The ads you find online are all usually going to be immediate vacancies or June 1 at the latest.
It's never too early, the trick is...
A: Only look at properties that are offered for the date range you need (7/15-8/1)
B: Don't think assume you have plenty of time and more options will be available later.
The rental inventory is slim and the prices will go up.
I speak from experience of seeing it happen every year. There are more people looking from April to August in NYC than anywhere else in the world.
More demand and less supply (Vacancy at less than .69%) equals higher rents through the rest of the year.
For you I pray you have education on market realities and experience on your side as you move forward.
Onwards and upwards!
Start you search online if you want to get a "feel" for pricing and neighborhoods. If you can key in on a specific area but have some flexibility, you'll do well when it is time to rent. I would highly suggest you use a broker. I also suggest you get your paperwork together NOW! I do agree with Miriam for you to start your search with a broker at the end of June. Good luck.
Hmmm??? 4 months can fly by. Get started!
If you need a referral to a local Realtor request one at http://www.grapevinereferrals.com
What I can also suggest you is that when you start your search, have your paperwork ready and if you see a property you like, be decisive because maybe by the time to make up your mind, it's already rented.
If you decide to work with a Real Estate agent, feel free to contact me!
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
You can also start to pull together your supporting documents: reference letters from previous landlords and people you work with, tax information, financials, employment verification, basically anything that shows you are a good tenant. Best of luck in your apartment hunt!
If that is a sale question, then give me a call!
Bond New York