The Definitive Guide to Finding an Apartment Using Craigslist NY

Craigslist NY - Developer Larry Silverstein Ceremonially Tops Off New Downtown Manhattan Luxury Apartment High Rise

Craigslist NY can take the challenge of renting an apartment New York City make it a little easier.  According to NYC real estate agent, Paul Hunt, “When expectations are very high, the process can be very frustrating. ” After all, in a city full of apartments, some of which are too expensive, too small, too dangerous – or all three, narrowing down your options and being realistic about what will work for you can be a serious issue. Seriously, no matter how smart, or cool, or savvy you think you are, the process of finding the perfect place to call home in the city that never sleeps is all about knowing where to look. But with that being said, with so many places to look, where exactly are you supposed to start?

Well, this may come as a surprise to some, but Craigslist can be your best friend when looking for an apartment in the city. While some see Craigslist NY as nothing more than a website for selling old couches and used electronics, the site actually offers so much more.





Craigslist NY Building

Where do you start using Craigslist NY?

Clicking on the “Housing” section of the Craigslist NY page will open up a world of possibilities, but first you need to know how to return the best search results. Before you even start using the search bar to type in what you’re looking for, it’s probably in your best interest to check out the column on the left side of the screen. In this column, you can set your price range, select your desired square footage, select the number of bedrooms, search for places that allow or don’t allow pets, etc.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that you check the “has image” box so you can avoid scrolling through a bunch of sketchy apartments that you can’t even see.  If you feel like you’ve already gotten it narrowed down enough, you can start scrolling through the results. Keep in mind that the location of the property (i.e., which borough and/or neighborhood) will usually be in parenthesis after the title, and you can filter the search by price or posting date. However if you’d still like to get a little more specific (it’s always a good idea to be as specific as possible) before scrolling through the results, this is where the search bar comes in handy. In this bar you can type in things like the specific borough you’re looking for or other keywords that may be important to you. Keep in mind that NYC is pretty big, so just getting an apartment ‘anywhere’ isn’t the best idea.

As you start looking through your results, make sure you read each ad VERY thoroughly. This is a good way to weed out fake listings and undesirable places. Even if you selected certain things in the left column before your search, it’s still important to double-check each ad you read to make sure that it really has what you’re looking for. Some posts will have misleading tag lines or other incorrect information, and if you fail to read the full posting you could end up wasting your time. Also, keep in mind that Craigslist NY is, well, Craigslist, and everything on there isn’t always what is seems. Listen to your gut if a listing looks a little suspicious and always check for a contact name and number, and it might be a good idea to bring someone with you whenever you decide to go look at a property.

East Village, New York Apartment

If you don’t feel like Craigslist NY is the best option for you, there are plenty of other ways to search for an apartment. Websites like, Zillow, Rent, Trulia, and Apartment Finder all have countless listings, and might feel a little more organized (and quite frankly, safe) compared to Craigslist NY. However, you’ll find that none of these sites have as many postings as Craigslist, and while their websites may be more appealing, they can also be a bit more difficult to navigate.

If you’re not the type of person who has any interesting in finding an apartment online, you can also use a real estate service. However, NYC real estate agent, Alicia Schwartz says, “So many management companies have gone online that you can get an apartment without a broker, especially if you have a friend who’s rented through a company and can recommend it.”

Also, keep in mind that some of these options may not be completely free, and if your budget is small, you’ll find that these options won’t provide you with as many potential apartments. While listings from these sources may seem more legitimate than Craigslist, you’ll also be missing out on some of what Craigslist has to offer.

New York City Apartment In Queens

For example, Craigslist NY will have plenty of apartments being rented by individuals, as well as subletting options, people looking for roommates, and rooms for rent: all things you’re not likely to find anywhere else. Another pro about Craigslist NY (other than the fact that it’s absolutely free, and there’s no sign up required) is that you can also post your own listing describing what you’re looking for, or advertising for a potential roommate. While both of those options may seem risky, plenty of people have found great success. Let’s be real, NYC is expensive, and most young people won’t be able to live there without finding a roommate – or two, or three.

All in all, if you’re on a budget, don’t mind sifting through a lot of ads, and are open to seeing a wide variety of options, Craigslist NY is the perfect tool for you. While other services will boast better looking websites and a more organized experience, Craigslist NY will help you get down to business without any hassle, and may even find a few hidden gems that aren’t listed anywhere else.

 (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


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