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Most Important Do’s and Don’ts of Apartment Hunting in NYC

Bianca Bahamondes Bianca Bahamondes

Most Important Do’s and Don’ts of Apartment Hunting in NYC
Everything moves quickly in New York and finding a new apartment is no different.

Although finding the perfect place can take a while, once you find it you have to be ready to jump on the opportunity otherwise you risk losing the apartment to whoever walks in for the open house after you. You also have to be ready to move immediately. In other cities you can sign a new lease up to a year in advance. In New York, you’re usually signing only a few weeks before you plan on moving.

Apartment hunting in the city can be stressful but here are a few tips to help you get through the biggest challenges of finding a new home.
  • Don’t use a broker. They’re not necessary and can end up costing you more than you originally intend by way of brokers fees.

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  • Do use websites that give you a “no fee” option to find apartments that aren’t listed by brokers. A few sites include: Street Easy, Flip, and NYBits.com.

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  • Don’t be fooled by the online descriptions. Certain words are clear indicators of the apartment’s condition.

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  • Do know what words to look for, like “cozy” or “charming”. Both of these words can be used to describe a small apartment or one that’s a bit outdated.

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  • Don’t think you can sleep on your decision. You can’t. If the place is as perfect as you may think it is then it’ll be gone by morning. Okay, maybe not gone, but there will be other applications in before you—which makes it more unlikely that you’ll get it.

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  • Do: Be ready to go straight to the apartment’s leasing office to fill out all the application forms immediately if you’re serious about the move.

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  • Don’t rent in the summer. If you can help it, of course.

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  • Do rent between November and March if you want to pay less. It might be a hassle to move in the winter but it can save you a substantial amount of money each month.

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  • Don’t be quick to sign a lease once your application goes through.

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  • Do read through your lease with a fine-toothed comb and be sure you can agree to every line written in it. You never know what you’ll find hidden in that sneaky fine print. For instance, what rights your landlord has over your place and whether or not they’re allowed to enter your unit when you’re not home.

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Featured image source [Pixabay]