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RESOURCES ON THE WEB
Where Can You Find Apartments Online?

Ads that used to appear in local newspapers have mostly migrated online. Either in print or online, they can be a good source of up-to-date information on the housing market.
There are many free and fee-based real estate listings and online brokerage firms that cater to your particular need. Many allow you to search for apartments on their website, while some send you email messages when they find a place that fits your profile.
These online services specialize in roommate referrals, sublets, and Bed & Breakfast accommodations. Most major universities also have housing offices specifically designed to help students find apartments both on- and off-campus.
You might also want to refer to these general housing resources during your apartment hunt.


How Do New Yorkers Find Housing?

Finding an apartment in New York City can be a daunting process. In today's tight real estate market, stories abound about apartment hunters seeing scores of units before finding a suitable one, only to be outbid by a prospective tenant with check in hand. It is also common to hear anecdotes about unbelievable deals on centrally-placed apartments found simply by word of mouth. How do apartment hunters actually find a place to live in New York City? Check out our Top Ten List to see the most common ways New Yorkers find apartments:

TOP TEN LIST

#1: Brokers

One of the most common methods of finding an apartment in New York City is using a real estate broker. If you know what neighborhood you want to live in, it's usually best to find a broker based there. Many brokers also have websites where you can view available apartments, sometimes even with photos and detailed descriptions.
#2: Word of Mouth
There is good news for those who would prefer not to pay hefty brokers' fees: a substantial number of New Yorkers find their units by word of mouth, mostly from friends, relatives, and co-workers. If you're looking for an apartment, make sure everyone you know knows that you're looking.
#3: Classified Ads
The third most common method used by recent movers is a classic: the classified ad. Newspapers now post their classified ads online, so make sure to check out the websites of local papers and online message boards like Craigslist.
#4: Walking Around
A small but notable percentage of movers find their apartment when they simply see a "For Rent" sign. It can pay to walk around the neighborhood you want to live in and look around.
#5: Housing Office
If you're living here for professional or educational reasons, don't neglect your organization's housing office or service. They know what you often don't about renting in New York City and it's their job to help you find a great new apartment.
#6: Apartment Referral Service
Referral services are a growing resource that savvy hunters, especially those who are comfortable searching on the Internet, should not neglect. For a monthly fee these services will provide you with a list of no-fee apartment rentals as they become available.
#7: Finding a Vacant Apartment in Same Building
Other movers find their apartments in the same building in which they already live. Be proactive and talk to neighbors, doormen, supers, landlords, and/or management company to see if another apartment is available in the same building.
#8: Going on Waiting Lists
Affordable housing is often offered through waiting lists or application lotteries. If you have time before you need to move, put your name on waiting lists and/or fill out applications for affordable housing through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) or the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA).
#9: Community Groups
You may occasionally find housing through local government offices or community groups that keep information on neighborhood housing notices.
#10: Apartment Guides
Lastly, don't forget to rely on resources like our Apartment Guide. These general references provide information about leases and other housing issues.

 

Apartment Hunting continue the tour

DISCLAIMER: The New York City Rent Guidelines Board does not own or rent apartments. Furthermore, this Apartment Guide is not meant to be a complete listing of housing resources, nor are we endorsing the websites linked to this guide. Unless otherwise indicated, we are not responsible for any opinions or comments expressed here. If you have any questions, suggestions, please contact us at ask@nycrgb.org.

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