I just signed a lease for my second apartment since moving to New York City after college. Some friends asked me for advice on how to find an apartment here, and I didn’t realize at first how many opinions I have on the whole process. I’ve tried to distill my thoughts and approach here.
Renting an apartment in New York is all about tradeoffs, mostly between time and money. If you’re willing to spend more time seeing apartments in person, then you’re much more likely to find a great apartment that others are overlooking because the information online is incomplete or hard to find. If you’re willing to spend more money or give up something that most other renters are looking for, you can find a nicer apartment without searching for a diamond in the rough.
If you can put in the time to develop an intuition for the types of apartments on the market in your budget, you’ll be much more confident in your decision when you ultimately sign a lease.