Lately, my client and I are spending a lot of time discussing and looking at ads that read: “Wanted – Female Roommate“. Our morning sessions have been largely focused on locating housing in New York City. Why did we wait so late to start this process you may be wondering? It’s no secret the demand for a NYC apartment is high and the demand for affordable NYC housing is through the roof! Leasing an apartment more than 30 days before the relocation was just too costly so we opted to wait until the month of the move. Now, locating an apartment and roommate with less than 30 days before relocation is nerve wracking. We really should have scheduled another scouting trip one month before the move. What were we thinking!
We have a couple of things working in our favor – we are searching targeted areas and we have local contacts that can checkout locations for us. Using app’s like StreetEasy, Naked Apartments, Spare Room and Observer to assist with the search has been helpful. There are also websites Apartmentlist.com, Roommates.com and Craigslist.com, that are helping to make the process more manageable without using an agent.
Many making this transition use model housing provided by their agency. Large New York agencies like Next, Ford, Wilhelmina, IMG and DNA, can provide model lodging. Agencies offer dorm style apartment living with as many as 2 – 4 models per room. The accommodations are not glamorous with minimal storage, shared bathrooms and twin size bunk beds. These are great for models traveling from out of state or out of the country for short stints like Fashion Week. However, there are arguments on both sides about the pros and cons of long term model housing.
Of course, the great thing about model housing is not having to worry about locating a place, especially from long distance. Models are assigned roommates and the comradery from others in the same business can be a great thing. They are exposed to models from around the globe with varied modeling experience and exposure to big city living. Some agencies will assign chaperones to live in each apartment for added security and guidance. Models can expect strict house rules and things like breaking curfew, drinking or drugs are not tolerated. For underage models whose parents who may be worried about security this can be comforting. Additionally, there is the added benefit of not having to break a lease or pay for an unoccupied apartment if your model is sent out of town for bookings.
With all of the positives, there are just as many not-so-positive things about model housing. The first matter is the privacy issue. If your client has never had to share space, they may find little to no privacy is a hard pill to swallow. Also, the strict rules may seem too stringent for models who are a bit older. Additionally, many of the agency provided apartments are temporary and not intended for long-term residents. This means your client may have to move into their own apartment within 60-90 days. Lastly, model housing can be costly. Rents can run from $1100 – 1600 per month for agency provided housing. Most models have their rents deducted from their earnings. New comers rarely start off generating much income in the beginning so your client can quickly end up in the red at the onset of their budding career.
There are some sources that provide housing for unsigned models like Modelingtherightway.com, Modelsapartments.com and Modelhousing.com. These furnished apartments generally offer amenities like workout rooms and housekeeping, therefore making them somewhat pricey. I cannot personally endorse any of these but as always, be cautious when paying deposits or signing leases sight unseen. Always be on the watch for scams. There are people who may contact you about “rent free” model apartments in NYC. Don’t fall for this trick. Even agencies charge for model housing. If it is too good to be true, well you know the saying…
The cons have outweighed the pros so we have decided not to go the model housing route. We are looking for permanent accommodations before touching down in NYC. You already know I will keep you posted on our progress!