Why do I insist on trying to find a new apartment in the middle of winter? I should be spending my time with the family, getting ready for Christmas. But, no, not me! I am too busy pinching pennies. I’ve heard that rental rates are better in the winter time, because not so many people are moving, and landlords are more likely to cut a deal to fill their vacancies.
I am looking into apartments in the Gramercy Park area. In case you are unfamiliar, Gramercy Park is a neighborhood in the Southwest portion of Midtown Manhattan. On the East side of the neighborhood you can walk to Union Square Park, and from the Northeast corner you can easily get to Madison Square Park. There are a lot of venues in the area, if you are interested in the night life scene, like Irving Plaza, The Stand, & Gramercy Theatre. If you want to go to the movies, you have the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 or AMC Village 7 theaters in the neighborhood.
So, I wanted to do some research online to limit the amount of time I had to spend out in the snow. Who knew there were so many websites to sift through in order to find a 1 bedroom apartment near Gramercy Park? Here is how I spent the last couple of weeks searching for my new apartment from the comfort of my living room.
Google Search “1 bedroom apartments” + “Gramercy park”
First I looked up the boundaries for Gramercy Park using Google maps. Then figuring out which specific area I wanted to be in. Then doing a search in Google to find apartments in the those areas. Choosing the right phrases (“1 bedroom apartments” + “Gramercy park”) in Google will help narrow down the results you get. I used phrases like Gramercy Park apartments for rent, apartments on 5th Avenue New York and 1 month free apartments for rent nyc.
Streeteasy.com apartments finder tool
This site was quite helpful. It gives you the option to search for exactly what you want using drop down menus. You can input an address or neighborhood for the location, minimum and maximum price you want to pay, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and there is a check box to click if you only want no-fee listings.
Similar to Streeteasy, Renthop allows you to select the different neighborhoods you like. Then you select the size and price. There is an option called “filters” that allows you to select specifics for your search like unit features, building features, and pet policies. You also, have an option to input specific keywords to search.
The least productive way to find an available apartment for rent. I mapped out the area that I wanted to look at. Walking up and down each street, is a horrible way to spend your day. Sometimes you can’t even get in the front door, so I had to take a picture of the building, and then look it up online when I got home.
Hotpads Apartments and Rentals mobile app
As I was giving up hope going street to street, I found an app in the Microsoft store that I could install on my windows phone. It gave me the option to select the neighborhood, and has a filter function to choose the property type (house, apartment, condo, etc), square footage, price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and pets.
The one thing I didn’t think to do was ask somebody for a recommendation. This would have been too easy. After all of the online searches, and hours spent out in the cold, I finally decided to ask a friend for help. One of my friends suggested a place on West 21st Street called 7W21 (http://7w21.com/), which is just a few blocks west of where I was searching. So I went home and looked it up. It’s a bit more than what I wanted to spend, but I think I will go check it out. The building is new, so the apartments should be clean.