We’re heading into some of the hottest months of the year for the NYC rental apartment market (figuratively and literally), as recent college graduates from all over planet try their hand at life in the best city in the world. As you can imagine, this annual influx, which runs from now through the fall, of fresh NYC apartment seekers brings with it tales of sticker shock, horror shows, and flat-out scams… most of which can be avoided by doing your homework, being prepared to sign the moment you find your dream apartment, and hunting smart, the no-fee UrbanEdge way. Several sites have recently run pieces for and about first-time NYC rental apartment seekers. Here’s a quick look….
The New York Times had an interesting article over the weekend about native New Yorkers returning to their hometown after college, and how their neighborhood savvy (knowing that Gowanus is not just a polluted canal, for example) and realistic expectations (no learning curve about price, size, amenities) give them a leg up over their peers. The article profiles three individuals, whose specific needs and desires might be different from yours, but the process is the same and there’s some good advice for everyone here, especially about being organized and knowing your neighborhoods.
Related to the last, New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer had a post last week about the ol’ bait-and-switch practice of “fudging the neighborhood”. Apparently this has become especially popular among brokers and Craigslisters renting apartments anywhere near Williamsburg. For example, a property recently listed by a broker as being in East Williamsburg was actually not even in Brooklyn at all, but rather in nearby Ridgewood, Queens. “It’s all in the same triangle,” said the broker who handled the listing. “I mean officially it’s in Ridgewood, but the location is the L train to Jefferson, people call that East Williamsburg.” This sort of rationalization has become pretty widespread, it seems. As Intelligencer’s John Surico somewhat exaggeratedly puts it: “anything listed in Williamsburg is in East Williamsburg. East Williamsburg is Bushwick. Bushwick is Bed-Stuy. Bed-Stuy is Broadway Triangle.”
Our friends at Brick Underground asked a landlord to please explain why even the most seemingly straightforward NYC rental apartment lease (“Dear landlord, I agree to pay you $1,500 a month for one year, signed, your new tenant”) can become a jargon-laden, tiny-print document of 30 pages or more. What do you really need to know about what this all says? Click here to find out. And finally, if you’re feeling discouraged about your NYC rental apartment hunt, please know that it could be worse. Much, much, MUCH worse. Witness, this Tumblr making the rounds, a compilation of the “Worst Rooms” being offered on Craigslist.