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Beginner’s Guide to Finding an Apartment in New York

October 23, 2018

Are you looking for your first New York apartment? Finding an apartment is not easy, especially if you have never lived in NYC before. Here are some things to consider when apartment hunting in New York:


No matter the neighborhood you choose, your commute can always be a nightmare when living in NYC. However, there are ways to tell whether your commute will be straight up horrible or just irritating.

You need to consider a long-term transit plan for the area that you are considering. For instance, if you mostly commute by bike, is the infrastructure that you need already in place?

You need to conduct some research to balance your commute options with what you want out of transit. Whether you want to live in more luxurious apartments such as Renoir House or cheaper ones, you should consider the commute from work to your house.


For most NYC residents, rent is a big issue because the city is expensive. However, if money is not an issue for you, you can afford to live in luxury apartments on Upper East Side for example. Just ensure that less than a third of your annual income is going towards rent.

Some property owners will only approve you as a renter if you make at least forty times the rent. Knowing your budget will help you to choose the right borough. The median rental price in Manhattan is 3,500 dollars, making it the most expensive borough. Whether you end up living the high life in Manhattan or residing in the cheaper boroughs, you need to know whether you can afford the rent.


You need to reside in a place that is in close proximity to restaurants, shopping malls, banks, and your place of work. Your commuting time will vary depending on where you choose to stay. Before you choose an apartment, you should use a map to calculate the commuting distance between different places.

When choosing a neighborhood, you need to consider outdoor space, nightlife, and the population. If you prefer to live in a quiet neighborhood, you should stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Safety is the most important factor when looking for an apartment. To determine safety, you should take a nighttime stroll with your friends in the neighborhoods that you are considering.

Documents You Need for the Search

The rental market in NYC is expensive and fast moving. Once you find your dream apartment, you need to submit your application immediately because it will not wait for you forever. Before you put in your application, you need to gather these documents:

– Recent paystub copies and bank statements
– Photo ID such as a passport or license
– Although the property owner will run a credit check on you, it will not hurt to run another credit check to ensure there
are no problems.
– Your recent tax returns
– Letter of employment with the company letterhead
– Reference letter from previous landlord

If you do not have some of the financial documents, you should have a guarantor who is willing to pay your rent. Because you need to make at least 40 times your rent, make sure that your guarantor makes at least eighty times your rent. If you cannot find a guarantor, you can approach some of the companies that act as surrogate guarantors. However, you should be careful when dealing with such companies.


Once you choose a place, you should prepare enough cash to cover the deposit as well as the first and last month of rent. You might also pay a broker fee.

Beginner’s Guide to Finding an Apartment in New York was last modified: by

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