Why Timing Matters in the Great Apartment Search

When I first talked to my New York friends about the possibility of moving here after I spent the first year post-college living abroad – the first question they asked me was when. As in, what month. Surprised, I said that while I hadn’t ironed out the specifics, August probably, maybe September. They paused. They then, tactfully, asked if I was sure I wanted to deal with the summer housing madness/crunch.

At the time, I didn’t get it that thousands of college graduates descend on New York (and other major cities) during those months. When you think of it, this makes sense. The new grads have just landed jobs in the city and need a place to stay. Or they’ve been living at home, devoid of adult privileges since May and figure either they get out now or become the subject of a Bruce Springsteen song. The problem, however, is that there isn’t a similar New Yorker migration out during these months, resulting in a disproportionate number of lookers vs. open apartments.

Don’t get me wrong, apartment hunting here is always madness to a degree, but there’s a way to be smart about it. If you can avoid looking for an August-September lease, you’ll be better off. And the longer you can wait, less competition you’ll have.

When I looked in April, friends commented that I had such good luck hearing back from craigslist posters. And, after talking with my friend here who *just found a month to month sublet*, I can finally see what my wise friends were saying — because if you can’t even get in the door, there’s no way you’ll be getting the apartment

So, if you’re thinking of moving to New York right now, consider whether you should hold off til later in the fall. If not, g’luck to you!

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

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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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