While looking for the right apartment you need to be fully dedicated to the task and detail-oriented. Before even involving a broker or some other specialist that will assist you and lead your during your quest, try to establish some ground rules and strategy according to your needs and requirements.
Create a list of questions for your broker or potential landlord and go through it any time you are seeing a new apartment. No matter how convinced you are that you have memorized them all, sometimes you may fail to notice some of the important facts.
Being in a rush and under a lot of pressure and stress you might forget to look into some important aspects, so use the following guidelines so as to be fully prepared for an exhausting apartment hunting in Big Apple. Arm yourself with a lot of patience, because finding an apartment in NYC is anything but simple.
Tips for successful apartment hunting in NYC
– Don’t rely exclusively on what the broker says. Use your common sense and do your own small investigation about the property, neighborhood or landlord. If you know the exact address, you can locate in on the map and even see the surroundings on the online application. Research the neighborhood, the whole area’s reputation, its ranking on various websites. Also, check the crime rate of the neighborhood and your landlord’s reputation. Bad landlords are usually mentioned somewhere online, because people tend to share negative experiences with others in similar situation. Since moving industry is very developed in New York, there are a lot of blogs about moving in NYC where you can find all sorts of move-related information.
– Be familiar with the relevant terminology. Decide whether you need a studio, co-op apartment, rental apartment, sublet or a house.
– Determine how much time approximately you will spend on commute on a daily basis. If your children’s school or your office is situated in Manhattan, would you like to pay more for an apartment and live nearby? Or would it be ok with you to rent a cheaper apartment in Brooklyn and spend more time on everyday commute?
– Establish your budget and beware of ”to good to be true” offers. Don’t reveal immediately how much you can pay for the apartment, since the price might be negotiable. The price you see is usually not the price you will pay for the apartment.
– Establish move-in date. Leases usually start on the first day of the month, but your future landlord might be willing to negotiate about the date, if you need more time to prepare for the moving and to move in later.
– Find out more information about heating system. Check whether cooling and heating systems are working properly. Certainly you don’t want to spend the whole winter in a cold apartment.
– Are there additional services like internet, cable or tv? If not, have your new landlord sign up for them. Don’t wait until you move in to do that. Your landlord should take care of it in advance, so that you don’t have to spend a few days without internet.
– In case you have some doubts or questions that weren’t answered properly by the broker or your potential landlord, talk to the neighbors. They will reveal both positive and negative aspects of the building, neighborhood, general lifestyle in the area.
– Is your apartment infested?
If you don’t bring up this topic, maybe your broker or landlord won’t mention it at all and you may get unpleasantly surprised at some point when you realize that your place is being invaded by the terrifying insects.
– Is your new location convenient for your daily routine?
Are your office, favorite bar, public transportation station, restaurant or your children’s school nearby?