A beginner’s guide to renting in NYC

A beginner’s guide to renting in NYC

A red-brick building with a green fire escape is one of so many options when renting in NYC
Renting in NYC takes months of research and legwork

Having decided to put roots down in the city that never sleeps you will come to realize that renting in NYC can be an overwhelming experience. While trying to find an apartment that meets your need you may stumble upon a series of difficulties. Regardless of whether you’ve been renting an apartment elsewhere or not, finding an apartment in NYC is a whole new experience. In comparison with any other US location, a competitive nature of the NYC real estate market requires a totally different approach.

An apartment hunting in NYC usually requires a lot of legwork and a comprehensive advance research. At the earliest stage of the process you should familiarize yourself with the online resources where you can get all pertinent information. Details about affordable housing options, convenient neighborhoods, tips for finding professional real estate agents, brokers, moving companies are just a couple of clicks away.

Keep the following suggestions in mind so as to avoid a total surprise when you start your quest for a NYC apartment. Moving to NYC is an important affair with a lot of life-changing effects. It’s mostly up to you to make the most of your big transition to the Big Apple. As a first-time renter you may find the process overly confusing and overwhelming. Negotiating with landlords, property managers, brokers, dealing with the paperwork, multitasking are just some of the activities you will need to perform when renting in NYC.

Renting your first apartment in NYC

An overcrowded NYC street with a lot of yellow cabs and tall buildings
When renting in NYC you should be prepared for a busy lifestyle

-A timely preparation is of the utmost importance. Therefore, start your research well in advance and get all necessary information ahead of time. Allow yourself enough time to research neighborhoods of interest, cost of living in NYC, affordable housing options so as to make an informed decision. After weeks (if not months) of research you will realize that each NYC neighborhood is a unique area with its particularities that you may or may not like.

– As far as timing is concerned, try to postpone the apartment hunting process until after the chaotic summertime. Due to the increased demand and skyrocketing prices, summer months are famous for being the worst period for renting in NYC. Looking for a new place during the off-peak months allows you to save money as well as negotiate with the landlords. You are more likely to get a special deal or discount if you choose to move during the off-season. The same goes for hiring a moving company. Due to the lower demand NYC movers may be willing to negotiate, adjust their quotes or offer some special services for free.

-Do not overthink it! NYC apartments are in great demand, therefore you should be able to make quick decisions once you spot the apartment you like. Chances are that the place won’t be available just after a few hours. So, be ready to decide the moment you see a place that you like.  You application should contain personal details, employment and income information, pay stubs, bank statements, tax return, letter of employment.

Cost of renting in NYC

For starters, set up your budget for this affair and decide how much you can spend on your NYC apartment. It should come as no surprise that the cost of living in NYC is a bit different from other cities.

Prior to the move you should ensure your monthly income and savings are enough to cover rent, personal necessities, transportation costs. Also, for the amount of money you’ve been paying your previous spacious apartment in some other location, you are likely to get a tiny apartment in NYC. Just ask yourself how far your salary can go in the borough/neighborhood you want to move to.

As it turns out, you qualify for renting in NYC if your annual income is 40 times the monthly rent. Knowing how much you can spend per month on rental will determine the borough/neighborhood to focus to. If moving to Manhattan is beyond the bounds of possibility, consider other options as well. Explore real estate options in other more affordable boroughs and neighborhoods.

A pile of american dollars and coins on the isolated surface
Decide if your monthly income and savings will cover rental and day-to-day costs when renting in NYC

Furthermore, in order to get a place that you like you can consider sharing it with a roommate. In a few words, you can either give up on your dream apartment or try to find a solution to a problem. Finding a roommate means sharing the rent and utility costs in an apartment that suits your needs in terms of the position, size, convenience, transportation. While it might not be the ideal solution, especially if you are moving in with someone you don’t even know, it can be a good starting point.

Keep your eyes and mind open when renting in NYC

Having in mind all spacious NYC lofts that you saw in movies and TV shows you may end up disappointed. A ‘charming’ apartment may easily turn out to be rather tiny and in bad condition. Therefore, it’s extremely important to adjust your expectations when renting in NYC.

Set a price range, know exactly what you can afford and act accordingly. Instead of moving to a busy and expensive neighborhood, inspect other up-and-coming and not so famous neighborhoods. You will have to make a lot of compromises if moving on budget, so set your priorities in advance. Are you willing to sacrifice size for location or vice versa?

Also, beware of brokers and real estate agents with shady intentions. Rather that hiring one, try to get a personal recommendation from a friend, co-worker or relative.

Watch out for misleading ads inaccurate descriptions. It’s no secret that landlords sometimes make false statements about the property in the ads. Unfortunately, some of them turn to some sneaky practices to attract potential tenants. So, always visit the place in person in order to make sure the description of the property is accurate.

In addition to that, make sure you have a significant amount of money on hand. Landlords usually require first and last month’s rent as well as one month security deposit. A lease should contain the terms of your agreement, so make sure to review it a couple of times. In this case a dependable real estate agent can advise and guide you through the process. After all, extra precautions never hurt!

Planning a move?

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