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Tag Archives: safety

20 Dec 2017

NYC can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. If you’re heading off to the big city or are the parent of someone who is, here are a few tips to help you find an apartment and start life off on the right foot.

Let’s do this!

Budgeting, Paying Rent on Time

First apartment? Create a budget early on so you’ll know how much you’ll be able to allocate to rent. Look for apps like Dave Ramsey or You Need a Budget for tips on rent, utilities, groceries, entertainment, etc.

Roommate or Solo?

Ready for a culture shock? NY apartments can be really small and expensive. Studio apartments in New York City (rooms with kitchenette and bathroom) run $1,100 to $2,500/month. Expect 150-400 square feet. They’re dorm size. If you like privacy – awesome!


  • Check for deadbolt and chain locks, fire escapes, window locks, bars and gates if ground level.
  • Check for well-lit lobbies and stairs, inspected elevators, security doors with buzzers, secure locks, security cameras, etc.
  • Check online news for crime.
  • Look for laundromats, restaurants, bus stops and train stations, police stations, a library, shops, deli, hospital, houses of worship, gyms, bike paths, or parks.
  • View apartments when you’re ready to give a deposit. They go fast, but don’t pick the first place.
  • Visit at night. Is it safe? Are the walls thin? Ask building tenants about the area.


    • Create a written contract outlining terms including rent, utilities, phone, etc.
    • Outline communal spaces: the living room, kitchen and bath only.
    • Check for room door locks. Add one. If one already exists, change it.
    • Check roommate references. Ask neighbors. Confirm jobs. You don’t want them hitting you up for loans or hitting on you for favors.
    • Don’t give cash for utilities. Buy a Staples receipt book.
    • For strangers, run free background checks. Ask for ID. NYers have reported heavy drinkers, items stolen, drunk boyfriends popping up, hidden room cameras, etc.


When to Call Mom

You miss her cooking and family time.

You just wanted to say hi and that everything is okay.

You just saw the biggest water bug and he refuses to leave.

When It’s Better to Call the Super Instead

The water bug now has a friend.

You see a ceiling leak or the tub or toilet is flooding.

There’s a light out in the lobby, elevator, stairwell or elsewhere.

General safety tips include:

      • Blend: NYers dress down with inconspicuous over-shoulder bags and umbrellas, water, snacks, and IDs.
      • Don’t carry purses or wallets. Hide money on your person.
      • Don’t carry maps, cash or phones openly like tourists. Stay in groups.
      • Don’t walk while talking on your phone or with headphones on.
      • In bars, don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended.
      • Language barrier? Travel in groups.
      • Keep cash, ID, birth certificates, computers, electronics, passports and visas in safes.
      • New Yorkers can push. Don’t push back.
      • Research areas with maps and landmarks before visiting.
      • Walk away from strangers starting conversations.

What Is a Guarantor?

To rent one of our apartments, you’re going to need one of these. A guarantor can be a parent who can cosign your lease. They’ll backstop you in case you can’t (or don’t) pay the rent.

Whether you’re headed to NYC for a summer job, internship or just moving off campus, you’re going to want to look for an apartment that’s walking distance or an easy commute. Search our listings of available apartments or give us a call and speak with a Leasing Associate. We’ll help you find the perfect apartment that works within your budget and meets all your other requirements. IT ALL STARTS HERE.

23 Aug 2017
Photo credit @lisaiannarino via Twenty20

Congratulations! Finding an apartment in New York City isn’t easy, but at last you have a place to call home. Here’s a few quick tips to help you make a smooth transition to apartment life.

1. Face Time

Living alone for the first time is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life. It’s a chance to become more self-reliant, make your own rules, and explore your personal style. It’s also a little scary; you might be spending more time alone than you ever have before.

Create a routine that includes getting out and about regularly. Frequent local shops and cafes, introduce yourself to the neighbors, and join local community events. Invite your friends over — a lot. Make the most of this experience to develop your social skills, face to face to face.

2. Roommates

Sharing your apartment can be just as much fun as it looks on those classic television shows, if you find the right roommate. But don’t rush into this new relationship. Compatibility is important, and so is dependability; an error in judgment or a misunderstanding about commitment could mean more expenses for you.

Find out up front what might be deal breakers for each of you, and don’t let small annoyances simmer. Choose your “compromise zones” — usually shared spaces, such as the kitchen, bathroom and living room — and reach a mutual understanding about decorating and maintaining them.

3. Keeping House

You don’t need to break the bank to turn your apartment into home, sweet home. Throw pillows or an area rug are inexpensive ways to personalize the space, while lamps and accent lights in key places help create a warm atmosphere. If you’re sharing the apartment, go shopping together to find items you can agree on, especially for those compromise zones.

Keeping the apartment and appliances clean saves problems in the long run, and it’s essential for healthy living, both physically and mentally. Don’t let the chores build up — find a system that works for you, turn on some music and get down to it.

Related: 5 Key Organizational Tips for Tiny New York Apartments

4. Storage

A New York City apartment probably means adjusting to living in a more compact scale than you might be accustomed to. At first it seems like you have much more stuff than space, but assessing storage possibilities will soon be second nature to you. Take advantage of the move to cull dead weight, and aim for charming instead of cramped when you decorate.

Use design techniques that make the space seem larger, such as limiting the color palette and placing mirrors strategically to reflect light. Clutter-free surfaces help create the illusion of space, too. Some furniture items can double as storage or be hidden away when not in use. Maximize vertical storage solutions to keep floor space clear — hooks and shelving are practical and can also be visually striking features.

5. That Safety Habit

No matter how safe the neighborhood is, it’s wise to cultivate a habit of safety. If it locks, lock it; always lock your door and windows — and yes, that goes for apartments above the first floor, too. You should know all the potential routes around the apartment and where the emergency exits are from any point inside the building.

You don’t have to be nosy, but be aware of the general habits of your neighbors so that you’ll recognize when any activity is out of the ordinary. If you have a roommate, you should discuss a safety plan with him or her, including locking the door, not giving away keys and being careful about who enters your home.

Related: Dealing With Obnoxious Neighbors

What? Still looking for that perfect apartment? Chances are we have just what you need. Click here to search