Sunday, July 17, 2011


This is exactly how I'm feeling right now. This round of apartment hunting in the city is not going well for me. I've sent out over 30 emails and so far I've only seen four places. I've had appointments that got cancelled last minute, or ones that suddenly wouldn't reply, or sounded great but then the people would tell me they lived above a noisy bar...

Of those four, I fell absolutely in love with the most recent one I saw which was located in the Upper West Side. After expressing my interest, they finally informed me yesterday that the room had been filled, which I figured when I didn't hear back from them right away. Darn.

The listings for August 1 are not plentiful in the areas I'm considering. I've even expanded my search parameters and even then, not much is coming up. For some reason, there's something about September 1 that is already managing to be more a "I should move then" point: I have an acquaintance moving to the city at the end of August who needs a place for September 1, I have two friends who are currently roommates that will need a third as of September 1 and I have a coworker on another floor who is moving to the city and needs a roommate for September 1. To top it all off, there are ALREADY listings on Craigslist for September 1, which is unheard of in the city as turn-around is generally 2-3 weeks out and never over a month!

Since it's getting later in the month, I'm starting to toy with the following ideas:
  • Sublet or sleep on friends' couches for the month of August and see about moving in with any of the people I know above (and yes, storing most of my stuff for a month)
  • Find a 2-bedroom for August 1 and pay the full rent while looking for someone to move in on September 1 (again, possibly the two who need roommates from above)
Obviously, the first option would be the cheapest, even with storage facility costs. The second option...would require a lot of money: full rent, security deposit, potential broker's fee and then sharing the costs of furnishing a place (though I know this can be done cheaply via Craigslist/Ikea). My parents have expressed the fact that they would be happy to help me out if I decide to go that route, which of course makes me incredibly grateful.

The hardest part about this is the fact that I really do not want to have to move TWICE in the next month. I already moved across the country, crashed with friends for a week and have been in two different sublets since the end of March. However, if all this headache and frustration leads me to a fantastic situation with a long-term lease...I think I can manage. Right?

I'm still crossing my fingers that something will magically appear and I'll be able to sign onto a lease in a share for August 1.


Frugalista July 17, 2011 at 11:47 AM  

I would be pretty darn tired of moving too! I hope something comes up soon but it sounds like once you make it through sept 1 no matter what you will finally be totally settled. Oh and BTW your parents are awesome!

wheresmomsmoney July 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM  

It's astonishing to me that renting in NYC is such a process!! I don't blame you for being frustrated but wishing you much luck! There's still two weeks left in August - it could still happen! :)

Rachel R July 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

Where are you looking? I know of a UES broker that specializes in cheaper apartments, however, you will pay a one month fee. Sometimes you can come across amazing deals last minute. Do you use That was my favorite website when I was looking.

Alterations Needed July 18, 2011 at 9:32 PM  

I have NO idea how you're doing all this moving and are still legally sane. I would be having an emotional breakdown. I have my fingers crossed for you, and will be excited to finally hear when you have a long term lease!

Anonymous August 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM  

I'd recommend calling over emailing. Brokers (or better, management companies) don't take emails seriously, and will deal with a call better. Also, if you really want to save money and don't mind living in a pre-war rental, I recommend finding some reputable management company numbers and daily calling them. Ask friends who have good management companies to give you their names and contact numbers.

Start at 9am, call as many times a day as it takes to reach someone and when they put you off, start again the next day. Eventually they will shuffle you into the first available unit they can find. And sine people vacate and reno happen all the time, they will get you in the place as fast as they can. Being an early morning pest pays off in NYC!

Another alternative is to call the management offices of new construction buildings -- you can get a place as soon as the dust settles and you may be able to negotiate rent when they have hundreds of units to fill.

Thomas August 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM  

The most frustrating part with apartment hunting for me in NYC was that the whole process is mostly condensed into a 2-week pressure cooker sprint where things happen or fall through fast. August is here now - hope you either found a place or are doing some couch-surfing to conserve some more cash.

I'm the co-founder of, a tool that may have helped you in that crucial time - the idea is that you organize your whole hunt from one platform - save listings from various sites and contact brokers with the click of a button. Check it out - would love to hear your thoughts...

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