Everyone has a dream growing up–whether it’s becoming a doctor, lawyer, traveling the world, finding true love, or moving to a new city, there are tons of barriers that can keep you from getting to where you want to go. For me, moving to New York City was always the dream. I grew up moving around a ton–my dad was in the military so I was never in the same place for too long. And I knew that one day I would want to settle down somewhere–but it would have to be somewhere adventurous and exciting so I didn’t get too restless. So after graduating college, I decided to move to the big apple–and in retrospect I REALLY wish I had known about Bedly–it would have made my housing experience SO simplified.
When I moved to New York City I came for graduate school. I didn’t have an extensive credit history because I had been in college and I worked most of my time as a resident advisor. And while that made me an expert in facilitating the perfect roommate agreements and decorating my space as though it was my own, it did NOT give me the background required by most NYC apartments to move in. And let’s be honest, in typical millennial fashion I had spent a lot more money in college on going out than I did saving so the idea of having to pay a broker on top of first and last month’s rent as a security deposit had me totally balking. Plus the associated costs of buying furniture, utilities, and a monthly subway ticket had me totally terrified that I’d find myself living on the streets of the city in no time.
I also was really nervous about being lonely—or even worse, ending up with a random roommate off of Craigslist who was completely crazy, who would throw parties all the time, and who would refuse to keep the apartment smelling nice and clean. After several months of almost giving up hope on finding a job, finding somewhere to live, or even just buying the train ticket to the city, I caught a break with some friends to live as a live in nanny. So on top of school full time, and a part time job at a fitness start up that I was working, I was also working where I lived. While I’m super grateful for the opportunity that gave me to learn the ropes in the big city and save up on having to pay rent, it was a little weird to be an adult by most standards and still living in someone else’s home. There were a lot of things to be cognizant of, coordinating various schedules and making sure the kids were well taken care of at all times of the day.
After working as a live in nanny for a year, I moved to Brooklyn to a space in crown heights–and while it’s definitely an up and coming area, the commute to my job in the flatiron district every day was brutal. Not to mention, I spent the first two months living on a crazy strict budget because of how much I’d had to fork over after signing the lease (2 months rent as the security deposit and a first month’s rent upon signing). This was a new apartment as well, so I had to handle coordinating with the gas and electricity companies to set up all of the utilities and gas. Not to mention, I was totally responsible for finding my own roommate.
The first year was great, I lived with a friend of mine from college. And while we had a few typical roomie hiccups, it was overall a good experience. The nightmare started when she realized that she wasn’t going to renew the lease because her boyfriend was moving to New York City
And so the roommate search started. I asked every friend I knew, posted on every form of social media, and even opened up an ad on Craigslist. And as the renewal date for my lease fast approached, I could not find anyone to live with me at all. I was in a total panic. I was lucky because my landlord was flexible in the resign, but as the deadline approached I was facing the very real reality of having to pay an entire month’s rent on my own for the whole apartment which was so far outside of my budget. Luckily, at the 11th hour, a friend of a friend was able to sign on with her boyfriend. We ended up having a very harmonious living experience, but it could have gone wrong very easily.
This past May, I moved into my friend apartment in Manhattan proper. I was lucky enough that I was just sliding onto my friend’s lease–her roommate was moving out right when my lease in Brooklyn ended, but as soon as she and I made the verbal commitment to make the change we had to start our liaisons with her broker.
My friend has lived in this apartment in the East Village for 2 years, but it’s not rent controlled, so they immediately upped the total rent by $100 total. Additionally, even though she was re-signing the lease and just adding my name instead of her roommate’s, I still had to pass a background check by the broker who charged $50 for the background check and additional $400 for getting the lease paperwork signed. Which was essentially paying him $400 for adding a different name to the first page of the lease. Totally ridiculous!! And after that we had to pull our resources to replenish the furniture that her roommate had (rightfully) taken when she left. Luckily, this apartment only needed 1 month’s rent as the security deposit but I had to borrow some money from my parents while waiting for the other landlord’s to return that security deposit.
So in short, my renting experience in NYC has been quite a roller coast and whirlwind. While I definitely got luckier than some of our other Bedly writers in my housing experience, I can’t stress enough how much I wish I’d just known about Bedly in the first place.
Not only would I have avoided the drama of trying to find a roommate on my own, I’d have the option of flexible leases–which would save a LOT of stress with the current job market (and my own intense desire to leave NYC and everything in it in search of my zen). There would be no broker’s free which would have been a godsend to my bank account. Not to mention, I would have known about all the amazing bars and super fun tourist activities.
So from one millennial to another, I can’t recommend Bedly enough. Their simplified housing options are a lifesaver and will make your housing experience drama free–so you can turn your attention to all the other crazy realities of living in the big city.
So what are you waiting for? Check out their listings now!