Finding an apartment in New York City–let alone one that checks all the boxes on your must-have list, and falls within your budget–can be a challenge. The city is known for its sky-high rental prices, which means that anything deemed “affordable” instantly gets a ton of interest from anyone considering a potential move to or within New York.
So how do you get a leg up on the competition? One way is by knowing where, and how, to find an apartment. Your best bet is to used a multi-channel approach that consists of at least two or more of the below.
1. Find a broker. “Broker” can be a bad word for a lot of people, but in a market like New York, sometimes seeking professional help can be the best way to navigate the competition. In exchange for their commission, brokers can offer advice on everything from the best time of the month and year to move, to how quickly to put a deposit down on something you like, and even provide suggestions on alternate neighborhoods to consider that you might not have thought about. If nothing else, brokers can save you a ton of time by taking down your preferences and budget, and contacting you whenever a match becomes available.
2. Scour the Internet. Even if you have a broker, it never hurts to keep an eye out for new properties popping up online. Craigslist might be old standby when it comes to looking for an apartment in New York, but don’t ignore newer, real-estate specific sites like apartments.com, Zillow, or Hot Pads, or local New York sites like citi-habitats.com or streeteasy.com
3. Go straight to the source. Have a building in mind that you really love? If it’s a larger complex, it can pay to contact the building directly. The leasing agent there can not only give you the rundown on anything that’s currently available, but will also be able to tell you if there are any tenants with leases that are expiring soon, and thus give you a clue as to what might be poised to come on the market in the coming weeks.
It may take some patience and diligence, but with time, you’ll find the place that’s right for you.
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