I have received so many questions about my apartment so I thought I might as well answer some of them now! It was impossible to get an apartment in New York while I was still living in Sweden, the reason being that I didn't know anyone here! So, I moved here with no where to live, crazy I know! My friend Ronnie was kind enough to let me stay with her for two weeks until I found a place of my own.
In America, if you are bying a car or an apartment, they look at your credit points. Me, a swedish girl with 0 credit points, had a hard time finding someone who was willing to let me get an apartment. After 10 days of intensive looking, I finally found a great apartment in Harlem. I went to look at it, and it was perfect. However they told me, If i did not get a broker I would not even be considered a candidate. So... I got a broker.
At this point I was pretty excited, but then they said CSN is not considered an income and I would have to pay the rent upfront. Okay I thought... 3 months upfront is not that bad. BUT no.. I ended up paying ONE YEAR of rent upfront, 4 MONTHS of security deposit, and 15 PERCENT broker fee...
So basically we payed 190 000 Swedish Kronor just to get the apartment, and... it was worth every penny. Firstly, I saved a lot of money by paying 1 year upfront (I did not know that at the time). Because at that time the dollar was at 6,7 kronor, now it is almost at 9 kronor. So I saved money on paying 1 year upfront. Secondly, I love my apartment. It has two bedrooms, a big living room ( Big for New York), kitchen, and bathroom. I also have a fire escape that I use as a balcony, and a rooftop where I can tan or just hang out on the evenings with a cup of tea.
Do not let my horror story scare you! Now I know that it is absolutely not that hard to find somewhere to live but they took advantage of me, and they usually do with a lot of international students. There are many groups on Facebook etc where people post available rooms. However, if you want an apartment of your own and not just a room at someone else's apartment, you have to be prepared to pay upfront!