Peak Season Rental Tips and Tricks

Published on Aug 13, 2012

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If you've been out there looking for a NYC rental apartment, you know it's tough right now: record-high rents, low vacancy rates, and so, for obvious reasons, few landlord concessions. And I'm not just talking Manhattan! Certain areas of Brooklyn (Williamsburg, DUMBO, Park Slope) and even Queens (Long Island City) can now be as pricey or even more expensive than many blue-chip Manhattan neighborhoods, like the West Village and the Upper West Side.

But guess what? It's about to get even WORSE! That's right, we're in the midst of peak NYC-rental-apartment-seeking season this month, so you need to really be on your game. And here are some things that can help...

First you should know what you're up against. As The New York Times reminded me recently--in an article about ridiculously-priced but envy-inducing Manhattan rental apartments that go for $25,000 (at MiMA) to $60,000 (at New York by Gehry) to $100,000 (an undisclosed location in Carnegie Hill) a MONTH--in New York City, approximately 75% of all residents rent rather than own their homes. That's good news in one respect: the demand is so massive, developers continue to build new NYC rental apartment buildings, and seemingly always will.

Right now the focus is on amenity-laden luxury NYC rental apartments, but there are plenty of other, more "middle-class" new buildings out there as well. And according to a Crain's report this summer, competition for NYC no-fee rental apartments--the only kind of apartment we list on Urban Edge, by the way--is getting tougher as well, with 40% of NYC rental apartment seekers saying they would flat "never" pay a broker's fee, no matter what.

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As always, the best way to land the NYC rental apartment of your dreams is to be smart in your searching, and totally prepared to sign a lease the same day you see a place. That not only means having all of your paperwork with you and complete when you see an NYC rental apartment, but also being emotionally ready to make a decision on the spot.

If you can do this, you'll have an advantage over a lot of other hunters... in fact, per the same Crain's article, a quarter of "younger people" (ages 18 - 34) said that the need to make a speedy decision was the biggest challenge they faced when hunting for a NYC rental apartment. There is, of course, no end to the good advice you can get in this rental-crazy town, and our friends at Brick Underground just posted a nice round-up of all their recent NYC rental "tips and tricks" articles, which you can find on their website... we recommend you check it out.

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