So, I finally decided to move out of the dorms and stake out on my own. I had heard that looking for real estate in New York City was hard, but heeeyy it can’t be that bad, right? “It will be fiiiiiine” I told myself.
There are many reasons why looking for an apartment in New York is so frustrating, but I think most stem from people changing their minds. One of the biggest issues I had was finding a roommate. This didn’t seem so hard at first, I was going to live with one of my friends who hadn’t moved in with the rest of our group in their place on Wall Street. Great, awesome. Fast forward to the middle of the summer before the semester starts and all of the sudden she is graduating a semester early and then moving back home to go to grad school. I mean, I’m happy for her of course, but it put me in a really crappy position. Then, I met this guy through a friend of mine who was also looking for an apartment near Columbia because he was going to start grad school. I met him, he seemed chill, so we decided to go in it together. However, neither of us was really doing a good job researching places and it kind of hung in the air for a while. Then a friend of mine who just graduated from FIT said he wanted to look for a place on the west side so he wouldn’t have to commute from Long Island for his job anymore. Great! I told Columbia guy “Sorry, I have to back out,” and he said he was going to tell me the same anyway because he got into med school! New roommate guy was an actual friend of mine and I looked forward to living together. Well, living with a guy who is not your significant other made finding the right apartment even harder (i.e. two bedrooms only, and railroads are not an option). Add in some inflexibility about location and price and the situation becomes almost impossible. Finally, after many frantic lunch break and after work trips up, down, and all over town I found one that would work for us! Only to have him tell me he decided he wanted to continue commuting to save money to go to grad school next year. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I mean I didn’t take it very personally, I know that I am not hard to live with, but it was incredibly frustrating to have seemingly every option presented pulled out from under me just as I thought it was really going to work out. Eventually I met my new roommate through the last guy I was supposed to live with. It was scary jumping into a year long contract with someone I had only met once or twice, but it all worked out fine. She’s super nice and incredibly easy to live with as well.
There are other issues, like the speed at which apartments are put on the market and then sold, pushy brokers and their exorbitant fees, picky landlords, and just finding a place that actually works and you feel comfortable in. Yet, I do find it really nice to be able to come home to my own place after class or work and truly not feel like I am still in school. It has also pushed me much further into becoming more responsible. I have to pay my bills on time now, budget my money and be extra careful about my own safety. Am I adult-ing yet?