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Renting An Apartment in NYC---best site to use?

Renting An Apartment in NYC---best site to use?

Jan 21st, 2007, 12:11 PM
  #1  
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Renting An Apartment in NYC---best site to use?

What is the best website to use in renting an apartment in NYC?

I have seen ads on craigslist for aparments in NYC and in Brooklyn that look affordable.

I would prefer to use a site where I would know for sure that the apartment is a-ok and everything is completely legit (not saying it isn't on the c-list, but you never can be sure).
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Are you talking about a month or longer, or a vacation rental of a week?

I share your concern with Craigslist. I answered an ad about a super rate at the Manhattan Club someone was offering, and they needed to book "right away" to get that great price, asking for credit card info for a deposit, but once I started getting really specific and saying I wanted confirmation about the owner really being an owner, they disappeared. It ends up apparently the whole ad was a sham.

I've used nyhabitat with good luck.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:28 PM
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I meant sites for staying more than a month and more likely, more than a year or so.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 02:09 PM
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And you need to do this in advance of going to NYC on the internet? Or can you meet with an agent once in New York so you can see what you're getting? Or how about renting one for a week or a month and then work directly once there for a more "permanent" rental?


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Jan 21st, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Renting an apartment in NYC for a year or more is a major project - and really can't be done in advance - unless you have unlimited funds to have one of the upscale agencies fnd something for you.

If you want to look for a long-term sublet suggest you contact the various universities - who might have faculty going on sabbatical who are willing to sublet an apartment.

If your funds are limited agree that you should get a very inexpensive hotel or a short-term sublet to give you time to get to know the neighborhoods and how things work in NYC.

If you want a place to get started have a look at the New York Times real estate section on-line (you can search by neighborhood, budget, # of rooms, amenities etc)and you can get an idea of rents. Also - if you search you can get info on various neighborhoods.

For a regular rental be prepared to give first month's rent and month's security deposit in advance to the landlord and probably 10% of the year's rent to the agent who finds it for you. You will have to prove your job in New York/sufficient income to afford the apartment or they won't even let you apply for the apartment.

Please - let us know what you consider affordable and what neighborhoods the apartemtns are in. (I'm not aware of any decent/safe areas where almost anyone from outside NYC would consider the apartments affordable - unless they are in truly disgraful condition.)
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Jan 21st, 2007, 02:59 PM
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It is a huge ordeal renting an apartment in NYC and agree, unless you are very well off, it isn't something you can do from another city.

Lots of red tape.
 
Jan 21st, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Thank you everybody for the info....I had no idea so much red tape was involved. it looks like i will have to do a sublet first, get situated working, and then look for an apartment.

It will take a lot of work, but it can be done, I think.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Suggest you start looking now - at least for neighborhoods - so when you get to the city you at least have a realistic picture of options. (Since when you find an apartment you will have to be ready to put the money down on the spot for them to even accept your application.)

Any landlord will require proof of employment at a salary sufficient to afford the apartment, usually 2 past years of income tax forms and generally good credit. You may find it necessary to have someone else guarantee your payment of the rent if your income history/credit rating is insufficient.

Again - I encourage you to tell us your budget and neighborhoods you're looking at so we can tell you if they seem realistic - or fakes - and what options you might have.
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Jan 21st, 2007, 04:19 PM
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I won't be moving for some time, but I wanted to start doing the research now---hopefully, I will be able to afford to move in about 2-3 years and I am thinking of brooklyn and harlem primarily, since some parts of those neighborhoods seem more affordable.

I don't ask for much, just clean, no bugs, and near a subway line.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Just saw this post and wanted to add my 2 (okay,5) cents:

The rental market is tighter this year than ever before. If you can avoid moving to the city during the summer (June-September), you'll avoid competing with the rush of college grads seeking affordable rentals. The highest rents are usually found this time of year as well. If you can get on a winter lease cycle, it will save you money on your rent. For instance, I have a July lease (which sucks). If I had been able to rent my apartment in February, my monthly rent would be $200 less than I pay now.

Because of the tight market, landlords are being pickier than ever about your financial status. Expect to pay, at a minimum, 1-2 months security deposit, first months rent, AND a broker fee that totals around 10-15% of the full year lease. You MUST make at least 40x the monthly rent on a pre-tax basis. For example, if the rent is $1,500 a month, you have to make at least $60K per year, before taxes. If you do not meet the income threshold, you will need a guarantor in the tri-state area who makes at least 80x the rent.

You can try to find something without a broker, but it's really difficult and next to impossible from a long distance. Shady brokers will frequently put fake postings on craigslist and NYtimes advertising no or low-fee apartments. Once you call to see the place, miraculously it will "just have rented". They will always have a few other apartments (with full fees) to show you.

The cheapest neighborhoods in Manhattan to live in (for rentals) are the Upper East Side, the East Village/Lower East Side, Chinatown, and parts of the Upper West Side. You can definitely find bargains in Spanish Harlem and other areas of Norther Manhattan, but you want to know exactly what the block looks like where you are moving. Parts of the South Bronx are up and coming, and you can find affordable rentals in Queens as well. Many neighborhoods in Brooklyn are now as expensive as parts of Manhattan.

Subletting is a good option if you don't want to go through the AGONY of finding an apartment with your own lease. Look frequently on craigslist for these opportunities. Good luck!
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:36 PM
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Harlem proper has gone through the roof since gentrification has begun. Brooklyn has never been particularly cheap.

Lizzie and nytraveler have given you excellent advice.

The best advice is to start saving your money now.
 
Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Craiglist is fine as long as you're actually in NYC to go see the apartments themselves in person. I second all of the great advice everyone on here has given you. If your credit isn't perfect and/or you don't have substantial savings or a co-signer definitely start saving. NYC landlords are awful when it comes to the qualifications that are needed (even for the "crappy" apartments!). Other than that, I think you really should sublet for a month or two so you can be sure where you want to live. Each neighborhood has a completely different feel and depending on where you work, commute-time could be an issue too.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:58 PM
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The best thing to do for 2-3 years is to save your $$. Don't bother looking for an NYC apartment. It will be an exercise in futility. Most of the apartments you see on the internet are not available by the time you call to say you are interested. Who knows what the rental rates will be in 2-3 years.

The best thing you can do is visit often and try to get a feel for the different neighborhoods, but don't bother doing anything serious like contacting a broker or landlord.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:35 PM
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If you're looking at 2/3 years out you really can;t predict what prices will be. Remaining lower cost eighborhoods in Manhattan have been gentrifying rapidly and even getting a studio in Inwood/Washington Heights is getting to be an issue.

As for Broolyn, the nice areas are big $, the decent area still aren;t cheap -= and the really inexpensive areas are probably somwehre you don;t want to live.

The income/rent ratio quoted is correct - and you may well have to have a roommate at the start to make it - unless your income will be substantial.

Agreee to try to visit/learn about the city and save your $ for all the money you'll have to put down up front. Also - get an idea of the job market - you don;t mention your profession/field of work. NYC is good for many, but difficult for some fields that don;t pay comparatively well - like teaching.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:18 PM
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Not so funny story about agents' fees. My girlfriend, a fairly worldly and wealthy woman, needed to find her daughter a studio in NYC. She met an agent who qouted her rates as "15% of the rental". She figured, 15% x $2500 rent = $375, said yes and went out on the tour.

Found a great apartment, then got the agent's bill: $4500! It was 15% of the whole one-year lease period!

Just something else to think about....
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:20 PM
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I had an appointment with clients today who were telling me about their son who is apparently a pretty major figure on Wall Street. He recently moved out of Manhattan and bought a huge, fabulously redone apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey. They just visited him and said the area is being totally redone -- lots of trendy restaurants and wonderful apartments. His place was something like $ 600,000 and is a couple thousand square feet. He happily walks to the ferry which he takes across the Hudson to work.

I'm just curious what others know about Hoboken -- is it all they said it is?
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:35 AM
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topping

I am loving the info I am receiving. It is a dream of mine, and I am currently working on ways to achieve it!
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Well, Frank Sinatra is from Hoboken.

 
Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Since ilovetotravel29 is considering Brooklyn & Harlem, I think that Hoboken or even Jersey City (which is having its own little renaissance these days) may be a good choice.

Personally, I'd WAAY rather live in Hoboken than in Harlem. Although Harlem is *technically* considered NYC it is so friggin far away from EVERYTHING and is not the safest place to live if you plan on going out at night and walking/taking the subway home. I know that everyone is talking about how nice Harlem is now, but I personally do not find it to be an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood and find shopping/nightlife/restaurants limited at best. Plus it's a HAUL to get there--some parts are much further away from the city than Hoboken would be.

Brooklyn is great--the only downside is that if you live too far out in Brooklyn (or if your job is on the West Side) then you'll have a b*Tch of a commute every morning/evening. If you work on the East Side this won't be an issue. Most of Brooklyn is very hip and they have great restaurants, bars, music & the like out there. Neighborhoods like Park Slope and Williamsburg are just as fun and trendy as NYC.

Back to Hoboken for a minute: no, it's not "everything people say it is." I wouldn't call the restaurants in Hoboken trendy, but then again, I live in NYC. The reason people love Hoboken is because of its proximity to NYC, not because Hoboken itself is so wonderful--it's not a bad place to live but it's not just very cool. I have to say that the PATH train takes only 15 minutes and makes it really convenient to commute between Hoboken & NYC (you can also take the ferry) and also, rent/buying is a LOT less than it is in the city which is an advantage.

But be forewarned that Hoboken is full of recent college grads who can't afford to live in Manhattan, and that many of the bars & restaurants in Hoboken tend to cater to this crowd. If a few pints & burgers at a local watering hole is your idea of a good time then you'll be just fine---just don't expect a lot of trendy restaurants, nightclubs & that sort of thing. You can get decent food at good prices, but it doesn't have some burgeoning nightlife/restaurant scene. However, in Hoboken's defense it is a cute little town with lots of nice apartments, and is a nice, safe place to live with easy access to the city. Much better than Harlem IMHO.
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Much of upper Manhattan - above 96th St - is beng gentrified. Some reas of Harlem are beautiful - some still not so hot. And in Washington Heights/Inwood there are some wonderful pre-war buildings that have always been maintained and are tru finds, as well as some that are being rehabbed - and some that are still dumps.

Don;t find the trip from Harlem downtown so onerous (I can get from 96th St to 42nd in 10 minutes - Harlem might take 5 minutes more).

Certainly faster than Hoboken. And agree that the latter is generally either new grads looking for decent travel and low rents - as well as for some first-time buyers - who buy here to get into the market for a low price (per the $600,000 for a large apartment). But I don;t know how the prices are holding up. Would not buy there without being sure the prices will escalate as fast as they still do in Manhattan.

Other possible areas are Astoria, etc in Queeens - depending on where the OP will work.

But it seems this is all way too soon - since 2/3 years can change a neighborhood completely. (There's a Lenny Briscoe line in one of the old Law & Order episodes concerning a New York neighborhood: "You don;t like it now - wait 5 minutes".)
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