Apartment hunting in New York City sucks. It really does. I find the whole process baffling, not to mention financially strapping. How in the world have real estate prices gone so high that people here expect you to shell out $1700 for a studio apartment and probably pay a 15% broker fee to boot? It’s highway robbery!
My lease is up at the end of September and I’m practically developing an ulcer looking for a new place. Nothing really opens up for the month of one’s move until the month of one’s move. Nobody calls or writes back when you answer ads at Craigslist or Backpage, and half of the ads are fake anyway. Ideally, I’d love to stay in the city, but I just can’t afford it anymore. I’d rather spend money on food and the movies and nights out with the gals. So, I’ve turned my eyes to Queens, my old neighborhood, where I lived when I first came to New York. And I’m floored, because in just a handful of years, the rent there has skyrocketed. I took a look at a studio that was just gut renovated and it was $1375. $1375 for a studio in Sunnyside. That’s ridiculous. But the broker didn’t blink an eye, insisting you can’t get a one bedroom for that price anymore.
I knew Astoria got all hip (What is it, the new Williamsburg?), but did the taint have to spread to Sunnyside and Woodside? Wah. Stop it. Go away, people!
As if my search for a home hasn’t been woeful enough, there’s the constant debate over staying in Manhattan, and reminders of why staying in here is just no good for me. Like, last night, a group of people were woo-hoo-ing and yelling at 4 AM, presumably after the bars closed. Oh my God. They were SO loud they might as well have been standing at the foot of my bed. I’d take the rattle of the 7 train over that any day. There’s also the cost. Rent is ridiculous, grocery prices are high, and I can’t really DO anything as long as my entire income is funneling in that direction. On the other hand, I’m really close to work, and moving to Queens means commuting again. I hate the train! I’ll have to take it in every weekend to hang out and meet friends.
Of course, if I don’t find an apartment in either place, it’s a moot point. I’ll be sleeping on the sidewalk with Hobo Bob…who probably charges a %15 sidewalk user fee.