Home Sweet Brooklyn
July 29, 2009 7:39 PM   Subscribe

When is the best month to move in New York??

Seriously! We all know moving in June is the worst because of all the kids leaving college and moving here. People aren't leaving their apartments in January and February, so that's not good either. So, when is the optimal time for a person to get the best deal on a rental in New York?
posted by Unred to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The person who can definitively say this can own the city.

Personally, I have had luck moving in August. I have done so twice. Both times there was good inventory, and I had multiple good options within my price range.

(Also, I have found for myself and others that when moving to the city it can be good to get a month to month place immediately and then spend the first few months looking for the right place to lease for a year.)
posted by ocherdraco at 7:56 PM on July 29, 2009

I'm not gonna say it's the best month, but I think *most* people move in August. My parents have always moved in August (Brooklyn), and a lot of my friends have moved in August (NYC, NJ). Maybe that makes August or September the best month because apartments empty out? So maybe looking in July is the best. But this is just a couple of data points.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 8:38 PM on July 29, 2009

I've always moved in July had had great success.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 PM on July 29, 2009

a lot of people move in August because school starts in September.
posted by any major dude at 9:16 PM on July 29, 2009

I've moved the last three Julys in a row within Brooklyn. Every time, I've asked the nine zillion brokers I've had to deal with this question. There is absolutely no pattern to their answers. One will say "oh, August, lot of turnover, lots on the market, apartments are available." The next will say, "oh, January, no one moves in January, so the landlords who are stuck take rent cuts." Finally, the one after that will say, "June, definitely June. Landlords try to time their apartments for showing up then, so since there's the most supply, prices go down."

My current belief is that no time is better than any other, and I've enough conflicting anecdotes in the bag to raise the bar on changing my mind. I need to see some like Miller-Samuel action or something, not "x because y" explanations. Its like astrology.
posted by jeb at 11:08 PM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Actually, I think the answer to this question is NOW. Because there are better deals and more inventory than in recent memory. So if you are thinking of moving this year, I would say sooner might be better. That said, I moved to the city in late April, and then two of my moves have been in February. I'm getting ready to move again next month. I think Jeb has it... there is no real rhyme or reason.
posted by kimdog at 6:25 AM on July 30, 2009

I have moved in January, June (twice, once at the beginning and once at the end), May, and February. I have looked at apartments in every month of the year for either myself or friends.

I found June to be the best time to see the most apartments. Some of them were still occupied but most of them were empty. February was the best for actual moving in terms of weather, mover availability and general hassle-free-ness.

I agree that the real best time to move is NOW, though. I moved just a month ago and it was astonishing how many great deals there were and how fast they were going.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2009

I've heard that moving in May is best because landlords tend to raise rents during the summer move-in rush. I don't know this to be actually true.
posted by Pineapplicious at 7:24 AM on July 30, 2009

If this tells you anything at all, here's an anecdote:

I posted an ad on Craigslist in June, stating that I had a room available with a July 1 movein date. I got precisely four responses, and three of those people also saw other apartments and selected them instead.

Then the fourth guy from June flaked out on me and didn't move in; I re-listed that same ad on Craigslist, stating an August 1st movein date.

I got TWELVE responses within the first two days, the first respondent showed up with cash in hand and I moved her in. I'm still getting one or two responses to date.

August seems to be a time when people are trying to move, possibly because students who stayed for the summer are moving out, summer interns are also leaving, people are trying to come IN to start school in the fall, etc. But while that could mean a lot of turnover, that could also mean a lot of competition.

Which all probably makes things clear as mud. But there it is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on July 30, 2009

Avoid snowy months (Jan through March.) Moving anything in knee-deep snow, when snow drifts take up all on street parking, and anything left in the street will inevitably be sprayed with nasty brown slush, and slipping and falling while carrying anything heavy = worst moving experience ever.
posted by np312 at 10:50 AM on July 30, 2009

Whoops, realized this is about rentals and money only. (However I still think the possible money savings is not worth the pain of moving in the winter.)

Still, I'd vote for any month that isn't the end/beginning of a semester. I know that my landlord always complained that it's impossible to find tenants around the holidays, so maybe Thanksgiving/xmas might yield some good deals.
posted by np312 at 10:52 AM on July 30, 2009

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