So last weekend, I moved to New York and started my new internship. There are many things about this move that is more complicated than the last ones but finding a room was definitely the most stressful one. So here are some tips if you are in the same situation of finding a room in New York. Also, some of these tips will work for both short and long-term, but since I was looking for a room for 6 months I will be focusing on success with that.
Friends and Family
So this is, of course, the most obvious one, but still needs to be mentioned. If you have family and friends in New York, ask them if they have a room they can rent you or know someone who is trying to do that. It is an easy way to get a room because you have someone who will vouch for you. This might even allow you to bypass the credit check and similar.
If you are moving to New York with a job already secured, they might be able to help you find a room. Either someone at work is looking for a roommate or where to search. If you are coming for something like an internship, you might be able to move into the room the person before you lived in, since they will be leaving around then. You might not be thrilled at living with someone you work with, but it might be a good option for the first month to arrive and find something new.
This is one of the most popular websites. You can find anything you are looking for in different parts of New York. They have a great description of rooms, location, and you can contact the host via message. Hosts can also contact you if they think their room might suit you. You can search by different criteria and filters to make sure you get the rooms you want. A downside is that a lot of rooms are "available now" and I'm not sure if they are all still available or just forgotten to take down. Also, most rooms are listed by private people, but there are also agencies so be aware of that. This is a great platform if you are looking for a longterm room, but for short term it is hard if it is longer than the semester breaks in university.
This one is active both in the US and the UK. I did not like this one since it was hard to use and had most of the same listings as Roomie. So if you find Roomie hard to use, this might be an option for you. They also have filter and descriptions along with pictures of the room sometimes. Since I did not use it much I cannot tell you a ton about it.
This is how I found my room. There are many listings on here for rooms that have the option for longer rent terms. You also get a discount of up to 20 or 25 % depending on the length of your booking. Most people on here respond very fast and know a lot of information. Since all the bookings go over AirBnB, you don't have to get credit checks or any of the other requirements for renting a room or an apartment in the US. You are also safe if something happens because everything goes through AirBnB and you don't have to worry about your money. You pay everything through the website on the first day of the month for as long as you're staying. I love the room I found and how easy the logistics were.
Update: Be careful when doing this in New York, because they are starting to make laws against AirBnB. If you live in New Jersey you should be just fine though.
There are many agencies in New York that offer to find a room for you. This could be an option before you arrive or when you are already here. You can arrange a showing in the first few days you arrive to minimize the time spent without a room. Agencies are a great option, but they come with a fee so that is something to consider. On the other hand, you also get to see the room, which is always an advantage. Make sure to go with a legitimate one and not get scammed, which can happen.
If you did not find a room before you arrive, you can scout the internet for open houses. These are apartment or room showings where someone was looking for a new roommate. This has the added advantage that you get to see the room before you move in, which is not an option for the other platforms. They, of course, all have pictures, but there is only so much they can show you. If you are in the US and can afford it, you might want to fly in one weekend before moving here and do this so you know what you are getting yourself into.