Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Nyc

December 11, 2012

Steven asks…

What is a ‘good’ part of Stamford, CT to move to?

Wondering if anyone has any suggestions…..I am moving from NYC(!?!) b/c want to live somewhere with a little less hustle and bustle, my husband will still commute to work to NY, and we also have to consider the school system for our daughter as well as finding a ‘moderately’ priced rental. Good luck, right?!!


Administrator answers:

I lived in Stamford for 3 years as well as White Plains for 2 years. My vote hands down in White Plains/Westchester.
Stamford is a horrible town, I hate it. Its transient (meaning people live there for just 2-3 years “in-transit” and then move away, so there is never a sense of community), and boring, night life, restaurants and shopping is dead in Stamford. Of course, this is my personal opinion (and surrounding towns are great like Greenwich, New Cannan, etc.. Etc..). If you must live in Stamford I think North Stamford will have nice homes and downtown will have nice apartments for rent. The School system in Stamford is suspect and I dont know how old your daughter is or how much money you can spend in rent.
Westchester County, on the other hand has mostly GREAT schools, its closer to NYC, there is no Property tax on cars and insurance and gas is cheaper. You could live in Rye, Rye Brook, Portchester (not so great schools), Mamaroneck, Harrison, Tarrytown, Scarsdale. Etc.. Etc..

Best bet is to drive to all these communities and see which you like the most, for your budget.

Mandy asks…

Why are New York State residents not allowed to stay in New York City hostels?

I was pretty shocked to find, as I was looking for a hostel to stay in during my NYC trip next month, that NEW YORK STATE RESIDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY IN NYC HOSTELS?! I live 6 hours away from NYC, I’m hardly a local.

What on earth are the reasons for this absurd rule?

Administrator answers:

They want to keep it for tourists and not have day laborers, homeless, etc. Living there.

I stayed in a hostel in London that had many illegal immigrants using it as a place to live.

For people like day laborers who can’t get the money together for a deposit for even a cheap apartment, a hostel is actually a pretty good deal – $25 per night is less than they would pay for even the cheapest New York apartments. Or homeless who live on the streets most of the time and every couple of nights they pay for a night at the hostel and use the showers.

Michael asks…

What is the average cost of living AND surviving in NYC?

I’m just curious because I’m considering relocating there for my job but I want to know exactly what to expect. Thanks!

Administrator answers:

depending on where you are now please know the cost of housing here is much higher than most parts of the USA. You will not find anything safe (unless it’s a share) for under 1,200 a month, and that’s outside of Manhattan! Grocery’s can be cheaper than other states, and much more is available year round here than anywhere else!
There are ton’s of free things to do here at night, gallery openings, free days at museums-taking the staten island ferry for a “free boat ride”. There are also alot of costly things to do here, it all depends on your budget!
IF you are relocating here negotiate for a cost of living raise before you agree to come. Also keep in mind many young people share apartments, you can look on craigslist to find apartment shares, or even look at the cost of apartments in different areas, here’s the link

for me I love NYC!

James asks…

Why do so few people live on Staten island compared to the rest of Nyc?

300,000 some people is still a lot in my book but compared to the millions in the other boroughs of similar area, it’s tiny. Why do so “few” people live there?

Administrator answers:

Actually, our population was 468,730 back when the 2010 census was taken. That 300,000 figure was probably from 1960 or something.

Part of the reason is because we have a lot of hills, which makes it hard to build densely (though there are plenty of apartment buildings in parts of Upper Manhattan and The Bronx, so it shows it’s possible). Second of all, we have a lot of wetlands that are protected, and we have the site of the former landfill, which we can’t build on, plus industrial land along the West Shore Expressway.

But as far as the areas where it’s possible to develop, the lack of transportation means that it’s less attractive to developers, and so the land is cheaper. As a result, there is no need to build high-rises all over the place, and you have a lot of townhouses & single-family homes. We have no direct subway connection to Manhattan, so our commute times are long. We either have to take an express bus, or take a slow ferry ride (or take a bus to the subway in Brooklyn, which also takes a long time). But if that subway connection is ever built, there will be an explosion in development on Staten Island.

I hope this information was very helpful.

Maria asks…

What do I need to know about renting in Manhattan?

I am meeting with a broker today about some apartments. I am a student so I am looking for some cheaper housing WITHIN Manhattan. Is there anything I should know before going in, so that I don’t fall for any tricks or situations I don’t want to be in? I am completely new at this so almost anything will help. Thanks in advance.

Also, I know about, but I heard there was a similar but better site. Does anyone know what that is?

Administrator answers:

I was a real estate agent in Manhattan.. Hopefully this helps:


#1-DOORMEN! If you see a doorman at a building (they’re mostly in midtown or the UES or UWS) ask if they have any units available. Large buildings have people who rent out places… If you do this and go directly through the building management you will not pay a fee. & here is the deal with fees:

#2 FEES! The agents/brokers will try to charge you 15% of a years rent. Do the math and you’re paying them a lot. This is ALWAYS negotiable. If you find a place through one of them try to talk them down. There is wiggle room with the fees. Sometimes they will have to check with their boss but the 15% fee is not firm.. Regardless of what they say.

#3 DOORMAN/FEES. If a real estate agent shows you around they are supposed to make you sign a piece of paper before they show you apartments. This is largely to make sure you don’t go with them and then see a doorman and later come back and go through the doorman for no fee. When I was working as an agent people would say they wanted to see buildings with doormen… For this reason. But the papers you sign say that if you take an apartment that the agent showed you (through an agent or doorman later) that you still own the agent $$$. & they can and will sue you for the $$$. Be careful there. Maybe get around that by bringing a friend and say the friend is looking at apartments so they sign it… Then you can ask for doorman apartments and go back later because you did not sign the paper ;-)

#4 PRICE RANGE! Agents will try to show you places that are higher than what you told them you want.. Because they see this as getting a higher fee in the end. Be firm about your price range.. VERY firm. Don’t be ridiculous though. If you say you want a 1 bedroom in the East Village for $1,000 it’s not going to happen. EVER.

#5 OPEN HOUSES! Look in the Daily News for open houses in the real estate section. I read in the paper they might do away with these soon but I don’t think they have yet. Sometimes the open house is done by an agent and sometimes it’s done by building management.

#6 HOW BROKERS FIND APT: When you call a real estate agent they get your info and go into this data base they have with all the apartments for rent. They also look at the Daily News open houses and use other resources that you could do yourself. Sometimes they even respond to other people’s craigslist ads (especially for sublets).

#7 URGENCY: Agents/Brokers will try to get you to make the decision on the spot. If you’re 100% sure that’s fine and you should go for it. If not.. Don’t yet. NYC real estate does go fast… But at least go out to eat afterwards with a friend or something and think about it. I wouldn’t wait too long.. But they often make you feel like you have to make a decision on the spot if they see you showing any interest. Remember… To you this will be your life for AT LEAST the next year.. Probably more. For them it’s a sale.


& BTW… The site that is similar to craigslist is

…and you might want to check out

William asks…

What do you think will be the total expenses per annum for someone living in NYC?

just a rough estimate?
assuming he lives a life slightly above the ones which middle-class men live.
i know $1000 fa month for rent is cheap in NYC,i want the total cost with everything included.
i do have some big bucks so no worries.

Administrator answers:

Not sure but in the city living in your own apartment I’d say you’d need a few thousand dollars a month at least if you want to live well. With roommates splitting cost could be a little cheaper.

Sharon asks…

What are some fun areas areas to live in manhattan?

im 21 and im looking for some fun areas(many restaurants, theatre,clubs,parties, concerts, shopping) to live in? also i need the place to be safe(less crime) also how much would it cost to live in a place like that, fun and safe? what are the best areas in manhattan to live in thats fun, cheap and safe? any suggestion, plz explain cause iv never been to new york and im moving with my friend so we’re sharing

Administrator answers:

We NYC is not cheap. Plan on paying at least $2000-$4000 for a 1 bedroom box sized apartment. So that means you will need to make at least $80,000 a year to live decently. Try areas like Tribeca, Battery Park, SOHO and Greenich Village.

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