We need to find an apartment in Long Island. How do we do?
June 1, 2015 1:49 PM   Subscribe

My partner will be attending Stony Brook University for Medical School starting this August. We need to move out of our current Brooklyn apartment at the end of June. In NYC, finding an apartment seems relatively straightforward - there's plenty in our price range on Craigslist, and we have friends and social connections to speed things up. We have no idea how to easily find an apartment in the Stony Brook or larger LI area by July 1st. Help?

It seems like there's a real paucity of apartments listed on Craigslist - in Suffolk County, does every just find their apartments through brokers? How? Do they deal directly with apartment complexes? Or is it something else?

Really, what we need is this:
- Somewhere within a 45-minute-drive radius of Stony Brook (ideally to the west, as one of us will be commuting to NYC for work regularly)
- Within a walkable mile of an LIRR station if at all possible, so the current primary wage-earner can commute without monopolizing the shared car
- An apartment for $1800 monthly tops, $2000 if we're really stretching it

We appreciate advice on this so much - thank you.
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Check out the stony brook website , consider grad student and/or family housing. They likely also have off-campus listings.

Find student groups for incoming or current students at the med school and ask about those vacating their apartments.

Call the admissions office and ask.

Good luck!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:14 PM on June 1, 2015


Forgive if you aren't willing to live on campus, but they seem really affordable for the area.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:42 PM on June 1, 2015

You can try City-Data. When my partner and I were considering a move back east, I had several realtors contact me regarding living arrangements.


Best of luck to you!
posted by singmespanishtechno at 3:32 PM on June 1, 2015

You could try Padmapper or Zillow. Maybe Craigslist just isn't the website where the apartments are.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2015

Response by poster: @internet fraud detective squad: We've applied for on-campus housing, but since there's no guarantee we'll get it, we unfortunately need to search mainly off-campus for apartment housing; we've also read some extremely discouraging stuff online about the upkeep/sanitation of on-campus grad student options. In any case, thank you and appreciate your answer.

@singmespanishtechno: Thanks for the link.

@J. Wilson: Thanks for the site suggestions.

Anyone with experience in finding an apartment in Long Island, we'd love your help/insight - thanks!
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP at 5:50 PM on June 1, 2015

Most renters that I know of locally have indeed found their rentals via a broker. You can often call whatever real estate company seems convenient to the town you most want to live in. For Manhattan commuting, take a look at a LIRR station map to see where you'll find stations. This may require some additional research, because there are some train stations that have potentially inconvenient commutes, with transfers from secondary lines to the primary station lines, some stations have free parking for anyone, some stations have small fees for residents of town, etc etc

The other option seems to be Facebook. I don't know why, but there are a billion and one Long Island Facebook groups. Oftentimes these are buy-and-sell groups, or local "virtual tag sales" and I know a number of people who have found great rentals this way.

Good luck!
posted by waterisfinite at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2015

Oh, bummer. I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful. I'll post for you in a few NYC places, but that's a long shot. You might want to ask on the NYC metafilter group, although I think that is a long shot too. Good luck!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:34 PM on June 1, 2015

First off, I would not hold your breath for the SB grad student housing--even if something came available, it is not great. My experience from colleagues was that the on-campus apartments are primarily for international students who don't know any better, and even they will get the heck out as soon as they can find something better (shared house, etc). With your budget you guys can afford something vastly superior. As you have probably discovered by now, there are not as many managed apartment complexes out in Suffolk as there are in the average American suburban areas (primarily because most of the county is not served by sewers). But, there are some. I would suggest checking out these if you want to avoid living in someone's basement or converted garage --Fairfield Properties is one company with lots of complexes, Avalon Communities is another, I know there are more. I've lived in two different Fairfield apartment complexes in the Stony Brook area and they were both fine, decently run and well under $2k a month for a one bedroom. PM me if you want the details.

Many of my friends out here live in rental houses that they share with several roommates. That's an option too, if you find it more appealing. To answer your question about brokers, yes, unfortunately they are commonly used to find rentals and they charge one month's rent as a fee. Also, keep in mind the cost of heating in winter will be high and is often not included in the rent.
posted by Jemstar at 7:45 PM on June 1, 2015

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