Finding an affordable room in NYC feels like trying to find a unicorn on a desert. But don’t worry, Roomi’s got your back with these five tricks!

NYC apartment prices should come with a warning label. May induce nausea, vertigo, and upset stomach. We understand that finding an affordable room in NYC can feel a bit like looking for a four-leaf clover by crawling around with a blindfold on. It doesn’t have to feel that way, and there are tricks you can use to your advantage to find an affordable room in NYC, one of the greatest places to live in America.

Power To The Tenants: Rent Stabilization

New York has a long-standing program for stabilizing rent. It doesn’t apply to every apartment. But if you do some homework, you can find apartments that qualify. One important thing to clarify straight away is there is a difference between “Rent Stabilization” and “Rent Control.” They have different rules, regulations, and exceptions. One is also much easier to find than the other. Rent Controlled apartments numbered about 27,000 in 2014. Rent Stabilized apartments? Oh, you know, about 1,030,000. Give or take. You can learn all about Rent Stabilized apartments here. Empower yourself with that knowledge, and you’ll be much better equipped to find an affordable room in NYC that will actually stay affordable.

Related: Guide To Renting Affordable Housing In New York Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

Be Up Front: Negotiate A Pre-Pay Discount

If you have the cash, try negotiating a discount in exchange for pre-paying a few months rent. It’s totally up to the landlord if they are open to this or not. But think about it from their position. Their biggest concern when renting a room in NYC is that the tenant won’t be able to pay. When you pre-pay, you are solving their biggest problem. On-time rent. That should be worth something, right? It can’t hurt to bring it up, and at worse, you just advertised you’ve got quite a bit of savings, thus increasing your chances of being approved for the lease.

Timing Is Everything: When To Find An Affordable Room In NYC

Apartment prices are like any other good or service. Price is set by supply and demand. NYC has more people moving in than it has apartments available most of the time, so prices tend to be pretty stable. But is there a time of year when demand tips ever so slightly in your favor?

Yup. Winter. In general, people hunker down for the winter months, nesting in their caves with popcorn, hot chocolate, and a backlist of movies to watch. If you can afford to wait, you can find slightly better prices in the winter when people are less likely to move in. But keep in mind, folks are also less likely to move out, so while you may have better prices, choices won’t be as plentiful. And you are moving in adverse conditions, so have a plan and keep it safe.

Related: Your Guide For Shared Apartment In NYC

Apartment layout will affect how affordable the room is in NYC

The location and layout of an apartment directly impacts its price. When you see an advertisement for a floor plan, it’s not always representative of everything that’s available. There is always one or two apartments that just don’t quite fit into the complex. Like that skinny parking spot they didn’t quite have enough room for because the mall got in the way. Apartments on the ground floor are less expensive than the ones on the top floor. Being in the middle is typically less than being in a corner because middle rooms share more walls. Ask a prospective landlord about apartments with smaller floor plans in cost-effective locations to see what’s available.

Learn Average Neighborhood Prices With makes it easy to find an affordable room in NYC. You can quickly compare neighborhoods to see the average price, and instantly locate nearby transportation options on the map. Check it out, and while you’re at it, find yourself a fantastic roommate too.

What tricks do you know for finding an affordable room in NYC? Post your comments below.