It’s tough to think about others when you’re super stressed; either you and your friend will bond over your housing woes – or you’ll just compound them. But, as long as you are not competing for exactly the same type of place, your friend might be an excellent resource and/or sounding board. But, there are some ground rules.
First, try to avoid sharing horror stories. Even the real juicy ones, like the My cousin had to live with four other people in order to afford her new apartment and she still pays $800 in rent! Or, the My sister’s friend just moved and she chose a sketchy neighborhood and has been robbed twice! Or, even the I had a friend who managed to find a job in New York but had to go home and live with her parents in Kentucky because she couldn’t find a place here.
Okay, stop that nonsense. Even if you know it’s true. Stop it. Telling your friend is not going to make him/her feel better. Because war stories do not help soldiers/soon-to-be-renters sleep at night. Also, in this gal’s opinion, a war story is like a medal – wearing someone else’s feels a bit disingenuous.
Second, combine searching forces if you can. Talk about your priorities. If you want to spend $700-$800 and live in Astoria and your friend wants to spend $1000-$1200 and live on the Upper West Side, send each other listings as you find them. Depending on how organized you are, it could be a great way to expand your search and not to feel like you have to constantly be in front of the computer.
Third, be each others’ cheerleaders. It may be hard at first, especially if they find a place before you do or if you think they’re making a poor choice. Remember though, it’s just one apartment for one year. Unless you foresee something seriously horrible happening in their new abode, be happy for them when they tell you that they’ve found something, as hard as it may be. After all, you’ve been together through combing the listings, meeting potential landlords, roommates, and seeing places that you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to live in. You guys are practically blood brothers/sisters:)
–On the plus side, if they find a place before you — they’ll likely be throwing a housewarming before you…can ya say liquor leftovers? What can I say…keep your eye on the prize!
And, now they need you to tell them that they made the right choice. A large part of moving away from college is losing one’s old support system and finding a new one to take its place.