A woman’s video giving a “terrifying” apartment tour recently went viral, seemingly exposing the reality of what it’s really like to hunt for apartments in New York City.
Vivi (@viviarmacost) posted the video to TikTok on 13 August, and since then, the video has amassed over 1.6 million views on the platform. After going on “three terrifying, expensive apartment tours”, she decided to share to experience.
Initially, the footage shows her staring straight into the camera while she says in the voiceover, “Come with me to see three terrifying apartments in New York City. I’m trying to find a studio right now and it is awful.”
The video proceeds to chronicle Vivi’s journey as she tours three different apartments in Manhattan, the most expensive borough in New York City. At first, Vivi visits a unit in the Lower East Side. She prefaced the first tour saying that she knew it was “gonna be gross,” but ultimately went because online, it said that there was no broker’s fee. However, upon arrival, she alleged that she was told there was a “$4,000 broker’s fee.”
“For a one-bedroom, it’s really well-priced but it’s literally a studio and they put up a fake wall, I can tell,” she said in the clip. She also noted that there was no laundry machine included and that the Lower East Side location was also a downside because it’s a “dangerous area to live by yourself as a girl.”
The next apartment viewing took place in Manhattan’s coveted Chelsea neighbourhood, where Vivi was shown a small studio that she immediately adored. The footage showed a tiny room boasting a kitchen stove and sink built onto a side wall and a window at the end of the room. She remarked that the size didn’t detract from its perks, “This is literally a hallway but honestly in the best location ever.”
She continued: “I’ve also been trying to negotiate and every time I’ve done it, it worked. This apartment gave me $50 off a month... Sadly, this [the second listing] was taken off the market the moment I left the apartment...”
According to Vivi, for the third apartment she looked at, she said she was given a $1,000 broker’s fee. The listing was “it’s also in Chelsea and it’s so beautiful. This is the biggest studio I think I’ve ever seen.” When she put in an application for the listing, she took issue with the fact that it was “a 9-month lease and they’re still making you pay a broker’s fee...”
Many viewers commented that all of the listings shown resembled prison cells more so than luxury apartments.
One viewer wrote, “These are jail cells,” while someone else commented: “I’m sorry but this looks like prison.”
Another asked: “Is NY really worth this? They all make a jail cell look better.”
“idk [I don’t know] why ppl [people] think anything in NY is worth living in THIS,” one viewer remarked, and another one said: “The fact that she’s calling that last one beautiful, I’m confused. Do ppl want to live in NY this bad??”
Each apartment Vivi visited featured metal bars on the outside of the apartment’s windows. While the detail is reportedly common among apartments in the Chinatown area of Manhattan, viewers were shocked, to say the least.