3 weeks to go and still no apartment found :(
Most of my time these days I spend checking all the different platforms & profiles, where people search for roommates and people, like me, who are seeking the perfect flat & roommates to stay with!
Here are my findings & learnings up till today:
I always knew that New York is expensive, but I was quite astonished by the differences in prices in this city - as I have mentioned in a previous post, my search is (still) limited to Manhattan apartments! Interestingly there are huge differences in prices: I found super-cheap flatshares in the very heart of Manhattan for 700$ and some in the north (Harlem) for 1000$-1400$! One thing which I learned from this: unfortunately the more expensive the flat, the more confident you can be that it is not a scam, which happens a lot in this city!!
My favorite platforms:
www.easyroommate.com: Once you register on this website (and enter your personal preferences in location, roommate, flat etc.) you will be able to see every ad in full and contact the owners of the ad! Rarely ad owners put pics of the flat to their profile - so you have to contact them and give them your email address in order to proceed with the conversation. Through this website I do have the most interaction with New Yorkers, who look for a roommate - the best thing on this website is that people will also contact you to find out if you are interested in their ad!
www.metroroommates.com: Another very good address is Metroroommates.com - a lot of listings and pics of flats already in the ad (which makes it very easy to see if it is worth contacting the owner or not)! The big BUT on this one is, the fact that you have to pay a fee to be able to contact someone...
www.nyhabitat.com: This website looks very professional and you don't need any premium membership to view all details about the flats (apartment information includes photographs, descriptions, reviews, apartment layouts). It seems to be a property agency - just discovered it^^ and submitted my request; now I am eagerly awaiting their proposals!
All in all I have to say that I have immagined the search to be much easier - unfortunately I have also come accross scams, but I guess that is something usual when searching for a flat in NY ;)
Some tips derived from my personal experience:
- insist on viewing the flat - it happened to me quite often that landlords start talking about deposit payments and contract details, before I have had the chance to ask them for a viewing (or they simply ignored this inquiry!) AND no one should ask for money, when arranging a viewing!!!
- be aware of the style of english - does it change drastically throughout the conversation???
- weird excuses (scam!?) - try to be sensible to the excuses your contacts give you for certain things (like: " Sorry, due to time issues I can't give you a skype tour of the flat, but a viewing would be ok!" *Häää* or "I would be online and ready for a skype call with you" I go online and think to mysef 'yay', and then the contact writes: "Oh sorry the microphone of my pc isn't working properly!" - What? It just broke?? 2 minutes before, I went online?? *Häää*)
I will definitely keep on searching till the very end - 3 weeks to go!!! Bring it on NYC... Where are the real, nice, clean and fun people to share an apartment with ;)