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How to find the best apartment in New York in 2024

When someone mentions a city with an opportunity for anyone, some of the first thoughts are about New York, and we are not wrong for thinking that way. This city has it all, and somehow there is always room for more people from all over the world, which makes it one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Now, someone might say that there are too many people, or that the everyday crowds are unbearable, and they are somewhat right, and you might need a little more time for something that otherwise will not take so long. The same thing is with apartments, and there are actually two problems – how to find it and how to avoid overpaying for one. But finding the affordable and livable place in NY is possible, and since many people are also searching for one, the competition is fierce. That is why we did all the necessary research for you, and in this text, you will find out the best way to find the right apartment in New York for you.

Knowing what you can afford

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How the whole rental system works in the Big Apple, is that many landlords require that income must be more than 30 to 40 times the rent, to be eligible for the apartment. It is all because of the cost of living in NY, and the landlords do this to avoid not to get paid, and although at first glance, it may seem confusing, it is quite simple, and if someone is making 30.000 dollars, the most rent affordable is $750 a month. Do not let this fact discourage you, finding a place for this amount per month is doable. It may mean that you will have to share your apartment, but there are more than decent rooms for the price under 1.000 USD.

Choosing a Moving Company

Choosing and deciding on the apartment is always followed by picking the right moving company, especially if you are planning a long-distance move. It is a crucial part of you moving somewhere because you want all your staff safely transported and that the company will guarantee precisely that. Moving companies like CA-NY Express offers basic insurance of your possessions at no extra cost. Besides that, you don’t want to worry about the delivery time frame and the price, and when the moving company, like this one, guarantees that it only comes as a bonus.

Learning NYC boroughs

Those who live here are familiar with many different boroughs, but for newbies, this may look somewhat complicated. For starters, every borough other than Manhattan is an outer borough. The other important thing is that the subway goes everywhere, which you will most likely use the most. Besides the Manhattan, which is the center of everything, the other widely-known counties are Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, New Jersey, and State Island.

Of course, the most expensive borough is Manhattan, where some apartments can reach sky-high prices, but even here, you can find some places or rooms for a reasonable price. It may also cost you some space, but living here has so many benefits. Some of the best neighborhoods are Washington Heights, Alphabet City, Central, and East Harlem.

Queens is getting more popular over the years, and this lively and diverse borough offers excellent housing with no cost and hype like Brooklyn, which is quite popular among young professionals. There, for affordable apartments, you will have to head in its eastern part like Williamsburg. Although it may not be as sub-urban as some of the neighborhoods in Queens like Elmhurst or Kew Gardens, it is a great place to reside.

If you are searching for a place with low rents, and the distant location is not a problem, then the Bronx is the one for you. Even though traveling from and to it can take some time, Bronx makes up for that with some great restaurants, famous attractions, and several universities.

Well, if traveling is not a difficulty, then New Jersey is also a borough you should consider. There are a lot of people living here and working or studying in New York. The rents are not as low as they are in the Bronx, but there is an excellent subway connection with lower Manhattan, which makes up to that.

With choosing to live in Staten Island, you will get a cozy room for a more than a fair price, not be that far away from the bustle of the city, and still, get a more sub-urban feeling.

Ground Searching

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Paying for someone to search for an apartment on your behalf is also a solution, but in that case, it may cost you more. The benefit of using a broker is that they will surely always find what you want, but the price for that service is about 15% of the year’s rent. The other popular solution is subletting, and it means that you rent a room without placing your name on the lease. It also has some advantages like finding a room much faster, and even renting month to month, which is quite good because of the flexibility. But subletting has one big flaw, as the leaseholder can at any time make you leave.

Web Searching

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Before the search for the apartment, everyone should at least have some idea of what they are looking for, and for that, making a list is quite helpful. On that list, besides the budget in which you would like to add utilities (often not included in the rent), should be if you have kids, need a parking place, have a pet, etc. Searching for the place to live is much easier today because of many sites dedicated to this, such as:

  • StreetEasy (more pricey, but with numerous info on the buildings and apartments)
  • Listing Project (e-mail based site with new info on new condos every week)
  • Zumper (outer boroughs included)
  • PadMapper (extended geographical reach with results on entered criteria)

Living with a friend is always a practical solution for many reasons (security, safety, socializing, etc.). But not everyone has that option, and living with someone is much different than being friends. Since renters in New York City very often end up living with strangers, for those moving solo, the best answer is to keep an eye for people around your age with similar values and interests. Do not be surprised if you don’t even see your roommate for a while, because it is still a city that never sleeps, and where you can always do or see something.

Final thoughts

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful, follow these guidelines and just go, have fun, and enjoy a unique vibe of New York. Taking on your apartment seeking journey will help you better learn the city and what it has to offer. It truly is a city that never sleeps.

About David Montano