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How 7 Long Islanders found their apartments

On Tuesday, May 22, Keith Banks talked about how he found a great apartment at Wyandanch Village. Credit: Newsday / Valerie Kellogg

Keith Banks


WHERE HE RENTS Wyandanch Village

Banks, 53, says he heard about the Wyandanch Village project several years ago, and decided to inquire about renting after his company relocated him from Port Jefferson to Melville. “With work, I sometimes go into the city and I needed something more convenient to the train station,” Banks says. “I can literally roll out of bed and be on the platform.”

Banks’ parents used to own a beauty supply store, salon and record store in the footprint of the development, and Banks recently opened a business, Sir Shave, on the lower level of the 91-unit complex.

HOW HE FOUND IT Banks, who had been renting an apartment at a friend’s home in Blue Point, called the property manager after the project broke ground in 2015, and they called when a unit was available to rent. He currently pays $1,625 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Nicolette Gebhardt

WHERE SHE RENTS The Woolworth Apartments, Riverhead

Gebhardt, 25, works as a personal trainer for a gym in Cutchogue and the Maximus gym on the ground floor of her building, as well as a sales associate at Lululemon at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead. “I didn’t want to rent from someone above their garage,” Gebhardt says. 

HOW SHE FOUND IT The Woolworth Building — which has 19 units that are considered affordable to those making between 50 percent and 80 percent of the Nassau-Suffolk median income (which varies based on family size) — had been advertising. Gebhardt reached out to the Long Island Housing Partnership, which processed her application. Within two weeks of applying for an apartment, she moved in, and pays $1,350 a month for a one-bedroom unit.

Berni and Nick Merna

WHERE THEY RENT A house in East Rockaway

Berni, 28 and Nick, 30, met at the University of California, Irvine, and relocated from California to Long Island almost four years ago after Nick got a job as an engineering professor at Hofstra. They now have a 5-month-old son, Dennis.

HOW THEY FOUND IT After Nick got the job offer, someone at the school recommended agent Lori Castoria of Laffey Real Estate. Castoria sent the couple listings to look at online and then showed them several apartments while they stayed in a hotel after moving to the East Coast. “We definitely did not want to do it ourselves, especially since we were moving across the country with no idea of the area,” Berni says. The couple moved into their one-bedroom duplex in June 2014 and currently pay $1,650 a month.

Kim Evans and Chris Rocovich

WHERE THEY RENT A two-bedroom house in Glen Cove


Evans and Rocovich, both 60 and semi-retired, are engaged. They were looking for an apartment to share. Evans moved from the Saratoga area in upstate New York and Rocovich was living in Sea Cliff.

HOW THEY FOUND IT They looked for a month with Linda Brown from Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. “She was really good at taking us to things she thought we would like and setting up interview with owners,” Evans says. She notes that Brown made sure the landlord removed leaves from the property before the couple moved into the two-bedroom Cape on April 1. “After we moved in, she contacted us to make sure everything was good.” They pay $2,500 a month.

Kristine Lapocca

WHERE SHE RENTS Main Street in Huntington

Lapocca, 26, works as a colorist at the Papillon beauty salon nearby, so she can walk to work. The apartment is one of four in the building, atop a convenience store. 


HOW SHE FOUND IT She found the one-bedroom apartment on Craigslist. The landlord was renting it out, and Lapocca got in touch with the previous tenant, who showed her the apartment. “There was no broker fee,” Lapocca says. She pays $1,500 a month.



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