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Need some NYC apartment/accomodation tips


I normally lurk in the JoS forum, and I've found it a great source of info, so this was the first place I thought of for this question:

I'm looking for the inside scoop on the accomodation situation in NYC or New Jersey. A good friend of mine who is a medical student who has never been to the US is heading to NYC to study for the US medical licensing exam, and she needs to find a place to stay. I promised to help her since 1) she's cute and 2) she really does need help.

She is arriving in NYC about mid-august and will be staying for at least 9 months, I believe (could be longer).

So guys and gals, what's the best bet in in NYC for this sort of situation? Would she be best off trying to find a roomie? Or are there some kind of dorm-type facilities for students other than those of a university? Are there any particular places that should be avoided? Any idea how much a month she would realistically be looking at for rent and utilities costs in NYC and New Jersey?

She's arriving aline in a huge city in a completely foreign country, so she will be very grateful for any tips to help her land on her feet.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Housing in manhattan is expensive. The really cheap places are going to be $1000/month; $1600 is more realistic. She should get a roommate if she wants one, not to save money: the two bedroom places are usually about twice the cost of studios.

Almost every college in NYC has a housing office. Many of them have web sites with help on finding affordable student housing, for example


You can usually walk into their offices even if you're not a student and there are public apartment listings displayed there.

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, June 12, 2003

I hear Mike Pryor over at Fog Creek is a sucker for a cute girl. =)

Try or or some other classifieds type sites.

Roommate is defiantely going to be more viable than dorms. new york has dorms? I don't think NY has a single square inch that isn't dedicated to getting as much money as possible for it's space.

It would also help if you defined her monthly housing allowance, whether or not she has a job to begin with, etc.
Thursday, June 12, 2003

joel - i stand corrected about the dorm thing.
Thursday, June 12, 2003

Hey now! Quit spreading rumors about me!

Also check out .  They are a broker service but they also do short term sublets (9 months for example) for a bit cheaper and will also put you in roommate situations if that is what you are looking for.

Michael H. Pryor
Thursday, June 12, 2003

Oh, but I have evidence to back it up. mwa ha ha! OK I'll quit, isn't that my second joke in that vein?

Does she/you have anyone to do reconnaissance work for her, or is that us? Because wandering in and out of stores in various "hip" neighborhoods often leads to photocopied "roommate wanted" "sublet my apartment" ads with little pull tabs.

Oh I know, she should start a blog about her apartment hunt... maybe about a month or two before she's actually moving to new york. Make up all sorts of fanciful stories about what experiences she has while looking for the perfect apartment... the cardboard box for lease, the pedophile with a room for rent, the $7,000 room next to the boiler room, etc. etc. You can probably find all sorts of urban legends about these things.

With a few links from the right blogs, offers should start pouring in.
Thursday, June 12, 2003

"Also check out ."

We didn't have a great experience with citihabitats when we moved to the city.  Lots of pressure, showing us places under construction where the bathroom was a hole in the wall.

My advice is to use as many brokers, web sites, classified ads, friends in the city as you can.  The more places you can look at, the better idea you'll have of what you like and what's available.  Although, if she needs to find a place before she's in the city, that's a problem.

Don't worry too much about losing a place, as a lot of new places will come available the next day.  Don't get pressured into anything.

Also, consider proximity of shopping (esp. groceries), as NYC is a walking city.  Our apartment had a grocery store literally across the street, but another place we almost took near the theatre district didn't have much shopping for several blocks.

Good luck.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, June 12, 2003

"Oh I know, she should start a blog about her apartment hunt..."

Or she could just do this...:)

Jim Rankin
Thursday, June 12, 2003

Wow, thanks for all the great tips everyone! At this rate she'll be feeling right at home before she even lands.

I love the blog idea - that could be very, very funny. I have some web hosting space to spare too. Hmm... I just might do it.

As for recon people -- that's me. But I currently live in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The closest I ever got to NYC was turning down a job on Wall Street with JP Morgan (got a better offer elsewhere - although I would still love to live in NYC for a while, just for fun).

I'll get her to post here, but you have to promise to be kind to her - she's not a geek like the rest of us!


Thursday, June 12, 2003

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