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We've all heard the old adage, “Location, location, location.” But, it’s not so easy to follow in New York City, where the average one-bedroom rental is now going for upwards of $2,000 a month all the way out in Bushwick. Our new mantra? The rent is definitely too damn high.
Yet, somehow, the challenging, um, mathematics of New York real estate haven’t deterred us from staking claim to at least a few hundred square feet within the city limits (or in some cases, very nearby). In the end, there are few greater luxuries than a grown-up, NYC apartment with a lease in your name — so we’re willing to compromise on a little less space, a few more flights of stairs, or a neighborhood we never thought we’d consider. You see, there’s a secret about the Big Apple no broker will tell you: Finding a rental apartment that you unconditionally love is actually pretty hard, especially if you’re new to the process. Sometimes, depending on your budget, it seems hopeless.
Naturally, we’re all for making the impossible possible, which is why we’ve polled some of New York City’s most knowledgeable real-estate insiders for advice on how to deal with just about every first-time-renter dilemma. Whether you’re moving in two weeks or two months, from across the country or from across the park, read on for tricks of the trade that will help you navigate your way to a pain-free lease-signing — no matter where you decide to put down your roots.