More NYC Apartment Hunting Woes
February 5, 2018 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I am currently in a Clinton Hill sublet for 1650 a month that is more or less the upper end of my budget, but is very comfortable. My sublettor's trip ended early and he wants to move back in ASAP, although we'd previously agreed on me staying till the end of February. No pressure from him, but he's been a good person to work with so I'm pressed to find a new place. Tons of irritating details below the jump...

I've been doing daily searches on Craigslist, Street Easy and No real good hits. Many scams so far (I'm presuming anyway - people being cagey about showing the place, and also asking for money up front). I've decided to expand my search, but had some questions:

> The only place that has been a semi-decent match has a separate bathroom in the hall with its own lock and key. How annoying is this on a day-to-day basis?

>I've considered moving to a further neighborhood (Jersey or Queens) and taking the commuter train. Are there any areas that are especially convenient to downtown Brooklyn that would still be friendly to a person without a car?

> Are there any neighborhoods that might have furnished sublets in the ~$1400 range? Am I deluded in thinking that's a doable price for something livable?

> Are there any websites I'm missing that would generate better hits?

A bit more about my needs: ideally a studio, I'd also be OK with roomies for cheaper rent but would need a private bathroom, I'm fine with no in-building laundry (but of course that would be nice), I don't have a car, and I work in Downtown Brooklyn. Also no pets, and a non-smoker. Short term would be ideal, since I think I just lined up a summer research gig, but haven't locked it in yet - so a 6 month lease would be nice.
posted by codacorolla to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are there any areas that are especially convenient to downtown Brooklyn that would still be friendly to a person without a car?

Pretty much anywhere off the B/Q above Kings Highway in southern Brooklyn will get you to Atlantic/Dekalb in about a half hour on the Q and less than that on the B, station to station. That's not counting delays and service changes and so on but it's much, much faster than both the D and the F.
posted by griphus at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2018

The bathroom thing is super annoying. Several years ago I lived in an apartment where my room was off the main entry hall (building staircase hall, not apartment hall), and I had to unlock the main apartment door to get into the kitchen/bathroom/living room. My room was completely separate, like a hotel room. It was fine during the day when we kept the doors unlocked (top floor of a brownstone) but it was a huge PITA at night. When I woke up at 3am and really had to pee, getting out my keys to go to the bathroom and worrying about accidentally locking myself out of somewhere was really annoying. I don't know what I would've done if I ever couldn't find my keys in the middle of the night. Plus I would sometimes to use that hall pass through in only a towel, etc. I only lasted six months in that place despite the dirt cheap rent. YMMV but I would not do it again...but I was in my 20s then, and I'm rapidly approaching 40 now, so....
posted by john_snow at 1:59 PM on February 5, 2018

Jersey won't really work for a quick Brooklyn connection, especially given your budget constraints. I'd concentrate my search in Queens. It's going to be a challenge, though.

Facebook has a NYC apartments for rent group you might try joining. I've never used it to find an apartment, so can't speak directly to the scamminess or lack thereof, but it does seem relatively busy and a lot of the traffic seems towards the lower end of the market, so you might do better there than on Streeteasy.

You're quite right not to have any dealings with anyone who wants cash up front.
posted by praemunire at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2018

Give the Listings Project a try.
posted by minervous at 2:15 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Facebook has a NYC apartments for rent group you might try joining.

If you have a particular neighborhood in mind you can also join their FB page (or the most active/populated one.) The 2-3 I'm in regularly have people posting that they're looking for an apartment/room, or they have one to rent, and if you can stomach a broker's fee, real estate agents are always on the prowl in there.
posted by griphus at 2:28 PM on February 5, 2018

it's much, much faster than both the D and the F

That's not right. I agree avoid the F like the plague, but 36th Street to Atlantic on the D is five minutes station to station. If you're talking half hour train time, you could go much farther South. Also the B doesn't run on the weekends so then you don't have a weekend express option, unlike the D line.
posted by unannihilated at 2:30 PM on February 5, 2018

Oh - one other question - coming from a place without broker fees, I'm resolving myself to potentially paying them on my next place. Will brokers work with you if you don't have that money up front? Things are kinda tight right now, and an additional month's rent in addition to the security deposit is doable over time, but not at signing.
posted by codacorolla at 3:35 PM on February 5, 2018

The legal side of Airbnb is longer-term sublets, so check there too! here is a sample NYC monthly search
posted by rmless at 3:36 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

We pay less than you for an unfurnishrd one bedroom in Jamaica Qurens that's walkable to the LORD. The LIRR from Jamaica to Atlantic Terminal is about 20 minutes, but substantially more expensive than the subway.
posted by Jahaza at 5:05 AM on February 6, 2018

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