Resources, research help apartment Hunt go Smoothly

November 27,2014 | By Aaron


Finding a new apartment in New York City can be overwhelming. Between the staggering array of areas and housing types, high rents and intense competition, moving to a new place can seem like taking on a part-time job. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can make the process go much more smoothly.

Brace yourself

If you’re moving into the city for the first time, you’ve likely heard that rents are high. But prepare to be stunned at just how high they are and how little space you get for your money. Huff Post reports that more than a quarter of renters pay more than half their income for housing costs, with the average rent in excess of $3,000 monthly.

Do your homework

You should start planning for your move well in advance to familiarize yourself with pricing, neighborhoods and amenities. But there’s really no point in searching in earnest more than about a month ahead of when you need to move. Many vacancies aren’t common knowledge until 30 or so days out.

Use the time to study online listings, review market information and visit neighborhoods, if possible. The city provides tips on apartment hunting, listings and other resources.

Check your sources

Once you’re down to your search crunch time, a variety of sources can be helpful. If you know people who live in the city, word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a place. Get the word out that you’re looking, and follow up on any leads. Simply walking around a neighborhood you like is also an effective method for seeing what’s available.

Real estate brokers are commonly used, and they often have helpful websites with listings of available places. Apartment guide books and classified ads are also among tried-and-true methods for finding availability.

Take care of business

Once you’ve found a prospective place to rent, your work has really just begun. Now it’s time to start asking questions. What are the lease terms? Are there roommates? If so, what happens if someone can’t pay? The city’s Affordable Housing Resource Center publishes a helpful new apartment checklist, along with a number of resources.

Once you’ve moved into your great new place in the city, you can forget the stress of your search. Until then, do your homework and ask questions to keep the process on track.