Let’s Talk Tuesday: How to find an apartment

Hey friends!

Being grown-up sucks and it’s not like school teaches us how to get a home or file taxes and all that jazz. I have to move again, which means I have to do a lot of research on location, if the apartment comes with parking or if it’s street parking etc. The only thing that I don’t mind about looking for a new apartment is then

touring process! (But that’s it).

When I moved into my first place, I was subletting in a women’s apartment with another (older) women as a roommate; it was terrible. I’m definitely going to talk about this in another post but for now, I’ll shorthand it. The apartment was amazing! The view was impeccable… one of the main reasons I got out of bed was to open the blinds. My husband and couldn’t live there anymore, so we ended up moving.

I loveddddd the part of touring the apartments and seeing how the possible set up can be. The best part of visiting other apartments is that almost every apartment is different. What was most surprising to me was the feel of each apartment, I never really knew what people said when it comes to a home, a home feels like a home. The process though? I think that’s the most annoying part of getting an apartment.

There are two ways you can obtain an apartment: using a retailer/broker or if you’re broke like me? Simply just looking online. Sometimes, looking online, you will come across retailers and brokers, just be careful because places like New York and I’m pretty sure other places as well, will make you pay three times which is: First months rent + Brokers/Retailers fee + Security deposit = Broke as hell!

To bypass this, it takes endless time being spent on the Internet, which isn’t hard but it does get tedious. For an example my current apartment? I only had to pay twice, which was the security deposit and first months rent, that’s because I went through a company that owns a lot of building throughout NY. It’s like public housing but for working class, the downside is, it’s not too affordable but the good side is, there’s no waiting list. The apartment before that one? I had to pay three times but at that time, I wasn’t knowledgeable.

Now that I’m looking to move again, and I know some loops on how to save some money, there are two important aspects of looking for a place, whether your moving out of your parents or from one place to the next is budget and location. First let’s talk budget, a standard apartment in any place in New York will run you about $2,000 and that depends on what borough you plan on living in.

Brooklyn and Manhattan are the most expensive boroughs to me, I won’t even look at apartments there because commuting between the boroughs for work and school just doesn’t work for me. I know what you’re saying, “What? But I thought the New Yorker way is to commute?” And yes my dear friends, for some people yes, for me? No. I hardly ever go to Manhattan, or any of the other boroughs actually but that’s just me.

Just to give you some references, Refinery29 gives awesome examples of apartments in New York. Some apartments are big, some are very small and some are just a room with an open kitchen, called a kitchenette.


Another important fact to consider when moving is location, which is, aside from budget, probably the most important step. New York City is a dangerous place, even Manhattan has its moments. One of the most important facts that I could give anyone is even if it’s cheap like an apartment that’s about $700 or even $900, it’s either a room for rent or in a bad neighborhood and that’s anywhere in New York.

If trying to live on your own is too much than renting a room is the next best thing, I’ve always heard bad things about this option though. Web sites such as Apartments.com, Trulia, Zillow, Street Easy (NY only), Hot Pads (NY only) and more, have rooms and apartments. Just be careful when sending your contact info on those websites.

Now that I’ve got that information out the way here are the steps I take when looking for a place. I’ve actually moved a lot in the past couple of years and almost every time has been kind of the same. Before you even think about moving, make sure that you have the money first.

Some people say it’s best to have at least four months rent, just in case of an emergency like you get laid off or you can’t make rent for one month. Realistically though, I say just save enough money for three months, because that’s what is really needed. Make sure that you stay within your budget but try not to spend more or exactly the same amount you save that way when it comes to buying things for the apartment, you’ll have extra money.

So the big take away from this post is to first save money so you can move, research as much as you can about location, visit the places, then sign the papers and you’ll have your first apartment.

I know I oversimplified this, finding a good or even perfect apartment takes time. Once you find the perfect apartment, all the other steps will seem worth it. Let me know if these steps helped! Later!

With Love & Sweetness,



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