Whether you’re brand new to the city or looking to level up on your current digs, finding a rental apartment in NYC can certainly be a challenge! Plan ahead by doing your research, knowing your budget, and having a clear idea whether or not renting is right for you. With patience and persistence, you can find the NYC apartment of your dreams!
The Bottom Dollar Benefits of a Rental Apartment in NYC
If you’re wondering whether to rent or buy an apartment in NYC, you should consider that the cost of renting has actually become cheaper than buying in recent years. The cost of home ownership has jumped across the country, but especially so in large metropolitan areas like New York. In 2014, The New York Times published a housing cost calculator designed to help potential renters or home buyers figure out which move would be right for their financial situation. If you’re not sure whether to purchase a condo or co-op or stick with renting, try entering your data and take a look at what ends up being a better deal in today’s market. Barring very expensive apartments with high maintenance fees, renting ends up coming out a better deal for all but the very wealthy.
To Broker or Not Broker
Once you’ve decided that you want to rent, you’ll need to determine if you have the budget to pay for a broker. Broker’s fees are typically equivalent to one month’s rent. For some, this cost is prohibitive, but the benefits of a broker can end up saving you time and stress when it comes to finding a suitable place that meets your requirements. If you decide you’d rather avoid using a broker, consider looking for a short term sublet; renting a place for the summer can often lead to taking over the lease full time if you find a landlord willing to work with you and avoid a middleman.
Get Search Savvy
Whether you use a broker or not, you’ll still likely spend some time digging through the many online ads promising picture perfect apartments. But finding a rental apartment in NYC means learning how to determine real ads from scams, as well as being hip to city geography. When you begin communicating with a landlord, be sure to find out exactly when the apartment is available, as well as the exact location. If the landlord is unable or unwilling to provide this information, consider it a red flag. Craigslist has long been a free favorite for apartment hunters looking to avoid brokers–the site allows you to set a “no fee” search filter–but it also attracts people looking to prey on new New Yorkers. Craigslist can be useful when used with caution and smarts, but you can also try a number of new rental sites that allow for no fee searching as well, from Padmapper to Facebook.
Being clear about your budget and timeline well before your ideal move date can save you plenty of stress as you seek that perfect rental apartment in NYC! Allow ample time, and be sure to save up enough cash so that the security deposit won’t snag you up. Happy searching!