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Old 01-21-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,445,895 times
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I never get why people look on craigslist first. Start with the bigger apartment buildings (10+ units) with Rent.com. Yahoo owns them and they're an excellent site sometimes for this type of thing (depending on if you aren't looking at too low of a budget). I found my current apartment from there and I even got a $100 gift card for signing a lease through them. It was good.


I went with my gf this summer to one of those agencies because she had to find an apartment in a special kind of way real fast. We both knew about how they function though. It was real high energy type of a thing in the summer. We had other outs, but wanted to see what they had too and I was curious to see how they functioned. It was interesting to say the least



I also don't necessarily think it's too early. When I moved into this place, which was in the month of May, I found it in December or January. It depends on the renters. Some people know months in advance they won't be staying and tell their apartment complex that. Mine usually asks me about 3 months in advance if I'm staying. So my advice to you is to scout out now and see if some of the top choices have any vacancies for when you want that you know about. If not, then I would start in April or even late March again contacting places.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:01 PM
 
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I think how you go about finding your place totally depends on the situation of your arrival. If you are traveling from out of town, as you are, I think setting things up on your own via Craigslist or other classifieds would be extremely challenging logistically. That's where a service like The Apartment People come in. I'm sure they're not perfect, in fact I know they're not, but they can show you 5 different places in the span of a 4-5 hours. That's a huge benefit if you're in a rush looking for a place.

Once you're here though, the best way is to choose a specific area you want to live, hop on a bicycle and ride around that area, taking down numbers on For Rent signs. There are far more rentals available than what any online site features. That's exactly what my cousin did when moving to Chicago from out of town, found a fairly inexpensive high-rise apartment for a year near the lake, then after that year found a great place for about the same price, larger, and with lots of character in Logan Square. Hope that helps in some way, good luck!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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Thanks for the input everyone! I really appreciate it!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 AM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,952,846 times
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TBH I wouldn't start looking for apartments for July until May. I think your time could be better used now really doing a deep study of the neighborhoods, demographics, commute times, do some google streetviews, read reviews on neighborhoods, etc.
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