Sometimes we give unsolicited advice here on Ask Gothamist, and this is one of those times.
It's apartment hunting time. And it feels a little bit like the bubble is bursting, despite buzz a few months ago about the availability of cheap apartments. (See Gothamist today on the disappearance of rent stabilized apartments.) In one of our valiant attempts to find an apartment today, we came upon something that probably should have been intuitive, but nonetheless still surprised us: some ads that seem too good to be true really are too good to be true. We saw the ad. We gaped at it. We pointed to the computer and said, "That can't be right! A studio? for $850? on the Upper East Side?" So we called, and, sure enough, there was an error with the listing. ("Oh," we said. "1,850! Well, yeah, that makes sense. Bye!")
So our unsolicited advice is just to be careful when combing through those apartment ads, as many we've come across this week have been misleading. The ads have tricks like advertising for great Manhattan apartments and then only having listings in Bensonhurst (not that there's anything wrong with Bensonhurst, we're just saying... false advertising), or giving ambiguous promises about low rents and low fees.
Housingnyc.com has some good tips and resources for your apartment hunt. (The site is run by the city's Rental Guidelines Board, and has lots of answers to questions you may have about seeking out a new residence.)