New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps” because of all the hustle, bustle, and noise that goes on. However, what a lot of you may not know is that some New Yorkers simply can’t sleep because their apartments don’t allow them to. Below you’ll come across real stories from people who shared their unforgettable experiences of living in their first NYC home. Stay tuned!
Dealing With the Itch
While we can sacrifice a great deal in order to save a buck, our health shouldn’t be included in this trade. And having to deal with constant itchy bites at a rapid rate counts as an experience that could impair both our physical and mental health.
So, we think it’s pretty brave of this renter to even last three nights here. If we were in his position, we’d demand a full refund for having to deal with the itch!
We understand that human beings are prone to being lazy at times, especially when it’s the weekend or vacation time. By all means, we should be able to roam around in our pajamas and do nothing but watch TV. However, with that being said, certain duties cannot be disregarded.
First and foremost, we can never give up on our hygiene. So, reading about how these crazy neighbors were too lazy to walk to the toilet seriously makes us question the current state of humanity.
It’s Raining in My Apartment
Hearing stories about apartment leaks or floods are so common that they’re hardly worth mentioning but what this poor renter went through is a whole different story. Imagine having to frequently bail water off the roof of your apartment at all hours of the night? Eh… no, thank you.
Even though we cracked up laughing at the imaginative image of this dude in his robe and fireman boots trying to save his belongings, you couldn’t pay us (okay, you could but it would cost you) to trade places with him.
An Overpriced Crawlspace
This part of a building design got its name because there isn’t enough room to stand up in it, so people crawl. Just picture yourself renting a narrow and impractical space like this to live in for $700 per month…
To make matters worse, the dummy that took this bad deal did so 10 years ago, meaning that once you include the inflation rate over the years, you’ll realize just how much this renter got duped.
A Match Made in Heaven
Most times when we hear about the relationship between a renter and a landlord, the story is built around issues, bad feelings, and a lack of morals but this is not always the case.
For this East Harlem resident, his relationship with his landlord was so good that not only did the landlord attend his wedding, but his whole family did as well. Talk about a match made in residential heaven!
Sounds Real Bad
If you read this person’s post about their first apartment in New York, you’ll agree when we say that their former home sounds like a hot mess.
The critter infestation and loud neighbors are a bad enough combination; add in a caving roof and we’d be running for the hills. It’s no wonder why this Reddit user moved out of the city.
Permanent Couch Potato
A couch potato is a term used to describe a lazy person who usually spends a great amount of time lying on the couch and watching TV. Funnily enough, while this person spent four years sleeping on the couch, he wasn’t really a potato.
You see, the couch was his bed because he and his girlfriend broke up but both were too stubborn to give up the cheap apartment. That place must have had crazy good terms considering that an ex-couple lived that way for four years!
Dealing With the Doorman
When we think of a doorman working at a luxury apartment, we often imagine a man smiling and dressed in a fancy uniform. What we don’t think about is their reaction to illegal happenings in their building.
Because, in that scenario, they are totally different people. The gentle grin they’re known to display once you enter the building turns into an angry frown — and you better believe they’re going to want something in return for their silence.
A Hole in the Wall
When someone describes a place as “a hole in the wall,” this generally means it’s a small and dingy area that has character. In this particular case, the ground floor apartment described here had literal holes in the wall and no character insight to compensate for it.
Rather, there were cockroaches, weird-colored leaks in the bathroom, and loud golfers that constantly surrounded the place. Sounds like a recipe for a disastrous first apartment.
An Indoor Treehouse Loft
While the idea of living in a treehouse sounds kind of exciting and romantic, the reality is quite the contrary according to this Reddit user. This person recants the time his girlfriend lived in one.
According to him, the holes in the floors were so extreme that you could spy on the neighbor below and there wasn’t even a real door but rather a sheet of cloth. The list goes on with how crummy it was but the fact that it got demolished by a housing inspector tells us enough.
Check Out These Amenities
You know you live in a fancy first apartment when it comes with a 24/7 doorman and waterfall display in the lobby that features a koi pond. In fact, anything that features koi is pretty luxurious since this specific fish is one of the most expensive pets in the world.
So, if you got to have them in your first NYC apartment, you can consider yourself a lucky fish. Get it? Gosh, we’re on fire here.
No Happy Meal
While Mcdonald’s is famously known to make people happy through their iconically delicious staples (such as the Happy Meal), you most definitely won’t want to live near one after hearing this story.
This one New Yorker’s apartment was directly above a Micky D’s restaurant, so every time the busy joint had repairs, the renter above would suffer. It got so bad that her roommate nearly lost her marbles from the noise. We hope Mcdonald sent a care package of Happy Meals to compensate for the damage.
Where the Love Affair Began
While this renter wasn’t overly satisfied with his first NYC apartment, he certainly fell in love with the wild lifestyle there. It has now been over four years and he still lives to tell the tale of his love affair with the city.
Plus, he lives in a better setup than the studio room he shared with a roommate. The only regret this dude seems to have is that no love affair occurred between him and the NYU grad. We guess you can’t have it all.
A Tropical Paradise
While Staten Island has its perks, one would probably not refer to it as a tropical paradise. However, after hearing the way this one renter described his first abode there, you might think differently.
From hearing about the “ocean breeze” happy kids playing, and the female neighbor with her “tropical bird on her shoulder,” we’re even enticed to know more about this area. It’s nice to hear positive stories sometimes, too.
A Nutty Landlord
No matter how nice a place is, if the landlord is “nutso,” you’re pretty much screwed. Such was the case for this renter in St. George on Staten Island. He was always cold there and while he was promised a fixed heater, it never materialized.
Another area that never came to fruition was the backyard. Even though the landlord appeared to do hours of gardening each day, she was really just shoveling bags of dirt aimlessly.
A Mysterious Puddle
This next first apartment story is somewhat of a horror story. You see, while hearing about random leaks is the oldest story in the book, it’s the circumstances surrounding the leak that caught our attention.
This renter claims that there was no leak in the ceiling or anywhere else to explain the random puddle he found. Perhaps Casper the Friendly Ghost is back in town?
Sometimes with apartments, the most memorable part is the roommates who you encountered whilst you were there. In this person’s case, he couldn’t forget his flatmates based on their relationship with the pet fish.
The first person that he shared the place with left his massive fish tank at the apartment so when the next girl moved in, she decided to turn the pets into food for her cat. Wow, that doesn’t sit well with us — imagine turning a pet into a source of food?
A Craigslist Crazy
Jenny’s recount of her roommate from her first apartment experience has got to be high up there on the list of craziest roommates. The obvious first red flag was that they found him via Craigslist, which will always come with some degree of risk, even though no one could have predicted the stunt he pulled.
Picture having the police tell you to keep your doors locked because your crazy roommate is on the loose. Poor Jenny!
The Apartment From Hell
When you hear about people’s bad experiences with their first apartments, normal reasons include flooding, leaks, bad neighbors, or bedbugs. In this person’s case, pretty much everything that could go wrong did.
From feces floods to frozen pipes and bites from bedbugs, all that was missing in this nightmare story is the crazy neighbors. Now, just because they’re not mentioned doesn’t mean to say this renter didn’t deal with them as well.
A Solid Deal
There’s no such thing as the perfect apartment, especially if you’re on a tight budget. The fact that this renter recalls his first one-bedroom apartment ($1100 per month) in Rego Park as “a solid deal” is amusing because he essentially lived in a shoebox.
Having to walk up four flights of stairs on a daily basis and deal with a crazy landlord are bonuses, of course! We commend this man for looking at the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Kudos to him!
An Inebriated Landlord
We’d expect a landlord to be somewhat whacky and unprofessional (based on the other stories here) but being inebriated on the job and falling down a flight of stairs is dramatic enough to land our next feature.
The poor potential renter who witnessed this behavior was so worried the landlord would fall off the building when he showed her the rooftop. Luckily, he didn’t and all ended well. In fact, he even said he was too overserved to feel the pain of falling down the stairs…
Boxes for Days
While the process of moving is beyond stressful, most people start to relax when boxes are unpacked and things begin to settle. Unfortunately for this couple, due to some religious holiday, they were not given that luxury for a solid nine days.
All their belongings were shoved to the center of each room and they had to sleep on the part of the bed that wasn’t full of unpacked boxes. We bet that traumatic flashbacks come flooding back every time they’ve seen a cardboard box since.
A Fake Shake
This next person was convinced her first “cheap dive” was located around the subway since it would randomly shake at times. Turns out, while the subway might have been near to her place, that was not the cause of the building’s instability.
She later found out that the building itself was marked as unsafe due to its impaired foundation and the vibrations she felt was actually the place collapsing. How splendid? Well, it wasn’t a complete waste as she was happy to have saved up from the low rent.
A ‘Clean’ Flood
This next victim of apartment horror stories experienced what we’re calling a ‘clean’ flood that came as a result of toilet-bowl cleaner. Well, the cleaning detergent was only the catalyst as the real reason for the water explosion had to do with how old the plumbing system was.
The story only gets worse from here as the flood brought about a colony of ants, followed by a mouse. The poor renter had to leave his apartment for the night because the situation was not conducive to live in.
When most people look for a new apartment in the city, the criteria generally includes nice views, a safe area, close to public transportation…yada yada, you get the point. What’s most definitely not on that list is checking for mice/bugs but this Reddit user suffered from enough rodent troubles in her first apartment to give her genuine PTSD.
While she initially loved her converted warehouse of an apartment due to its large size and cheap bills, it all changed for the worse when she dealt with “dirty roommates.”
Sounds Good to Us
This next apartment abode in the city sounds like a good deal to us — a one-bedroom on first avenue in Manhattan for a little over $1,000. Also, it was featured on the first floor so no lugging groceries up the stairs was required.
If that doesn’t sound good enough, there was also access to the roof to enjoy the views of The Big Apple. The only downside was that the subway was a far walk away but hey, we’d still take it!
A Pigeon-Infested Place
The better part of this next person’s story was that the apartment was also home to pigeons and mice that resided in the oven. Yes, we emphasize that was the least of this Reddit user’s worries. The real issue at hand here was that the place had a super impractical design, with no electrical outlets in the kitchen.
Meaning that if you wanted to use the fridge, you’d have to go to someone’s bedroom to find it. Oh, and how could we forget — the whole rental agreement was illegal.
While we hate hearing stories about people getting swindled out of their money, there’s often a greater lesson behind it. These pieces of wisdom include knowing who to trust and learning how to break the naivety curse.
For this storyteller, it took getting duped out of half a month’s rent deposit to make a change and after that dreaded experience, he was able to find a great apartment deal.
Place of Meat
This next storyteller takes us back to the late ’90s to recant his first apartment experience. He described that time to be “a heated market” like today, whereby if you don’t sign the rental contract on the spot you’ll risk losing the place.
For the most part, he seemed happy with his affordable rental but the opportunity cost of it meant having to deal with the smell of rotten meat, a tiny apartment, and witnessing some dubious activity.
The Sleep Issue
It’s all fun and games in an apartment of roommates, until adulthood kicks in. That was precisely the case for this dude who lived in a four-bedroom in Washington Heights back in 2009. When he and another roommate got jobs that required them to become early risers, it caused contention with the other two who lived a more laidback lifestyle.
The final kicker was when they hosted a Halloween party on a weeknight without informing the hard workers… that was enough for this dude to call it quits.
Goodbye, New York
Our next story is pretty interesting — meet this ex-New Yorker who takes us back on his/her journey with renting apartments in The Big Apple from 1988 to 1995. Considering the earlier dates, it’s clear that the cost of rent is rather exorbitant.
This was a big part of the reason why our storyteller here decided to leave New York’s bustle and hotdog stations, in pursuit of a British life that most probably includes tea and crumpets.
Living in a Bukowski Novel
Henry Charles Bukowski is an American author known for his novels that show the harsh reality of living in a corrupt and poverty-stricken society. So, this Reddit user comparing his first apartment building to that just goes to show how gloomy it must have been.
Then again, he finished his story off on a seemingly positive note writing “good times.” While this is for sure a literary use of sarcasm, it seems this poster can take it on the chin.
A Shady Roommate
There are few less uncomfortable situations in life than having to share a studio apartment with a crazy stranger but such was the case for this Redditor. Imagine only being separated by a thin sheet of paper?
Unfortunately, this guy saw and heard things from his female roommate that he cannot forget but he drew the line when he witnessed her being a thief. Then in return in a typical unethical fashion, she stole from him too.
Magic in the City
Hearing this person’s unbelievable experience with finding her roommate in a cab and signing her dream place all within a few days truly gives us such optimism toward New York. It even reminds us of the lyrics to Alicia Keys’ most famous song, ‘New York.’
The song emphasizes the magic of The Big Apple and nicely ties in with what this poster said about how it felt that the city was working in her favor. There is no better feeling than that of knowing you’re exactly where you should be.
The Suit and Tie Change-Up
Ever needed to lie about your age in order to get a discount? Yeah, we’ve pretty much all been caught up in that web of fibs but this poster’s story takes the cake. He chose to stay in a hotel upon first moving to NYC and for a student rate of $22 per night, he had found himself a viable deal.
The issue was, he was not a student but a suit and tie wearing worker. This mishap meant that he had to do several outfit changes a day to keep up the facade. Effort much?
A Backyard Party
Isn’t it somewhat of a fantasy to have a full-time street fair right outside your apartment? Think about all the cotton candy and rides you would enjoy… Well, while that may seem too chaotic for you, this particular storyteller was overjoyed to hear that her first apartment in NYC was overlooking a fair.
She had even fantasized of seeing it go on for months to come but unfortunately as soon as she moved in, the fair ended. More importantly, let’s hope the apartment itself was great.
A Smelly Roommate
The only matter worse than dealing with a smelly apartment is having to deal with a smelly roommate. This was the unfortunate case for this Washington Heights resident who moved into his first NYC apartment with two other roommates. One was stinky and the other was pedantic… sounds like a reeking nightmare.
Upon some detective work to determine the “source of the smell’, this poster discovered that the smelly roommate had a fungal problem and he refused to deal with it! How gross?
Oh, the irony that this person dealt with hell’s roommate while living in the area of Hell’s Kitchen in NYC. This said roomie did everything one would imagine a bad flatmate to do – from being behind on rent to always leaving the place a pigsty.
She also hoarded way too much stuff and yet continuously shopped, plus she kept the air conditioner on all the time. The cherry on top of her being a hellish roommate was that she ignored the house rules and let many unwanted guests stay over…
Would it bother you to live in an apartment where the corners are all skew? We know it’s a strange thing to think about but this Redditor settled for uneven floors and a lack of security in return for a cheap rental.
Plus, he enjoyed his neighbors and the smell of the nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken which also happened to get robbed a few times. This dude most probably enjoys living life on the edge…
Daddy Knows Best
This next story warms our hearts because this guy and his girlfriend moved into their first place together in Queens and his dad tagged along to help. He painted the walls and uneven made himself a prime unpacker — how sweet is that?
While he wasn’t 100% sold on city living versus suburbia, he still supported his son and made the process for him and his girlfriend easier. Here’s to more dads like that!
Pockets of Cheapness
We at BigGlobalTravel love Madeleine’s story because it’s different from the status quo — she actually found the rental prices in New York to be cheaper compared to her old home in San Francisco. Madeleine currently happily resides in Harlem along with two other roommates.
She even went on to say that NYC has “pockets of cheapness” that were lacking in her old city. We’re overjoyed that she’s found her pocket of sunshine.
Not having to pay a broker’s fee is definitely not common practice in NYC but Rifat Mursalin happened to strike luck when he moved from Atlanta. The key to his success was that he was not caught up in trying to live in or around Manhattan, which is known to be the most expensive part of the city.
Instead, Rifat happily settled in East Williamsburg along with one roommate. And yes, we need to re-emphasize that the Brooklyn apartment required no broker’s fee!
A Two-in-One Special
Imagine moving into an apartment where your bathroom is literally in your kitchen? While it sounds meme-worthy, it is in fact a real thing. Just look at the picture for yourself. While we don’t know for sure who agreed to live in this two-in-one special, we really enjoyed the Twitter comments about it.
Our personal favorite came from @hirosemaryhello who smartly noticed that you can snack from your fridge whilst indulging in a hot bath. That sounds like a good deal to us!
Hide the Price
This next renter, Ms. Kristen Pride decided to rent her first place in the area where she grew up — Brooklyn. While she seems happy with her decision, she chose to omit the price of her rental from her father. He doesn’t agree with the inflated cost of living that has come as a result of gentrification.
He was even quoted saying, “This is crazy, people shouldn’t be paying this much in Bed-Study!” If we were Kristen, we probably would have also kept the cost to ourselves; you know like when you make a fancy purchase and hide the shopping bags?
A Smart Millenial
Renter Matt Gelman found his sublet for $1,300 per month in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He also managed to avoid an agency fee by finding his first apartment through a Facebook group.
We commend him for dodging that high cost and using social media as a mediator in his apartment search process. This millennial definitely knows how to cut corners in an efficient and safe way. Hands up for Matt!