Traveling Long-Term to New York? Here’s a Guide to Finding the Right Apartment


Call it the Big Apple or the city that never sleeps, to most, New York City is a place that belongs in every bucket list. I would imagine fellow travelers visiting New York and staying for weeks and even months. However, as one of the most expensive cities in the world, staying in hotels or even hostels will put a hole in your pocket. Therefore, it is recommendable for wanderers wanting to immerse in the local culture, culinary delights and art scenes of New York to stay in an apartment.

Karla Ramos

Who knows that by settling for several months or even staying for good in the Big Apple, you’d end up meeting some cool neighbors like Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross and Joey. Okay, enough of Friends reference and on to this handy guide on how to find the right apartment for in New York City.

Consult a Reliable New York Apartment Search Source

A lot have tried, and a lot end up with the same conclusion that searching for an apartment in New York City is literally "the hardest" among all places in the United States.

Don't be discouraged though. First, you need to consult a reliable New York Apartment search source for you to get a head start to check out quality listings that has been curated to meet industry standards.

One leading resource is Zumper — a popular online apartment search resource used by millions of renters looking to find apartments, rooms, condos and even houses for rent.

Using an apartment search portal like Zumper fastens the process of minimalizing your search to your preferred location, apartment specifications, price range, amenities and more. Another thing that makes Zumper a cool apartment search tool, is that it lets you submit a digital rental application and a free credit report powered by TransUnion.

Avoid Competing with the Summer Crowd

Summer in New York City can be fun because this is the time of the year when many people visit the city, including college students looking to find a summer gig or those who just want to experience a New York state of mind. With this increased demand in apartments, expect the monthly rent to also skyrocket.

Typically, the best months to look for apartments in New York falls in the months between September and December. The demand for apartments naturally declines as winter approaches thus giving you more room to negotiate with prospective landlords.

Do a Reconnaissance Mission on your Neighborhood of choice

A Neighborhood with a nice biking area is a major plus 

It is easy to get influenced by a lot of things when it comes to choosing which New York neighborhood you want to move into. But once you moved in, you will realize that the much more important things are the distance of your apartment to the nearest subway stop, the produce selection at the neighborhood supermarket, the diversity of the place, the mood during nighttime—whether you feel safe or night—and a dozen other things that you can only learn from making a physical visit to the neighborhood of your choice.

Be Open to Having a Roommate / Housemate

My friend Karla and her roommate when she stayed in NYC

When I say "find a roommate" don't just ask a random person. Try searching from your circle of friends who maybe also entertaining the idea of moving into a new place and pitch New York to them by also telling them that you can be a role model apartment housemate. If your friend takes you on that offer, then that would mean slashing the normal expensive New York rent to a half. Mind you that the most one-bedroom apartment in NYC can be rented from $2000 and a two-bedroom apartment starts at $3000 a month. If you find a roommate, then you may be looking at only having to shell out $1,500 a month for a 2-bedroom place.

Don't easily fall for "wordy" descriptions

Brokers likes to sales talk and you must be prepared not to easily get sold on the way they describe an apartment because once they throw words around, be wise to know that it can mean other things as well such as "cozy" could be a small apartment but with just enough room for you to lie down. "Charming" could very well describe an apartment with peeled walls. "Quiet", can be because it doesn't have enough windows or "Unique" may turn out to be an apartment with a weird layout.

So there, take note of these tips aside from the most important things of course: having a set budget in mind and enough money for the monthly rent and deposit fees, and you're on your way to finding the right New York apartment for you.