C.S. Lewis said, “Someday, you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

But that day ain’t today, sunshine.

No, instead, today is the day when you must pay your bills, pay your student loans, and somehow scrounge up enough mooh-lah for rent.

I know you’ve contemplated it:

Maybe crashing on someone’s Airbnb couch for a year wouldn’t be that bad.

Maybe my significant other will understand if I decide to go from a 2-bedroom to 2-other-people-living-in-my-room-with-me.

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Well, I’m here to tell you two things:

1.) Yes, it would be that bad

and

2.) Yes, yes they will mind.

So how does one avoid getting trapped in Brokeville?

By pinching each penny like they were your future grandchildren’s cheeks.

In other words, by frantically researching, the way you did circa senior year of college, the night before your final paper was due.

Orrr

By getting your nerdy friend to do your work for you. 🙂

Hi, my name is Shana.

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Read on, new friend.

5.) Craigslist

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Craigslist still remains a popular platform for, well, everything, advertising apartments included! As with all websites, it is to be used with caution. That being said, my experiences have been extremely positive–I found a great duplex on it that I’ve been living in for almost three years now (yup), and a friend of mine even managed to get a studio in Chelsea for $1,200 a month! If you’re not from New York, you have no idea exactly how magical that is. (Think: Unicorn-holding-a-million-dollars-status.) If you’re from New York, pick your jaw up off of the floor and keep reading.

4.) Streeteasy

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You’ve undoubtedly spotted the advertisements in the subway cars, and I’m here to tell you that Streeteasy is no Dr. Zizmor (may he rest in peace). In other words, many people can attest to its awesomeness. This site allows you to search according to your budget, preferred location, and even amenities! There are a wealth of apartments available, and once you find one you’re interested in, you click one button to shoot an e-mail to the agent(s), and you’re finished.

3.) Padmapper 

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Using a bird’s eye view of a map that shows all five boroughs, Padmapper uses pins to show you where there are apartments available. You can narrow down the results by specifying your budget, location, pets, types of lease, and age of listing. Plus, the website’s froggy logo is pretty damn cute.

2.) New York Habitat

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Search by zip code in order to find your ideal apartment. You can further narrow your results by specifying your budget, property type, and even former residents’ ratings of their living experiences. A Yelp-esque apartment finder? Legit.
1.) Word of mouth

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No, this isn’t a website, although the title would make a good URL, huh? If you’re looking for an apartment, let others know about your search because, as with many things in the city, who you know might be your ticket. People move in and out of apartments each day, and there is a good chance that there’s somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who can introduce you to a landlord, show you a building with vacancies, or even recommend you to sublet a place if you’re interested. You never know until you put what you want out there and let other people’s connections come to you.