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Finding a rental apartment in The City That Never Sleeps doesn’t have to be a headache, as long as you are prepared for the hunt. With all the borough and price options out there, doing a little research ahead of time can save you a lot of legwork in the long run. When it comes to searching for the perfect Big Apple apartment, here are 5 things you should consider.
1. Get Your Bearings Straight
The first step in finding the perfect rental is deciding which part of New York City you want to live in. Before your start borough hopping, you need to get your bearings straight so you know how each location relates to the next in terms of distance and access to the things you want in and around your neighborhood.
Image via Flickr by Mitch Altman
Whether you choose the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, the progressive culture of Brooklyn, the diversity of The Bronx and Queens, or the suburban feel of Staten Island, exploring the boroughs by foot is a great way to get to know them. Just make sure you’re equipped with a map or GPS.
2. Figure Out Your Budget Ahead of Time and Stick to It
If you’re already on the apartment hunt, but you haven’t figured out your budget yet, then you are wasting your time. With rental prices in New York City running the gamut from insanely expensive to surprisingly affordable, having a well thought-out budget in mind is half the battle.
With that said, it’s important to stick to your budget once you do come up with one. Again, there is a range of rental prices in New York City, so don’t feel pressured to rent an apartment that’s not in line with your budget. Although there is significant competition when searching for a rental, more and more rentals pop up every day.
3. Let a Rental Agent Help
Going apartment hunting in New York City without the help of a rental agent is like going on a cross-country journey without a compass. Whether you are a rental veteran or a first-time renter, rental agents have access to thousands of resources in the city. Rental agents can help you through every step of the process and they charge reasonable fees for their services. Average brokerage fees range from 15 percent of the first year’s rent to the cost of 1 month’s rent, and there are usually no-fee rentals as well, depending on the area. Keep in mind that no-fee rentals will probably come at a higher cost than rentals with fees.
4. Have One or Two or Three Backups
As mentioned before, the rental market in the 5 boroughs is a competitive one, so it’s important to be proactive with your search. Don’t put all your rental eggs in one basket because you might lose to another renter. Instead, submit as many applications as possible, so you always have an apartment or two to fall back on.
5. Read the Lease Thoroughly
Once the hunt is over and you’re ready to sign a lease, make sure you thoroughly read the lease agreement so there is no confusion on the move-in or move-out day. From the lease terms and dates to the renter’s responsibilities, knowing your lease is all part of the renting experience.
By keeping in mind the rental pointers above, your move-in day will be a hassle-free one