My suggestion is to come to the area during the day, walk around, do some site seeing, visit St. John The Divine which is 4th largest Church in the world. Spend sometime and stay into the evening. That is the best way to learn about an area and also to see how comfortable you will be.
As for apartments prices, Anna is correct. This all will depend on type of building, block, apartment size, condo or coop, amenities, etc...
Feel free to contact me at any time, we can discuss exactly what you are interested in and advise you on what is available, what apartments are selling and anything else.
I agree with most of the anwers, most co-ops require that the roomate, family member etc...be approved by the board. Imagine if the roomate turns into the roomate from hell, doesnt'; pay rent, and refuses to move? It could be messy, co-op are geared to protect the best interest of their shareholders.... more
if you don't know where to start, etc, perhaps wise to go with a broker. you will pay 1-2 months worth of rent upfront, as a commish.
on the other hand, if you can not afford to or don't want to pay a commission, just try craiglist. go to new york craigslist, narrow your search down to manhattan, then upper west side. then further narrow to apts by owner (you can also try "broker no-fee", but in that case the fee is built-into the rent).
as of sunday, 10:15 pm EST, on craigslist there are at least 100-120 postings for rent by owners in UWS that are less than 24 hours old.... more
I live and work on the Upper West Side. Jerry Seinfeld lives at The Beresford a coop building so vast it contains three separate lobbies fronting both Central Park West and West 81st Street. It has three addresses 211 Central Park West/ 1 and 7 West 81st Street. The building was completed a month prior to the stock market crash in 1929.
The Beresford is a master piece of architect Emory Roth. Limestone base and brick-clad upper floors 175 Apartments 23 Floors. The building has 22 storeys with a limestone base and brick-clad upper floors. The courtyard contains a fountain and a garden. Italian Renaissance in design, the Beresford is executed in brick with limestone and terra cotta trim. Animating the walls is a distinctive blend of late-Renaissance sculpture: winged cherubs, angels, dolphins, rams' heads and rosettes.
Jerry Seinfeld also bought a Townhouse on West 82nd Street for $3.95 million for his cars and to ajoin his Beresford apartment. In his townhouse real estate transaction his broker wasn't available to show on Saturday because of religious observance. Jerry negotiated directly with the seller. A judge ordered Jerry pay her the commission.
Seinfeld also had extensive major renovations to his apartments at The Beresford that went on for a really long time annoying the other neighbors and famous residents. Because of his lengthy renovations NYC coops enacted a new coop rule called the "Seinfeld Rule". For every day that a renovation continues after it's scheduled completion date the apartment shareholder pays the coop fines of $500 a day.
To See Amazing pictures of this spectacular building: