So you’re moving to New York City. The good news? Wherever you end up renting, you’ll be within walking distance and a subway ride away from world-class cuisine, great shopping, diverse cultural events, multiple professional sports teams, and beautiful historical sites. The city that never sleeps will offer incredible opportunities for you and your family.
The bad news? The rental scene can be a bit…well, scary.
Renting an apartment in the heart of America’s cultural and business center is not for the faint-hearted, but don’t worry: with the help of a good broker, a reputable moving company, and a little street sense, you’ll be able to find the right apartment for you and your family (and not have to pay more than an arm and a leg to do so). Want to learn more? Check out our tips below.
Use a Broker
A broker is a renter’s agent, and he or she can help you find the right apartment if you’re strapped for time or new to New York. Finding an affordable apartment with the right amenities and in the right location can be quite a task-one that often takes months. A broker helps you wade through the difficulties of apartment shopping so you find a location that suits you.
Brokers charge a fee that could be as low as one month’s rent to 15% of your annual rent. Brokers are an especially good idea if you plan on signing a lease that will keep you in your apartment for a year or more-that way, the broker fee gets spread over a longer period of time.
Many landlords use a “switch-and-bait” technique: they’ll post pictures of an incredible, inexpensive apartment, but when you call to schedule a walk-through, the apartment is no longer available-however, others are, and they’re certainly not the deal you were looking for. A trusted broker can help you avoid these kinds of scams while saving you a lot of time in phone calls and dead-end tours.
We recommend that you choose a reputable broker whom a friend or trusted acquaintance recommends. Rental scams are an unfortunate, all too-frequent reality in New York City, and you want a broker by your side who you can trust. Save yourself time and stress, and choose a broker you can depend on.
Tip: No-fee apartments exist (i.e., apartments that do not require you to pay a broker because you rent directly from the landlord), but you’ll have to find them yourself. Try your social media networks and walk around in your prospective neighborhood, chatting with neighbors. This approach takes more time, but it may save you a bit of money in the long run.
What You Should Expect
The reality of renting in New York is this: you can find a great apartment with everything you need, but it might not be where you expect.
For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Williamsburg (in Brooklyn) costs, on average, nearly $3,000 a month. A one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick is nearly a thousand dollars less a month-and just 25 blocks away.
Frankly, rental prices in New York City are high, and they don’t appear to be likely to drop anytime soon. The median rent amount that New Yorkers pay each month fluctuates between about $3,250 to almost $4,000. And because rent is so high, you can’t always be overly choosy about where you settle down.
Don’t set your heart on a particular neighborhood-shop around in neighboring areas, where you’re likely to find apartments that cost less and have more amenities (like elevators, doormen, and a washer and dryer). Subways and short blocks make it easy to live close to your desired neighborhood and drop in from time to time.
Use a Moving Company
When you move to New York, a dependable moving company is second only to a trusted broker and a bit of common sense.
Moving in NYC is tricky-you have to navigate parking meters and small parking spaces, poky staircases and small elevators (or no elevator at all), and even, in some neighborhoods, heavy foot traffic on the sidewalks. A moving company can help you move your belongings into your new apartment so you can focus on other things, like figuring out which subway train will take you to work on Monday morning.
In addition to the obvious advantages of using a professional company to move you into a big new city, the moving company can save you hours of stress and work. A moving company can pack your belongings, ship them safely, and unload and unpack everything you need.
Moving to a new city is exciting, but moving to New York City is more than just exciting-it’s a remarkable opportunity to learn, grow, and experience the best our nation has to offer. And you can find an apartment for you and your family that allows you to live the life you dream of. Contact your broker and moving company today to begin your new adventure in NYC.