#1: Brokers One of the most common methods of finding an apartment in New York City is using a real estate broker. If you know what neighborhood you want to live in, its usually best to find a broker based there. Many brokers also have Web sites where you can view available apartments, sometimes even with photos and detailed descriptions.

#2: Word-of-Mouth There is good news for those who would prefer not to pay hefty brokers fees: a substantial number of New Yorkers find their units by word-of-mouth, mostly from friends, relatives, and co-workers. If youre looking for an apartment, make sure everyone you know knows that youre looking.

#3: Classified Ads The third most common method used by recent movers is a classic: the classified ad. Movers cite using the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Daily News, local or community papers, and Newsday. Foreign-language or ethnic newspapers, such as El Diario and the Jewish Press, are also a good source of classified ads. Many newspapers now post their classified ads online, so make sure to check out the Web sites of local papers and online message boards like newyork.craigslist.org.

#4: Walking Around A small but notable percentage of movers find their apartment when they simply see a "For Rent" sign. It can pay to walk around the neighborhood you want to live in and look around.

#5: Housing Office If youre living here for professional or educational reasons, dont neglect your organizations housing office or service. They know what you often dont about renting in New York City and its their job to help you find a great new apartment.

#6: Apartment Referral Service Referral services are a growing resource that savvy hunters, especially those who are comfortable searching on the Internet, should not neglect. For a monthly fee these services will provide you with a list of no-fee apartment rentals as they become available.

#7: Finding a Vacant Apartment in Same Building Other movers find their apartments in the same building in which they already live. Be proactive and talk to neighbors, doormen, supers, landlords, and/or your management company to see if another apartment is available in the same building.

#9: Community Groups You may occasionally find housing through local government offices or community groups that keep information on neighborhood housing notices.

Who is on the Lease? If you are a renter, having your name on the lease gives you more protections and rights than any unsigned tenants. If you want your partner, child, spouse, roommate, or relative to have lease protections, it is a good idea to put their name on the lease at the outset (later additions may trigger a vacancy increase in stabilized apartments). But also be aware that more names on the lease may mean more complications in the future if relationships change.Roommates? If you are joining a household as a roommate, try to find out what the primary tenants plans are. If the primary tenant leaves and you are not on the lease, you have no right to stay in the apartment. If you would like to stay at your discretion, see if you can add your name to the lease, although this may trigger a substantial rent increase in stabilized apartments.Rent-Stabilized? If your apartment is rent-stabilized, be sure to keep the following in mind:

NY Times FREE listing of apartments and houses for rent and sale throughout the city (and the world). Includes archives of Times articles, profiles of neighborhoods, school test score results, city data, a real estate tracking service and more.

NY Daily News FREE listing of apartments for rent throughout the city.

NY Post FREE listing of apartments and houses for rent or sale throughout New York City, especially Manhattan and Brooklyn. The websites advanced search feature provides a large number of options to narrow your search.

Staten Island Advance FREE listing of apartments and houses for rent or sale throughout Staten Island, searchable by neighborhood, minimum or maximum rent, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms.

Village Voice A weekly newspaper with FREE list of apartments and houses for rent and sale, as well as roommate offers. Operated by Backpage.com

New York Magazine Weekly magazine runs features articles regularly on housing market in NYC.

New York Press A weekly newspaper available in Manhattan. Offers a small section of apartment classifieds on-line and in print.