By Sage Lazzaro
For many young New Yorkers, the word “moving” inspires a unique dread. But if you follow a few simple guidelines, it doesn’t have to be that way. RoomZoom regular Sage Lazzaro with seven tips to alleviate what will probably be the biggest hassle of your year.
1. DO know your deal breakers.
The first thing you need to do is think about what absolutely won’t work for you under any circumstances, in both a roommate and a home. Do you have a cat? Make sure your potential roomies don’t have allergies and are OK with a furry friend. Is central AC a must? If you know that going into your search, you can look for places accordingly and even filter results on most listing sites and apps. Don’t have too many deal breakers, though, or else you’ll never find your next home. We recommend no more than three.
2. DON’T worry too much about your commute.
It’s one thing if you have your eyes on a certain neighborhood because of its vibe, but don’t choose a location based on its proximity to your workplace. After all, chances are you’ll switch jobs at some point.
And when searching for an apartment in NYC, remember how quickly the subway travels. The DeKalb stop on the L train, for example, is six stops past prime Williamsburg. While this may seem like a long distance, it’s only about eight more minutes on the train, and it will get you a lot more for your money in terms of space and amenities.
3. DO exhaust all of your resources.
There are a ton of sites and apps that make finding roommates and apartments in NYC easy. After filling out a survey, RoomZoom algorithmically pairs you with the people who best fit what you’re looking for, so you’ll only have to message a few people before, ideally, you find a roommate. Don’t limit yourself, though. Ask friends, post on Facebook (on your own profile and in housing groups like Gypsy Housing), and use other roommate apps like Symbi and Diggz, which have the feel of “Tinder for roommates.” The same goes for the apartment search; try Nooklyn, Streeteasy, RadPad, and Zillow simultaneously.
4. DON’T end up as a House Hunters meme.
“I need 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, an inground pool, room for my horses and a roller coaster, and I can’t pay more than $5,000 for the mortgage”
Anyone who has ever watched even a moment of a real estate TV show knows that when most people are searching for a new home, be it a house or an apartment, they want waaaay more than their budget will allow. In NYC of all places, something has got to give. The biggest choice you have to make is between location and space. And when it comes to amenities, we all want laundry in the building, a dishwasher, a rooftop, central AC, and to be near all of the subway lines, but be prepared to let some of these pipe dreams go.
5. DO keep an open mind.
We create vivid pictures in our minds of what we want in all facets of life, from relationships to jobs and everything in between. But rarely do these manifest themselves, and that’s often a good thing. If your dream of moving to NYC involves living in a loft with two people the same age who love the same things as you, open up. When you consider all of your options, you not only increase your chances of finding an awesome living situation, you open yourself up to new and different experiences as well.
6. DON’T wait until the last minute.
Moving is stressful, and when it comes to NYC, there are a lot of factors at play. You’re going to want to look at a lot of places and meet a lot of people to find the right living situation for you. If you can, give yourself as much time as possible. If you’re about to graduate and know you’ll be moving in June, for example, start the roommate hunt by April at the latest.
7. DO your research, if you plan to hire movers.
Good movers can make moving day a breeze, but bad ones can make everything so much worse. Start by taking inventory of everything you’ll need moved and get quotes from as many companies as you can. Seriously—get at least 20 quotes, and look for ones offering a flat rate rather than per-hour pricing. This way, if there is traffic or your movers decide to take their sweet time, you’re not going to be forced to fork over any extra cash.
Next, make sure any company you’re seriously considering is certified and provides insurance. There are a lot of companies with outstanding reputations, but plenty of others you should never let anywhere near your furniture, so make sure to read reviews. And lastly, don’t book without reading all of the fine print. Make sure you’re aware of any extra fees like gas, tolls, etc. Some companies will kill you with these, and others cover all of these costs.
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