How to Find an Apartment in NYC: A Guide for Students – Search

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I know it seems like we’ve been building up to this for a while, but the final thing you should do before you go out and search is to make a list of things you do and don’t want in an apartment. While this may sound silly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed after looking at multiple apartments, and forget what is important and what isn’t. Once you have your list, come prepared. Bring a camera, pens, notebooks, and if you can, someone besides the person you’re living with. A parent or some other mentor is always helpful because two heads are better than one. They may be able to point out something you haven’t considered. Don’t forget to ask about building amenities, such as laundry. Check the water pressure of sinks and the shower. Consider how many flights of stairs you’re willing to walk up. Take your time when you’re in the apartment, and feel things out.

While has gotten a bad rap, it’s a great resource for finding apartments straight from the previous renter. But if you’re wary, there are other great resources. Your college/university usually has resources for students. There’re websites like you can use. You can also go with a broker, but, unfortunately, there are fees involved—sometimes as high as 15-20% of a year’s rent. It’s better to cut out the middle-man and find an apartment through other resources.

You should start looking 6 weeks to a month in advance. Anything prior will be tricky, as most rental apartments are trying to be turned over quickly. Schedule looking at many apartments during the course of a day, and then narrow down your choices after a few of these excursions. It’s common for the person you want to rent from to pressure you, letting you know the apartment will go off the market soon. And though the turnover rate is fast, it’s better to make sure you really like the place than feeling panicked and rushing into a decision.

By Alex Agahigian

Alex Agahigian was one of the Campus Clipper’s talented publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to find an apartment in NYC. Follow our blog to read more chapters from Alex’s e-book and use her advice to make your own apartment-hunting more fun and easy. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Stay tuned for more tips from Alex on apartment hunting, check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

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