Tag Archives: New York City

Apartment Hunt, Round 2, Part 1

17 Oct

Please. You all knew this was coming. The second I signed my offer letter I was back on the time-suck of doom, aka Craigslist, looking for apartments. My criteria this time was simple: My apartment must be less than three hours away from my workplace. Considering that pretty much any other place in the WORLD would fit this criteria, it really left the field wide open!

My last apartment-hunting excursion was eye-opening, because I finally got the picture that living in New York City is WOAH. EXPENSIVE. That sentiment then basically overpowered my entire search. A one bedroom apartment in an area I like, close to an express train? WOAH. EXPENSIVE. A studio apartment with all utilities included? WOAH. EXPENSIVE. The realization that 75% of my paycheck would be going towards my apartment? WOAH. REALLY EXPENSIVE!

Needless to say, I didn’t get an apartment six months ago, but times have changed, paychecks have fattened (slightly) and ends of ropes have arrived. Naturally, my internet search became all-encompassing, and I learned some things about New York I didn’t know before. For example, did you know that the Upper West Side apparently runs from 59th street right up to the Bronx? Or how about the little-known fact that Columbia University spans about 80 square blocks? O, you didn’t know that? O, because actually that’s not true? Huh. Strange.

Apartment hunting in New York is just so overwhelming. So many places, so many Google maps to peruse, so much guilt over the obscene amount of time I spend online looking! But in the end, this is going to be my home. So if I’m going to do it, I better do it right.

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The Hunt

14 Mar

This weekend I officially started my apartment search. Now, I’ve been casually searching for New York City apartments since I was in 5th grade, but on Saturday, I made it official, hired a realtor and then became sufficiently horrified and depressed.

Listen, I’m not rolling in the dough, so to speak. But my budget isn’t so unrealistic as to be mocked! And yet, everyone I’ve emailed or talked to on the phone has chortled light-heartedly when I share the news of my search and my expectation that I’ll find something. The first realtor I met with didn’t even bother showing me anything within, uh, 70 blocks of the location I want to live! Then he suggested I learn Spanish, showed me five apartments all facing a dirty brick wall, told me I could always buy my own stove and then blew smoke in my face. Literally. He smoked. And blew it in my face.

Needless to say, I was less than enthused. I saw one place I liked, but wasn’t willing to risk being attacked by drug lords on my way out the door, since this was basically what happened when we left.

But surprisingly, I wasn’t too discouraged. I had decided I didn’t want to live where he ended up showing me for a variety of reasons, but actually being able to walk around and get a feel for the place set off visual alarm bells. Plus, I didn’t really feel a connection with the realtor. He was twice my age, an 80s metal head, and yea, did I mention he literally blew smoke in my face?????

Later that night, I saw another two places in the area I had originally wanted to look, and sure enough, absolutely loved it. It was convenient to subways, close to a college and a park, and had that jazzy New York feel. Unfortunately, the place he showed me was minuscule and over my budget, but at least it was in the general direction of what I’m looking for. Plus, the realtor had an affinity for Boar’s Head cheese, and pointed out every Bodega on the way, which I found more entertaining than washed-up Axl Rose references.

So it’s back to the drawing board for now, but my foray into apartment hunting was actually pretty exciting! I felt like a real grownup…looking for apartments, preparing to be poor…it’s all part of the process, right??