Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome to the Thunderdome: Apartment Hunting in NYC

I'm moving! Finally!

For those who don't know, I have been staying with my parents for a very long time. Save for a month living with a roommate in Queens who I subsequently had to escape from (I will probably post about that some time), I've been stuck in their apartment for the past five years.

But on Saturday I paid the deposit and picked up the keys to a place in Prospect Heights. I'll be with two roommates (and two cats), from whom I've gotten a really good vibe even though I don't know them. The bedroom is fairly spacious (by New York standards) and the shared space is pretty clean. Plus, there's a decent-sized patio.

How did I find such a gem? Luck, mostly. Apartment hunting in NYC is a blood sport, and you have to have equal parts patience, perseverance, and good fortune. After scam email replies to Craigslist inquiries, brokers who never called me back, and panic attacks about sky-high rent, serendipity came in the form of a listserv message.

The ad for a room came across a local feminist email list I am on. The neighborhood was where I want to be; the rent was reasonable; I knew we'd have ideological similarities; they have pets. So on a whim I replied.

I took my parents to check the place out, and we all got a good vibe from the space, the neighborhood, and the people. I had to wait to make sure friends of the third roommate didn't want it, and then I got a text saying the room was mine if I was still interested.

Now I'm packing. Technically, my lease starts May 1, though I have an exam that day. I'll probably move in gradually over a few days or weekends, and let's hope this one doesn't turn ugly. (I genuinely don't think it will. I had gut feelings about the other place that I ignored, and I did not have them here.)

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