So two weekends ago I went to NYC to find an apartment and wow was that a crazy experience. The real-estate market there is everything they say and more and if I had to put it into one word I would say Chaos. So like most places there is buying or renting and renting can be broken up into actually renting or options like subletting. Don’t let it overwhelm you though, finding a place can be done as long as you do your research, which I’ve done a lot of for you so here is all of my best advice. Though this ids directed towards NYC it can work in almost any American city.
The rental market is super fast pace there, so you want to bring all of your documents with you when you go look at places because most likely you will put a deposit down that day or the next in order to keep the place you actually like from getting snatched up. Its not uncommon to move in the week after you sign the lease agreement so you don’t even need to start looking until a week or two before you need to move. Using a real-estate agent is horribly expensive when you are renting so look for listings that are Fee Free! There are sites that list these or you can go directly to the leasing office in larger building.
Avoid Scams!!! If it seems too good to be true, IT IS! Don’t send people money (especially if you’ve never met them in person) or credit reports or anything personal especially if it seems sketchy!
As for subletting, finding a person with an extra room or finding a roommate to look for apartments with, there are plenty of sites that have those listing but Word of Mouth is the best way!
Buying is actually a great option! In NYC the high demand for rentals actually makes buying more affordable in the long run. Though the up front cost is more expensive than renting, it is actually cheaper monthly than renting is. This monthly cost of mortgage and maintenance usually also includes all the utilities and will save you money in the long run because it is less than what your monthly rent would be. Unlike renting though, you want to start looking way in advance because many of the buildings are Co-Ops and the approval process and take 2-4 months!
I know it seems impossible to move to a large city but it’s not as hard as you’d think. If you have any questions or concerns please put them in the comments and I’d be happy to answer them for you! Also if you have any advice or stories let me know too!