Thursday, June 22, 2017

10 Tips on NYC Apartment Hunting

Are you moving to the Big Apple? Need help on how to find an apartment? Well, you've come to the right place. 

I've had a lot of requests for a post on this so I'm finally sitting down to write it. If you've been following along, you know I've recently made the big move to New York City. Finding a place to live is a pain no matter where you move, but it seems moving to NYC is the most difficult of cities. But here's some advice to hopefully help you move go as smoothly and painlessly as possible! :) 

1. Don't start looking too early but don't start too late. 
Real estate in NYC is listed and gone in a flash. Say you are moving in December, it is kind of unrealistic to get your heart set on a place that's available in July. I would recommend starting to seriously search for a place one month to three weeks before your projected move-in date. This way you can be sure you will actually have a chance to get the place you are interested in. 

2. Become friends with Zillow and StreetEasy. 
Look at places online. Pay attention to what they are listed for and compare to other apartments in the area. 

3. Look at a place in person. Don't just assume the place is nice because it has nice pictures online. Some photos are old and some are actually of other apartments in the building. Make sure you look at a place with your own two eyes before signing anything! 

4. Be aware of Brokers & fees. Some are good. Some are bad. I would suggest avoiding using a Broker unless completely necessary. Just my personal opinion. I was singularly looking at apartment buildings. Most buildings have a leasing agent within. Once you start looking you will notice that some apartments say "No Fee." This means the Broker doesn't get a fee aka you don't pay him/her if you rent the building. Fee apartments mean you will be paying usually the amount of one month's rent or 15-20% of the yearly rent. BUT NO FEE apartments may tend to be a little more expensive. This is because the building is paying the Broker instead of you. This is just something to definitely take into consideration when looking at places. You may see a great place for a cheap price... but you may not want to be paying up 20% of the annual rent at one time! 

5. Know where you want to live (or at least an idea of areas). Once you establish a neighborhood you will already narrow out so many choices. Looking can easily become overwhelming. It's definitely more affordable to look for apartments in outer Brooklyn, Queens and Upper Manhattan and Harlem. You just have to decide it the commute is worth it. **Note: Just because your apartment is big and cheap doesn't mean it's in a safe neighborhood. Pay attention to what's going on around you at all times. 

6. Know what paperwork to bring when signing on an apartment. This is very important. Most places in Manhattan will require a credit check and last year's bank statements. Most places want you to make 40x's more than your monthly rent. This number can be combined with roommate income, too! 

7. Understand guarantors. This is a big one. If you don't know, a guarantor is someone who is helping you sign on an apartment. Like I said in #5 you will need the necessary paperwork to get an apartment. With a guarantor, you will typically need proof that he/she makes 80x's the monthly rent. 

8. Ask about bedbugs. Yes, they are real, and yes, you need to ask. Doesn't matter if it's a brand new building--just ask. 

9. Ask about the nearest public transport. If you are like most New Yorkers you are going to be taking the Subway A LOT. Know where the nearest train stop is in accordance with your place. 

10. Have fun! Apartment hunting can easily become frustrating. Don't let it! Enjoy the time in finding your perfect place in the Big Apple! 

Moving to the city is one of the funnest things I've done so far. It's full of countless new opportunities. I hope you all the best success in finding a place and a smooth move in getting settled in! I'm still trying to put together my apartment, but everyday it feels more and more like home! <3 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! xx

1 comment:

  1. These are excellent practical tips that will help many, especially those who encounter such things for the first time. I can add only one thing, I had a similar experience, I advise you to use the services for moving This will help you to save your nerves and strength, especially if you have small children.