Looking for an apartment, anywhere, can be a stressful, worrisome and aggravating task. Searching for one in New York City, specifically Manhattan can be outright torment. A friend and I are currently looking for a 2 bedroom apartment in Manhattan as we would like to be roommates again. I cannot say his name, as he hasn’t yet told his current roommate that he intends to move out soon, so he will be henceforth known as “friend.” As lovely and charming as the outer boroughs can be, we are dead set on living in Manhattan as we both prefer the conveniences we can enjoy there. Ideally, we would both like to be able to walk and/or bicycle to work. The West Village or Greenwich Village is our emplacement préféré, but we will happily settle for basically anywhere south of Central Park.
First we looked into real estate agents, as most listings we found forced us to use them. After an initial meeting with one, we found out that the “Broker’s Fee” would be a minimum of four thousand dollars. I stood up, said thank you for your time, and walked out. Paying someone four thousand dollars for not doing anything is foreign to me. Unless that broker’s fee includes cocktails for me for the entirety of my lease, no way are they getting my hard earned money. Oh and four thousand dollars is the minimum amount they will receive, meaning if you rent a more expensive apartment, they get to really drain your bank account. No thank you.
We also looked in to apps and websites, without much luck. The websites have the option to choose between brokers fees and not, which will limit your search results to two apartments in the city. One where you share a bathroom with the rest of the floor, the other with no kitchen and only a piece of cardboard separating the “two bedrooms.” The apps will show a handful more apartments, but once you read the description they are either located far outside the city, just misplaced because the posters know that nobody will rent that far away. The other problem is that the listed monthly rent is actually “one month free” and that you must sign a 2 to 3 year lease so that your rent will sky rocket once in to the second term of your lease.
Reluctantly we have been searching on craigslist. Kill me. 99.7% of the ads on craigslist are fake, with the current owner “having to move abroad and that’s why it’s so cheap” or “bought it for my daughter in college but now she has graduated.” After a while you can spot the fake ones pretty well from he authentic ones. If it says “Cats and Dogs ok,” and the apartment looks halfway decent, it’s a scam. The authentic .3% of the ads on craigslist are a mixture of “female roommates only,” or they have already been rented, or the owner didn’t realize they would get so many responses and just stopped responding to people. The torture is real, and the saddest part is that most of it is mental anxiety.
All we want is a two bedroom, one bath apartment with a kitchen, living room and bathroom with a tub. Friend and I are searching high and low, and I, being the eternal optimist, have faith that we will find the perfect place, just in time. Wish us luck