I almost did not go to graduate school in the city. It was a last minute decision which meant I had about 3 weeks to find an apartment. Not impossible to do in New York but certainly stressful. The only problem: I was not in New York City. From my computer at home in Oklahoma, I desperately tried to lock down a place to live. I had only been to New York once before moving here and did not know anything about where a safe, convenient place to live would be.
I made inquiries off random websites and contacted a lot of people. In the end, I was just left with a weekend. My parents flew into the city with me and I had to find a place to move into by the time they left (3 days) or I would be homeless. I had contacted a broker to look at apartments on Saturday. The broker took us around, all over the city, showing us half finished apartments, apartments with move in dates far in the future, ones that were the size of a shoe box and some that were so far outside of my price range it was laughable. We were exhausted by the end of the day and had no real luck. I was without hope. I was going to be homeless.
But then a miracle happened. My friend, who I had met when I studied abroad in England, had moved to the city for work. She was also looking for a place to live because her sublease was about to end. She had a contact from her undergrad university who became a no-fee broker. That very night he told us to rush over to an amazing apartment. We hopped in a cab, saw the apartment and the next day signed the papers. I was so lucky. Our move in date was not that Monday but my roommate let me crash at her current apartment until we could move in. We just signed the lease for another year and I think this year will be even better than the first one!