October 10, 2007 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Looking for an apartment in Astoria, Queens.

I am moving to NY in 2 weeks and I need an apartment.

My husband and I have reached the conclusion that Astoria is the best area for now. Quality/price I mean.

I hear getting a place in NY is quite an adventure.What makes it harder is that I don't trust Craigslist . Also, realtors are ripping us off.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I need an apartment ASAP .
Any suggestions are highly appreciated .
My email address is

Thank you so much.
posted by lumidine to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't "trust" Craigslist? If you're not willing to look there, or hire a broker, you're going to have quite a time. So, my suggestion (and you said all suggestions were appreciated) is to get over it. Start searching, start calling, start e-mailing, and keep doing so until you find a place.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:21 PM on October 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

You must trust Craigslist but go there with a discerning eye and bring a camera to every apartment and house you look at. Also good are local newspapers in Queens.
posted by parmanparman at 3:21 PM on October 10, 2007

craigslist is the only way to go. i found two great apartments through it. you will have to look at a lot until you find something that works, but i'm not kidding. craigslist is the goldmine.

what you might do is find a short-term sublet (1 month, 3 months) to give you time to search.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:36 PM on October 10, 2007

I have lived in Astoria for about a year.

You should try to get a short-term sublet so you have time to visit places. Craigslist is a great way to find an apartment. Or, when you see a building that you like, call the management company and ask about vacant apartments.

Like all neighborhoods in New York, Astoria's boundaries are fluid and you don't want to end up far away from the subway in a not-so-nice neighborhood (the area can be quite gritty in the more Eastern areas, traditionally Long Island City but being passed of as Astoria). So please, please, please do not sign anything without taking the train to the apartment and seeing the surroundings in person. Preferably at night.
posted by sondrialiac at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2007

If you wind up living in Woodside, the border-zone neighborhood between Astoria and Jackson Heights, remember this:

The flight path to LaGuardia runs right down 61st. street. The planes run all night and day, from 6:00 a.m. until after midnight.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2007

Agreeing with all that you should learn to love Craigslist, but as sondrialiac mentioned your other option is to contact property management companies directly. This might save you the dreaded broker's fee. Maybe.

Some of the off-campus housing offices at NYC universities keep good lists of management company websites; here are the ones maintained by NYU and Columbia. Most of these sites allow you to search their rental listings. Many of the companies listed don't own buildings in Queens, but some do and it's probably worth browsing through to get an idea of the market.

Semi-related: Every single friend that asks me for NYC apartment-hunting advice receives an email with Civil_Disobedient's list of Shit You Need To Get Together (from an old thread), because it is so, so true. Save yourself the panic and start gathering those materials ahead of time.

Good luck!
posted by lalex at 7:35 PM on October 10, 2007

Are you Greek? Do you have Greek friends? Hit them up for a hook up.
posted by spec80 at 9:56 PM on October 10, 2007

I don't trust Craigslist
So now you're using Askme as craigslist? Oh well. Don't mean to piggy back but does anyone have a stockpot or toaster oven? kthxbye.
posted by special-k at 11:57 PM on October 10, 2007

I'll definitely put in another vote for trusting Craigslist over realtors/brokers. Please don't think people are just snarking when they say that. I've been screwed by brokers, never by the for-rent-by-owner types on Craigslist. Remember there are different ways to view apts on CL -- you can view only the ones that are for rent by owner.

Astoria is great btw, good choice.

I will also very strongly recommend searching in person (your question doesn't make it clear, but it is crucially important that you NOT even consider signing any lease long distance -- no matter how many pics you see or how nice the landlord sounds).
posted by lorimer at 6:31 AM on October 11, 2007

First off, thank you all for your replies.

I said I didn't trust Craigslist after HAVING GIVEN IT A LOOOT OF CHANCHES.
When I posted my question yesterday it was because I had just been in touch with what turned out to be a scammer. And I was pissed and disappointed.
And I "askme" because I know the kind of people who are members here. That is, smart, serious people.
Or at least that is my impression.
About our move, it seems we'll stay at a hostel or find a sublet because there's not much we can do from here. We need to get there first.
Thank God we're young and we don't have any kids or pets.We'll be fine.Us and the hobos. :)
posted by lumidine at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2007

OK, gotcha. I'm not sure exactly how you got scammed, but here are a couple of tips for avoiding scammers:

-Don't give anyone an application fee over about $40 (I even avoid that, frankly). EVER. I've seen people request $200 non-refundable application fees.

-Security deposit and/or rent should leave your hand only if they are replaced immediately with a signed lease, and preferably the keys to your apartment.

-Expect the apartment to come as-is. Do not expect it to improve substantially from its condition when you sign the lease.

Good luck. You should be able to find a short term place, but as a couple it'll be a bit harder so make sure to emphasize that you're a calm, quiet, couple who never fights. Ever.
posted by sondrialiac at 12:19 PM on October 11, 2007

"calm, quiet, couple who never fights. Ever."

hahahahahahaaaaaaa,yeah that's us all right:)

thank you for the advice. we are information collectors. and we'll do the right thing in the end. it's just the details that are killing us:)
anyway, once again thank you for your replies.maybe we'll get together over a cup of coffee sometime.
posted by lumidine at 1:42 PM on October 11, 2007

« Older What kind of lawn can I grow in almost total...   |   I need a shot in the arm... FIGURATIVELY. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.