If you’re like most New Yorkers, you’re probably continually looking for a new apartment.  You keep an eye open for new building openings and always listen in when you hear a friend talking about that amazing 2 bedroom she just found on the Lower East Side. But we all know timing is everything. So WHEN is the right time to actually start looking for your new spot?

The New York City rental market moves faster then a true New Yorker can walk or talk.  Good apartments almost always get rented within a month so looking any sooner then 30 days before you need to move isn’t helpful.  If you go look at apartments 2 months before you plan on moving, for example, those apartments will all likely be rented when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.  The best time to start seeing potential new apartments is 2 – 4 weeks before you need to move.  It may seem like you’re cutting it close, but that’s just how it works in the Big Apple!


There are things you can do before you go look for your new apartment, however, to make the process go more smoothly and ensure you find the best possible apartment.  Besides making sure you have all your paperwork done, (see our post on necessary paperwork), the best thing you can do is decide what you are looking for.  This may seem like simple advice, but thinking through your budget and where you want to live can take time.  How far are you willing to commute?  Do you want to be in a doorman building?  Do you absolutely need to have laundry in your building?  Take the time to figure out exactly what you are looking for so you don’t waste your own time and add unnecessary stress to your move.


New York is a wonderful place to live.  Just like the pace of life in NYC, the rental market moves fast and doesn’t look back. Figure out what you want and remember 2 to 4, not before.