There’s no clear path to finding a home in New York City after graduation. But as the many Penn students who have made their way to the Big Apple every year have discovered, you're bound to find a way that works for you.
This year, Forbes dubbed New York City the number one overpriced city to live in , tied with Honolulu, and CBS news rated Manhattan the most expensive city in the country with an average priced home of $1.3 million.
But according to data from Career Services, that doesn’t stop Penn students from following the city lights. Twenty-three percent of 2013 College of Arts and Science graduates who responded to the survey lived in New York after graduation, and 45 percent of those were working in New York City. The numbers are higher for the School of Engineering and for the Wharton School. Fifty percent of Wharton respondents moved to New York after graduation.
For 2010 College of Arts and Sciences graduate Shauna Aaron , the key to snagging a space in the city that never sleeps was networking. “I found my first apartment the way most people find their apartments after they graduate,” she said. “A friend of a friend.”
It was actually in the apartment of a friend’s girlfriend where Aaron found her first New York City residence. Aaron lived downtown in the subletted apartment for the summer while she worked at the Foundation of Contemporary Arts.
2011 Wharton and College graduate Adam Thompson followed a similar path. Thompson chose to brave the Big Apple after spending his 10 previous years in Kansas City. Thompson elected to move into a friend of a friend’s cousin’s apartment in the East Village and encourages others to take advantage of their connections.
“Post on your own Facebook wall,” he said. “Say, ‘I’m moving to New York after graduation. Does anybody have space available?'”
The crowdsourcing method works for some people, but others have managed to find their future homes through the internet. When Shauna Aaron looked for another place in the city after returning from backpacking in Asia, she found streeteasy.com, a housing sale and rental search website, to be the most helpful tool.
And for 2014 College graduate Tyler Pridgen , Craigslist worked best. “Don’t be afraid of Craigslist,” he said. “For me, that was a really nice way to start, especially because I could find new social circles from the people I lived with.”
Hailing from Richmond, Va. , Pridgen added that with Craigslist people can specify a price range and geographic region, which can help them find a place that fits best.
Pridgen emphasized that hunting for housing is a lot like searching for new friends. “I could pick out the options in my price range in the area of the city I wanted, and then I basically interviewed people in those homes to see if we would work well together,” he said.
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