This summer was so stressful as I prepared to move to New York. The first issue I ran into was housing. I wanted to take my family along for the journey, because I thought it would be nice to get away from Chicago. This plan did not work out. First, I had to make 40 times the rent in order to qualify for an apartment and if I didn’t have that I needed a guarantor who made 50 times the rent. Where am I going to find somebody willing to sign on a dotted line for an overpriced place to live? I decided I’d sign up for the New York housing lottery and look at affordable housing options in Jersey. I have a background in real estate, so I know the ins and outs of affordable housing. The NYC housing lottery was a numbers game and I found a place under $1,100 in Westampton, New Jersey. The downside was that my daily commute would be four hours: two hours to get to NYC and two hours to get back to Jersey. Oh, did I mention the place in Westampton is still being built? Moving in might not happen until October and I needed to leave by September 10. Finding a place became a nightmare.
Two months later I began scouring through Google for co-living places in NYC. I came across three companies that have coliving houses in the area: Common, Bungalow and Outpost Club. The first company I followed up with was Common, but once they said I needed to make 40 times the rent it was over for me. I don’t know anyone who graduates from college and makes $100k per year. I moved on and followed up with Bungalow. I filled out the application and was turned down when I didn’t meet their requirements. Frustrated with another failed attempt at finding housing in NYC, I reluctantly applied to Outpost Club.
What stood out to me about this company was the flexibility to stay as long as I wanted to. You could live there for a month or a year-it’s up to you. No recommended credit score, no guarantor, or income requirements are needed. Did I mention there’s no lease to sign either? Don’t get me wrong there is a contract involved, but if you need to leave early you agree to pay a certain amount. The price is affordable too. You can rent a shared bedroom starting as low as $790 or a private bedroom for $1,350 and all utilities are included in the rent.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to work in Miami for two months and the Outpost Club created a contract that allowed me to leave and return without doing the whole process over again. I was so grateful to the staff and the company for making my move effortless.
I plan to stay in NYC for the duration of my 8-month fellowship at the Outpost Club. Given the uncertainty of my career, I am not sure where I will end up next. One thing is for sure, I hope there’s another Outpost the next place I go.
I hope this helps anyone who plans on moving to the big apple anytime soon!
*Please note the opinions in this article are my own and I have not been asked or paid to speak about my experience.