Re(le)nting in NYC
July 21, 2013 3:40 AM Subscribe
This will take a bit of time as I will go into some details but bear with me please.I have seen the earlier threads but the kinda of questions I had are, sort of, very different.
I am in early 30's and have just moved to NYC. I am by myself now and expect my wife to join me after December. Currently, am in a hotel provided by my employer and can have this for a month more.
My office is in mid-town manhattan (near grand central) and one client whom I would be visiting often is in long island city. I plan to use subway extensively for my travel.
So, I have started my house hunting now. Q1: Is this the right time or am I too late and I should beg my employer to give me couple of more weeks?
posted by TheLittlePrince to Society & Culture (18 answers total)
Now I have been browsing through a lot of stuff on the net. Apart from previous AskMeFi questions, I have been looking on padmapper.com and streeteasy.com. I have also gone through the multiple property owner websites and I think I noted down the following which I found to be good.
- There is no one site which is good enough for apartment hunting.
- Preparing a standard template/letter for information to be included is essential.
- Have a limited public facebook (or other social networking site) profile. You can share the link easily with people who want to get some information about you. Also, it gives your enquiries more credibility. You can include the link in the standard email that you prepare.
- Craigslist has to be continuously refreshed and each browsing should be carefully evaluated before responding.
- Padmapper is good but it doesnt contain many listings from craigslists or other sites. Also, it doesnt give lots of information about sublets. Its accuracy is as good as the source sites which means not very good.
- Streeteasy is the most useful site for analysis. It focuses on data from property owning/management companies which leads to more accurate results. Property management companies are liable to show higher rents though.
- I found sublet.com or zillow.com etc to be mostly useless. There is a lot of fake information out there and many brokers tend to copy paste from a property management site or craigslist or streeteasy. These websites are also an easy way to get scammed.
- Would suggest going through streeteasy first to get an idea of usual apartment rates given by different property management companies before going for craigslist.
- Then evaluate Craigslist or padmapper postings in context of streeteasy postings for the same area/building. if the CL or PM rates are 10% to 30% lower, the postings should be followed up with. If there is a huge difference, dont go for it. Most likely its fake.
- Craigslist is the best source for getting cheaper options. Keep refreshing and send out emails to everything that looks reasonable. You will be getting around 30% -40% responses of which half might be worth going out to look for.
- Its very difficult to get the baseline prices for a 1 BR in a shared multiBR apartment. I would suggest to check the total rent for a 2-3 BR apartment in streeteasy and divide it by 2/3. For sublets, the prices should be in line/lower than above rates.
Above is what I have gleaned from my online analysis so far. Q2: What are your thoughts on above points? Let me know where I am wrong or where you have an additional nugget of insights
I have not started going out physically to see things. When I do I would have more questions and more thoughts.
Now to my other questions. I have a budget of around $1500 - $2000 but lower is always better. From my perspective, I have the following options:
1. Get a 1-room share in Manhattan in a mid range apartment around midtown: Option of changing apartment and location once wifey is here.
2. Get a furnished studio in Astoria/Long Island city/Weehawken/hoboken - Will probably be one year lease. Tough to get out. might be a bit cramped when wifey is here. But will not have to buy any furniture now and would have the place to myself.
3. Get a 1 Br in sunnyside, forest Hills etc - Will have to buy furniture now. Also, not able to break lease if wifey need to go to office in, say financial district or something. But will have a large, nice and peaceful home.
I am not much of a party person. I read a lot and am comfortable not being out every week. And definitely, I wont be looking to get anyone home. But I do love being the idea of in the hubub of the city and once wife is here and employed, would seriously want to get something good in manhattan.
Q3: What are you thoughts about feasibility of the above options? given that my offices would be in mid-town (42nd & madison) or long island city, any other area that I should consider? I am okay with a commute of upto 45 mins door to door and 30 mins on subway.
Q4: I have seen rates on UES to be low in quite a few buildings. Is there a temporary reason behind this, like some construction/bad roads?
Q5: For sublets, I know only craiglist. sublets.com seemed very sketchy (adding photos of generic apartment, old expired listings, copy paste descriptions, emphasis on getting a paid membership etc). Whats your recommendation for the best site to find sublets.
Q6: What else should I do or look for before starting to visit houses?
Q7: How to decide whether a deal is the best possible? For at least how much time should I look before finalizing anything?
Q8: I am thinking in terms of 3X the total rent for initial payments and renting expenses. Is that enough or should I be looking at higher numbers?
Q9: I read one askmefi advice that its not worth working through brokers at this price point. your thoughts on this?
Thats all for now folks. Thanks a lot for reading it to the end and now get crackin with your inputs.