Is it possible to find a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan under $900?

Asked by Cyndi, New Jersey Sun Mar 13, 2011

Recently, I accepted my first job offer in Stamford, CT. Currently, I reside in Jersey with my parents--hence this will be my very first place. I decided it would be best for me to remain in the NYC/NJ area. As a single female in her early 20s, I am looking to rent an apartment in Manhattan. My main priorities are (1) safety, (2) rent and (3) access to the Metro North line.

During this apartment hunting phase, I have been able to find some apartments in Harlem and the Upper West Side (even Greenwich Village) for a decent rent. However, it is hard to recognize if these offerings are legit or a scam. As I stated in my question, I am looking for a place that is affordable. The maximum I am willing to pay is $900. In addition, I hoping to find a place in which rent will cover water, heat, and/or electricity. Is possible to find an affordable apartment in NYC without a roommate?

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Tsahai Sadik, , New York, NY
Thu Jun 7, 2012
I am happy that we were able to provide you with knowledge of the NYC market. You can find a nice studio or one bedroom in NJ for $900. follow this link to a really cool 2 bedroom for $950. Good Luck.
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Jun 6, 2012
Cyndi, sorry the job didn't work out, but as they say - things happen for the best. It would have been more than challenging to find an apartment in the city for 900.

Staying home with your parents for now, and saving up, is a great idea!

You should have some better options in the areas you mentioned..........although Jersey City can be pricier than you might think, depending on the location.
Have you considered towns like Montclair, S. Orange or Morristown? I know they are a bit more "suburban", but they offer the Mid Town Direct train, and have a younger vibe than some other suburban towns.
Just a thought!

You might also want to consider finding a roommate, which might help keep your portion of the rent under 900. I am sure you could always fnd things to do with any savings you might have!

Good luck - sounds like you're on the right track!
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Cyndi, Renter, New Jersey
Tue Jun 5, 2012
Thanks everyone for your advice. The job offer in Stamford has since fallen through. I am still living in New Jersey with my parents, but I am looking to move out on my own sometime in the next year. I have decided not to move to New York City since rent is not affordable considering my current salary. I feel it would best to remain with my parents until I earn higher salary that can afford an apartment in a location that best suits my lifestyle.

It is most likely that I will remain in New Jersey possibly living in either Hudson or Essex county. I am looking to either move to Jersey City, Harrison, or the Ironbound section of Newark. I was raised around these areas, so I am familiar with the neighborhoods. Also, I am impress with the renovation these cities have gone through over the past 10-15 years. Rent is cheap and I see more positive developments in these cities in the future.
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Tsahai Sadik, , New York, NY
Tue Jun 5, 2012
Unless it is low income housing, it can be a scam and you should be wary before handing over any money. you can find these low income listings at HUD.GOV. but they run on a lottery system and have very strict income guidelines. Good Luck.
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Anu Dutta, Agent, Forest Hills, NY
Tue Jun 5, 2012
It is not too realistic to find something for that kind of price. This year the rent is much higher than last year. Beware of any possible scams.
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Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Sun Mar 13, 2011
Hello Cyndi,
I'm in agreement with Don that I don't believe that you will find a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan that includes utilities, no roommate, and is located in a safe area within your price range. I suggest that you contact a few real estate agents that are experienced with rentals in Manhattan by calling some real estate firms there to inquire if they might be able to assist you.
And yes, you are correct to be wary of Craigslist ads as there are many scammers on there after your personal information and money.
Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Mar 13, 2011
I'm not familiar enough with the area to give you a definitive answer. But I'm about 99.99% confident in saying that you're not going to find a $900 a month apartment to rent, including utilities, in liveable condition for $900 a month. Assume they're scams.

There's plenty of information online about how to spot such scams. There are also some threads here on Trulia. For instance, you never send cash or a money order to anyone. Ever. Verify that the scammer (oops--the supposed landlord) actually has the right to rent the apartment. Are they the owner, according to the tax records? And don't just take Joe Smith's word that he's the owner, even if the tax records say the unit is owned by Joe Smith. Ask to see Joe's ID to verify his identity. (Even that's not definitive, since the ID may be fake.)

Ask your parents to help you check out some of the places. But, really: $900 for a decent, safe apartment, no roommate, including utilities, in Manhattan? No way. Sorry about that.
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