Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

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desafinado
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Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by desafinado » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 pm

I'm starting my first job out of school in NYC as a software developer later this spring. I'm trying to figure out the best practices for renting someplace, especially the mechanics around finding an apartment and getting a lease.

I've never had a credit card or any loans, so I wouldn't expect to have any kind of credit history. Should I expect to be asked for extra months of rent up front (first + last + security deposit seems normal). What kind of proof of income/assets would I be expected to provide? Will most landlords ask for a parent as a guarantor? If so, would I need to bring my parents out in person to find an apartment with me?

2b2
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by 2b2 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Your questions are probably best answered by a rental real estate agent in NYC.
Search for:
Corcoran
Douglas Elliman
Citihabitats
...to get you started.

Welcome to New York!

2b2

livesoft
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:53 pm

Find roommates, preferably friends who already have a place rented.
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dcw213
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by dcw213 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:22 pm

I grew up in the NYC metro area. I have long since moved away but most of my friends and family live in or just outside of NYC. It is a great city with lots of perks but housing can be stressful and a challenge. I would suggest really thinking hard about your preferences around location. I personally feel that there can be great value to be realized living outside of Manhattan. It all depends on your preference for proximity to work or whatever else interests you, but don't discount the fact that you can find nice neighborhoods in other boroughs. Most people I know spent a few years in Manhattan and then left for another borough or NJ wondering why they didnt do that from the get go.

I highly recommend looking into Sunnyside/Sunnyside Gardens in Queens or Hoboken/Jersey City. I've never gone through the process but I get the sense there is more of an opportunity to find places to rent independently vs. going through a broker. If you feel living in Manhattan is something you want to do or would be a better life balance with commute by all means do it, just offering my $0.02.

Also I second the roommate suggestion. I lived with a roommate until I got married at 28 and it saved me a lot of money and enabled me to start saving and truly appreciate the value in saving/investing. Paycheck to paycheck is a bad way to start out if at all avoidable.

Good Listener
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by Good Listener » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:28 pm

With no salary history or pay stubs, you will need a cosigner. I, in fact, had to cosign for my daughter for a year even after she had earned 70k a year as a resident because the rent was 3000 per month and they wanted something like 5 x rent.

aristotelian
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by aristotelian » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:31 pm

Have a lot of money saved up. You have to go through agencies, and they charge their own fee on top of security and first months rent.

stan1
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:38 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:53 pm
Find roommates, preferably friends who already have a place rented.
Yep, rent a room from someone else to start. If you decide to stay for awhile learn all you can about rent stabilized apartments.

James123
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by James123 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:38 pm

You will need a co-signer. Anywhere from 1-3 months rent as security deposit. Your annual income or co-signers annual income needs to be 40 x the monthly rent. In addition your co-signer needs to have a good credit score. The landlord will likely run a credit check & a security check on both you and your co-signer. You don't need to bring your parents to NYC, your parents can co-sign & mail the documents. If you use a real-estate agent, they charge 15% of the annual rent. There are no-fee (no-broker) apartments available but the rent is likely to be higher as the landlord might be paying the broker.
Regards.
James
Last edited by James123 on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Warm regards, | James

bling
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by bling » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:40 pm

where do you currently live? because if it's not in NYC already you should start looking at listings now, not to look at availability, but to see how much things cost to prepare yourself. also, the pictures are deceptive -- yes the fridge and stove look proportional to each other in the pictures, until you get there and it's 3/4 the size of a regular size for both.

as for actually finding a place, you'll need a good broker. they typically charge 1 month rent as the fee. while you might be tempted to save this money and look for yourself -- don't. if something is listed already, that means its scraps that nobody else wanted. good brokers will know about places before they're even listed and get your application in ASAP. and without a credit history, be prepared for 4 months rent up front (first, last, deposit, broker fee).

like others have said, definitely look at the boroughs surrounding manhattan. the commute time is often comparable. e.g. if you live in upper east and you work down by wall st, it'll take you an hour to get the work, but only 20 minutes if you were in downtown brooklyn.

nyclon
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by nyclon » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:47 pm

desafinado wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 pm
I'm starting my first job out of school in NYC as a software developer later this spring. I'm trying to figure out the best practices for renting someplace, especially the mechanics around finding an apartment and getting a lease.

I've never had a credit card or any loans, so I wouldn't expect to have any kind of credit history. Should I expect to be asked for extra months of rent up front (first + last + security deposit seems normal). What kind of proof of income/assets would I be expected to provide? Will most landlords ask for a parent as a guarantor? If so, would I need to bring my parents out in person to find an apartment with me?
Avoid real estate brokers. Streeteasy.com has all the information you need in order to find an apartment.

Brokers typically charge 8-12% of the annual rent as their finders fee.

Management companies may advertise apartments as "no fee", but check if their no fee asking price is actually 10-15% above market. If so, you're basically paying a fee every year you live there, since it's baked in.

Your best bet is to scour streeteasy, which will show you data on past rental prices. Condos and coops are provide good values. Some management companies actually do offer good no fee rates.

Asking for a security deposit is customary. And first months rent. But not the last month.

For the most part you'll see many asking that you make 40x the monthly rent. And if you don't, your parents will act as guarantors. They don't need to be physically present, but it doesn't hurt.

In Manhattan, the lower East side nearer to the East River, murray hill, and the upper east side near York and Sutton offer good values in my experience. There are others too, and in other boroughs. Streeteasy is your friend.

Good luck and enjoy the city.

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ram
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by ram » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:07 pm

My daughter is renting in Boston and sharing a modest apartment in an old building with a room mate. Rent is about 36K/yr. It has an elevator. As a student she has zero income. I am the guarantor. I had to provide my SSN and sign some Email attachments. Did not have to move out of my chair.
Ram

livesoft
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:30 pm

Another idea: Marry grad student who lives in university housing.
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Big Dog
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by Big Dog » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:36 pm

contact HR at your new company. They might have a list of agents that newbies have used before. (My son started a job in October in Manhattan and coming from out of state, he thought the broker was worth the cost.)

At a minimum, you'll need a letter from HR: 'To whom it may concern, this letter confirms that we Desifnado has been offered a position as Software Developer at an annual salary of $xx.00, starting April yy.'

desafinado
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by desafinado » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:39 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:30 pm
Another idea: Marry grad student who lives in university housing.
That's what my dad said too :D

HoosierJim
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 am

There are plenty of apartments available - no waiting lists - plenty available so DO NOT PAY A BROKER.

investorpeter
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by investorpeter » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:08 am

Congratulations. Looking for an apartment in NYC as a college grad is a rite of passage. Here are some tips as a native New Yorker who has gone through the process more than once:

1) Do not pay a broker - the 15% fee is ridiculous and they often show you apartments you could get as no-fee - I would only pay a broker if I had a very limited amount of time to look for an apartment (like 1 day) and trusted the broker to not waste my time. Just walking into a real estate agency and asking for a rental will either end up with you wasting an entire day, or paying a 15% fee for a lease that you could have gotten on your own.
2) Check online listings for no-fee apartments on streeteasy, or go directly to management companies like Avalon communities (https://www.avaloncommunities.com/new-y ... apartments). Just walking around neighborhoods and looking for rental signs is also an effective strategy. Remember that landlords are also looking for you - the good tenant who pays rent on time.
3) You will need a paystub to demonstrate a certain income level, a letter from your employer with your salary MAY be sufficient; otherwise you will need a guarantor, typically a parent
4) Consider the outer boroughs, like Queens (Long Island City, Astoria, Jackson Heights) or Brooklyn (Downtown, Brookyln Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg) all of which are within a 30 minute subway ride to most areas of Manhattan (assuming the subway does not break down). The Brooklyn areas are closer to downtown and Queens is closer to midtown.
5) If you are on a tight budget, be prepared to be shocked (combo shower/kitchen, windows facing brick walls, 5 flight walk-ups, etc.), but do not lose hope. As a software developer, you should be getting a pretty good salary, so you will have more wiggle room. Look at places in a wide range of rent to get a sense of what is available.
6) Ultimately, your first apartment in NYC will be just where you sleep at night; you will probably spend most of your days at work, in cafes, walking around, etc. so don't think of it as a prison cell, even though it may look like one. :-) But don't take any place that looks unsafe or unclean. Look in the dark spaces.
7) If you have friends, roommate situations can be very beneficial financially and socially, but make sure your roommates are reliable. If one of them leaves before the end of the lease, everyone who signed the lease (including guarantors) will be liable.
8) Have fun! Living in NYC is the most amazing experience for a college grad.

framboise
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by framboise » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:08 am

If you’re not sure where in NYC you’d like to live, I recommend subletting a place just to get a feel for the neighborhood — and the subway lines — before you commit to a year-long lease. Listings Project is a great source — it’s a free weekly newsletter with rooms/apartments for sublet or rent. I’ve found amazing short-term, furnished studio sublets for $1,500 or less in the past. It’s geared toward creatives so most of the time you’ll find artists who need to sublet their apartment for a few months while they’re out of town for a project. You’ll likely still need to provide first month’s rent and a deposit — but most of the listings don’t ask for a guarantor.

runner540
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by runner540 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:31 am

I've heard the higher end of the rental market is soft, and landlords are giving lots of concessions to get units filled. Ask/negotiate for it. http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york ... igh-2018-1
https://therealdeal.com/2018/01/11/rent ... ncessions/

J295
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by J295 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:13 am

Assuming you need a guaranty, which a parent will provide ....

You should get renter's insurance. You may not be concerned about the loss of your "stuff" in the event of a fire, but way you accidentally leave on the coffee machine and the building burns down .... expect the landlord's insurance company to pursue you and the guarantor for the damages (you file bankruptcy, no big deal, you have no money ... but your parent probably has resources he/she wants to protect). Very likely that the lease makes you (and the guarantor) liable for negligent damage to the building (and you will be liable for your negligence under tort law anyway).

Your parent should consult with their insurance agent to be comfortable that either the renters amount is sufficient, or that the parent gets a rider (usually quite cheap) to cover his/her liability under the lease guaranty (of course is doesn't cover the loss if you don't pay rent, but would cover loss in the event of negligence).

Bottom line .... work with your insurance professionals (and no, I'm not an insurance agent, just a dad who provided a guaranty and wanted to make sure we were covered as a family in the event a liability event occurred)

ny_knicks
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by ny_knicks » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:12 am

desafinado wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 pm
I'm starting my first job out of school in NYC as a software developer later this spring. I'm trying to figure out the best practices for renting someplace, especially the mechanics around finding an apartment and getting a lease.

I've never had a credit card or any loans, so I wouldn't expect to have any kind of credit history. Should I expect to be asked for extra months of rent up front (first + last + security deposit seems normal). What kind of proof of income/assets would I be expected to provide? Will most landlords ask for a parent as a guarantor? If so, would I need to bring my parents out in person to find an apartment with me?
Need a salary that is equivalent to 40x monthly rent.

Given the limited credit history expect to need a guarantor. They'll need a very strong credit score and a salary equivalent to 80x monthly rent.

For the initial payment expect, first, last and security deposit. If you rent a "fee" apartment which is the vast majority of apartments in the city expect to pay around 15% of the years lease to the real estate agents for fees. Even if you don't use an agent the owner likely will (and you are responsible for paying for their agent) so the 15% almost always applies unless its a no fee building or you are working directly with the owner. There are "no fee" apartments but they are competitive to get and it seriously limits your options.

Proof of income will be your offer letter. You'll also need last years tax returns (even if you didn't make any $$$). Also need your most recent bank statements. If you use a guarantor expect them to need to provide pay stubs/tax returns/bank statements.

Rental market is most competitive in the late spring to summer. Expect to need to make a very quick decision and have a cashiers check ready to go for the first/last/security.

Check out streeteasy.com to get an idea of what you can get in your price range / how the quality varies by location. This is just a starting point but will give you a good sense of the market.

Decide if you think it is worth it to use a real estate broker. They'll know the city much better than you, can work around your tight parameters (as they know which landlords are less strict) and can make sure all your paper work/money is in line before looking at places. If you have time to burn (a week) in the city then you can probably try and go the "no fee" route and not use a broker. But if you're going to be in the city for a day and can't walk away empty handed it might make sense to use one.

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dm200
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by dm200 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:17 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:53 pm
Find roommates, preferably friends who already have a place rented.
Yes - and while doing this - work on establishing credit, learn the rental details, the "unique" nature of NY City and New Yorkers.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:45 pm

I've rented for quite a number of years in Manhattan and you are getting good advice.
Look to see where you will be working; check what subway and/or bus lines are nearby and how
far you are willing to commute. Is $500-$1000 a month difference worth a 70 minute bus and/or subway commute vs. a 15 minute walk? Are you OK with a walkup (had one for 4 years) vs. a doorman building or an elevator building without a doorman. Higher end and medium priced buildings now have gyms in the building and well designed lobbies/rooftops. Decide what you need and what you can pass on.

There is a TON of new construction that are competing for tenants, with more in 2018/2019 on the way. This is almost entirely top end, but it will have some affect on so called B buildings.

I had a roomate the first few years I lived in NY and it was ok for then. I live in Stuyvesant Town and they are lowering rates for the first time in about 9 years. Some of the units are rent stabilized which means below market rate. Below market rate does not mean cheap; it just means less expensive.

Start looking well in advance to get an idea of what area(s) you would be willing to live. Fortunately there are far FEWER unsafe areas than there were when I moved in. That will give you somewhat better choices.

DNAinfo is always useful for their tips.

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/201404 ... -apartment

Good luck.

HoosierJim
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:46 pm

Check the hallways and stairwells of any building you are considering and talk to other tenants after you narrow down your choices. People will gladly give you their opinion since other renters have little reason to lie.


Lazy tenants and hallway poop

KATNYC
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Re: Renting in NYC for a new college grad. Best practices?

Post by KATNYC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:29 am

framboise wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:08 am
If you’re not sure where in NYC you’d like to live, I recommend subletting a place just to get a feel for the neighborhood — and the subway lines — before you commit to a year-long lease. Listings Project is a great source — it’s a free weekly newsletter with rooms/apartments for sublet or rent. I’ve found amazing short-term, furnished studio sublets for $1,500 or less in the past. It’s geared toward creatives so most of the time you’ll find artists who need to sublet their apartment for a few months while they’re out of town for a project. You’ll likely still need to provide first month’s rent and a deposit — but most of the listings don’t ask for a guarantor.
+1 for Listings Project and streeteasy
Check with your HR dept for listing or brokers who give a discount.
I found my first NYC apt (roommate) through my grad school listings. The deposit was $1 with no lease. I still cannot believe I managed to swing that deal in Manhattan & walking a block to school. I doubt many deals like that exist these days.

Don't sign a lease for year 1 if you can avoid it. Sublet so you have time to get a feel for the city and where you might want to live.

I'd even check AirBnB. I've seen long-term rentals on that site.
EX: Feb 1 = December 31

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21626747?l ... s=zqiB4S4F

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5816154?lo ... s=L8CCWh7t

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18896112?l ... s=L8CCWh7t

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5885373?lo ... s=L8CCWh7t

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9857967?lo ... s=L8CCWh7t

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