Strategies for minimizing expense on renting between permanent apts?
December 31, 2014 11:29 AM   Subscribe

(The Rt Hon.) MP  and I have officially been notified that we have to move out of our current NYC apartment on March 1, leaving us with a housing gap until August 2015.* We need to stay in NYC (or NY suburbs). I've only ever looked for apartments here with year-long (or longer) leases. How do we go about finding a month-to-month place? Is there any good way to avoid paying to move twice within one year?

*When I will be starting school in an as-yet-unknown location. We need to stay in NY to maintain in-state tuition at some of the places I'm applying.
posted by ocherdraco to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Look into serviced apartments.
posted by brujita at 11:56 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion, but those seem very expensive. We are hoping not to exceed our current monthly rent of $1650.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:01 PM on December 31, 2014

I would look for a 6 month furnished sublet, and move everything else into storage. Get rid of as much stuff as you can before doing this. Don't put a mattress or any upholstered furniture in storage (bedbugs). Perhaps you can get a house/pet-sitting gig to reduce the cost or even get paid.

There are Executive Apartments, which are furnished and have stocked kitchens, cable and phones. They tend to be on the spendy side. Oakwood has been doing it for years.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:02 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I find AirBnB really useful for such situations.

Another option: people don't often realize that realtors not only help with home sales, but also can help with relocation and temporary housing, and often have contacts and inventory you'd not otherwise be able to connect with. I'd call down a long list of local realtors, and preliminarily winnow by their apparent interest in helping (you'll know quickly if this is something the person does a lot).
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:09 PM on December 31, 2014

I've had to do this a few times; Craigslist may be your best bet. If you don't want roommates, you probably want to search for temporary sublets. Although Craigslist is frequently clogged with spam and fake listings by realtors, you can cut down on a lot of the clutter by specifying a reasonable price range, only viewing listings with pictures, and then only responding to ads that sound like they were written by a human.

Also, some landlords (even big corporate ones) do negotiate leases for less than a year (I got a 7 month lease when I first moved into my current apartment).

If you can afford a realtor, they can do all the work for you and negotiate with landlords.
posted by Pfardentrott at 12:10 PM on December 31, 2014

You can also try for no-realtor no-fee apartment listings, and when you call the landlords, tell them about needing a short-term lease.
posted by Pfardentrott at 12:11 PM on December 31, 2014

Best answer: When do you expect to know where your August move will be? Would it be possible to find a permanent place somehow equidistant from your various options?

Otherwise your best bet would seem to be a short term sublet and not some crazy overpriced corporate solution. Definitely look into a storage unit and keep as much stuff as possible in there, still in moving boxes so it's ready to go in August.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:14 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: JPD, please memail me with details about your place. (We hope to stay in that price range, but it might not be possible.)

When do you expect to know where your August move will be? Would it be possible to find a permanent place somehow equidistant from your various options?

I will know by May. Unfortunately, possible locations are across a range of about 1200 miles (only some of them are nearby), so there's no way to guarantee a temporary place could become permanent. It's a real pickle!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:23 PM on December 31, 2014

I think what I would do is undertake a two pronged search:

1. For your perfect dream place that's location/cost wise great for the NY school options, even if it's a year lease. If you end up staying in NY for school, great! If not, a really good place should be easy to find someone to take over the lease (make sure the lease doesn't prohibit that or is otherwise stupid).

2. For a convenient and well priced storage unit where you can keep the bulk of your stuff. Then look for month to month options on Craigslist. If you are living lightly, you could 'move' multiple times within the six months period paying only cab fare. It could be fun to explore living in different neighborhoods. You could look for both subletting entire (furnished) spaces or taking a room in a shared apartment. Most people I know who moved to NYC started out this route (short leases in furnished spaces) until they found a more permanent place. It's a bit of hassle (searching) but can also be interesting and reasonably economical (you would probably need a stash of cash for deposits, though). Then you can just move your stuff straight from storage to wherever you land.
posted by Salamandrous at 12:44 PM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can look on the Columbia and NYU housing sites for sublets. There are a lot of grad students doing overseas fellowships and things that offer their (university-subsidized) apartments for sublet while gone. A studio is about $1200 unfurnished, so likely under your $1650 cap for a furnished place.

I don't have the links at the ready right now, but if you have trouble finding the right pages, send me a memail and I'll find them later.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:16 PM on December 31, 2014

I don't know how this works on the mean streets of Gotham, but there are companies that will let you move your stuff into a container, then cart away the container and store it for a while, then deliver the same container to your new place. PODS is the one I've dealt with, but I think there are many now. Something like this can really simplify the apartment -- > moving van --> storage --> moving van --> apartment process into apartment --> POD --> apartment.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:46 PM on December 31, 2014

Best answer: Sign up for The Listings Project and keep an eye on the sublet section.
posted by caek at 3:49 PM on December 31, 2014

Echoing the suggestion for the Listings Project.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:48 AM on January 1, 2015

Response by poster: We got a room off the Listings Project! Yaaaaay!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:32 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Also we are putting all our stuff in storage. Things are going well so far.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:34 PM on February 16, 2015

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