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Confessions of a Serial NYC Apartment Hunter

(This is a guest post to the Shleppers blog, we hope you find it entertaining because we sure did!)

Ok, it’s the New Year (-ish) and I’m feeling a bit… resolved to help my fellow NYC neighbors. Perhaps it is the 6 hours I just spent perusing Craigslist for a pre-war one bedroom that I will never get back. Or the stack of moving boxes calling my name from their oh-so-coveted spot under my queen bed tucked artfully into my sleeping alcove. Or maybe it is simply the near-obsessive habit I have of serial apartment hunting. Whatever it is, I feel compelled to confess to you, dear fellow New Yorkers-in-residence, that I am a serial NYC apartment hunter. In fact, I’m on the hunt as we speak.

What is it that compels me to seek out the perfect apartment year after year, unfailing in my quest to align features with my deepest NYC desires? Why haven’t I been able to resign my lease and commit to a previous apartment for all eternity (or at least a few years)?

Perhaps it began so many years ago, cycling through roommates and shares with such frequency that I could have begun my own version of “Roommate Tinder”. Swipe right for the next person who can manage to not finish all my milk!

It could be my love of moving companies. I kid you not! Selecting the right moving company in NYC is one of the telltale signs setting Murray Hill newbies apart from the tenured residents of the Village and UWS. Nothing screams “I just got my first job and have 6 roommates” than the person who hires the sketchy cheap van guy. I, however, connoisseur of moving companies, have “shlepped” with the best. I mean come on, a professional moving company with a cute name and a bright orange truck? That’s right, I’ve been around this block before (and five more down the street—very cute studio with an exposed brick wall down that way!).

The truth is, finding a new apartment in NYC is a finely honed craft. Yes, I too have spent countless hours wondering how on earth Curbed NY manages to find all these fabulous apartments for the low low price of half my paycheck per roommate—but it took me quite a while to start finding them myself. That is, find them still available by myself.

So how did I turn moving from apartment to apartment from dreaded activity to art form? Experience, motivation and a pinch of creative obsession! It is all about reading between the lines—and networking to get the inside scoop on the best apartments coming on the market. Looking for something specific? Getting feelers out there early and often helps encourage others to share tidbits of information they hear. So-and-so is finally moving in with her long term boyfriend (many a marriage was formed over great NYC property!)—awesome because she had the best walk-in closet I’ve ever seen and it will be available next month!

Plus, you need to know the ins and outs of leases. Now, this isn’t to say that you can just go breaking or ignoring leases at your whim. But you would be surprised how many negotiations can be made to get tenants in and out of apartments when everyone is willing.

Will I ever settle down with just one apartment? Who knows but I promise I will let you know if I do. For now I must run—I sense a spacious converted 2 bedroom coming on the market in Tribeca.