How to Find a Short Term Furnished Rental in NYC
How to Find a Short Term Furnished Rental in NYC
There are an immense number of short-term apartments for rent in New York City (as many as 20,000 at the time this article was authored, and that’s in Manhattan alone). That can make sorting through all your options time consuming and cumbersome.
The short term rental market can get even more difficult when you are looking for furnished housing—especially if you don’t want to be staying in a sublet or Airbnb that lacks privacy or cleanliness. Often times the benefit of a furnished rental over a hotel is the feeling of living in a home, with comfort benefits like a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, or art and furniture that feel purposeful and contribute to a sense of place.
The good news is that, with so many options, there’s a bounty of ways to find the perfect short term furnished apartment for your budget and taste.
To help you manage this process, we created this step-by-step guide on how to get started, where to look, and what to watch out for when navigating the short term rental landscape in New York City.
Topics this guide covers:
- Picking the right neighborhood
- Tips to find the best price
- Types of short term furnished rentals
- Details to consider in a short term furnished rental
- Best places to find short term furnished apartments for rent in NYC
1. How to pick the right neighborhood when looking for a short term lease in NYC?
New York City is made up of over 30 neighborhoods, each with a unique personality, distinguishing features, and rental pricing range. When deciding the right neighborhood for yourself, we broke down three important qualities to consider: (1) Price (2) Neighborhood Character (3) Commuting Distance. Below is a breakdown of how to navigate the three important tenants of finding your perfect short term rental.
Did you know the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is $5,014? This makes it currently the most expensive city to live in America (followed by San Francisco and Honolulu).
However, an average is just an average, and there is a great deal of fluctuation by location. Historically, rent prices in Manhattan are highest between Midtown East and Lower Manhattan, with chic neighborhoods like Chelsea and Tribeca leading the way at average prices of $5,462 and $5,025 respectively. Other notable, desirable neighborhoods in this region are Soho, Gramercy, and West Village, all known for being a mix of quality nightlife and proximity to New York’s central office areas.
Once you go as far South as the financial district or north of Central Park, prices begin to cool down a little (for instance Upper East Side averages just $3,900 a month). Certain hip neighborhoods like East Village (known for having a lot of NYU students and new graduates) can give you prime location at more affordable prices of $3,798.
Cost savings can be found in outer boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens—or even Jersey City for renters willing to make the commute. However these neighborhoods are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more apartment space post pandemic, and neighborhoods like Williamsburg are approaching the price of their Manhattan counterparts.
What’s more, these rental averages do not include furnishings and are based on a 12-month lease term, so as you search for a short-term furnished rental, the prices will increase.
A good place to start budget wise is approximate 25-30% of your post tax monthly income (make sure to include total cost like utility and wifi). If you are staying in short term corporate housing you will most likely have a budget determined for you.
Do you like the hustle and bustle of Times Square? Do you enjoy walking to a Broadway show straight from the office? Then you may love Midtown neighborhoods like Murray Hill or Hell’s Kitchen. Hate noise and prefer quiet walks in the park? Upper West Side could be calling your name.
When living in New York, noise levels and sidewalk traffic are often some of the first things that jump out to you, as well as architecture, level of greenery, and of course, the quality of bars and restaurants (this is the city that never sleeps after all). Your needs and desires as a short term renter may differ from your needs as a long term lease holder, so keep in mind if you have a higher appetite for commotion if you want to make the most of your stay in New York.
If you’re relocating to the city, the best way to get acquainted is to ask friends who live in the city (or better yet a native New Yorker), and read through some of the best neighborhood guides online. As they say, the only constant in New York is change, so you’ll want to make sure your info is up to date!
Ah, the dreaded commute! While we would all love to live a life untethered to work geography, the reality (especially in New York) is that most people will place a high consideration on how their home life affects their commute.
The good news is that unlike most cities in America, New York City has an extensive subway system, meaning physical geography doesn’t always translate to commuting time.
A good tip is to use Google Maps subway feature, or the City Mapper app, to see how long your commute will take you, as well as distances to other places you plan to frequent (for instance friends and family). Definitely pay attention to time of day during this process, as certain express lines can make daytime commuting a breeze, but aren’t active during nighttime or weekends.
Once you make a list of neighborhoods that fit your price range and convenience factors, you can then filter down by neighborhood character, and specific apartment quality. For instance, certain renters place a high value on pet-friendly accommodations, elevators, or a doorman. Others care a lot about style, preferring high ceilings, exposed brick, or conversely, a very modern look.
Only you will know your style, so make sure to understand what are your deal breakers and what are your soft wants, and filter accordingly during your search.
2.Tips to find the best price for short term rentals in NYC
New York City is consistently ranked as one of, if not the most expensive city in the U.S. We put together some tips to get the most for your money when searching for and selecting a short term furnished apartment:
- Best Time of Year To Rent. Both inventory and price of short term leases fluctuate with the real estate market. According to survey data, June through September are the busy months for rentals, making December through March your ideal time to take advantage of price drops.
- Book Longer Stays For Better Rates. If your length of stay is flexible, take advantage of the relationship between length of stay and nightly or monthly rate offered. Property management companies like Rove, Sonder, and Blueground, typically reduce the nightly rate the longer you stay, which is especially beneficial if you’re looking for a monthly rental.
- Look For How Fees Are Calculated (Including Hidden Fees). Don't take the first price you see in a search query at face value. Look out for hidden fees and pricing policies! Some rental listings, like Blueground’s, show the cheapest available based on a 12-month lease, meaning your cost will increase with a shorter lease term. Most apartment rentals show you monthly cost before the price of wifi, utilities, taxes, and broker fees are added.
3. What are the types of short term furnished rentals in NYC?
Most short term rentals in NYC can be sorted into one of three categories: (1) individually owned and operated, (2) individually owned and property management company operated, or (3) privately owned and operated.
It’s important to know who owns and rents your apartment, so you can understand what type of relationship you will have with management and the pros and cons of each in order to find your preferred type of rental.
1. Individually Owned & Operated
Often featured on sites like AirBnb, Facebook Marketplace, and Craiglist, these types of rentals are owned, managed, and posted directly by the landlord or tenant of the space.
Pros: This type of short term rental can offer a competitive price range, given the lack of service fees and direct involvement of the owner or landlord.
Cons: Inconsistent furnishing and amenities with owners oftentimes leaving behind personal belongings. Additionally, particularly on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, you’re more likely to run into scams. Avoid scams with our guide to identifying a rental scam.
2. Individually Owned & Operated by Property Management Companies
A great option for second-home owners, this model allows the owner of the property to reap the financial benefit of renting the unit, but without the hassle of managing bookings, cleanings, customer service, etc. While the property management company will take a percentage of the guest fees to manage, it’s often worth the tradeoff to avoid the details and hassle of managing the property themselves.
Pros: You get a diverse variety of locations, property types, and amenities with the consistent quality of managed design, cleaning, and service standards.
Cons: Service fees can result in higher price ranges.
Examples: Rove Travel, June Homes, Landing, Blueground
3. Privately Owned & Operated
The closest to a hotel experience, but with the comforts of home, this model means companies are buying out or in complete control of whole floors or buildings and both own and operate the units.
Pros: Economy of scale offers hotel-level quality with the comfort of an apartment. And if you’re open to a roommate, many New York co-living options are perfect for short term rentals.
Cons: Less diversity in product, design, and neighborhood options.
Examples: Sonder, AKA, Furnished Quarters, roomrs
4. Details to Consider in a Short Term Furnished Rental
Even with narrowing in on your preferred neighborhood, price range, and type of short term rental, there will still be an overwhelming number of options for your final selection. That’s where the final details of (1) amenities, (2) interior design, and (3) fee structure can help you pick your perfect place.
1. Amenity Selection
A key reason guests are drawn to short term rentals over extended-stay hotels is for the creature comforts of home. Each rental, whether offered through an owner or a property management company, will have a unique set of amenities that could make or break your experience in New York City. From fitness center access to the type of coffee maker in the unit, be sure to look at all the amenities offered and pick a rental that will make you feel most a home.
2. Interior Design
Do you prefer a simple, clean, modern aesthetic, or a more boho-inspired, warm, plant-filled space? Many property management companies have in-house interior design teams that curate each unit to align with their standards to ensure luxury finishes and a cohesive atmosphere. This can be a large advantage over individually owned rentals where cost can prohibit frequent furniture replacement, resulting in wear and tear over time.
3. Fee Structures
Be sure to check for wifi, utility, furniture, and amenity fees when evaluating the price of each rental. If they don’t explicitly say ‘included’ you may end up with a surprise charge at the end of your rental period that you weren’t expecting.
5. The best places to find a short term furnished rental in NYC
With a rich understanding of the short term rental market and a strong set of parameters in place, you can begin your search with confidence!
There are two ways to enter the search landscape: through an (1) aggregated source or (2) direct.
1. Aggregated Source
When wanting a site that shows an aggregated list of short term furnished rental options, our recommendation is Airbnb. It allows for filtering by neighborhood, amenities, and price, and shows options within all three of the above categories, providing the widest array of choices that align with your search criteria.
Other good options include RentHop, StreetEasy, LeaseBreak, AirBnb, VRBO, LineCity, PropertyClub, Plumguide, and Frēlē. Be sure to use our guide to avoiding rental scams when utilizing Craigslist or Facebook.
2. Direct Bookings
When searching directly, it’s important to have an idea of each offering before entering. Companies like Rove Travel focus on reliability, high-end amenities, and ergonomic workspaces. Blueground balances flexibility and style. Sonder takes over entire buildings or floors to offer hotel amenities without hotel formality. And roomrs utilizes a co-living model to entice younger renters with lower costs without sacrificing amenities. Direct booking sites are the best option for transparent prices and lower fees. And some sites like Rove have teams ready to help you find the best match in their portfolio.
Bonus: Looking for Luxury? AirBnb has a diverse range of options, including luxury offerings. If you’re seeking a more streamlined search approach, try Plumguide or head directly to Rove’s website. Rove, a property management company, specializes in luxury short term rentals and has inventory in an array of neighborhoods with premier amenities and services.
Intention + reliable information are the keys to success
By identifying what you want out of the space and surrounding area, knowing your budget, and using reliable sources to assess your options, you’ll be well on your way to finding a short term furnished rental in New York City that meets your needs!
Looking for short term rentals in NYC? Check out Rove Travel to get started today.