What to Consider When Apartment-Hunting in New York City

It took me a few days to memorize the map of New York City in 2003. Back then, I knew the streets and areas of New York City better than my residence, Manila. Growing up, I have learned a lot about the American culture by watching TV shows and movies whose settings were in NYC. I have a number of relatives who are now residing there and I am so fascinated by the city. By the time I was in my 20s, I have known that if in any way I would stay in the US, it will definitely be in The City That Never Sleeps. I’m pretty sure that like me, there are a lot of you who would like to stay and work in The Big Apple. So, here are some tips when getting an apartment in New York City.




Plan Your Expenses

Planning out your expenses allows you to save and plan for your finances. You have to consider the amount you will be paying for rent, utilities, move-in costs, fees for using amenities, etc. Landlords usually check if you are a qualified renter. 


By checking out your expenses, you will be able to budget what you can put in for rent. This will make things easier for you to narrow down the list based on your budget and be a better-qualified renter.


A friend recommended Zumper as a reliable website in searching for an apartment in New York City. Zumper is used by millions of renters to find houses, rooms, condos, or apartments for rent. I appreciate that their listings are updated in real-time. Plus you can do the application online, cutting down the time and expenses when personally looking around.



Learn About the Neighborhood


One of the major considerations when choosing an apartment is the location. But learning more about the neighborhood where you want to stay is pertinent as it will help you plan out your schedule and social life. In addition, the apartment’s proximity to your work, commute, favorite places. 


Aside from the building, check out the surrounding areas if this place is something you’d be comfortable walking around at any time of the day.


Would you like to have an Indian food takeout near you? Perhaps Chinese food? Or for those who are vegan may prefer an area where they can easily have access to vegan-friendly restaurants.


Do you prefer more greenery in your area? There are people who prefer to be surrounded by trees and there are those who do not mind.


New York City is the biggest city in the US with millions of residents and hundreds of languages spoken. It is a very diverse place and each area in the city has its character, a unique feel. The building's surroundings may appeal to you or not, so check out the neighborhood.




Check the Noise Level


Are you a light or a heavy sleeper? 


I used to work night shifts and was a light sleeper. Noise in my surroundings could affect the quality of my sleep. And now that a lot of us are working from home, we really could appreciate a quiet area whenever we go on a meeting with clients. 


Is the apartment near a hospital or fire station where an ambulance or fire truck sirens can be too loud for you? 


Check if the apartment you are eyeing has a noise level that you can tolerate.



Understand the Leasing Contract 

As with any other contract, it is important to read thoroughly and understand your leasing contract. Examine the terms, the building rules, your responsibilities as a renter, the fees, and penalties, pet policies, among others. Ask questions if there are parts of your contract you do not understand. The moment you sign the papers, you are bound to the terms of your contract.


Moreover, if you plan on getting a roommate, you are obligated to explain and make sure that your roomie follows the rules and regulations of your contract. 



Live the New York Dream

New York City still remains a destination for people who would like to chase their dreams in The Big Apple. When I was still handling calls for New York City in 2003, I appreciate the city’s straight-to-the-point conversations. No dilly-dallying, just on-point solutions. These people were always on the go, pursuing their dreams. Though they may have a fast-paced life that to some can be cumbersome, I admire them for their energy, diversity, and excitement. The opportunities and varieties the city offers make it an ever-evolving place waiting for a new resident.


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