Looking for an apartment can be very stressful. Sometimes People start looking for apartments too late or too early. Thats when the stress turn to disappointment. In hot areas like Brooklyn and Queens apartments last no more than two weeks to a month on the market. If you look for an apartment more than a month out, chances are someone else who needs an apartment for the end of the month (when leases usually end or begin) will take the apartment. If you look 2 or 3 days before needing to move chances are the apartment might not be ready or the process will be cutting it close or go over your deadline. So the best time to start looking for an apartment is 1 to 3 weeks before needing to move (the typical shelf life of an apartment). This period gives you enough time to prepare to move (prepare and pack) and enough time for a contigency plan if the apartment is not ready or the process takes longer.