Updated on June 6, 2020·
Apartment hunting in New York as a student
An important element that’s required for doing your internship in New York is your housing. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but have you seen the prices of an apartment in New York? It’ll make your stomach turn. First, I took an Airbnb for two weeks. This would give me some time to look around for my best budget options.
The apartment hunt in on!
I was looking on different apps and websites to find the perfect apartment. Most apps are just rubbish and send you more spam than actual housing options, so I deleted them pretty quickly. Most of the time I was just looking on Craigslist. This website offered the best and cheapest housing options. It updates every day with new housing ads. Whenever I found a good apartment I emailed the owner right away. I wanted to call them if it was possible, because it’s definitely the fastest option… But not everyone provided their phone number in their ad.
All this time I was looking for a comforting place somewhere in Brooklyn. My internship actually advised me to look for a crappy place, but somewhere in Manhattan. I’m only in New York for six months and this would give me a better NY experience. I liked this option a lot and started looking for apartments in Manhattan.
The paper ads that someone hangs out in a store also didn’t escaped me. I called everyone and everything I could find. Thanks to this I ended up meeting a 70-year old Japanese lady who rented out a room in Tribeca. The location was very good and the price was even under my budget! The room and the rest of the house was a bit old, but I would take it. A bummer that the women was looking for someone who could stay longer than six months. Too bad, because she already liked me… ?
Time is running out
In the beginning I didn’t spend much attention to the time. But in reality, I do had a deadline. I had only two weeks before my Airbnb ended, and after that I would be on the streets. Two weeks in New York and already homeless… Not my best start. Another difficult factor in my search to an apartment was my Airbnb actually. The internet I had there didn’t work at all, so I couldn’t search for housing options at home. Due to this I came in to work an hour early and stayed much later than my actual work hours. But I didn’t mind. Looking for housing is actually still kind of a fun thing to do.
Sometimes I went to a coffee shop as well, just to change my environment. If I could visit an apartment but arrived there a bit early, I looked up for coffee shops nearby and continued my apartment hunt from there. In total I went to see about 15 to 20 apartments I guess. Not all of them were worth the visit. I saw apartments of drug addicts and hookers and went to some strange places around NY. I knew immediately which neighborhoods to stay away from.
I had one day left before I was kicked out of my Airbnb place. That evening I saw a possible place in Chinatown. It had a small kitchen, without dining table and one shared bathroom between five other rooms. The room itself could just fit a single bed and a desk. But better than nothing I would say. The next apartment I visited that evening was a bit above my budget, but I took it right away!
1 Haven Plaza, East Village, NY
The apartment itself was a bit hard to find, because I had no exact address. I called the landlords when I was in the street and I received the apartment number. They were very welcoming and I received an extensive tour around the house. A big private room, 2 shared bathrooms, a nice equipped kitchen with dining place and the location was everything. Right in East Village, midtown Manhattan. Apparently it’s the place to be for the young people in New York. I took the room and live now together with the Spanish landlords and a Chinese student for the next six months.
All very friendly, welcoming and amusing!