So I can go on to write this post now that my apartment hunting has come to a successful close. I first off want to say a huge thank you to everyone that followed along #courtapartmentchronicles so closely via Instagram Stories. I had no idea so many of you either lived in NYC or were moving to the city and just showing my apt hunt on the gram was helpful to you guys! I had so much fun (that part made it fun), taking you all along on the highs and lows of apt hunting in New York City because it really is so intriguing for either an insider or outsider.
Prior to really jumping into my tips I first wanted to set the stage for those who could be new. As many know Kelly recently moved to LA, this left me with a 3 bedroom apt in Bushwick for the last 2 months of our lease. Luckily we found an incredible subletter to take over her part of lease, however with the L train closing for Hurricane Sandy repairs in April 2019, I knew that this unfortunately was the moment I had to leave Brooklyn behind and move into Manhattan.. or Queens.
My boyfriend and I excitedly decide to move in together. We have been dating for 2 and a half years now and we both were going to be in impacted by the L train scenario, therefor it all really just made sense! When we first sat down to decide where we wanted to move, he was very open because that is just Kyle’s personality (very relaxed) and I was DEAD SET on moving to Long Island City, Queens. So we started looking around that area and realized quickly that within, we only wanted to live in the Hunters Point area on the water. This took a major hit to our 1 bedroom budget. To be transparent we got asked the budget question A LOT on stories and I was not going to answer however I will say the lowest 1 bedroom apt we could find in LIC was $3,400 and that was out of the question budget lol. I was heart broken. For my first tip of anyone looking to move to NY, the apt’s in LIC are GORGEOUS. We did not see one we didn’t like. They are all luxury buildings, with doorman, indoor/outdoor pool, gyms, all brand new safe and just all around gorgeous views of the city. We really did want to make this area work but I just couldn’t justify paying that much in rent.
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In terms of how we found apt’s in LIC.. if you are wanting to move there the lay of the land is very different than Manhattan. Long Island City apt buildings fill up FAST. Our move in date was Sept 1st and we went to look mid July and many leasing offices told us we were late. So take that into consideration, if you are looking to move to that area you need to look a least 1.5-2 months in advance. Also you do not need a broker or website/app for these buildings. If you find an apt building that you like using Google Maps or my just walking around the area, you can easily find them online and book an appointment either over the phone or by emailing their leasing office. It is super simple. We took one day and just walked in and out of buildings asking for the leasing office and were able to see available apt’s on the spot. EASY.
So once LIC was out of the question, as well as the areas we were interested in Brooklyn, we decided to look in Manhattan. We were able to find all Manhattan apartments by the website StreetEasy.com. You can also use the app called Zumper it is like Tinder for apartments lol. Each are great options and literally allow you to customize your search to budget/bedrooms/amenities whatever you please! Through StreetEasy.com we found a few apts downtown that were just to crazy small and we hated. Luckily one apt we wanted to see in the Lower East Side, found by StreetEasy, brought us to the real estate agency BOND. Upon meeting the broker for this agency and building, Kyle and I immediately clicked with her! She has been in the business 10+ years and really understood what we were looking for. In truth we really didn’t care about the location we just wanted great space for a great price, we are not balling on a budget by any means!
We ended up scheduling to look at 6 apartments one Thursday afternoon in the Midtown East/Kips Bay area. To be honest we could have lived in every single one. The 2nd to last was one on Park Avenue and we fell in love, put an application in and got approved the next day. However let me be clear in that love does come at a cost and we did have to pay a 15% broker fee.
I am not saying there is one right or wrong way to do it. Kyle and I were on a time crunch (he got a new job and was going to be in Serbia and LA for 3 weeks) therefor we needed to hire a broker and just suck it up and take the fee. The apt we also ended up getting was not shown on any real estate websites or open to the public so we truly did get a steal! However the other 2 apt’s I have lived in, in NYC were found via StreetEasy or Zumper and were both no fee apts.
There are many twists and turns to the apt hunt in Manhattan. It can be fun at times but is also stressful. Especially when working on a smaller budget. However the major thing to know is to not panic. You will find something. I am really happy we didn’t just settle for an apt in LIC and pay crazy rent, because we thought that was the best we could get. There are so many gems out there you just have to be open to exploring many neighborhoods. Like if you would have seriously told me at the beginning of our search I would have ended up in Murray Hill….. I would have LOL’d in your face. However YOLO. It will all work out! So excited to do a follow up to this post in the next few months when all moved in!!