Renting an apt in NYC; need advice

Old Mar 18th, 2009, 05:37 PM
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Renting an apt in NYC; need advice

I need some suggestions and advice for renting an apartment in NYC this summer. I'm planning on a month, I am thinking between 2 and 3 thousand for the month. If I have to spend more, I may need to shorten my stay. I don't need luxury, and a studio would be fine, but I would like it to be clean and not too dingy. Convenient location would be a plus, too.

I have been looking at Trip Advisor, but I find it overwhelming and difficult to figure out prices. Any suggestions on favorite websites and experiences would be very welcome. Thank you.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 09:31 PM
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craigslist.org

Tons of sites.

http://www.BrooklynNomad.com
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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Thank you, Maggie. Yes, I know there are tons of sites. It is so difficult to know where to begin.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 04:58 AM
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Renting an apt. in NYC is a daunting task. Craigslist, IMO, is really only for people who know the city well or are located here and can go look at places themselves. There are many scams there. Poster NeoPatrick stayed in this apt. for a month and it would be ideal, but it's already booked. http://www.vrbo.com/65258

It's in a building called Worldwide Plaza and Executive Plaza across the street is another condo building that may have rentals. Oakwood.com is an agent that rents by the month and they may have some options for you. I'd proceed with great caution on a private rental.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 05:01 AM
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The real difficulty in doing this is that most of these short-term sublets are illegal in NYC. Only some condo owners can legally rent out their apartments for less than a year at a time. Depending on the circumstances, some co-op and rental tenants can make short-term sublets with their board's or landlords's permission, but the vast majority of Craigslist postings are illegal. And a few are outright scams. There's no way to know one way or another, and it's simply not a chance I would take with that kind of money.

The best option for you would be to rent a short-term corporate apartment. However, I think the cost of these has been about $3000 to $4000 in the past since most are not studios. But it's worth looking into. There's a Mariott corporate apartment building on 3rd Avenue at 38th Street, and there are many others.

You might also be able to rent a "studio" hotel room for that kind of money. Affinia hotels has many suite hotels that are set up like apartments, but not all the studios have a real kitchen (most have just a microwave and small refrigerator). Still, with hotel occupancy the way it's going now, you might very well be able to get a monthly deal for $3000 or so. And some other hotels might also be able to give you a deal on a monthly rental, but it would probably be just a regular hotel room.

There are a few legitimate one-bedroom condo rentals out there. Neopatrick has rented an apartment at Worldwide Plaza in the theater district for a month, and he had a very good experience. You might search for his thread about being in NYC for a month last year. Unfortunately, that apartment tends to book up far in advance, but I think it's worth a look.

Several people in these forums have experience in doing short-term rentals in Manhattan, so I think you'll get some useful posts and information, so please keep checking this thread.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 05:05 AM
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www.VRBO.com They list by neighborhood. Do you have any idea in which part of Manhattan you want to stay (assuming you want to stay in Manhattan)? How do you plan to spend the month? You could probably negotiate a price since you want to stay for a month.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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Definitely do NOT touch Craig's list for this. There are definitely scams out there. Some are individual and there are even some companies (WooGoo and whatever it's calling itself now routinely scam people with bait and switch - and deplorable conditions). Agree that if you want something reliable you need to do one of the corporate renters. But, rental prices generally are down, so you may find something in your price range.

VRBO is better than Craig's list in terms of reliability - but is still not guaranteed. If you go that route you need to ask a LOT of questions - and preferably get someone here to actually check out the apartment. If you look at VRBO you will see that many of the owners in NYC take credit cards - and I would definitely insists on that for your own security. However, a quick look doesn;t show much in your price range. I would identify a few you think might be options and then come back here for specific advice on locations, etc.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Would you consider an apartment in Brooklyn?
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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Yes, the one month studio rental I did last June in Worldwide Plaza was great -- but it is always booked way ahead (only available by the full month -- 1st to 1st).
I'd really recommend Oakwood Apartments for what you're suggesting.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Thank you all, McLaurie, Doug, Ny Traveler, Tucsonbabe, and Neo. I checked Oakwood Apts. These apts would work, but there are no prices on their website. I had to telephone for information. I can get a studio for $99/night which would be the high end of my budget for a month.

I have NO idea what is a good location and where we should locate ourselves. I haven't been to NY for years and then only briefly for a few days or so.

ekscrunchy - As far as Brooklyn goes, I am totally clueless about where we should locate ourselves.

My husband is not a NY aficionado by any standards and will go to be a good sport, but during this search stage , he is frequently suggesting other ideas for places for us to go.

I suppose what we/I want is to be in a safe area, where we can walk easily to local restaurants, take short bus or subway rides to the the major tourist sights. A neighborhood ambiance would be nice, rather than in a hotel district, not interested in high-end shopping or food, just want to spend some time in NYC doing the usual tourist things, like going to the Met, MOMA, visit Ellis Island, see the Empire State Bldg, walk in Central Park, see a show, etc. Any suggestions will be appreciated!!
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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Many of the Oakwood apartments I'm familiar with are between 8th and 9th Avenue, between 42nd and maybe 56th Streets. This is the area I personally like. It's very close to the heart of the theatre district, yet 9th Avenue is a true neighborhood (sometimes called Hell's Kitchen, sometimes called Clinton) teeming with regular neighborhood type restaurants and services -- at very moderate prices. If five or six laundramats in a three block stretch doesn't prove that this is NOT simply for tourists, then I don't know what would.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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The price per night does not always reflect what the month would be. Many will give you a discount for a longer stay. I've stayed in an apartment and a studio in NYC and really like them both. They are in the same building, same owner. She Owns at least 4 of the apartments - possibly all 6. You cannot get them for a month at $2k or $3k, but probably 3 weeks. If interested, http://www.vrbo.com/145694
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Thank you, NeoPatrick and Austin. I, now have some information to begin a search. And thank you for the narrowing down of neighborhoods for me. Now that I know it is doable, it is just a matter of making the decision of whether or not to go. It would be easier if my husband were more enthusiastic. . . I like it better when we both agree on travel destinations and are equally pleased.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 03:04 AM
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I asked about Brooklyn because a friend of mine may be interested in renting her apartment in Brooklyn Heights. You can think about that neighborhood and ask around and if you are interested, I will pursue further. It is about 2 blocks from the subway.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 05:48 AM
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Most all of the Oakwood buildings are relatively new and the co. is reputable. Furniture is new and modern. The biggest shortcoming is the studio apts. I've seen are furnished like a hotel room so you have a comfortable bed, a desk, maybe one chair, but not necessarily a comfortable place for 2 people to sit and watch tv (other than in bed).

I would also say assume anything is negotiable. If they're quoting $99/night- for a month stay, I'd offer $2500 for a studio and see what they say. Summer is not generally a popular time to come to NYC. What month are you thinking about?

I'll add if your husband is not that keen and you really want to do this, what about considering the 3 week option (unless there's some reason you'd have to vacate your home for a full month)? 3 weeks sounds less of a commitment than a month.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 07:02 AM
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I forgot about Corporate Housing by Owner. Here's a listing for a one bedroom on 49th between 8th and 9th (right across the street from where I rented at Worldwide Plaza) for $2900 a month.
http://www.corporatehousingbyowner.com/4457

There are also quite a few rentals -- studios and one bedrooms in Executive Plaza which is adjacent to the Michelangelo Hotel (same building actually) on 51st at 7th. It's a bid major "midtown", but they are in your price range. I'm drawing a blank on the name of the rental company within the building that handles them. Some are also listed on VRBO, etc. Empire Properties, maybe?

Regarding three weeks as opposed to a month, I've learned that normally a month is no more expensive and often even cheaper than three weeks! The apartment above for example would be $2997 for three weeks, but $2900 for a month!
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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This is a revelation. I've never heard of chbo. Some of these places rent by the night? Is there a catch? The place you posted about Neo is $150/night or $1000/wk for a 1 bedroom???? That's amazing!
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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Looking at this further, apart from the name, it seems somewhat equivalent to vrbo or any other website where "owners" pay a fee to list their rentals. I assume there could be the same risk with scams and illegal rentals. It doesn't look like chbo does anything to vet properties.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Yes, I think you're right. In all honesty that place I posted about isn't all that fantastic. I'm familiar with that row of buildings, simple walk-ups without elevators and not very glamorous, and certainly no doormen or other amenities. This appears to be a fairly nice "fix-up" in a small and very simple apartment with few amenities. But for the price it sounds very good. I'm curious about that one being an "illegal" sublet, as I can't imagine those buildings are condos or co-ops.
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Old Mar 20th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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I called Oakwood Apts today for some follow-up questions. For anyone that is following this conversation, they may like to know that the first price I was quoted is NOT correct. It is $213 for a studio and $234 for a one bedroom. The price I was quoted was for the spring, even though I specifically gave them a July date! Also, there is a one month minimum stay, thus no discount or even the possibility of cutting costs by staying 3 wks. So thirty days is over $6000 and Oakwood is way out of my price range. I called Corporatehousing Housing, too. I was not able to get very far with them. After all, the warnings on here about scams, I must admit It makes me a little nervous. I have only once rented an apt (in Buenos Aires last yr and it was fine!), but I find all this very complicated. Maybe, I am just tired from work and tomorrow, Sat. it will seem easier. Thanks, everyone again.
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