RACHEL HERE! For those who do not know me I am Court & Kelly’s assistant, I recently moved apartments and wanted to break down my 5 favorite tips for moving in NYC!
There are those certain repeated moments in our lives we dread*. As New Yorkers,
those moments usually come exactly once each year. Ah, the stresses of moving
month – the inherent of-the-moment feelings that you simply won’t make it through
the month, that you’ll have to just accept that you might be homeless come next
month, or that the time has come where you should finally make the move cross
country (but really just to avoid the ails of moving one’s life storage up five freaking
flights of stairs). Well six years later, I’m here to tell you that, though I still run
through those same three thoughts every single time, I’ve managed to sus out a
couple tips that could successfully help one make it out of moving month alive. (*Um
get this: in a survey conducted by Life Storage, it was found that 1 in 10 Americans prefer to
spend a week in jail over moving)
(1) Finding a place – subletting, best websites to use
So… you’re moving. In an ideal world, you’d be starting your apartment search a
couple months in advance of your move-out date. The rather sucky thing about New
York is that it’s pretty much impossible for you to start this process no sooner than a
month out from your supposed move-in date. Say you need a place for September 1 st
– hypothetically you would begin your search journey August 1 st , when people start
to post their vacancies. If you’re solo and don’t mind living with randoms, I highly
recommend doing a long-term sublet (use Facebook marketplace!), which generally
will give you more [space, room for negotiation, location, etc.] for less. Or if you’re
looking for your own apartment (with friends), the best sites to use are:
streeteasy.com, nakedapartments.com, renthop.com.
(2) To live or not to live with your BFF/SO?
One of the biggest dilemmas that I frequently run into each moving season is the
age-old question of whether it’d be a good idea move-in with my friend or not. If
you’re like me and prefer to be alone/in silence after a day’s work (unless you’ve
otherwise made plans), then I’d highly recommend living with a more distant friend
or even a stranger! Given you find a stranger similar in age and interests to you,
there could very well be opportunity for you to widen your friendship circle.
(3) Avoiding the $1,000,000 worth of fees
The best tip I have to offer in this whole piece is this: DO NOT pay a broker’s fee
unless you genuinely have a couple extra thousand dollars to throw away. While it’s
a bit more difficult to find an apartment in New York with no fee apartments, it is
very much possible and a route that’s a lot cheaper overall. When you’re scrolling
through apartments on search websites, just make sure to check the “no fee” box
and, alas, there will be options that won’t set you back ~$5,000 after paying a
security deposit, first month’s rent, and broker’s fee. These apartments tend to be
eaten up by the hungry renters sooner though, so make sure you act fast.
(4) Scoring the apartment
Once you’ve found the apartment you love, the next step obviously is to make sure
it’s yours! The BIGGEST suggestion I have is this: when viewing apartments, bring
your application and checkbook with you ready to submit on the spot. I kid you not,
my friend and I saw an apartment that was such a good deal that as soon as we got
back to the listing agent’s office to submit an application, she said 3 people (!!) had
already applied in that ~30 minute time window. Needless to say, if you see
something you want, be vocal and go get it girl.
(5) Moving day (girl vs. 500 sq. ft. apartment)
It’s moving day! The only thing that should be getting you through this day without
3 mental breakdowns (besides a giant cup of coffee!) is the fact that you’ve reached
the last step of moving month – the apartment has been found, fees paid, place
boxed up, and now it’s time to haul your crap on over to the new humble abode. If
you have a good amount of furniture, I recommend using Taskrabbit.com, which
comes with movers + a truck for a couple hundred dollars. On the other hand, if you
don’t have too much stuff, renting a UHaul (and using a strong boy in your life –
because we only have boyfriends for this reason amirite?) is a great option and will
only set you back ~$80 dollars. After the day is over, grab a seat on one of your
boxes and get yourself a glass (or bottle) of wine. Congrats!