Finding the perfect rental in NYC is like finding a needle in a haystack- next to impossible. With that being said, there are some tips and tricks you should follow in order to make finding your rental as easy and stress-free as possible. It can be a tricky process with many bumps in the road along the way, but once you’ve found an apartment, you have one of the most amazing cities in the world at your fingertips! So if you’re on track to moving to the city that never sleeps, check out these 10 tips to find a rental in NYC. Good luck!
1. Establish a budget.
Based on your income, establish a rental budget and know what you can and can’t afford. Keep in mind your weekly expenses (groceries, essential items, etc), your monthly bills (cell phone, internet, etc) and any electric, heating and gas fees that might be tacked on to your rent.
As a general guideline for figuring out your budget, many landlords require that the tenant earns 40 times the monthly rent annually. So if you’re looking to move into a NYC apartment that costs $2000 a month, you would need to prove an annual salary of $80,000. If you don’t meet the times 40 rule, your co-signer or guarantor will probably be required to make at least 80 times the monthly rent annually to secure the apartment. This rent calculator is a pretty nifty tool to figure out exactly what NYC neighborhoods you can afford to live in.
2. Research and consider the boroughs/neighborhoods.
If you’re not familiar with NYC, it’s very important to research the neighborhoods and know what you’re working with. There are 5 boroughs in NYC; The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens,and Staten Island. These boroughs are further broken down into over 250 neighborhoods, so it’s a good idea to establish a general area you’d prefer to live in based on your safety standards, your commute, and what amenities are within walking distance from your apartment. If you decide to live in Manhattan but can’t pick a neighborhood, take this neighborhood quiz – from how you spend your weekend to your ideal living situation, it will reveal your dream neighborhood!
3. Begin your search in advance.
Once you’ve established a budget and a preferred area to live, begin your search approximately 30-40 days before you plan to move. This is when landlords will have a best idea of their upcoming inventory based on your move-in date.
4. Use the best resources for assistance.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Apartment hunting on your own can be quite overwhelming, confusing and even tricky if you don’t know exactly how things work. One of the best resources you can use is Triplemint. Triplement will help recent grads find their perfect apartment and makes renting in NYC smarter, simpler and more cost efficient. And because they are bonused on client satisfaction, Triplemint’s agents will always work in the best interest of their clients. Goodbyeee sketchy brokers!
5. Know your must-haves and deal breakers.
Do you need to be near public transportation? Do you need a parking spot? Is there a grocery store nearby? Do you have a pet? Do you need an elevator? Can you do without on-site laundry or without air conditioning? Have these questions answered ahead of time, but keep in mind that you may need to make minor adjustments in order to find the best option.
6. Plan out a week for touring.
Many people try to cram all of their viewings into one weekend, which can work for some. But if you have the extra time to spend touring, use it. One way to make your touring easy and concise is by renting through Triplemint. The best part about Triplement is that you will be guaranteed viewings on the date of your choosing. *Sigh of relief.*
7. Have your paperwork ready.
You probably know by know that everything in NYC is fast-paced. And by everything, we mean everything. That’s why it’s super important to have all of the paperwork you need ahead of time in order to snag that apartment that you want. If you don’t have the necessary paperwork, someone might swoop in right after you and steal it away. Things to have on hand include:
- A copy of your photo I.D.
- An official employment letter signed by both parties
- (At least) two of your latest pay stubs
- Your most recent bank statement
- Your most recent W2 form
- A certified check for one month’s rent
- An additional one month’s rent worth of money for security deposit. Security deposits differ for every landlord, but it’s best to have the full month’s worth on hand just to be safe.
- Additional funds to pay the broker’s fee, which saves you money in the long run as no-fee apartments tend to have higher rents.
8. Keep an open mind.
Remember that there are hundreds of other people looking at apartments at the same time as you, within the same price range and areas, so being too picky might lead to losing out on your best option. You might realize you really enjoy a certain neighborhood more than you expected or you might come to the conclusion you can do without the dishwasher. Just remember to keep an open mind and think with a level head.
9. Read and fully understand the terms of your lease.
No one want’s to get the wool pulled over their eyes, so make sure you read and go over the *entire* lease so you know exactly what your signing up for. Know what changes you can and cannot make to your apartment so you don’t end up losing out on any of your security deposit at the end of the lease.
10. You found it, now move in!
Finally, the best part! Now that you’ve gone through all these steps, your hard work has finally paid off and you’re ready to move in. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the life you’ve made for yourself in New York City! And if you’re looking for discounts on services like moving, grocery delivery, furniture, and more check out Triplemint’s Concierge services.
Do you have any more tips on how to find a rental in NYC? Let us know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Featured Image Source: weheartit.com
Graduate of Emerson College '15 with B.S. in Multimedia Journalism. Originally from Haverhill, MA. Lover of dogs (and some cats), shoes, hot sauce and depleting my bank account.