Fast and Efficient Ways To Finding An Apartment In New York City

Searching for an apartment in the biggest City in the country is a daunting task; whether you are new to NYC or a 12 year veteran like me, you will need thick skin to navigate this concrete jungle! Let me start with my personal experience.

I am originally from Portland, OR, I moved to the Big Apple back in 1998. My first 5 months living in New York were spent living out of a hotel because I had a hard time finding a place. My original intentions were to stay at my hotel for 2 weeks, but I had to extend my stay since I grossly underestimated the difficulty of finding a decent apartment in New York. Now after 12 years and 7 moves I consider myself an expert in New York City apartment hunting and now I will share the knowledge I have accumulated over the years of searching for apartments by myself or using a broker.

This article is a guide that will help make the process of finding an apartment in this “crazy city” easier, more efficient and less confusing (it might even save you a couple of dollars in the process). It is all laid out in an easy to follow 6-step process.

Step 1: Figure Out What Neighborhood You Want To Live In!

This may seem like the easy part because you obviously want to be in an area that is convenient, trendy and safe, however you will soon figure out nothing is that easy in New York City. You need to determine what neighborhood fits your personality/life style and at the same time determine what kind of space/amenities you will need. For example you may work in the East Village and love the energy there but are you willing to pay the steep price tag for a “shoe box”(and by “shoe box” I mean a tiny apartment) in a run down building that is a 4th floor walk-up. Do you feel comfortable living in an area where it’s a constant party scene every night?

A book that is an amazing source of info for the ins & outs of every neighborhood is the NFT (Not For Tourist) guide of New York City. You can buy this in any Barns & Noble and make sure it is the most up to date version because there is a new version every year. Another great way of getting to know a neighborhood is by Googling it. With an endless source of information in cyber space why not take advantage of it. If you prefer doing it the old fashion way, taking a stroll through the neighborhood, go for it! But make sure you have your trusty NFT guide with you so you can spot the important things.

Step 2: Determine What You Are Willing To Sacrifice

In your apartment search you are going to have to sacrifice something whether it be size, location or amenities. You are going to have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally because the grim reality is the perfect apartment doesn’t exist (unless you have an unlimited budget) The general rule of thumb in New York is the further uptown you go the bigger and cheaper the apartments will be. The further downtown you go the smaller and more expensive it will be.

You need to determine what is most important to you within your unique budget and find that middle ground. My advice, is if you find an apartment that is 70-80% ideal, take it, because the pickier you are the harder the search will be! I learned this the hard way a longtime ago and you do not want to get stuck chasing around that “magical apartment”. Yes, it is possible you might get lucky and find that perfect apartment but so is hitting the jackpot in the lottery!

Step 3: Determine What You Can Afford And If Your Budget Is Realistic

Once you have an idea of which neighborhoods you prefer to live in, now you have to determine if your a budget is realistic. Determine what is the average price for an apartment for those neighborhoods. How? I recommend going to a website called apartmenthero.com. This website will provide current market averages for every size apartment rental in every neighborhood in the city. Results are usually pretty accurate but sometimes they can be a little off, about plus or minus $300. When you first enter the site you will be prompted to enter information to compare your current apartment to the current market rate. If you’re a “newbie” and do not have an apartment yet, go to the right column of the website, click on “average rents in Manhattan”. Another great way is to do your own research on nytimes.com. I find that nytimes.com rental listings are much more accurate and up to date, as opposed to Craigslist and other sites where there are tons of bait & switch scams.

Next, determine what you can afford, landlord’s make this part easy because to qualify for most apartments in the Big Apple, you need to have a good credit standing (650 or above), earn a yearly household income of 40-50 times your monthly rent and if you don’t, then you need a guarantor. He or she needs to earn 80-100 times the monthly rent. For example the average one bedroom apartment in East Village is about $2,300 -$2,600 per month; you will need annual household income of $92,000 to qualify and a guarantor, would need a yearly income of $184,000 minimum.

Step 4: Timing Is EVERYTHING

I have a good friend whose ex-wife worked as a real estate agent for eight years. When they were still together, I had the unique opportunity of getting some great tips on how to look for an apartment in New York. The most impacting tip she gave me was that timing is everything. New York is unlike any city in the country when it comes to this, in most cities you generally start your apartment search two or sometimes three months before your move out date. In New York the market moves so fast that most landlords want to sign leases immediately after your application is accepted. At the very most, you have a month to search, the best deals generally come out the first week of the month or the third week of the month. Approximately 70% of the listings in the first week of the month are for movers moving on the 15th, 30% are meant for movers moving at the beginning of the next month.

Make sure you secure an apartment at least 1 1/2 week prior to when you want keys! My advice is you only need 5 days (sometimes less) to find an apartment. The first 2 days should be getting to know what’s out there, the 3rd and 4th day should be narrowing down your search and 5th day should be getting your paperwork together & submitting your application. With every rule there are exceptions, if you find an amazing place that is 95% ideal on your 3rd or 2nd day do not hesitate, take it! What is great to you is more then likely great to most apartment hunters. The vacancy rate in Manhattan is usually around 1-2% so there will be always more people looking for apartments then there are availabilities.

Step 5: Determine What Strategy You Will Use To Find Your “New Home”

This decision can make or break you depending on your situation. There are two ways to go about finding an apartment in New York City, you can do it the easy/expensive way and hire a broker to find you a place or you can do it the hard/affordable way by doing it yourself. I personally have done it both ways and it all depends on what you are looking for and what is your situation. Here are the benefits of both methods:

Benefits of doing it yourself

1) You will save MONEY!!!

-Broker fees are expensive; they range from 1-month rent to 15% of the annual rent. If the broker has an exclusive on the listing, you will likely have to pay 15%

2) You avoid shady money hungry brokers

-Lets face it in every industry there are bad apples and the real estate industry is no exception.

3) You will learn the City

-With all the walking you will be doing you will get to know the city better then you ever have before.

4) You’ll be in better shape when your done

-You will be in better cardiovascular shape because you will be walking a ton! So you better have on some comfortable sneakers.

Benefits of using a Broker

1) Faster and more efficient

-Your apartment search will be less time consuming and more efficient because brokers have access to thousands of listings you will never have access to and can show you a bunch in one shot.

2) Avoid outdated listings

-Websites like Craigslist, Renthop.com & Apartments.com are flawed and poorly regulated and most of their listings are barely updated. Brokers listings are updated daily because they have direct contact with the landlord

3) Brokers know what a landlord wants

-Each landlord in the city has their own preferences and application requirements. Brokers know what each landlord is looking for in a tenant; this can save you time, heartache and expensive application fees.

4) You will have access to more Apartments

-Approximately 41% of available listings in New York are only accessible through brokers. These types of listings are called “broker protected listings”, the land lord will only take applications represented by a broker.

Step 6: Here Are Some Great Tips

1) Talk to a Doorman

-If you do decide to try doing it yourself talking to doormen is a great way to find an apartment. Doormen not only have info to the building they are working in but to other buildings the landlord may own.

2) More is not always better

-If you do decide to use a broker, more than one broker at a time is not always better. Brokers have almost all the same listings because most listing are open. For example if you call ten brokers and give them your detailed description of what you are looking for there is a distinct possibility you will be shown the same apartments. At the same time you should not limit yourself and work with one broker, you might be missing out, because some brokers have exclusive listings. My advice is, you should only use three brokers and if you find one that you feel is competent and trustworthy, stick with him/her.

3) Use NakedApartments.com

-This website gives you the ability to not only look for rental listings while discreetly contacting brokers/landlords but you can give them a review if you had a bad or good experience. You can also look at the reviews of other brokers or landlords before you decide to contact them.

4) Don’t be afraid to negotiate a broker fee

-Most brokers would rather negotiate and get the deal done then risk having the next broker showing the apartment and rent it before him/her. Do not get carried away, no broker will take less then a month. Remember if the apartment is an exclusive listing you will have no leverage for negotiations.

Top Home Products That Homeowners Prefer for Better Living

There is no limit to the home improvement products that can add convenience to the lifestyles of homeowners. From a sofa set and a coffee table in the living room to the kitchen and bathroom appliances, there is no dearth of choices available. Investment in these products is usually need-based, while the desire to lead a luxurious life can’t be ignored.

Different homeowners have different tastes and preferences. Some of them may prefer steel sofa set over leather couches. They may choose a wrought iron wardrobe over a wooden design. You can expect more number of visitors to your home product store, if you offer the most important products and in huge varieties. Here are the top home products that should find space in your store.

Induction Cook-tops

Induction cooking is a highly preferred choice over tradition cooking methods these days. Induction cookers and cook tops have gained popularity for offering numerous benefits like better heat efficiency and clean cooking. These products cook the food faster and in much safer way. Most importantly, induction cooking is quite cheaper as compared to traditional cooking practices. Homeowners are fast getting attracted towards a variety of designs these products are available in.

Modern Sofa Sets

A sofa set is the heart of a living room. Their availability in a large number of designs, shapes, sizes and colors entertain the diverse expectations of the buyers. As far as the basic frame of these products is concerned, wood remains the most preferred choice. However, steel sofa set is another choice that is fast catching up with the homeowners. A number of additional features like armrests, backrests and upholstery fabrics are considered by the buyers while purchasing these furniture items.

Designer Wardrobes

With designer sofa set and luxury furniture in living room, the homeowners leave no stone unturned to make their bedroom products equally lavish. An important piece of furniture is the bedroom wardrobe that helps in storing and organizing clothes and footwear. Designer wardrobes with excellent finish and attractive patterns attract the buyers. Homeowners usually consider factors like durability, storage space and overall appeal of these products. Wood continues to be the top material choice for wardrobes.

Garden Coffee Table

The trend of spending relaxing evenings in the home gardens or backyards will never go extinct. This is the reason that coffee tables for outdoor areas are among the top purchased products. While factors like size, shape and available space matters, the most important consideration is the weather-resisting design of these products. Low maintenance cost is another factor that will help you attract more number of garden furniture buyers.

Shower Filters

Chlorine and other chemicals can be absorbed by the skin while taking shower. The homeowners pay special attention on buying shower filters. These products filter out the harmful chemicals from the water and make it clean for healthy bath.

The products described above should help you have an idea about what your customers might expect from you. Look for quality home products in different categories with top manufacturers and suppliers from around the world.

Starting The Perfect Home Based Business

As the economy continues to tank, unemployment rises, essential commodity prices increase as salaries remain stale, it’s no surprise people are looking to make more money anywhere possible. While we should generate a supplemental income while our lives are financially sound, most people make the mistake of waiting until their finances are in disrepair and the bills are way behind before considering options.

At the point of desperation people choose counter-productive measures as a solution to their financial woes. These include taking out high interest personal loans, working a second or third job, selling their valuables, or being forced downsize their lifestyle. Can you see a benefit in any of these options? Do they bring you closer or distance you from your family?

If working second jobs, taking out high interest personal loans, or giving up the things cherished the most in life, aren’t options, what options exist? While most conventionally thinking people resort to the above solutions, many others choose to become successful entrepreneurs by starting some type of part-time business from home. Unfortunately, many people lack the necessary motivation and could care less about success for themselves or their families and that’s o.k. This clears the playing field for others who keep our options open to income opportunities.

While starting a part-time home business has many benefits, you probably wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. The possibilities are endless and this, in itself, can be overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths and relax because I’m going to share with you a simple business model that was specifically designed for people like you and me to be able to simply and efficiently generate a positive cash flow. This business model is called network-marketing (person-to-person) and has been adopted by many reputable companies and is the primary method to promote their products or services, instead of investing in expensive media advertisements. While companies save money on advertising, they are able to pay their representatives high commissions, bonuses, and incredible streams of residual incomes.

Network Marketing Vs.Traditional Home Business

The Network Marketing (Multi-Level Marketing) industry is over 50 years old and has created more millionaires out of average people than any other industry. An increasing number of people are choosing network marketing instead of traditional home businesses for many reasons; monthly residual income, multi-level payment structures, company bonuses/incentives, no stocking products, no invoicing, no shipping, no taking payments, no handling returns, no building websites, or even providing customer service. The network marketing company handles all of the main responsibilities. Your responsibility is simply recommending the product/service to others and showing others how to do the same thing.

Scams, Schemes, and Pyramids

Sadly there are many scams and schemes that empty the pockets of innocent people just looking for a way to make money fast. You can truly judge the validity of a business or opportunity by being aware of RED FLAGS. One obvious and very prevalent red flag is when the opportunity boasts that you can get rich overnight. An example of this is when they advertise that you can make a ludicrous amount of money in a day or a week.

The other type of scam that many desperate people fell into many years ago was the pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, the only people who made money were the people at the top of the pyramid. People were literally passing their cash up the pyramid and the unfortunate people on the bottom lost their all their money. Pyramid Schemes are illegal and a common RED FLAG to look out for is if an opportunity has no product and requires a person to pay a lot of money to get involved.

Some people associate network marketing companies with pyramid schemes. While most network marketing companies are recognized by the BBB, they also offer every person the same opportunity for advancement. A representative can far surpass the success of the person who registered them. For example, I could sign someone up and they could have a much more successful business and make more money than me, which completely disproves pyramid scheme theories.

Monthly Residual Income

Why is residual income so incredibly important for you and your family? If I owned a traditional business, I would have to generate new sales and new profits every month to survive. In Network Marketing, I still have to make a sale, however I would continue to be paid every month for that ONE sale. Can you imagine making a sale once, getting paid, and then getting paid again and again from that one sale? Your monthly residual income will continue to climb every month as more business is generated.

Multi-Level Monthly Residual Income

Why is the multi-level marketing component crucial to the growth of the business? It’s unheard of to earn residual monthly income from every sale that you generate, however it is mind blowing to know you can earn money based on other people’s efforts after they join your business team.

When you register to become a home business owner with a network marketing company, you are provided with 2 general ways to create income.

  1. You are paid based on the sales that you generate
  2. (w/residual income from your sales)
  3. You have the Multi-Level option to show others how to start their own Home Based Business with company you are representing.(w/residual income from the sales you AND your representatives generate)

Starting a Traditional Business: Working Harder

Putting aside the overwhelming headaches of administration and production, let’s talk about just generating money from your own efforts. In a traditional home business, where you create your own product or service, you’ll need to go out and generate new sales every month. While business increases, so does your time spent on your business. You are now spending more time keeping up with the demand of your business than you do with your family. At that point you become a slave to your business while working 70 hours a week to keep up with production, administrative work, and client issues. Retiring is not even an option.

TRUE STORY

My friend, who owns a successful small business, said to me “It may look like I am successful, but I’m actually stuck. After all the bills are paid and it’s all said and done, I bring home less money than my wife makes in the corporate world and I work all the time. I can’t shut my phone off or miss an appointment because we are struggling to meet our bills. Our mortgage is too high, I can’t even think about retirement, and I don’t know what we would do if we lost one of our incomes.”

Starting a Network Marketing Business: Working Smarter

When you start a network marketing (part-time) home business, you simply become a representative of a product/service for a company. You don’t have to be concerned with anything but promoting the product/service. You are paid for every sale generated, plus you are paid a small residual commission every month as long as that customer continues to use the product/service.

While you are generating sales, you can also present the business opportunity to those customers who may also want to generate an extra income. When these people decide to sign on your team and become representatives, you can earn bonuses and residual pay based on their success. The income potential is limitless and while your business continues to expand you will continue to get a paycheck every month and eventually you can decide when to work or when to take a month off to go on vacation.

It’s really as simple as:

1. Using the product or service

2. Exposing others to the product/service

3. Showing them how to do the same thing

This industry continues to offer millions of people with many financial advantages including taking extra vacations, tax breaks, being able to afford private schools, paying for college, buying a new car, and even retiring early. The secret to success with any person starting a home business is just making a decision to do it. Don’t try it, do it. Many people fail because they are uncomfortable and unsure about how others will respond. If you don’t worry what other people think, if you make the effort, you are on your way to great success with your part-time home business.

Most people live paycheck to paycheck and can barely save enough money in their bank accounts to even pay for car or home repairs. Isn’t it true that whenever you’ve saved a nice little “nest egg” in the bank, expenses arises that put you back where you started last month? Wouldn’t it be nice to have money in your bank account, pay for miscellaneous repairs, take yourself and your family on a great vacation, AND still have money left over?

You can do it, and here’s how you can get started today in a profitable home business. Choose a network marketing company that; fits in your life, has a reputable product or service, a generous pay plan, and marketing tools that make it easy to duplicate your business! Most importantly don’t try to re-invent the wheel when it comes to promoting your new home business. Utilize the marketing materials offered by the company. Their online tools, offline tools, and methods are designed specifically to make building a home-based business very simple.

No More Selling?

50 years ago, people who embraced network marketing had no choice but to build their home business by physically meeting with people and selling the opportunity. This “warm market” sales approach is still very successful today, however not everyone is comfortable selling when they are first introduced to the business. What if there was a way to begin building a business without selling? The Internet has made this possible!

Reputable network marketing companies have embraced the power of the Internet by offering all their associates “customized” websites (usually for free) linked with a personal ID number. You would then use the website to sell for you. All you need to do is refer people to your website, let them watch the presentation, and FOLLOW UP with them. Always, always follow up with a prospect, especially when you refer them to your new website.

These websites are great tools, however that’s all they are. They are presentation tools for people who you know or meet. But how do you GENERATE customers or prospects for your home business? What if customers/prospects FOUND YOU? While placing ads on the Internet and in the newspaper are effective, they can be very expensive and will not reach larger markets. Another powerful alternative to marketing your business is on the Internet where you can reach tens of thousands of people searching for the exact product/service you are marketing.

Building A Long-Standing Residual Income

Being successful while establishing a large residual income, requires implementing a variety of marketing approaches. Don’t only depend on the Internet to bring you traffic. Be proactive! Talk to people, be excited about your part-time home business, share the products or service, and be consistent and persistent. If you don’t like selling, don’t! Don’t even talk about the details of your business. Let the website (the one the company designed for you) do the work for you!

If you are planning on developing an online presence, start getting involved and document your experience. You’ll generate tons of great content, including, but not limited to; case studies (how you started etc.), customer testimonials, objectives, personal experiences, training call recaps, webinar reviews, prospecting stories, company announcements etc. Journal and document every experience.

Start your business today! Don’t wait. Statistically speaking, people who wait, don’t succeed. If you have already decided on a part-time home business, pick up the phone or email a few people right now with your link to the free website the company gave you. If you just felt butterflies in your stomach, this is normal. It’s the fear of what people think about you that prevents you from taking this first step. However, it’s those who push beyond the nervousness who are the most successful. Are you going to let fear of what people think about you hold you back from attaining the financial goals of you and your family?

If you decide to start a home business, whether it is a multi-level marketing business or a conventional small home business, be active, be consistent, be persistent, and believe in yourself. Not only can it be financially rewarding, but you’ll go through many positive experiences which will help you develop professionally and personally.

Continuing Thoughts

Most people just let life slip away and wonder where the time went, thinking what they could have done differently? If you could change something now, what would you change? Would having more money help? If you have a desire to create new cash for you and your family, make a decision to do it.

Regardless of what you decide to do, I pray God richly blesses you and your family and you live your life with no regrets. Good Luck and God Bless!