Apartment Search–What Apartment Search?

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I tried to find a graphic that accurately captured the complete torture that is involved when trying to find a new apartment in New York City, but came up blank.  Apparently the words “worst experience ever”, don’t produce much.  So boxes and cats seemed the next best thing since that is a pretty real view into our future.

(Note: This is a long-winded rant of a post – get some nutella because that’s what I’m currently eating)

With our family officially expanding in March 2013 Smile, it was very clear that although we LOVE our current apartment and technically have enough space, wrangling a baby and a stroller and all the other gear, up and down three flights of stairs every time we want to leave the premises, gave me nightmares.  So, after all of our weddings in 2012 had concluded, we hit the pavement.  Literally.  We walked around looking for rental buildings in areas where we wanted to live and asked Doormen/Supers/Strangers, if there was anything vacant.  This is because in NYC there is no central database that has *real* and up-to-date listings.  Also, apartments are listed and rented in a matter of hours if they’re actually decent – flashback to 5.5 years ago when our apartment was listed at 7am and we had signed the lease before lunch.  Of course, that was also a time when there were “no-fee” apartments.  Meaning, you weren’t required to go through a dishonest slim-ball to show you an apartment that you found on your own and then pay them 15% of a years rent as a ‘thank you’.  This is way back when you could also find a place and then go directly to the management company to sign.  Now, I’m sure these still exist in theory, but the market is so saturated with brokers now that it’s hard to even find something listed as ‘no fee’ where a broker doesn’t answer the phone in the end anyway.  Oh and the other fun part – calling when you think you have found a gem for the answer to be “well, I don’t have THAT particular unit, but I have something else..”  Meanwhile that other place is a hole under a bridge and completely out of your price range.  Thanks, broker, you’re really oh-so-helpful.

Anyway, where was I… oh right, on the search to nothing.

Last Tuesday, Arion found three potential places while searching the black hole of craigslist and streeteasy.  So, out I go to take a look…..

  • The first was a 2 bedroom where I’m not even sure I could fit a couch cushion in each “bedroom” for sleeping, let alone a bed or even a crib.
  • The second was a duplex without a freaking dishwasher.. um, I’m going to have a child, are you INSANE?!?
  • But the third.. thank heaven for the number 3.  It was perfect…. “a luxury full service doorman and concierge building, boasts a fitness center with sauna, residents’ party/meeting room with full catering kitchen, children’s playroom, common laundry area, rooftop sundeck and bicycle storage rooms. Pets are welcome.”  I ran there.  In the rain.  The building was everything it said it would be.  And the apartment is actually a condo rental by owner, so it’s gorgeous.  New wood floors, crown molding, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, California closets and wait for it… A WASHER/DRYER IN THE APARTMENT.  My non-NYC readers, this is like finding a unicorn at the zoo-it just doesn’t happen.

So, we put in an offer.  And they accepted!!!  And then we filled out a 37-page (actually not being sarcastic on this detail) application and turned it in last week to the condo board.  Now we wait.  For at least two weeks.  To decide if they like my current nail polish color, or not.  At which point they could say, great we’ll give you the keys TODAY and then, oh wait, we still have to pack, book movers, and get in there, all while breaking our current lease and hoping to not lose an entire month’s rent.

So, I’ll be here, waiting.  HAHAHAH, yea right.  I’m already organizing everything we own to either be kept, donated, or tossed.  But more on that tomorrow.. my snarky comments need a break Winking smile

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One response »

  1. Great post Heather! Now, I’m not a New Yorker but I’ve no doubt that it is spot on. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the condo comes through. I’ve been in your current apartment and it is a tough act to follow. Good luck. Keep me posted. Say hi to Arion for us. Xoxo Sandy

    Sent from my iPhone

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