I will start my traineeship in two weeks. One of the great challenges I have experienced was to find a room in New York. I would like to share some pages and tips that you should follow to make this smooth and fast.
1. If you have a tight budget, forget central and downtown Manhattan and look for an apartment in Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn or New Jersey. Even tough, finding an affordable and cosy room in these neighborhoods can be difficult.
2. You should visit the apartment and meet ALL your future roommates. If you are not physically present in New York, trust a friend or someone you know to visit the apartment for you and meet your roommates. Never rent before visiting.
3. Do not trust deals that seem too good to be true and be careful to whom you give your money. Ask for licenses if possible.
4. If possible, wait to rent in winter, apartments are cheaper at this time of the year. You may save up to 100 dollars per month.
5. Once you find a room you like, you should be prepare, move fast, and book it as soon as posible. In New York, if you hesitate, you will lose the place.
6. To avoid paying fees, use social media. Personally, I like to look for rooms in facebook as I can check the profile of the person that is renting the room and I can get a general idea of who is she or he.
7. When you meet with your potential roommates, treat your visit like an interview. You should dress as professional as possible.
Copied here are the links of some pages you can use to find a room (in addition to facebook):
Finding the perfect room may seem imposible, but, never give up.