Spring is the busiest season for apartment seekers in New York City and can prove frustrating when it comes to location, price and amenities. The following tips can help find the perfect place.
Spring or Winter
While spring offers the most selection of apartments, winter is a better bet for price. The rent differential can be as much 10 percent between a place available in June and one that comes into the rental market in November.
Use One Broker
Seekers should not waste time making multiple appointments among different brokers. Since all brokers have access to the same properties, it is more efficient to pick one and be treated well.
Pets Mean Fewer Options
Only one-fifth of the New York City rental market is friendly to pets, and most of that group will restrict a dog to be under 20 pounds. Pet owners should bear this in mind before beginning their search.
If a particular unit fails to meet all criteria, there may another in the building or nearby that will meet all of a seeker’s needs in some way. The person searching should always ask the broker what else is available.
Go Off The Beaten Path
If being right next to a certain bus or subway stop is not a high priority, it may pay off to search beyond those areas. Many renters are finding great deals this way.
Consider a Co-op
Paying the rent to a motivated owner in a nicely maintained building can be an attractive option. The seeker should be prepared to submit an application package to the board along with a non-refunable fee. A decision can take as long as six weeks.
Look for Deals
New buildings can sometimes be a source of great deals, such as getting the first month rent-free. These situations sometimes result in rent increases later, so they should entered into with caution.
Once the perfect apartment is found, the following tips can help an applicant stand out.
An organized applicant can sometimes be more impressive than a chaotic one with better qualifications. The applicant should be armed with bank statements, the previous two years of tax returns and a letter verifying employment.
Be Ready to Decide Instantly
During the busy spring season, applicants do not have time to spare. An instant decision to take an apartment may be required.
Be a Cut Above
The minimum will not get it done. Applicants should make sure their employer takes the landlord’s call. Showing as much banked money as possible will make a more favorable impression.
Be Willing to Negotiate
Negotiating with a landlord can be tricky business. It can be more strategic to ask for two weeks free rent at the end of the lease term rather than an overall rent deduction.
Filling out application forms neatly and completely will help them stay near the top of the pile.
Applicants who have been in a court case with a landlord may face automatic rejection, so it is best to not have a record. If there is a history, applying to a co-op may be a better option.
About the Author
After being a real estate agent in NYC for 3 years, Leslie Mayat enjoys blogging about home improvement and real estate. She usually blogs about everything from the newest home design trends to new manhattan apartments for rent.