Apartment Hunting in New York City

Where will we live?

For the past two weeks Tom and I have been looking for a one bedroom apartment. We are not in a rush, thank God, because if we were and had to move by say, May 1st, I would be crying everyday, a lot. 

We are looking for an apartment in either Manhattan (Chelsea…please?) or Brooklyn (Park Slope….if possible?) and have seen seventeen units in the past two weeks, most of which made us laugh. On Friday, we will see a few more. Hopefully less funny ones.

The units that didn’t make us laugh made me wish I had a job or that the F for ‘Fine’ in my degree was instead a B for ‘Business’ or ‘Ballin’. Either way, we try not to think about those units as our budget is between (if you’re actually poor, it might be best to look away) modest and a bit more than modest though this is relative, I know and despite my parents unspoken promise to never let me end up in the streets, it’s also all very much thanks to Tom considering I do not have a job and we are trying this thing in which I pretend I am an adult and can more or less bring home some vegan bacon.

Supposedly spring is a great time to look as you’re beating out all the people who will inevitably graduate and/or relocate to the city over the summer who will flood the market and drive skywards already astronomical rent prices, but Tom, the more seasoned apartment hunter of us (a post on how I found my current apartment to come), has prepared me for the worst and warned from the very beginning to manage my expectations.

And I had shooed away his warnings because I was the cheerful, optimistic one. I’m the one who thinks, “Oh something will turn out that is simply perfect…”

Until we started looking. Five units in, my jaw had dropped so many times from incredulity – That’s a bedroom? I had thought it was a cabinet! That’s the kitchen? But where is the stove? Where will I stand? Where is the closet? No closets? That’s “ample natural light?!?” Are you sure it’s not the neighbor’s kerosene lamp?) that I lost motivation to pick it up.

Twice too, brokers have stood us up, both on chilly days, once in the rain. These people shall remain unnamed but there is a special place in hell for them that looks a lot like the shittiest, smallest, dankest apartments we’ve seen.

But we let it go, we let it go. We have time on our side. My current lease runs until June 30th. Tom also has some flexibility. We both have air mattresses. And friends. Like dating and job hunting, rushing into the first “decent” or in our case, 300 sq. ft. 15% brokers fee apartment that comes along will only hurt us in the long run. So I take a breath and think, “Yes yes, time is on our side.”

3 thoughts on “Apartment Hunting in New York City

  1. Oh my god that mania! that's exactly what it is! that is very accurate. I find myself looking at brick buildings outside windows, knowing that sunlight is limited and that eventually it will lead to a deep depression but thinking i can always just get a sunlamp or something not realistic like that.

  2. My favorite was an otherwise spacious 1-bedroom that had its bathtub in a corner of the kitchen. And, as can happen with that very specific kind of mania that creeps up on you after extended New York apartment hunting, I was totally convinced it could work.

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