home in the USA

Looking for a place to call home in the USA

My first days in New York as part of Architect-US Internship Program could not have been more of a sudden! I had to buy my flight ticket in the very last moment because I did not get my J-1 visa early enough. So finally I flew just one day prior to my first day at work. Therefore I arrived in the city with no time to arrange my arrival at all.

One of my main worries even before my departure was looking for a place to live, looking for a home in the USA. Fortunately, I already knew the city from previous trips and I had at least made up my mind about where I wanted to live. In my last visit, I got to know Williamsburg, one of the most lively and popular neighborhoods in Brooklyn and very close to the heart of Manhattan! However, I had been told that finding an apartment in New York is so difficult that I did not want to keep my hopes up. In addition, New York is one of the TOP 5 most expensive cities in the world in terms of leases, so it is better to assume that as soon as possible.

Having this in mind, I started checking several apartment websites before leaving Spain but I soon realized that it was pointless. There are as much apartment offers as demand, so the panorama is changing constantly and nobody feels comfortable going through an agreement from the distance. I realized that the best I could do was looking for it once in the city. This implies arriving in the city with no place to live but I strongly recommend it as generally you’re better off checking the place where you are going to live personally.

So my very first day I started my review through Craigslist and sent emails to all the apartments that could suit me. They key was having made some decisions in advance in order to filter my research in terms of neighborhood, maximum lease I could afford, sharing…and so on, because otherwise, it would have been impossible. I don’t know if it was a question of luck or of self-determination but I found my current apartment in the first 24 hours! I still could not believe it because it matches all my desires. The apartment I call my home in the USA is located in Williamsburg, where I wanted to live, and very close to the subway that takes me straight to the office. It’s bright and cozy and I am sharing it with friendly international people. It seems like in summertime we will have really good parties in our rooftop. Living in Williamsburg is not only more affordable than living in Manhattan but it also means being in the new core of the city. I love it!


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So here are my tips to looking for a home in the USA:

  • Decide as soon as possible where you want to live and reduce your apartment search to that area
  • Start looking for it as soon as you arrive
  • Send emails showing your interest constantly, the more the better. Otherwise, you could always say no!
  • Once you find somewhere you like, do not hesitate! You may always be able to move in the future but this is New York and it won’t wait for you to decide



Claudia Conde


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