In the summer of 2005, I moved to New York to live with a girl I had been dating long distance. And—as "moving across the country to be with a girl" stories usually go—it didn't work out. Our reunion was short-lived, and I needed someplace to stay, quick.In my experience, finding good housing in New York is largely based on luck, and I had that in low reserve. I tried all the usual avenues—Craigslist, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances of friends… and, after a few weeks of searching, I finally managed to be put in contact with a guy who had a spare room to sublet for a super-low price in the Lower East Side.The owner of this apartment (we’ll call him Doug) was a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking freelance writer who had also recently split from his girlfriend. His ex-girlfriend's office space was in the apartment, which made the perfect bedroom to rent out. I was in a sort of headspace at the time that necessitated a lot of shut-door boozing and miscellany, and I found it highly attractive that Doug seemed to be into the same kind of mopery that I was. Plus, the room for rent was large (for the Lower East Side), seemed cloistered enough from Doug's area that I would have a decent amount of privacy, and—while it gave off the kind of "dude" funk smell that some might have shied away from—it wasn't that big of a deal considering it was also devoid of rats, mold, and water damage. It seemed perfect."This place seems perfect!" I said to Doug. And of course, the follow-up: "What's wrong with it?" Published by

Making The Best Out Of A Small Apartment

Where you are moving out for the first time or the tenth, you may find that your new living situation places you in smaller living quarters the landlord described as "cozy." You don't need to be an architect to make your apartment livable, but there are some tricks of the trade that can keep you comfortable and happy.

Step 1: Be Clean

If your house is cluttered it will seem smaller. Clothing, dishes, and drink containers not only make you look sloppy, they can significantly decrease your square footage of floor space. Try cleaning the floor once a week and keeping your clothes neatly piled in a hamper. You'll be surprised at how much bigger clean floors make your apartment feel.

Step 2: Minimalism is Key

The bright side of having a small apartment is that you don't have to buy a lot of furniture. This can mean that you spend less money overall, or that you spend the same amount on a few key items. Why not spruce up the ol' computer and chair? How about getting a rug that pulls the room together? No matter what your style is, try to err on the side of having less.

Step 2: Use Bright Colors

Paint the walls a light, bright color to open up your apartment. Use brighter window shades and go for a white, tan, or lighter colored couch. You'll be surprised at how much bigger you small space looks when you keep bright, inviting colors.

Questions To Ask Before Apartment Hunting

The key to finding your perfect place is to know what you want. Do you have to have a dishwasher or are you willing to compromise if you find a great place that doesn't have one? Knowing what you can and can't compromise on will help narrow down your search and save you time.

What type of housing do you prefer? Condo, apartment or duplex? Be aware of your budget and then make a decision.

Where do you want to live? City or suburbs? The suburbs are usually cheaper than city living. Apartment prices go up the closer they are to shopping, entertainment, etc.

How many bathrooms? The more bathrooms that you want, the higher the price.

Outside space: Do you want a balcony or deck? This is one of those amenities that you will have to pay extra for if you want it.

Special amenities: Such as a gym, pool or game room? It's usually the luxury apartments that offer/include these things in your rent.

Do you need parking? Very rarely is parking included in rent if you're in the city. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $75 to $400  monthly for parking. If you choose to live in the suburbs you have a better chance of parking being included.

Remember, it's best to think through what you do and don't want in a place to live before starting the process of finding a place. Good luck and happy hunting!


More Apartment "Fails" For Your Pleasure!

Take a look at some of these epic fails!

Beware of rental ad scams: Rent Jungle is a rental search engine for apartment hunters and is not responsible for the content of rental listings found on the site. Rent Jungle encourages you to use common sense while apartment hunting. Beware of fraudulent listings. Click here to learn about common scams.