Is This Real Life? Share a NYC Loft… For $1/Month
Moving into a gorgeous three-floor loft on Bleeker Street is, by many accounts, living the dream. But how about paying just a dollar a month to live there? Rupert Hunt, CEO of roommate search site SpareRoom, just moved to New York from London and is looking for a couple of flatmates to share his stunning space—for only $1.
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It’s no surprise that Rupert has decided to find his roommates using his own site, which launched in the UK in 2004, and recently started matching roommates all across the US and hosting SpeedRoommating events (like speed dating for roommates) in New York.
The 3,400 square-foot loft comes fully decorated and stocked, and it also has a 1,500 square foot roof terrace with views of the Manhattan skyline (think of the dinner parties!).
Rooms typically rent for $1800+ in the West Village, so $1 is decidedly below market. While this situation sounds too good to be true, Rupert guarantees me it’s not. I chatted with the SpareRoom founder to find out a little bit more about what he’s looking for and why (interview edited and condensed for clarity):
What made you decide to rent your spare rooms?
Rupert Hunt: I’ve been sharing for years in London. In 2013, I got divorced and [using SpareRoom] was initially going to be research, but I realized how much loved it. For me, living with right people is better than living alone.
Is this for real? Is there a catch?
RH: It’s really $1. In the past, I’ve offered rooms on a pay-what-you-can basis and I still got questions like, do you prefer people who can pay the full rent? I’m fortunate enough to have done well with SpareRoom so that I don’t need a roommate for financial reasons—it’s really about the experience of living with other people. [According to Rupert’s listing, there is no deposit, utilities are included, the rooms are furnished, and the lease term is 6 months – Ed.]
Who is your ideal roommate?
RH: I moved to New York a week ago, so it might be nice if at least one roommate knows the city well and can show me what New York has to offer. Though it would also be great to share the excitement of being new to the city with someone else. I moved to London to try to make it in a band, and then when I bootstrapped SpareRoom, both times I had to live very cheaply. It would be nice if living here could help someone else pursue their dreams of being an artist or musician, or start their own business.
How many responses have you gotten so far?
RH: 60 messages as of last night. I suspect it’s up to about 100 now.
Last question: Did you do the decorating?
RH: (laughs) I wish I could say I decorated, but it came fully furnished—it definitely wowed me when I first walked in. I have started unpacking some personal touches, though.
Check out Rupert’s video to see what he brought from London, and for more about his search:
Want to be his roomie? Apply here.