Jan 30, 2017

How to Find Short-Term Housing in NYC

I'm constantly flitting between NYC and Boston. Constantly.

As an actress, writer, and full-time regional manager at a start-up that I love, I'm often torn geographically between the two. But even on a personal level, I just can't choose one!

Boston is beautiful and bright and green and outdoorsy (for a city) in the spring in the summer. It's capable of charming any curmudgeon in the fall, with its New England autumn turning the world into a magical pre-holiday wonderland.

NYC is always bustling with life and opportunity. When I live in NYC, it's not at all uncommon to have an audition in the morning, work after, a photoshoot in the late afternoon, some more work, and then an elegant dinner out at night. NYC never stops and it's go-go-go with all the excitement and new experiences that any ambitious twenty-something could desire!

The two, together, are my current definition of the perfect home. However, splitting my time between the two isn't entirely ideal, despite its many benefits.

Apartment Searching in NYC

Both cities are really expensive and rent is no joke. I can't keep two apartments, so moving to NYC for a couple months at a time means I need to find a subtenant for my apartment in Boston and sublease a place in NYC.

I've done this, in one direction or another (more often living in NYC and subleasing in Boston, of late) that I've become quite confident in my ability to make it work. Here are my tips!

1) Try a variety of sources for housing leads.

Craigslist is sketchy, but always has plenty of listings.

Sublet.com and Rooms.com haven't turned up anything for me, but some people swear by them.

AirBnB is probably the safest, nicest option out there, especially if you book a place that has previous guest reviews, but it's also likely the most expensive option on your hands for longer stays. I almost booked a place there this time, but ended up finding something on Craigslist that worked better and went with that - AirBnB, since it's designed as more of a hotel alternative than a roommate finder, has high service charges on top of base listing prices that are well above real market value. Still, in a pinch it can save you.

2) Reach out to friends, acquaintances, former classmates, etc. over email lists and facebook housing groups.

If you want something cheaper than AirBnB but safer than Craigslist, reach out to acquaintances! They're less likely to scam you or have nefarious intentions, since you're in the same social circles, and they just might have a room open or know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who does.

3) Starting early isn't always the answer.

I like to be prepared and get things done as early as possible, myself, but you can't look for a room a month in advance if you're looking in a fast turnaround real estate market like NYC, where people only start posting their available spaces a few weeks in advance. Research your market and figure out the right time to look.

Good luck!

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