My handicap? Still being in Chicago when I need to apartment hunt in New York!

I’ve been responding to post after post on Craigslist for roommates and the only response I’ve gotten is from a woman looking to rent a 9 X 11 room with a sloped ceiling for $600. Uh, besides for wanting to cry that my room in my Chi town apartment now is $500 and gorgeous and big and beautiful, I can’t see that working for me. One of the reasons I didn’t move to New York right after college was to be able to avoid such a situation. A lot of my friends did that–moved to New York with a dream and a college diploma–but not me. I wanted to have some bargaining power before I made that move and I’m certain that it paid off. With my starting salary(I’ve calculated), I can spend up to $850 on rent. Yes, for all you math nerds out there, you should be able to figure out my starting salary based on the other math equations floating around the site.

So, I emailed everyone I’ve ever met who may, or may not, currently live in New York. While this may sound extreme, looking for housing in New York is, I’m told, equally extreme–and like getting a good job*, a lot of it depends on who you know. I’ve gotten some leads, but it’s hard to be committal when I don’t know East Williamsburg or Crown Heights. Not to sound wishy-washy, but how can I know if I’d want to live in that area? I certainly don’t want to screw a friend of a friend over by saying yes and then getting there and being like no! no! no!

I’ve never been a list person, but it is helpful to get all my thoughts outta my head and on paper. Without further ado my requirements:

1) Safe area without question.
–1b) An area that I can feel a part of that has a bit of a neighborhood feel.
2) Close to a ‘working subway': apparently the J train sucks? Who knew!
3) With people my own age. There have been posts for cheaper with, say, 41 year old dudes but…feeling comfortable in New York is a BIG requirement and I doubt that’s the way to go.
4) A decent sized room in an apt that is clean and rodent free
5) Being able to get to midtown east, the location of my new job, easily enough.
6) Close to Laundromat or has laundry in the basement.

What to do…well. Right now I’m set to leave Chicago Friday, Feb 22…til then, I suppose it’s more craigslist trolling and starting to beg friends for their couch space. Carp!(What my grandpa would say instead of the other ‘C’ word)

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

Posted by

I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (2)

  1. Marcie

    Hi Alissa, I stumbled upon this site during a search for renter’s rights, but anyways, I live in Brooklyn, NY – I moved here relatively soon after graduating from college, knowing barely a soul. I understand your predicament.

    I’ve only been here for a year, but here are some pointers:

    If you want to live in a ‘trendy’, safe area, go for Williamsburg, Greenpoint, or Park Slope.

    I live in Bay Ridge, which I love, but most would not consider hip. But it is safe – I’m a 24 y/o female and I’ve never once hesitated to go for a run at 11 pm.

    My roommate and I pay $750 each for a three-bedroom, three-floor walk-up that is roomy and nice. However, this is cheap for Brooklyn.

    For other areas in Brooklyn, like Crown Heights, Carroll Gardens, Bushwick, etc., I can’t really say. Haven’t spent much time in those areas to know if they are safe.

    Good luck with the apartment hunt. I know how hard it is – thank god my roommate already lived in NY when I decided to move here, because it would have been infinitely frustrating to secure an apartment whilst in Ohio.

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