Commandment #1: Thou shalt live in a cardboard box

“I have a co-op here. I have a place in the Hamptons, for Christ sakes.”
The NY real estate paradox summarized by Bret Easton Ellis in American Psycho.


If, freshly arrived in NY, your references in terms of housing are the Valmont mansion on 5th avenue in Cruel Intentions or Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze’s Soho loft (in Ghost – come on!), you will have to overhaul your standards.
One word to describe the real estate market in NY: a nightmare. But you will learn. Fast. Soon the subtle differences between co-ops, condos and rentals will no longer be a secret to you. You will learn that “charming” actually means “tiny” in classified ads. You will learn that brokers are not your friends -no!- and that it is not considered normal to have a washing machine in your apartment – or even in your building. However, you will learn that it is vital to check if your building was ever infested with bed bugs! Endless fun… to help, we recommend the following apartment search websites.
Craigslist: classic
Despite a layout that seems stuck in 1995 and a variable quality of ads, Craigslist remains the go-to for finding flat-share and no-fee apartments.

StreetEasy: Mecca
For us, the most comprehensive website. You can filter all imaginable criteria (Verizon FiOS Enabled or not – that is the question). You have access to the full price history of the apartment, the schools the potential pad is zoned for, and so much more.

My New Place: mobile-friendly
This free application uses location-based search to find apartments around you. Take pictures and save them in the app to compare apartments at the end of the day.

Listing projects: newsletter
Stephanie Diamond created her no-fee ads newsletter in 2003. She still compiles the newsletter personally and sends it every Wednesday morning.

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