A NYC Renter’s Guide

New York.
Finding a new home can be stressful. For first time NYC renters and others, renting an apartment here can be taxing. NYC has a lot to offer. Almost everyone wants to live here. NYC is the most diverse, fun city of limitless opportunities.

Below, I provided some advice and helpful articles.

Hiring a realtor
Hiring a real estate agent will help you navigate the complex NYC rental market, help negotiate for you, find unlisted apartments, prescreen apartments to make sure it meets your needs, help with the application process and serve as an overall advisor. It is important for you to form a trust with your broker. After all, he or she is helping you find where you will live and sleep. Realtors are paid a commission fee once they find you an apartment.

My recommendation is you find a real estate agent you know or through a referral through friends, family and colleagues.
Here are more reasons you should use a real estate agent and why sometimes it makes more sense to rent:
http://www.stribling.com/pages/services-for-renters-why

Also, make sure your real estate person is looking at no fee apartments too. You will have to still pay your broker for his work but sometimes the owner will pay some or all of it. Just be aware, sometimes this happens because the building or apartments are less desirable. Other times, no fee apartments, are new developments that have their own leasing offices. Their goal is to fill their buildings fast.

For those who can’t afford a real estate agent, there are other ways of finding an apartment. You can use online resources, such as roomates.com, streeteasy.com and social media. Just be sure to seek advice when renting and study up on options.

Your next home
It is important to know what you want in an apartment and go in with a list of important needs. Of course, in NYC’s hot rental market, you will not always get everything you want. How important is light and a view? Many apartments may have little light or no view but have larger rooms.

It’s NYC. It’s noisy. You would be surprised how quiet some streets are off the main avenues. Always visit apartments at night and walk around the neighborhood. NYC is one of the most fun places to live so you will never be bored. Just make sure you can live with the bar across the street.

What are the amenities you want or need? In NYC,for many having a laundry in your building and a dishwasher are luxuries. It is important to make sure all added amenities are mentioned in your lease and if you have to pay an extra monthly charge.

Applying for an apartment
When looking for an apartment, you should be ready by having some money saved. NYC apartments sometimes are rented within a few hours or days. You will need money for the first (and sometimes last month’s rent), one month’s security deposit and commission fee if using a broker. Many apartments will also do a credit check and can charge you up to $100 or more.

Landlords will usually require you to prove your past & current income and employment. References from past landlords are common to ensure you were a good tenant and paid the rent on time. Most applications will ask for documentation: past pay stubs, letter from your employer stating your annual salary and tax returns.

You will usually need to make 40x the monthly rent individually or combined with other people who will live with you and be responsible for paying the rent.
If you want to apply for an apartment that costs $3000 a month you need to make $120,000 annually. If the landlord or building allows combined income, you and your roommate or other family member needs to make $120,000.

If you don’t meet the threshold, you can find a tri-state guarantor. Guarantor usually needs to be a family member or close relative. They will have to prove income 80-100x the monthly rent. Some landlords will allow the tenants to combine the incomes of guarantors but all are individually responsible for the entire rent.

There is also the possibility you can offer more rent upfront, if you can’t meet the income requirements or find a guarantor.

Some landlords now take insurance called insurent.
http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2010/11/no_guarantor_dont_panic_yet

Many times, renters who can’t afford to rent on their own find roommates through friends and social media or they can use the website roommate.com. Don’t worry it will be worth it and you will find a home. And maybe even some new friends.

Good luck!
I can be your NYC and real estate resource and help you find your new home.

http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2011/06/a_few_insider_tips_for_renting

http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2015/04/rental_market_reports_income_requirements

Photo Credit:Street Easy ad campaign http://streeteasy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/500-sq-ft1.jpg


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