Advice from a real estate agent.
Looking for a place during the summer months? Has your lease expired, your roommate decided to go to an exhibition to the Antarctic leaving you to pay double the rent or find an alternative?
The summer months is the ideal time to look for a new place but also the most hectic. There are plenty of options, apartment choices are flooding and they get rented just as fast as you can bat your eyes. Did I scare you a little? No need to worry. As an experienced agent I made a list of DOs and DON’Ts on helping you find your next ideal place!
- Start searching proactively as early as a month or even two months in advance. Apartments usually become available a month in advance, however you may want to give yourself a bit of extra time to “shop around” and decide what you really want.
- Collect ALL your documents in advance. I cannot stress this enough! ID’s, Tax documents, bank statements and paystubs. You’ll need everything you can get your hands on!
- An average apartment in the summer is gone within days after being on the market. If you are late, you lose out. That is the simple NYC Real Estate truth.
- Do calculate what you can afford! On average a landlord will expect for you to make 40x the rent. (ie. if the apartment is $2500 x 40=100k is what you need to make in provable income.) If you are below this, your guarantor must make 80X the rent. Yes this is double. They must be able to cover their own expenses as well as potentially yours (hopefully it won’t come to that!).
- Use any and all search engines to enhance your apartment search: Streeteasy, Nakedapartments, Zillow, Zumper. The more options you have the better.
- As you make these appointments to view potential options, do budget a few hours to spare. A good broker will show you the apartment of your choice as well as 2-3 other options.
- DO not and I repeat do not give money to any salesperson or real estate agent without getting a receipt for it! Trust is good but you must always use good judgement when it comes to money.
- Do Not assume that when asked about your income, if you lie or make up a number it will be to your advantage. A good Real Estate Agent wants you to get approved, (that is how he gets paid), and knows what the landlord will and will not accept.
- Disclose all information: how many cats/dog you have, is your bf going to sneak in conveniently every day for a sleepover, will your whole extended family come for a “visit” for 6 months…You get the picture.
- Be honest about your credit! It is the second most essential thing after income. If your Real Estate agent knows the situation he can help you better.
- And finally, you got approved! Congratulations! I know you are excited, but please, please read over the terms of your Lease!
Above: “Friends” and their realistic NYC apartment.
Good luck in your apartment hunt!