Finding an Apartment in NYC: CheckList

Finding an apartment in New York can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Sifting through hundreds of possibilities, dealing with scammers, and cutting through red tape (not to mention the big price tag attached to moving in) can lead to one of the most stressful, intimidating, and unpredictable processes of your life.
 To make sure that you get the best deals in the New York’s real estate market, and finding an apartment, you must be smart, vigilant, and realistic, while also being a bit of a risk taker. Here is a simple guide on how to finding an apartment in New York City without engaging a broker.

Finding An Apartment In NYC:

This is particularly important for those people who are moving to New York City for the very first time. Or, if you are switching boroughs. It can be difficult to get a feel for your potential new neighborhood if you’ve never been there, or only visited the area briefly.

Soho scene in New York
Soho scene in New York

Exploring potential areas, narrowing your search, then spending time in the neighborhood is a great way to know if you’ll enjoy living there. Nothing compares to actual day-to-day living, but the more time you spend learning a neighborhood, the more informed you’ll be. Don’t get locked into a long-term lease in an area that is rife with hidden frustrations.

Choose Concrete Dates

Figuring out when you want to move into your new place is crucial. Giving yourself a deadline, even if you don’t have one, is a good way to help you speed up the editing process, tossing the apartments that don’t fit your needs or excite you, and concentrating on those that are perfect for you.

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Guard Your Budget

This is often left out of the renting process, especially with first-timers. Sit down and figure out your financial situation. In NYC, most landlords will require that you show income levels at 45x the monthly rent.

Example: $2,000 per month apartment = minimum $90,000 annual income

What is your spendable income after taxes?

How much can you afford to pay comfortably?

Do you have savings if something goes wrong?

Can you sacrifice a few square feet of space and save a few hundred dollars a month (thousands per year)?

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Remember that even if you have a lot of available cash, you can still be drawn into over spending. NYC is a true no-limit city, and can bankrupt even the richest among us.

Figure out your realistic budget, then stick to it. Rather than approaching the task with the mindset of overspending is ok, think of it as an exercise in saving yourself money while finding the best possible place.

Learn from Car Buyers

Car dealers crank up the savings at the end of the month because they want to move inventory, and pump up their month-end numbers. They are eager to get cars off their lot so they can bring in new inventory, and take that money to the bank.

Apartments are no different. Leases typically run from the 1st of the month. If an apartment stays empty till the end of the month, Landlords might get a little desperate to fill in the vacancy. Waiting until the 23rd of the month is a good way to stack the odds in your favor.

For more information, get in contact with us at CribRater and additionally this is a great video from Ashley Brooke, including tips for finding an apartment in NYC: