So you graduated college, and are wondering “what’s next?”  If you’re thinking about moving to New York, then get ready for the change of your lifetime. Take advantage of mom’s home cooking, or dad’s grilling, because you’ll soon find yourself munching on dollar pizza or chicken over rice almost every night. Enjoy the fresh, clean laundry folded at the corner of your bed because you’ll soon be lugging over weeks worth of clothes to your nearest laundromat. BUT (and this is a big one), you’ll be in New York City – the city of dreams and where the most memorable sitcoms come to life in front of you. Now that you’re slightly hesitant but still totally amped, it’s time to think about your move and finding your place in New York.

You’ve heard it from friends, family and the occasional Google search: New York City real estate is out of this world! Not only does it feed the twisted supply and demand formula with the low inventory and outrageous pricing, but it happens to operate in seasons as well – especially when talking rentals.

As one of our Platinum agents, Jeff Gordon, says, “If New York City is the center of the Universe, shouldn’t your home be the center of yours?”  Yes, because it’s all about location (location, location.)  And in New York City everything is pricey / priceless. Your grande, Starbucks latte will cost a few more cents. The salads are at an average of $12+.  So how can you not expect an influx of expensive, yet tiny, rental apartments to supply the 1.5 billion of millennials that live here?

We can’t help with the inventory, or the desirability and consequential competition for New York City apartments, but we can help you understand square footage and what it really means.

So here are three real-life examples of square footage to consider before deciding on what you want, need and can actually afford:

1. 100 Square feet = Average Walk-In Closet

Guess what? There is such a thing as a 100 square feet apartment and it’s tiny – or better said, “micro.”  Before you sign your life and your guarantor into that 18-month lease, make sure you understand that size does (in fact) matter. Good luck calling it a bachelor pad and inviting your SO. (SO required for the cited reference). With these micro-apartments, the expression, “Wow! Your apartment is the size of a closet,” gets very literal and very sad all too quickly.

2. 800 Square feet = Average Classroom Size

Now we’re looking at a rather large (yes, this is large) one bedroom apartment in New York City. It’s about the size of a classroom. One you’ll section into a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom.  It’s really not so large after all.

3. 1,500 square feet: NYC Penthouse

Let’s dream a little, why not?  Work those hours away as an analyst, banker, publisher, or marketer and you’ll get there one day. The photo doesn’t look like much, but throw in “living at the top of the world” and “views to die for” and it will all come full circle for you. This exclusive penthouse at 15 William Street does 1,500 square feet right.

Still need help?  The apartment search is overwhelming, especially when you factor in the difficult factors recent grads can face such as unemployment, young credit, and the heartbreaking high standards.

Talk to someone who knows, you can start with the billions of Google search pages but that’s just the beginning.  Contact a real human whose job it is to find apartments.  Get started, find your place and make you move (already!).