Renting an apt in NYC; need advice

Old Mar 20th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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I was looking through Fodor's 2009 Guide to NY this evening and they recommend www.manhatttangetaways.com Anyone have experience with them? The low end apts are $3400 for a month.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 03:19 AM
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annetti, just make sure to ask a lot of questions. Many of the apartments being rented are in small buildings with no elevator. Since it's summer, you need good a/c. I would be more inclined to find a place in a highrise building with elevator that would also have more modern a/c. I also think it wouldn't be a bad idea to see about ekscrunchy's friend's place in Brooklyn Heights, a lovely area. But most important, before going through all this trouble (and it will become a job) is getting dh to agree.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 06:06 PM
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mclaurie: You are a celebrity; you are quoted in Fodor's.

Thanks for the additional points to check in an apt. A/C is definitely a must. I think my husband will be okay with NYC. He's pretty much amenable, though he does ask some troublesome questions, like how much is this going to cost?! Meanwhile, we are going the home exchange route, too and maybe something will come up (probably not in NY; it's way too popular a destination, but perhaps somewhere else almost as interesting.) I will start telephoning some of my NYC leads Monday. Thanks again.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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For Fodorites' info. I tried telephoning Fodor's 2009 guidebk recommendation, manhattangetaways.com on Mon. It's now, Thursday, around 8:30pm NY time. I left 3 messages and called numerous times, without leaving a message. No one in 4 days has returned my call. Not a good sign. So, I'm still up in the air about renting an apartment.

Neo -- if you don't mind my asking, was your studio apartment rental above my $3000 upper limit for a month? Thanks.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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No. It was just under -- $2850 I think.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Thank you, NeoPatrick. You had a great deal. Whether or not I can find a similar deal is questionable. I don't know if I have the patience to keep searching for a vacation rental. I am either finding a lot of apartments I can't afford (in corporate places that are so-called reputable) or other apartments where where I worry about the owners' reliability. Renting a hotel room is so much easier, but so unaccommodating and cramped for space if you plan on an extended stay.
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Old Mar 27th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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There are suite hotels where you could get something the size of an apartment but I'm afraid they'd be too expensive as they would still rent by the night or possibly by the week rather than the month. I would contact
affinia.com
and see if they would give you a deal on something for a month in the summer. They do have some weekly rates.

The other idea is some "b & b's" here are really like apartments and might give you a discounted rate for a month's rental. Some places to look at are

west-eleventh.com
wymanhouse.com
countryinnthecity.com
innnewyorkcity.com
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Old Mar 27th, 2009, 03:54 AM
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You might also contact beaconhotel.com (another suite hotel) on the upper west side that's recently renovated.
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Old Mar 27th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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Ah, and I forgot this site.

www.newyorkcitycorporatehousing.com

You can choose an area, length of time, price range, and find lots of apartments without a fee.

I entered a range of $2500 to $2995 for one month and got a ton of them.
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Old Mar 28th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Thank you Mclaurie. I have had time now to review your websites. The B&B apts look lovely, but are out of my price range for a month. Some of them are over $6000 and one is over $4000. Neopatrick: The website provides some reasonable prices that I can afford. Thank you. The penalties are steep if you cancel. I have to think about this. Thanks very much both of you for your help. At least I know it is possible now!
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Old Mar 28th, 2009, 06:28 PM
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"The penalties are steep if you cancel."

Yes, that's nearly always true with renting an apartment. In fact many I've rented even in other countries have no return at all with a full prepayment -- or sometimes a refund only if they re-rent it (how do you really know?). I tend not to rent an apartment unless I'm 99.9% sure -- just like buying a non-refundable plane ticket.
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Old Mar 28th, 2009, 06:35 PM
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By the way, you also have to consider taxes on rentals. With most serviced apartments or hotel apartments they add full tax to that -- what is it now, something like 17%? On $4000 that is another $680. Usually on regular apartments there is no tax. When I rent one by the night -- I look at $200 a night being the same price as a hotel room at about $170.
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Old Mar 28th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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Hi Annetti,

I live in the upper west side of manhattan so perhaps I can offer you a bit of advice. First, I would highly recommend the neighborhood to you - Close to central park (beautiful and a must see in the summer time). My daughter and I are there every day in good weather. VERY neighborhoody - lots of families, lots of dogs, lots of restaurants. It really doesn't feel like you're in the city at all. Not many tourists putter around the UWS. Easy and plentiful bus and subway access. I would recommend staying south of 96th St (maybe even south of 90th St). That's just my personal preference. I know others who are perfectly comfortable in the northern part of UWS. The area around Columbia U is nice, you just have to be more careful the farther north you go.

As for resources for finding a place: I would first recommend Streeteasy.com. Streeteasy is a NYC real estate website that compiles inventory from all the major NYC real estate companies. Just do a search in your price range and enter "short term" or "summer" in the "description" portion of the search engine. There are condo and coop owners who will sublet their apartments for the summer months. Many do so through a real estate agency so I would NOT worry about them being "sketchy".

I will also add that my mother used Craigslist to secure a bedroom in someone's home last summer when we had our baby. We are in a 1-bedroom apartment and did not have enough room for her to stay with us. She stayed with a very nice couple who own a 3 bedroom and were looking to make extra money during the summer months. It worked out so well that she stays with them now when she comes to visit. So, Craigslist can be a success. I personally wouldn't rule it out. However, search with caution. My husband and I were able to view the space and meet the people before my mother secured it.

Best of luck to you.
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Old Mar 28th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Annetti - it took me all of 30 seconds to find a place like this,
http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/rental...-side-new-york

Literally blocks from where we live. Very desirable area of manhattan (if I do say so myself .

I would also add that brownstones/walkups can be very nice and very charming. We live in one. Wehave one wall unit AC (nothing too moder and it cools the place just fine...

The NYC real estate market is hurting these days, so if you do decide to go with a listing like this (through a broker), try very hard to negotiate that the owner pay the broker fee (if there is one). Almost no one in manhattan is paying broker fees these days.
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Old Mar 29th, 2009, 05:10 AM
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nycmum, that's an interesting site, but am I missing something? I was looking at dozens and dozens of midtown listings and nothing is said on any of them about minimum rental -- particularly 1 month furnished. I suppose a call to them would tell me that, but is there something you check to get those only and not the hundreds for longer lease rentals?

Incidentally, maybe the one you listed is available for just one month. I had the impression it was a three month rental however. Maybe not. It only says, "available for the months of June, July, and August" but nothing says if they'll split that up.
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Old Mar 29th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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Hi Neopatrick,

Right, most of them are regular long-term rentals (1 year or more) but some (few) are short term rentals. Kind of like finding a needle in a haystack, but they're out there. You can edit your search using keywords.

As for the rental link I posted, I'm sure the owners would prefer someone for the entire 3 month period. Will they get that? Who knows? It's certainly worth a phone call to see if they would be willing to lease for 1 month. There's a very good chance it won't lease at all. I've seen summer rentals sit all summer, so...
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Old Mar 29th, 2009, 05:48 AM
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plus, if you're interested in the first month (june), they would be more likely to lease for just one month...

annetti - i know you're interested in july. i would still call and ask...
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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nycmum: Thanks for the ideas. June is out for us. I have to work then. Your neighborhood sounds wonderful.

Renting an apt in NYC is no easy task; it's a full-time job. I find it very fatiguing. I don't know if I have the stamina for all this searching. I have spent several hrs searching the various websites and writing e-mails and I am no closer to a decision than when I asked my question last wk. As Neopatrick pointed out: "I tend not to rent an apartment unless I'm 99.9% sure -- just like buying a non-refundable plane ticket." It becomes a very expensive proposition if we need to cancel for some reason. We have done this non-refundable bit a few times before, in Buenos Aires for an apt and in Fiji for a resort. It makes me very uncomfortable to put out that much money. I imagine there is insurance for this type of thing, although I have never investigated it.

Renting a room in someone's home might work, but unlike your Mom we have no NY connections to check out the apt for us and then I wonder if we really want the lack of privacy that staying in someone's home can mean. However, I want to say thank you again.

People on this board have been most encouraging and helpful and I continue to receive e-mails from some of the places I contacted. Meanwhile, we continue to consider NYC and other vacation options for the summer.
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 07:58 AM
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As a resident of NYC I've been following this thread with great interest. What a hassle it is to visit! I had friends in town from Maine last weekend and they were staying at the Off Soho Suites downtown (http://www.offsoho.com).The rooms are tidy, but very simple -- large bathroom, livingroom with fold out couch and workable kitchen (although they didn't seem to supply a lot of glasses or pots and pans). Upon checking their website I noticed they have a link to an extended stay property in the east village. Neighborhood may or may not be up your alley, but worth checking out.
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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Finding a place to stay/live in NYC is never easy - unless you have unlimited funds. thwn I bought y first apartment it took alost 10 months to find - and that was treating it as a second job - at least 10/12 hours a week.

If you want a really great deal - it's work.
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