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Top 5 Ways to Find an Apartment in New York City

added by Jonathan D on January 8, 2013
Top 5 Ways to Find an Apartment in New York City

Anyone who has ever lived in New York City will agree on one thing – finding the perfect apartment to live in is much more difficult here than nearly anywhere else in the world. With over double the population of any other US city, the New York rental market has a limited supply of apartments and a seemingly unlimited (and ever increasing) number of residents looking to snatch them up. If you want to have an advantage over many of the other New York apartment hunters, pay close attention to these top 5 ways to find an apartment in NYC:


Visit Rental Brokers

1. Visit Rental Brokers

The simplest way to find the ideal apartment is to go through an apartment broker. These agents work with property owners to fill their vacant apartments. They always have a constant supply of vacancies and there are countless brokers in the city so you have easy access to hundreds or even thousands of different options. The downside here? Rental Brokers generally charge 8.5% (in the outer boroughs) to 17% (in Manhattan) of the total lease amount in fees. A 12-month lease at $2,500 per month would cost you an additional $4,500 up front in broker fees at a rate of 15%. While many people find this a fair price for taking most of the stress out of renting, make sure you’re aware of their commission rates up front.


 

Have Your Company Help

2. Have Your Company Help

Depending on your employer, they may be able to help you out with the apartment search. Many large companies, especially here in New York, have housing departments whose purpose is to help employees find somewhere to live. This is an ideal way to have professionals help you without the fees that brokers can charge.


 

Make Your Friends Look for You

3. Make Your Friends Look for You

If you’ve been living in NYC for a while, make sure you reach out to everyone you know. Talk with your friends not only in the neighborhood you want to live, but everywhere else in the city as well. If everybody knows that you’re on the hunt, they can easily pass on any information they hear from friends and neighbors about potential availabilities.


 

Online Rental Ads

4. Online Rental Ads

Traditionally, New Yorkers would look in the paper every day to check out what’s available in the classifieds. Thanks to newspapers moving towards a more digital format and websites such as Craigslist, hunting through online classifieds will help get you in contact with landlords. If you are strictly looking for no-fee rentals, pay attention as many brokers post availabilities on here as well.


Get Some Exercise and Walk the Neighborhoods

5. Get Some Exercise and Walk the Neighborhoods

Even in today’s digital age, many people approach renting an apartment by getting out and walking through the neighborhood they want to live in. Not only is this a great way to find available apartments but it is also the ideal way to truly get to know an area. Look for “For Rent” signs on the blocks you would enjoy living on and speak with doormen as they often know of apartments that are available.

Thanks to the fierce competition in the New York City housing market, apartment hunting is never 100% trouble free. The city has countless unique qualities and finding a home is one of them. Whether you take the easy approach of using a broker or face the hunt head on yourself, persistence is the key. There are thousands of apartments available – you just need to track down the right one.

Anyone who has ever lived in New York City will agree on one thing – finding the perfect apartment to live in is much more difficult here than nearly anywhere else in the world. With over double the population of any other US city, the New York rental market has a limited supply of apartments and a seemingly unlimited (and ever increasing) number of residents looking to snatch them up. If you want to have an advantage over many of the other New York apartment hunters, pay close attention to these top 5 ways to find an apartment in NYC:


Visit Rental Brokers

1. Visit Rental Brokers

The simplest way to find the ideal apartment is to go through an apartment broker. These agents work with property owners to fill their vacant apartments. They always have a constant supply of vacancies and there are countless brokers in the city so you have easy access to hundreds or even thousands of different options. The downside here? Rental Brokers generally charge 8.5% (in the outer boroughs) to 17% (in Manhattan) of the total lease amount in fees. A 12-month lease at $2,500 per month would cost you an additional $4,500 up front in broker fees at a rate of 15%. While many people find this a fair price for taking most of the stress out of renting, make sure you’re aware of their commission rates up front.


 

Have Your Company Help

2. Have Your Company Help

Depending on your employer, they may be able to help you out with the apartment search. Many large companies, especially here in New York, have housing departments whose purpose is to help employees find somewhere to live. This is an ideal way to have professionals help you without the fees that brokers can charge.


 

Make Your Friends Look for You

3. Make Your Friends Look for You

If you’ve been living in NYC for a while, make sure you reach out to everyone you know. Talk with your friends not only in the neighborhood you want to live, but everywhere else in the city as well. If everybody knows that you’re on the hunt, they can easily pass on any information they hear from friends and neighbors about potential availabilities.


 

Online Rental Ads

4. Online Rental Ads

Traditionally, New Yorkers would look in the paper every day to check out what’s available in the classifieds. Thanks to newspapers moving towards a more digital format and websites such as Craigslist, hunting through online classifieds will help get you in contact with landlords. If you are strictly looking for no-fee rentals, pay attention as many brokers post availabilities on here as well.


Get Some Exercise and Walk the Neighborhoods

5. Get Some Exercise and Walk the Neighborhoods

Even in today’s digital age, many people approach renting an apartment by getting out and walking through the neighborhood they want to live in. Not only is this a great way to find available apartments but it is also the ideal way to truly get to know an area. Look for “For Rent” signs on the blocks you would enjoy living on and speak with doormen as they often know of apartments that are available.

Thanks to the fierce competition in the New York City housing market, apartment hunting is never 100% trouble free. The city has countless unique qualities and finding a home is one of them. Whether you take the easy approach of using a broker or face the hunt head on yourself, persistence is the key. There are thousands of apartments available – you just need to track down the right one.

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