View Full Version : Advice for someone about to move to NYC?

May 30th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the forum, and about to be new to NYC and was hoping for some advice. I'm moving to New York for law school from Los Angeles, and I'm at a loss for where to begin my apartment hunt.

Some info that may be helpful:

-I'm desperate to have my own studio for my first year of law school
-I'd like to pay no more than $1,200 a month
-This probably means I'll be in Brooklyn, right?
-I'm living off of loans for the next three years, so I don't have tons of money to spend on brokers etc (but I guess I may have to?)

I usually just use craigslist to find apartments here in California, but multiple people have warned me about craigslist for NYC. Is it really that sketchy?

I have no idea what all the neighborhoods are and which ones are the nicer ones to live in. I'll probably be coming home late from the library regularly, so I'd like dicey-ness to be kept at a minimum.

Has anyone used sites like rent-direct (rdny.com) or that broker site...citihabitat (or something like that?). I basically have no idea what is the most economic and efficient way to begin this apartment search from Los Angeles.

Any advice, feedback etc about anything remotely helpful would be great.


May 30th, 2007, 03:28 PM
Where will you be attending school?

May 30th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Hello there, I was in a similar situation (a student) to you last year. I ended up paying closer to $2000 a month for a studio in Manhattan.

I ended up finding something on my own after walking the streets and calling the management companies listed on the exterior of buildings - extremely arduous but it saved me some money. I also had a decent broker help me, from ArdorNY, as a backup. Many of the listings on websites are bogus or outdated so when you call, they say that one is already rented, but can I get your contact info, etc. To save you the trouble, when you come to visit, they will probably show you the most dilapidated walk-ups in the city if you want Manhattan, and you won't get to see the good deals because of how tight the market is here. Try to have specific listings that you want to see if you use a broker (save from ArdorNY.com). I started looking in about your price range (1400-1500) before I moved up to closer to $2000 a month. I used Hoboken as a backup for something that is a little bit cheaper. You could probably also use Harlem on the west side, which really isn't that bad, in the lower 100's. Brooklyn just doesn't look that great to me, in fact I think Queens is in better condition if you want something further away.


May 30th, 2007, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the advice! Is ArdorNY.com pretty trustworthy, then? (Can I ask if you just took out more loans then to cover rent? Because the thought of taking out even MORE loans than I already am is kind of making me want to puke...).

Man, I thought L.A. was expensive. I knew going to school in New York would be an outrageous expense..but damn.

May 30th, 2007, 06:23 PM
I have also used Ardor. They are kind and helpful but you must have superb credit. Your salary must be 4 times the rent and if someone is vouching for you (ie. your parents) then its 8 times your rent.
good luck

May 31st, 2007, 05:13 PM
As far as more loans, I guess it depends on how bad you want something nice. After you see Brooklyn, you might want to spend a lot. Also, about Manhattan, some the apartments here don't even have a kitchen; there is just a sink in the living room and a minifridge. I wanted to have a full kitchen so I ponied up the cash with loans and savings. In retrospect, I probably would have gone more north in Manhattan, above 96th to 99th or 100th, because that area really isn't that bad. Also about the approval, some rental companies will take loans/savings to secure a lease versus an income, so you will have to ask around for that. You can pay the lease up front.


June 15th, 2007, 04:16 AM
Brooklyn is just as expensive as Manhattan. Try the South Bronx or Western Queens.

June 15th, 2007, 07:06 AM
Brooklyn is just as expensive as Manhattan.
True for a few parts of Brooklyn, but most of Brooklyn is more affordable than most of Manhattan.