real estate

Top 10 tips to Rent an Apartment In Manhattan (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on April 20, 2007. Filed under: real estate |

5. Do Some Footwork

Walk around the area you are interested in living. Many apartments will hang “for rent” signs with phone numbers or websites. Often there will be no broker fee associated with the apartment if you are dealing with the management company directly.

Extra Cheap Trick: Instead of calling the broker listed on the “for rent” sign. See if you can copy down the supervisor’s phone number on the posting inside of the hallway (each apartment building is required to have one). Some will be easy to copy (glass doors) and some will be hard (you have to wait for someone to open the door). Just make sure you don’t get beat up for trespassing. : 0

4. Low Income Housing?

Check out the NYC Affordable Housing Resource Center website for good apartment hunting tips. It also tells you how to sign up for lotteries and how to find out if you qualify for low income housing. However, be aware that if your income surpasses the levels dictated by the state to qualify for low income housing, you’ll have to move out.

3. No Broker Fee Agency Listings

How To Rent In NYC website lists many no fee brokers in the city. Most likely, they won’t have a website so you’ll have to call them. There’s a lot of brokers to call, but you can save big bucks. Remember, I warned you earlier about the amount of work to needed find a good no-fee apartment.

2. No Broker Fee Agency Websites

These are the best no fee broker websites I have come across, please feel free to add more. <—make sure the apt listing says “no fee” <— from the apartments I’ve seen, this company charges more than market rates to make up for the no broker fee <— I like this company, their listings are frequently update. Although I didn’t rent from them, the person I talked to on the phone was very nice and friendly.

1. New York’s Real Estate Market is Cyclical

The least amount of people rent / move out during winter. There are less apartments available but less people searching for apartments.

More people rent / move out during the spring. There are more apartments available but more people searching for apartments.

I think searching during the cold months (when the market is cold, as well) will help you secure a better deal.

A final note:

Prepare yourself for a lot of phone calls, a lot of apartment visits, and the feeling that “you’ll never find an apartment”. Give yourself ample time (at least 1 month) for finding a good no-fee apartment. I hope that my frustrations and experience can help you find your dream apartment– and without paying a single cent in fees!

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