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Old 02-07-2008, 09:25 AM
3 posts, read 18,269 times
Reputation: 12


Hey all,

So I'm about to graduate from University and I've accepted a job in Manhattan starting in June. I've been following the 60k in Manhattan thread and don't want to turn this into another one of those as I'm sure most of you are tired of it. What I'm looking to find out is recommendations on the process of finding an apartment.

I'll be making 80k my first year plus semi-annual bonuses and want to live in Manhattan. I've budgeted myself to $1800 a month in rent and have been checking Craigslist and hotpads on a regular basis. It seems like for this rent you can get a 1 bdrm on the UES or LES in a decent neighborhood. The problem I'm encountering is all the rentals on craigslist go very quickly and I don't need to start renting until June. I was planning on heading to nyc in early march to look for an apartment myself but am not sure how to do this. Should I be talking to management companies or brokers and if so would they be willing to book this far in advance or should I wait. Also do you think I could get an apartment for around the same price as seen online or would it be more?

Sorry about the many questions but I'm pretty lost as far as how to go about this.

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Old 02-07-2008, 10:33 AM
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 12,307,982 times
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Three months out is early to lock up a place in New York. I think it would make sense to wait a few weeks. Honestly I'd be surprised to see a decent 1BR of any size for $1800 in either of those locations. Craigslist is notorious for shady brokers who advertise apartments at lower prices, then say the apartments are gone but they can show you something more expensive. I'd expect it to be more expensive or quite small and rundown. If you can avoid brokers (not always easy in Manhattan) you can save yourself a fee approaching two months' rent, so it might be worth it to contact buildings directly.

Why UES/LES? Those are very different kinds of neighborhoods.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:48 AM
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I mentioned UES and LES (alphabet city area especially) because they both seem to be some of the cheaper neighborhoods. Anywhere below 96th st would be fine with me...but I'll be working downtown and would rather live closer.

Thanks for the Craigslist tip, I figured there might be brokers trying to pull a bait-and-switch so that's good to know. I guess actually visiting the city (I'm in Pittsburgh now) would be my best bet.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:28 AM
Location: Newton, Mass.
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It's definitely worth making a visit, to check out the areas but also because you do NOT want to sign, sight unseen, on any NYC apartment, let alone one that is at the bottom of the price range.

It's not the worst commute in the world from the UES, but a lot of the cheaper places there are over toward the river near 1st and York Aves. It's a bit of a trek to the train from there and, unless you're near one of the express stops (86 St and 59 St) you will have to deal with jam-packed 6 trains and switching to the express if you're going farther downtown than City Hall.

Alphabet city is also very far from the train, the part of Manhattan arguably most isolated from subway access. It's very different from how it used to be but the area is still not the best past Ave B or so. Not really dangerous but not the best.

For a quick commute to lower Manhattan and more space for the money, there are some great neighborhoods in Brooklyn if you're open to them. To get a nice 1BR on either side of the river I still think you're looking at a bit more that $1800. This is going back about 2 years but a friend of mine got a real nice 1-BR on Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights for $1675 and has a 10-minute commute to lower Manhattan. Much faster than coming from 89th and York.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies, holden.

I'll have to look into Brooklyn, I'm one of those people that has never been there (other than right by the BB) despite spending a decent amount of time in Manhattan. Are there a decent amount of restaurants and grocery/drug stores in Brooklyn close to the residential areas? Also I was worried about the frequency of trains across the river late at night...I've had some bad experiences waiting for trains to Queens after a night on the town.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:57 PM
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 12,307,982 times
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Brooklyn is great and a lot of people in your situation have moved there. Too many, maybe...the secret is definitely out. There are places in Brooklyn that have a lot of restaurants and stores. While Brooklyn Heights is the closest to lower Manhattan and has some restaurants, it does not have as many as other places farther out. It does have supermarkets/Duane Reade, etc. Smith Street has a lot of good restuarants and bars though the F train does not go to lower Manhattan so you'd need to change at Jay St unless close enough to Hoyt/Schermerhorn or Boro Hall to get the other trains (A,C, or 2,3,4,5,M,R) there. Other places with restaurants and such include Fort Greene and Park Slope.

The trains are as frequent as trains within Manhattan because in many cases they're the same trains. What makes Manhattan convenient by train is that, due to the overlap of lines on the tracks, you can take (for example) the C or the E to many stations, rather than either-or. I don't know where you were going in Queens but it's tougher when you get farther out and need to rely on a specific train rather than having more options. So getting back to Brooklyn on the train is not so bad if you live in a place closer to Manhattan where multiple trains go. The Borough Hall and Atlantic/Pacific vicinities are the best close-in areas to be near a lot of trains.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:51 PM
Location: UWS -- Lucky Me!
757 posts, read 3,364,003 times
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Re: UES. The M90 Express bus runs (roughly) down York Ave. then onto the FDR Drive @ 79th St. This could be a good commuting option if btatum does not want to rule out areas east of 2nd/1st Aves. The fare is double the standard subway/bus fare, but it's efficient and the seats (if you can get one) are cushioned, like those on long distance buses.

Caveat: IIRC, the M90 runs downtown only during morning rush hour, uptown only during rush hour, and not at all at other times.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:38 PM
769 posts, read 2,051,916 times
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If you send me a message I can give you my broker's information. We live in FiDi and love it. I walk to work. He showed us several no fee places. You can get a studio in a nice building in the area for $2,000 or less. Ours is a bit above $2,000 but it is a very large studio (over 600 sq ft). Don'e come until a few weeks before your move in date though.

And I will add that our studio is considerably bigger than all the apartments we saw in the UES in the same price range. In the UES we saw 8 apartments- all walkups on the 2-4 floor, old buildings that looked slightly run down, tiny apartments (barely enough room for a bed in the bedroom), 8 blocks from the subway, etc. Most did not have laundry, dishwashers, etc. The broker on the UES told us that was the best we were going to get for $2200 ish. In FiDi we have a doorman, elevators, laundry on site (including cheap laundry by the pound if you don't want to do your own), gym free for residents, parking on site, stainless steel full size appliances including dishwasher, club and terrace, storage in the basement, and we are close to ALL the subway lines.

Last edited by newyorker24; 11-17-2010 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:09 PM
5 posts, read 10,516 times
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Looking for an apartment in NYC? I found mine on No Fee NY Apartments from Urban Edge. The best thing about Urban Edge is that it allowed me to contact owners of buildings. Therefore, I didn't have to use a broker and pay additional broker fees, which can get very pricey. I strongly recommend Urban Edge to ANYONE searching for an Apt. in New York City or the surrounding areas. They have thousands of no-fee listings.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:15 PM
15,590 posts, read 15,684,170 times
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First, congratulations.

I'm normally all for shopping early, but even I have to admit that March is to early for a June move-in.

I'm going to suggest something else entirely. Since you're just graduating, think about getting a summer sublet, ideally with a roommate. Likely there are even others in your graduating class moving here, or else you could find a share with Craigslist. This would, first, give you an initial buddy when you arrive, and, second, give you a chance to shop around more at your leisure. By the way, if it were me, I'd look either in the East 90s or East 20s.
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