Apartment hunting in NY: It almost killed my family.

There are not a lot of things worse than apartment hunting in NYC. Part badge of honor, part rite of passage, if you don’t have some sort of horror story about looking for an apartment in NYC than you’re just not a real human. #fact. Toss in a couple of small kids, being forced to hunt toward the end of the summer with limited inventory, a looming hard kick-out date, a non-negotiable neighborhood area because of Kindergarten entry and being naive to the rent increases in your area over the last five years and you have the recipe for an almost perfect, top-notch horrendous hunt experience. Go big or go home I suppose. My family went way big this summer. Watch my Oscar-worthy string of Insta stories below for actual proof.

There is no other rental real estate market like New York. It’s dirty (literally, figuratively) will spit you out, make you question ALL your life choices and make you do things you’ve never thought you’d do…like get into a rent bidding war (happened), talk yourself into believing it’s not weird to have the front door of the apartment be in the Master bedroom (also happened) and delude yourself into believing the incessant hum and rumbling is NOT actually the F-train going past the living room (it was.) Sigh. The Hunt is not for the faint of heart and it nearly broke my family this summer.

My painful and unexpected apartment hunt this summer inspired the Citykin team to evaluate how we view our living spaces, especially when it comes to rentals. As I was navigating through the sea of closetless rooms, sloped ceiling family rooms and linoleum halls (current situation), it got me thinking that I wanted to do this apartment different this time. How many times have you decided to not invest in a certain piece of furniture or paint a wall a color you like or just make your space baller because…“We rent, so why bother.” GUILTY. Guilty literally since 2010. I’ve been living in some sort of college dorm stasis the majority of my adult life and I realized I had a chance to do things differently. Cue, Emily Rickard.


nyc apartment hunting

You will question ALL YOUR LIFE DECISIONS #insanity

Emily is a huge believer in making spaces as beautiful and cozy as possible EVEN IF YOU RENT! Why? Many families who choose to live in cities may be renters for life and what a shame to live eternally in spaces you don’t feel truly content in. Like a literal dagger to Emily’s heart.


Pimp Your Rental Creator…also known as Patrice’s Earth Angel

Emily Rickard, Citykin Designer Extraordinaire

To give you context, the average rent for a two-bedroom in Manhattan is $3,789 and this may or may not include closets, laundry, or a room to contemplate your sanity. Oh and average square feet is a touch over 1000. Lay off the large ride-on toys grandma! In New York, it is not uncommon for people to devote 2/3 of their monthly salary just to rent. The silver lining in all of this? The only people crazier are people who live in San Francisco. Kidding. Well, not really kidding. But it shows you how much people are willing to spend to live in this fabulous city.

Over the course of the next few months, the Citykin team will be chronicling the journey of my new apartment from drab to fab in what Emily calls, “Pimping your rental.” After 56 apartments (not even kidding) tears, tears and more tears, my family finally did find our “Gem’ of a find. Read: We don’t have to eat ramen in exchange for shelter. So please join us while we (OK Emily) show you how to make your space the place where dreams are made of for not a lot of money and not a lot of talent (Because I literally have none when it comes to design.)