Tips on How to Rent an Apartment in NYC

There are lots of reasons why many people choose to live in New York City. Aside from being one of the busiest and most fashionable cities in the whole of the USA, there are a lot of job and business opportunities here. Whatever reason you have in choosing NYC as your home, we can all agree on certain things that make it worth being here: the food, the environment and the culture. There is so much going on in the city that you could leave your apartment without any plans for the day and go home late at night totally spent.

NYC is such an exciting place to be and if you're thinking of moving here, allow me to give you some tips for finding the perfect apartment because now is the best time to move in the city. Why? The real-estate is definitely cheaper nowadays than before the pandemic. If you will ask around, the rental fees are way lower than what they used to be. It would be wise to get a longer lease term while the fees are low.

1. Know your budget. It's important that you know how much are you willing to go and once you've set up your maximum budget, stick to it.

Before you even start hunting for an apartment, sit down and make a list of your monthly expenses. Write down the things that you spend on each month like groceries, utility bills, internet, monthly subscriptions and other miscellaneous expenses. Make sure you don't leave anything out or you won't know how much exactly you can spare for your monthly rental fee. Once you have an idea of how much you spend for each month, take a look at your salary and set out a price range. Make a ceiling for the maximum amount you can spend on rent and not starve. When you have the figure, stick to it.

2. In case, you do not know, the rents are lower during the winter.

Recent data by Zumper shows that a low % of housing units are renter-occupied in the warm months. No one wants to move during the cold months, so December through March is the best time to look for an apartment in NYC. Like in some businesses, the winter is considered the off-peak season for real estate because it is during the summer months that most people like to move. Aside from the weather being warm, prices are expected to be outrageously high on warm months. But I don't think people care if the prices are high at this time because the apartment units usually go in minutes, that is why you have to act fast if you really want the place. And since there is less demand in the winter, you are most likely to get a better deal. If you are lucky, your landlord may even offer to pay for the broker's fee, just to get the spot filled quickly.
3. Make a list of your apartment requirements.

Okay, so now you have your budget and you've figured out when to move. It's time to make a list of your apartment must-haves. Do you want a studio type or you need an extra room? If you have a pet or you have plans of getting one in the future, add this to your list. Do you want your apartment close to the subway or bus station or you want it walking distance from your place of work? Having a checklist is important when you are apartment hunting because this will be your guide in knowing if you will be comfortable in the place of your choice. Don't make it too long though, and make it realistic. Otherwise, you'll have a difficult time looking for a place.

4. If you will be staying with another person, make sure to include him or her in apartment hunting.

Everyone has requirements for their living space and you will both need to agree with each one's budget and must-haves. Each of you should make a list and compare notes. Share opinions and agree on one thing, this will make looking for a comfortable living space for the both of you easier. Resentment and blaming each other is the least you want from each other after you have moved into an apartment that you both don't actually like.

5. Have your documents ready.

Most places in NYC go fast, especially if it is a prime property. Once you have agreed by the lessor on the price, I suggest you submit the required documents immediately. Most lessors require numerous documents and you can easily lose your dream flat or apartment if you don't come armed with the necessary required documentations. It would be best to have them ready even before you start hunting. The lessor may require you to have a guarantor because most of the landlords in NYC require your gross annual income to be at least 40 times your monthly rent.

6. Do your homework and research your Landlord and Broker.

Don't be fooled by bogus landlords or brokers. Make sure to Google them first before sharing any important information about you or you might run the risk of getting scammed. NYC may be a very attractive place to live, but there are many shady people in the city who can easily persuade you to believe them right away. Research if they have lawsuits or any violations whatsoever. This will also give you peace of mind if you have to live in the place for a long period of time.

7. Spend some time in the neighborhood.

It is a good idea to visit the neighborhood a few times and familiarize yourself with the area. Try to visit at different times of the day just to see what the area is really like. Is it a quiet environment or a busy area with all the noise. This will give you an idea if you will be comfortable living in such a place.

8. Review and read the lease contract carefully.

You can get very excited once you've seen a place that you really like, but you need to be careful and read the whole thing very carefully. Not doing so could end up missing a major problem. If there is something that you don't understand or confuses you, it would be best to ask a lawyer to look it over. If you can't afford the lawyer's fee, ask someone who you think understands this better. If you find something that you don't agree with, take it up with the lessor and try to agree on something before signing the contract.

Looking for an apartment in NYC could be a breeze if you are armed with this important information.


Hyun Jang Nim said…
I like your lists, these are really informative and helpful in finding apartment in New York. I'll take note of this in case I'll be needing this in the future.
Thank you for sharing the tips po kung paano maghanap ng apartment sa New York City. Big help po ito sa mga kababayan natin na gusto pumunta jan lalo na sobrang hirap na ng buhay natin dito sa pinas na mas lumala pa ng magkaroon ng pandemic.
Roxas Edgardo said…
Thanks you for sharing this Great Tips and Reminder Mom, Truly Leaving in a New York City is one the best Experience that you ever Had, But Defenitly We need to know what is the Important things to know before to stay there.. this Blog Was Really Big Help Mommy Liz, specially for those people who really NYC, like Me This Place is one of my Bucket List ...