Posts tagged " New York City Rental "

Sure Fire Way to Find Your Dream Apartment in NYC!

September 18th, 2009 Posted by Real Estate No Comment yet

MBA – ‘Management by walking around’ was actually a buzzword in management in the 1980s’. A study in organization behavior showed that managers managed the best by simply walking around in their company!

You are now entering the NYC rental market. You might be asking around among friends for rental availability or a referral for a good real estate agent. You surfed the net, flipped the newspapers. All is well, however, I think by far the most effective and cost efficient of nailing a rental is by RBA – ‘Renting by Walking Around!’

Note that I used the word ‘NAIL’. The best way to START looking is still the Internet and browsing through local ads. After the initial research, target a few neighborhoods and start ‘WALKING AROUND’ The best if you can narrow down to a few streets and avenues.

What’s in for you? As I mentioned in my previous article “How to Rent Smart in NYC?”, the agent fees is conventionally 15% of your annual rental (it’s negotiable). That is a huge chunk of change, equivalent to 1.8 months of your rental!

Yes, they are cases whereby using an agent might land you the perfect crib, and economical if you end up staying for like 5 years or more. However, for the average renter, the average tenure is like 2 years, spreading out the agent fees, it is like paying an average of $200 to $500 per month for agent fees. Now, if you can add $200 to $500 to your rental budget, do you think that it will make a difference? Get a much nicer place or keep the money for whatever.

Many rental condos in New York City offer market sensitive/adjusted rent as they usually have several units to offer. The condos normally have in-house management/rental offices that do not charge agent fees.  They call it ‘no-fees rental’. If there is no office, note down the address and name of the building and look it up on the net. These condos are highly visible (usually high rise) and you should have no problem spotting them in your desired neighborhood. And adding to the bonus, these buildings are usually newer, with facilities and have in-unit or in-building washers-dryers.

If you have targeted a neighborhood you want to live in, start ‘Walking Around’! Or do you prefer to pay an agent 1.8 months of fees to bring you there?

PS: There will be some buildings, which might still want to charge you agent fees, remember it is NEGOTIABLE!

UPDATE: A friend of mine used an agent to show her a few places, which are mostly walk-ups. The agent is charging her 15% of annual rental. She tried out my advice of RBA in her desired neighborhood and ended up in a high-rise rental nearer to the subway, newer and bigger with no fees! It would have cost her more if she rented the old walk-ups.  GO WALK AROUND my friend!

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How to Rent Smart in New York City?

July 17th, 2009 Posted by Featured, Real Estate No Comment yet

Do Not Judge An Apartment By The Rent!

“Do you know anyone who is renting out their apartments in New York?” – It’s the time of the year again where New York apartments become hot commodities.

Yes, no doubt, the current economic crisis has dampened the rental markets and has brought down the rent in many areas in New York City. However, many people still finding it hard to secure that perfect apartment!

Renting in NYC could be a challenge especially if this is your first time in the city, with so many ‘noise’ in the market: diverse neighborhoods, various price levels, different kinds of buildings, lingos, fees, criteria, etc.

To make things easier for you, I came out with a list of criteria for you to think through before you sign on the dotted line.  This could save you a lot of time, headache and regrets and most importantly, get your dream apartment within your budget!

Rent smart by going through the following important criteria:

  1. Convenience
  2. Comfort
  3. Effective Cost
  4. Terms/Finance
  5. Case Study
  6. Rent Smart Checklist


How Far is the Nearest Subway Station?

One of my first questions in any real estate transaction in NYC is always, “How far is the nearest train station?” Wait a minute you might say, shouldn’t the neighborhood be the number one question. Yes, it seems like it but do you really want to stay in a fringe of a great neighborhood that is a dreary 15 minutes walk away from the nearest subway station. For those who haven’t been to NYC in winter, nope, it’s not a good idea. And you don’t want to lug home those OJs that weigh a ton from the subway station.

I have friends who rented great apartments in Manhattan that are a distance away from the subway station for pretty affordable rent. However, you will, and trust me, YOU WILL, take cabs in many occasions from wherever you are or just from the subway station back to your apartment or maybe you are just running late. May it be after the late night party, dinner, or just hanging out at your friends’? When you add up ALL the money spent on cab, you are just better off upgrading yourself to a much better apartment in a more central location. Maybe the cab money can even ‘buy’ you a doorman? Elevator? Gym?

Is it in Manhattan?

When I first came to New York, I had wanted to only rent in Manhattan (though I might have to eat less and play less). I ended up sharing a 2 bedroom in Queens, that is literally 2 mins away from the R & W train. It took me only 15 mins to get to my midtown office door to door, the shortest commute among my colleagues living in the upper east, midtown west, downtown, you name it.

Queens could be a choice when your activities circle around midtown. I paid 1/3 of the rent I would have if I stayed in Manhattan, that left me a lot of change to enjoy what New York has to offer, Broadway shows, great restaurants…

However, a point to note is that a lot of great restaurants and activities are located downtown. I hangout in Chinatown a lot (food!!) and it is a pain to go from Queens to Chinatown. Another point to think about. Where will you be hanging out? Brooklyn might be a choice if you hang out downtown.

The key point is, don’t just decide that you will ONLY rent in Manhattan or you will ONLY rent in Queens or Brooklyn. Rents in Queens and Brooklyn should be generally cheaper than Manhattan for the same kind of building. The savings could be worth it for some and not for others. You have to decide. And sometimes, you might be able to get a really great deal in Manhattan! I have friends who paid the same rent for a one bedroom in Brooklyn and two bedrooms in Manhattan.

For the same price, you might get a 4th floor studio in a walkup in Manhattan with a 20 year-old bathroom with squeaky floors or an almost new studio in Queens with granite kitchen counter top.  What would you choose? Read on.


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