How to Find an Apartment in NYC | Renting Tips, Where/When to Look, & More

hey guys welcome to my channel or I

should say welcome back to my channel if

you were here from my apartment or video

I first want to say thank you so much I

was not expecting that video to do so

well the comments have been so nice and

sweet and engaging and I just really

really appreciate it I've wanted to do

this YouTube thing for a long time and

to see that it's just pleasantly

surprising and also just amazing and

reassuring so I'm really excited for all

of you guys to be here also if you did

come from that video you might notice

that I cut my hair and if you are a new

subscriber here or you're a new viewer

welcome my name is Carrie and I live in

New York and I did a tour of my

apartment that you can see on my channel

ok so on that front a lot of people have

been asking various questions about how

I found that apartment how to find New

York City apartments in general renting

all of that I am going to be breaking

this up into various sections that I'm

going to cover a variety of different

topics so I will put all of those and

the times that you can watch them at in

the description box below in case you're

just here for one specific thing you can

just go and skip ahead

I thought I would first go over a little

background on my story in New York I

moved here in September of 2016

without a job and I lived in an Airbnb

actually and that was in Brooklyn on the

border of Clinton Hill and bed-stuy

I had three roommates there it was a

four-bedroom apartment my next apartment

was in Williamsburg it was a three

bedroom apartment where I had two

roommates my next department after that

was a three-bedroom in Alphabet City

which is technically part of our right

next to the East Village and then I

moved up here to the Upper East Side

where I live in a studio now in May of

this year yeah I have had porn if you

don't get to that I have had four

apartments in just over two years which

is crazy but at the same time I from

doing all that have learned a lot about

how to find apartment they've all been

found in different ways and I found

roommates for them in different ways so

while I am not realtor or a professional

at all and I don't know everything I do

feel like I have learned quite a bit

from going through the process several

times and also helping some of my

friends move out here okay how I found

my apartment I found my apartment using

straight easy calm I had been organizing

the listings by most recent posted day

and this had like just come up earlier

that day I had been looking like five

times a day I reached out right away I

came and saw it the next day and I

really wanted it so I ended up working

with a broker and I did unfortunately

have to pay a broker's fee which was not

fun I really really wanted the apartment

and there was no way around it

specifically I think the thing that

helped me I looked kind of during the

offseason peak rental season here is

basically May June to September October

my lease in my last apartment ended June

first and that kind of made me a little

worried that just happens to be a time

when a lot of people are moving in and

out of the city so the rental market a

it's a lot more competitive and be more

expensive because they know the demand

is there I was nervous about that and I

just wanted to start looking to test the

waters and basically just see what was

out there I just started looking in

early April for apartments that had like


first move-in and I would say it was

probably cheaper because I know other

apartments in this building do cost a

little bit more so I found it in April

and I ended up paying for two apartments

at the same time during the month of May

it's not an ideal situation it is not

realistic for everyone I'm completely

aware of that but it's something that I

think if you can financially swing it it

could help you but in terms of

everything else really the Stars just

aligned I know it's not like the best

answer but that's just the truth

so if everything written in some notes

on my computer down here so if you

notice me looking down that's what I'm

looking at

so first sources obviously the most

important thing when you're looking for

an apartment in New York is how are you

gonna find it and where are you gonna

find it personally I think there are a

lot more sources than a lot of people

think about some which are not

conventional but at the same time

nothing about living your in finding

apartments is really conventional first

is obviously website where they list

apartment so that could be Street easy

it could be Zillow it could be truly a

naked apartment they'll obviously have

different filters so that you can narrow

your search down by neighborhood by

number of bedrooms by your budget my

personal favorite is Street easy not

only is it the easiest to use it also

has an option where you can search No

Fee apartments basically No Fee means

that you don't have a broker's fee even

if a broker is showing you the apartment

it just means that you're not

responsible for covering that fee that

basically pays them to do their job it's

the only thing I really want to point

out about this specifically though is

that the man over whelming majority of

the time what you're gonna find on these

websites is apartment where you will be

on the lease

leases here are 12 months sometimes they

can be less or sometimes they can be

more it just really depends so if you

are looking for a more short-term

situation if you don't have a steady

income yet these might not be for you

necessarily the next options are really

fast suited for those who might be

looking for something shorter term or

anything like that

the first is definitely the most

controversial but it can be surprisingly

effective if you just know what you're

looking for and all of that which is

Craigslist obviously you know Craigslist

has not the best reputation in general

for everything just because anyone can

go on there and it's free if you keep

searching you can actually find not only

pretty good deals on there but good

spaces don't write off Craigslist

completely necessarily but if you are

going to go down that rabbit hole just

use your best judgment and if something

looks or seems too good to be true it

probably is

don't wire anyone any money use safety

precautions the next one that I want to

go over

is Facebook groups this might be kind of

a foreign idea if you don't live in New

York necessarily but it's actually a way

that a lot of people find their

apartment I found an apartment that way

I had a friend who did so basically it's

just these Facebook groups that are made

specifically for finding housing and

finding roommates and that kind of thing

they can also kind of be free-for-alls

these are really good if you're looking

for something shorter-term

because a lot of the stuff on there is

either subleases someone looking to fill

an apartment for a month or two oh

that's not to say that you can't find

also a lease on them and there are a ton

of different groups I will link a few of

those below so the next one is called

Nicklin it is actually a rental company

and they have a ton of apartments a lot

of them are in Brooklyn but not all of

them the reason I want to mention this

one is a because one of my apartments

was leased to them and I had a good

experience but also be because I think

they're one of the sites with like the

most advanced website and system all of

the listings list off like the trains

that it's near and all of that and a lot

of their buildings have sorry the

lighting just change all of their

buildings are usually renovated I think

they also have this system where you can

actually find a roommates kind of I'm

not 100% sure how that works but I know

if you like a list and you can like

indicate that and then you can like chat

with people I think through the website

if you've used this comment below

another one is Airbnb that is how I

moved to New York it's kind of it's just

the same as like a short-term rental but

it's a little more structured it feels

like it's a little more like regulated

if something were to happen they are

able to step in because they are a

company versus just someone that you're

messaging on Facebook I wouldn't suggest

it for like longer term than like a

month or two because the people renting

their apartments on there typically up

the price a little bit you can either

rent like a whole place or you can rent

a room I had rented a room while I

didn't know the girls beforehand who

were living there so that was a little

bit of a risk it actually ended up

working out great one of the girls had

just moved into the same Airbnb the same

day as me and we ended up hitting it off

actually and she was my roommate later

on in my off that City apartment and

we're still friends to this day and the

last one I want to mention is an email

list and it is called the listings

project I'm sure there are others out

there but the listings project is the

one that I personally use and really

really liked and have recommended

to other people it's basically a email

subscription list they have a really

nice selection of apartments on there

and it is regulated by them and curated

they have both short and long term it's

something cool to check out

this is kind of a one-off tip but in

terms of when to look for an apartment

you want to look a maximum of a month

before you would like to move maybe even

less and that is completely normal the

market is just crazy here and it's very

fast-paced don't expect to find your

space 3 months in advance basically when

you look that's what's available right


that's what I want to talk about is

factors that can affect the price of

your rent there are a lot of these one

of the biggest ones is where you're

living not even just the neighborhood

that you're living in but also where

you're living in terms of how close you

are to the subway

so besides amenities like is it a walk

over an elevator building is there

laundry in the building do you have a

doorman do a living super I would say

the biggest and most important thing

that can affect the price of your rent

the time of the year that you look so

like I was saying earlier if you look in

the offseason you are more likely to a

get a deal and be have more options at

your disposal one major thing though

with that that I want to point out is

that if you are signing in an offseason

some landlords may require you or ask

you to sign on to a longer lease so that

when your lease ends it puts you in peak

rental season so say you're renting in

April instead of signing a year lease

that ends again at that time they might

have you sign you know 13 14 month lease

other things that can affect the price

are roommates so the more roommates that

you are gonna live with obviously the

price is going to go down more because

you're splitting the cost of the rent

that is not to say that having roommates

in a very expensive area isn't still

gonna mean that your rent is expensive

if you are living roommates the size of

the room can affect the renter pay if

someone else has a bigger room and they

should pay more for their room then you

pay for yours so if you're willing to

sacrifice size you can get a really good

deal sometimes and then another factor

is is it renovated or not is your

building luxury if that's not

necessarily a priority or a need for you

that can definitely help you out

what can you expect to pay this is a

question that I'm not going to give like

a hard answer to and it's not something

that I think I can from my experience I

would say across the board in a lot of

neighborhoods that are deemed you know

more affordable a realistic lower number

is 1,300 I would say this is something

that you can make work but again if

you're paying that price in a more

trendy or lively area you might be

giving up more things I would say 1,500

for a real miss definitely more

realistic and then for a studio you

might be looking at something more like

17 1800 and up from there

all right the next category I want to

cover is where should you live again

this is something that is up to you

really you can get better deals in

certain areas of the city for example I

live in the Upper East Side well I

actually really do like the neighborhood

it's also a conscious decision that I

made in order to find a better deal but

in general I would say areas that tend

to run a little cheaper and I'm

definitely going to forget a billion

options of neighborhoods obviously the

Upper East Side the Upper West Side

alphabets IDIA Astoria and Queens and

then you know various areas in Brooklyn

so like bed-stuy Crown Heights Clinton

Hill Bushwick for sure East Williamsburg

places like that and then areas that are

more expensive that you might want to

avoid are like the West Village Tribeca

Soho for sure parts of Midtown Gramercy

Chelsea Dumbo

Williamsburg is very expensive Cobble


okay last category I want to cover is if

you are choosing to rent what do you

need to qualify for an apartment and get

approved for an apartment it's a little

different everywhere but overwhelmingly

there are some consistencies and

similarities that are pretty standard

when applying for the apartment they're

going to expect certain things for you

to qualify and that means that you can

pay for it and that you're legit the

standard requirement in New York is that

your income is 40 times the monthly rent

at a minimum say the apartment that

you're looking at is a thousand dollars

in rent you would need to make at least

a $40,000 income and so on and so forth

if you don't qualify for that and you

can work with the company and they will

make you no exceptions within reason or

B you're going to have to explore the

idea of getting a guarantor basically

what that is is kind of like a cosigner

so it's someone who can basically

guarantee that they will pay the rent if

you're not able to the only part though

that is not so nice is that your

guarantor has to make 80 times the red

once you do get approved for at least in

fees you're gonna have to pay the first

month's rent up front obviously you're

also probably gonna have to pay the last

month's rent and a security deposit if

you are paying a broker's fee typically

they can be a percentage of the yearly

rent it could be like ten twelve fifteen

percent or you might just end up paying

equivalent of like one month or a half

month these can be a little bit

negotiable it really again depends on

your situation depends on the broker it

could be a lot of money up front so

that's just something I would think

about especially if you don't live here

yet and you're saving up money to move

to New York or something like that so I

think that's everything I wanted to

cover I hope this was helpful to you

guys if you have any more questions if

you want me to elaborate on something

that you didn't feel like you got a full

answer to feel free to leave a comment

below like I said at the beginning I

don't know everything I definitely I

know already you forgot a bunch of stuff

so if you have something you would like

to add please leave it in a comment

below for everyone and if you like this

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know and yeah I will see you guys on the

next one bye