The first thing college graduates want to do is find themselves a new apartment in New York City. That’s not always as easy as it sounds, but we’ve put together some tips to help you out.

1. Get your financing in order.

  • Make sure you budget yourself so that you don’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent.
  • Be prepared to put the equivalent of 3-4 months’ rent down between your first month rent payment, security and broker fees.

2. Find a roommate.

  • Rent is very high in Manhattan, especially for a new grad.
  • The idea of getting your own place can be tempting but try to resist unless you can really afford it.
  • Remember the 30% rule.

3. Set realistic expectations.

  • One of the biggest surprises for new grads during their search is how small apartments in Manhattan can be.
  • Be realistic and understand you’re moving to one of the most expensive cities to live in.

4. Be open minded to different neighborhoods.

  • Everyone wants to live in the Village for pennies.
  • It’s important to understand that certain areas of Manhattan, like the East Village, are more expensive than others for a reason.
  • Be open minded about different neighborhoods (and if need be, different boroughs) so you can broaden your possibilities.

5. Understand the requirements and have your paperwork in order.

  • Landlords in Manhattan are very strict. There are income and credit requirements for all tenants.
  • Most landlords want to see tenants earn 40-45x the monthly rent in their yearly salary (ex. $2000/month rent = $80,000 yearly income requirement).
  • If you have a roommate, you can combine your income to meet the requirement.
  • If you are just starting out and your salary does not meet the income requirement, you can use a guarantor.
    • A guarantor is a separate party who signs on with you to guarantee the rent will be paid.
    • They will need to prove, in addition to good credit, they make roughly 80x the rent in their annual income ($2000/month rent = $160,000 income to qualify as guarantor).
  • Landlords also want to see bank statements, possibly a landlord reference letter, and more.
  • For a new hire, a signed offer letter will be sufficient for proof of income.

6. Work with a broker.

  • A broker will help you narrow your search and focus on an area, size, and price range that works best for you.
  • In some cases, brokers do not charge a commission because they can collect from the Landlord.

7. Start your search sooner rather than later.

  • Apartments get rented very quickly during the spring and summer seasons.
  • Start your search as early as possible to allow yourself plenty of time to find the apartment of your dreams.


Need more help? Real Estate broker, Platinum Properties, would be glad to help and give our best advice.

Feel free to call us at (212) 825-0050.