Help me find an apartment in New York!
February 7, 2014 10:44 PM Subscribe
I'm a single young man currently living in New Jersey. I work downtown (near the Fulton St. A stop) and have a standing appointment in the West Village twice a week that keeps me out until 10:30 and 12:30, respectively. I'd like to move into the city proper to make both of these things easier, but I've only ever lived with family and friends (in Chicago). What would be some good neighborhoods for me to consider? How do I find room-mates? How do I find places to look at? Do I need a broker? More on my budget, desires, and lifestyle inside.
posted by d. z. wang to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Numbers first: I'd like to stay under $1000/month and absolutely cannot afford more than $1500. (Although, to be honest, these numbers sound completely fantastic to me; in Chicago, I paid $265 to share 3BR/1BA.)
Location: I'd like to be within thirty minutes of Fulton St, and I'd like to be able to walk safely as late as one or two. I don't really care whether the neighborhood has any restaurants, coffee shops, theatres, museums, etc. My interests are pretty specific and eclectic, and I think I know where to go for most of them.
Based on my previous housing experiences, here are the things that have been problematic for me:
- I cook and am kind of picky about kitchens. Minimally, a gas stove, and an exhaust fan; ideally, a deep double sink, at least 36" of counter or non-wobbly island, and a microwave. A mainstay of my social life in Chicago was inviting people over to cook and/or eat with me. I also do my mise en place a week at a time, so a full-size freezer and refrigerator would be best. (Or, I guess, room-mates who never cook.)
- I ride a bicycle and want to store it indoors. A bike room with an immobile rack would be fine. I can also bring it into my room.
It might be helpful to add that I seem to require less personal space than most people. For three years I shared a bedroom with a friend, and then the next year I had a desk in somebody's living room and a hammock on the porch. (I actually loved that place; the people were interesting and the kitchen was great!) For a few months I shared a Manhattan studio with three other people. I would say I'm pretty good at getting along with people in tight quarters and I have low demands of the physical facilities.
But those were all with people I knew, sometimes for years. I suspect my ideal housing situation, if I wasn't already friends with my room-mates, would be some kind of co-op arrangement where I had a private bedroom and shared a common kitchen, bathroom, and dining/living space with a large number of other people.
Another problem: I've never looked for housing in New York. In Chicago I found my room-mates first and just went wherever they wanted. Craigslist has been nothing but frustration in terms of searching through the listings, arranging viewings and getting people to actually do them as scheduled, etc. Maybe there's some sort of etiquette I'm ignorant of? Maybe I should just rent a two-bedroom, post my own ad, and hope I find a room-mate before I run out of money?
So, in summary:
- What neighborhoods should I look at?
- How do I find an apartment? Do I need a broker? How does Craigslist work?
- How do people find room-mates if they don't already know them?