DIY

11 Ways To Actually Find An Apartment In NYC

Because it doesn’t always have to be a nightmare.

Finding an apartment in New York is, pardon the hyperbole, LITERALLY THE WORST.

NBC Universal / Via redbubble.com

Only in New York will real estate agents, Craigslist and “friends of a friend” think it’s acceptable to trick you into living in a windowless box for $3300/month.

We all know that friend of a friend.

Here are the best ways to find an apartment in NYC with advice from real-life New Yorkers who’ve gone through the struggle, so you don’t have to.

1. Zumper

 

Zumper is cool because you can get a free Experian credit report* AND fill out an application to keep on file for when you’re ready to apply for an apartment.

*This kind of credit report is called a “soft pull” and won’t affect your credit score.

2. Pad Mapper

Padmapper will let you search by map, which is super helpful, especially in a time where “East Willliamsburg” can mean “Queens.”

Be sure to adjust the tabs when searching, since they are automatically set to include sublets and rooms which will inflate search results.

3. Craigslist

 

CRAIGSLIST! Frequently this site is just a giant garbage bin, but you can actually find an apartment here (it’s where I found mine).

Consider looking at listings with no photos (many landlords just don’t have the time/energy/technological skills to take pics) for the best deals. It’s definitely a “you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince” type situation, but there is definitely gold to be discovered.

4. Nooklyn

Nooklyn is a standard apartment finding website (rentals + roommates) with emphasis on finding the right neighborhood for you. While they specialize in Brooklyn (get it? Nooklyn?) they do have a few Manhattan hoods as well.

They don’t have as many listings as some of the others on this list, but they’re legit, with excellent photos and lots of helpful information about neighborhood, like where to get the best coffee and find the cutest date-night bars.

5. Joinery

Joinery (formerly known as Nestie) is one of the most unique apartment search sites out there. It connects departing tenants with people looking for housing (entire apartments as well as rooms).

As a departing tenant, you can list your place on the site directly and as an incoming tenant, you pay the departing tenant a 5% fee (rather than a broker fee, which can be anywhere from 8.5%–17%).

Everyone wins!

6. Naked Apartments

 

Naked Apartments is a standard “I want X for $X/month” type of search, but their listings are pretty good.
They also have a cool feature where you can enter in your price range and number of bedrooms and they will generate a map that tells you where you will have the best luck.

7. Street Easy

 

StreetEasy has one of the largest selections of apartments. Requires some sifting for sure (especially since lots of “featured” units are placed at the top which don’t exactly match your search), but I know many people that have had great luck on this site.

8. MySpace NYC

Different MySpace, although how fun would that be?

MySpace NYC has a small but mighty list of apartments. Some are even posted before the tenant departs (the ones with out images), which could definitely be to your advantage.

9. Urban Pads NYC

Think of Urban Pads as a more curated Craigslist with a focus on Brooklyn.

These apartments are all listed by brokers who post directly to the site, which means you’ll pay a fee. The upshot is that you can input what exactly you’re looking for and a real human will get back to you with some options.

10. Corcoran

Corcoran is on the *higher end* of the spectrum, and will prove to be most helpful for those with a large budget. They have really nice, very expensive listings and charge a pretty high broker fee as well.

This is definitely a “you get what you pay for” type scenario, but if you can afford it, it’s totally worth it.

11. The Listings Project

I debated whether or not to put Listings Project on this list because I find it to be one of the last great secrets to finding roommates, housing and work/studio space in NYC. So, I’M SORRY if i am blowing up your spot, but it’s too good not to share and it’s helped a lot of people I know.

This is an email you sign up for, and while it requires a LOT of scrolling, and you can’t search for anything specific, it’s an amazing resource.

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