platform from your search there's a

lot of landlords out there that are


because they don't want to get brokers

for it and that gives you an opportunity

to one not have to pay a broker fee

but two to get the idea on the person

that you'll ultimately have to be

working with

i personally like it when landlords

advertise their own space

they genuinely know more about the space

that you'll be living in

keep an eye on craigslist for those gems

i've seen a few the last platform that i


it's called the listing project and it's

this email list that you get sent every


on people who are either searching for

an apartment and they're putting out ads

for themselves on what they're looking


or it's people advertising a space i

like this

because there's not as many scams


it was too expensive for me i didn't see

anything within my budget

sign up for the newsletter for the

listing project check out what it has to

offer it's just another resource that's

slightly different than the other


so as we've discussed it is important to

get your foot in that door as soon as


the best way to do that is to be as

aggressive as possible brokers here are


really aggressive even landlords really

really aggressive so you've got to be

aggressive too

in your search you're going to find a

phone number for either a landlord or

broker whoever's advertising the

apartment and you call them you don't

text them you don't email them you call

them you leave a voicemail with your

contact information

one that shows that you're actually

interested and you're being really

proactive about your search

second if i were a broker i would call

that person back because i get the

impression that they're really serious

and they don't want to waste my time

that's some of the best advice i have

for you is to be aggressive

apartment prices are dropping i think

the apartment that i have right now it


300 to 400 more dollars

than i'm paying now which is a pretty

huge price

reduction again it's the only way i

could afford it and this is for a studio

it's higher in demand than like two or

three bedrooms simply just because of

cobit and people wanting to live by

themselves but if you are looking for a

two-plus bedroom and you actually have


and that's what you want to do this is a

great time to move to new york city i'll

go into more of the deals later because

that can be

a red flag but the one deal that i

really like and i actually took

advantage of myself was a no fee


right now there are a lot of offers for

no fee apartments you do not need a

broker to get an apartment right now in

new york city

at least i did not have to pay a broker

fee even though i did go through a


because my landlord ended up paying that

fee which i think was extremely lucky

but it's at least nice to know that

it does exist that you don't always have

to pay the exorbitant

broker fee which is always in the

thousands of dollars so when you're

searching for an apartment on those

websites consider the cost of living of

the neighborhood that you are

looking to live in i almost got an

apartment in the ovaries side and then i

realized that i couldn't actually afford

cost of living for that neighborhood

the rent was affordable but i couldn't

pay eight dollars for a cappuccino down

the street i couldn't afford to shop at

whole foods which was the local grocery


which plays a huge part into your budget

cost of living

does add up because even though you got

a deal in that neighborhood you'll just

end up paying

the same amount in cost of living for

that neighborhood i would be remiss to

not talk about scam scams when you are

searching for an apartment

are everywhere and they've always been

in new york but i feel they are more

prominent now than before a good rule of

thumb is that if it seems too good to be

true it probably is

and do not go for it landlords right now

are money hungry and they're gonna find

any little thing in your apartment that

looks even a little bit off even it

wasn't your fault they're gonna use that

to take your deposit away i'm not trying

to be alarmist

to scare you or anything but just be

aware that it's happening and do extra

good job at cleaning your apartment

before you go

and take pictures of everything in your

empty apartment the day or the week that

you move in

so it has that day and time stamp so

that you can prove to the landlord when

you move out that what they are seeing

or trying to charge you for

wasn't actually you i think i took over

50 pictures i'm not trying to say that

all landlords are scumbags or

greedy but i'm just gonna consider all

of them as such

so that way i don't screw myself over

landlords and supers are not here to

give you any break at all during this

pandemic which is really

sad there are no breaks on credit

there's no

forgiveness if you are unemployed

because of covid

if you don't have a great credit score

if you don't have a job

even though you had like the same job

for 20 years and got laid off because of

coba they don't care if you do not have

a job if your credit is bad you will

need a guarantor which is not the worst

thing but you will need a guarantor so

this next scam

it's unfortunately huge and it is

everywhere and it doesn't seem like a

scam and a lot of people don't realize

it's a scam but it is a scam

there are deals everywhere you get a

deal and you get a deal and you get a

deal two months off your rent four

months off your rent six months off your

rent that's

insane to just offer that much free rent

some landlords are advertising net rent

only and not gross rent say you got an

apartment with a deal that gives you two

months free

you're actually going to be paying every

month a lower amount to

that net price they're advertising for

the net rent and not the gross rent so

when your lease is up so you're going to

jack that price back up if you are not


to pay the gross rent for that apartment

you're going to be in a world of hurt

we don't know what's going to happen

with the new york housing market but

make sure the gross rent is something

that you can afford if you want to take

some of these deals

unless you want to have to worry about

potentially moving again because you

can't afford a place with the way that

it's going landlords are expecting

new york to be back whatever that means

by the end of 2021 which is when a lot

of leases will be ending

from the deals that they are giving now

so just watch out for that always

prepare with more money and look for a

place without those deals that is a

long-term way for the landlords to

squeeze that extra money out of you

just be aware another subtle scam is

landlords are reposting apartments that

are not getting

rented quick enough when i'm looking at

an ad for an apartment i

do take into consideration how long this

apartment has been on the market if it's

been on the market for like 14 or 28

days i'm gonna assume there's a reason

why it has not been rented yet because

it's new york city there's got to be

something wrong i'm seeing landlords and

brokers reposting ads

of the same place with a price drop not

only to hide the fact that they

are having a hard time renting it but

also they don't want you to see in the

price history that the price has been

lowered because they don't want you to

know that they're struggling so that you

won't negotiate

a lower rent i mean i don't know if i

need to even say this it's just so

obvious but if people are asking for

money before you've even seen the


it's a scam i have to share with you an

experience i had replying to a

craigslist ad for a too good to be true


ah found it so check out this email i

messaged a guy back

about an apartment i saw his craigslist

ad for an upper west side studio for

18.50 a month which is

really really cheap it's too good to be

true i asked if it's still available if

i can schedule a viewing

look at this whole storybook that he

sent me he's like thanks for your

interest in the apartment and i'm glad

to hear from you

totally normal i resided in the house

with my wife before we moved and

relocated to florida for my missionary


why do i need to know this my wife and i

left new york city with the intention of

moving back in three months but right

now the church has asked that we stay

for five years for this reason i decided

to put up my apartment for rent whatever

so they had some unfortunate events in

the past which is leading to them

needing money from me immediately

because they got scammed by someone who

backed off didn't give them any money

really weird i have not given any

information except my phone number my

name and a couple questions which he has


answered so clearly this is a copy paste

this is not the first time that i've

seen a sob story about

a missionary needing to be out of new

york city for five years

those details exactly so those are the

skins that i'm seeing right now so i'm

moving into

viewing what are my best tips for when

you are viewing an apartment

the first thing is to know what you're

looking for ahead of time

so you don't waste your time and so you

don't waste the broker's time

especially if they're offering an

in-person viewing during covid because a

lot of people are not even offering that

it's only a three-day tour

or like a face-time viewing so if the

person is allowing you to go view the

space in person

know that the time spent in the viewing

will be very short and don't go viewing

a place if you know that you are not

actually going to apply

so keep in your iphone a list of

questions that you would ask when you go

view an apartment

in the moment i can get too excited or

too frazzled or too distracted that i

forget to ask

questions that later i'm like um so this

is an example of a list that i have in

my phone of questions that i asked


an apartment viewing double checking the

full move-in fees if there's a history

of bugs in the apartment

if there's laundry in the building if

you have mailboxes

how you deal with garbage double

checking the utilities that the landlord

pays for and the ones that you need to

set up

upon move-in what transportation is

nearby and if they have an option for


if they allow pets in the building and

if so is there a pet deposit

and if you are able to do an in-person

tour this is a little tip that i always

do is

turn the shower on and see how quickly

it goes to hot water

check for that water pressure same with

the sinks pay attention to the

cleanliness of the lobby

and the cleanliness of the stairwells i

have a million locks on my door and i

made sure to notice that when i was

touring this unit

when you're in an apartment listen to

your gut about how safe

you feel unfortunately this is not

something you can do over a virtual tour

if you

took public transportation to your

apartment viewing did you feel safe

walking from the subway or bus to the

door of your apartment safety is a huge

thing especially if you're going to be

living by yourself

another thing is to take a video

sometimes there are little things that i

don't notice when i'm actually in the

unit like what color are the cabinets

what color are the floors did the floors


things that can be caught on tape that

you can go back and refer to

especially if you're viewing multiple

apartments at the same time

it's hard to remember what one was which

i know right now it's probably not

ideal but if you can take a friend with

you to your apartment viewings

sometimes they notice something in the

apartment that you don't

and it's just always good to have a

second set of eyes just make sure that

the person giving you the tour

knows and that they're okay with it and

that you social distance and that you

wear masks but as

always tour in whatever way makes you

feel most comfortable with a virtual

tour is what you're comfortable with

by all means do it there is that option

and as a segway into our next section

always be ready to apply on the spot if

you walk into an apartment and you're


i can see it here apply when you're

applying for a place this goes with not

wasting anyone's time

if you have a guarantor especially if

you have a guarantor do not view an

apartment until

they have all of their documents

together you never really know what the

required documents will be

they change per building but in general

it's just good for them to gather or you

if you're employed a letter of


tax returns from the last couple years

recent bank statements

recent pay stubs a copy of your id and

any references like building or job

references they might have if you have a

guarantor it can be a little bit

trickier because

you're dealing with timing sometimes

it's a game of luck but how all the


before you even see an apartment it goes

along with having all your documents

organized and ready to apply

make sure you have the money ready to

drop the deposit in the first month

and know how you can do that quickly

they're not going to take your apartment

off the market until they receive a

payment from you to protect yourself

just keep

all the receipts know what company

you're working with research the


keep voicemails emails just keep it all

as a record just to protect yourself

i mean this video honestly felt really

anxious and i just get anxious thinking

about it because it was a really

stressful process

when it's over it's done and you don't

have to worry about it anymore

then you can really start being excited

about it planning you know where your

furniture is gonna go

you did all that hard work now you get

to reap those benefits i hope this video

helped at least

one of you to get your own place or

whatever you're looking for

feel free to share this video and if you

have not subscribed make sure to do that

like the video and ring that

notification bell so that you will not

miss another upload i have an apartment

tour coming soon

i have a morning routine coming soon

thank you so much for watching and i

will see you

next time