You're renting an apartment in New York City. It's likely that you won't rent the same spot for forever, true—but you'll be there for a while. And a hasty, uninformed decision can cost you a fortune in both time and money. So choose wisely! Read on for some things to consider when choosing an apartment to rent in New York City.
AREA AND COMMUTE
Some areas are cheaper than others. Many budget-conscious New Yorkers or space-starved families live in Queens (east of Manhattan) or the Bronx (north of Manhattan). Another option is the northern part of Manhattan. This includes Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. Once upon a time, these areas were considered unsafe or undesirable—that is no longer the case. Inwood, for example, is a quiet neighborhood in many spots. You might even wake up to chirping birds. So if you need to save money, you would be ill-advised to ignore these up-and-coming areas.
Don't be deterred by the commute to/from northern Manhattan, Queens, or the Bronx. Take an express train, and you'll be where you need within an hour. The key is to find a place that is a straight shot to where you need to go, such as your workplace. Will you live directly north or south of where you need to go? Then you may be lucky enough to not have to change trains on your commute. But say you live in western Harlem but you work east of Central Park—you might have to travel east and then go south. Also consider whether or not you live at an express stop; if the express train will pass your station, you'll have to transfer to a local train. Arrival times aren't consistent, so the least number of transfers you can make, the more predictable your travel time will be. Time is money—avoid wasting your life away on public transportation.
INITIAL MOVE-IN COSTS
You will soon find that you'll spend a lot more money than you anticipated your first couple of months in the city. Illegal fees (commonly called the "key fee") and furniture are the killer.
Because of the intense demand for living accommodations, people can charge you an extra fee to move in—the thinking is that if you won't pay it, someone else will. There is no predicting who will and won't enforce this illegal practice. One way to avoid this is to take over an existing contract. On social media sites and perhaps through word-of-mouth (if you have any acquaintances in the city), you may be able to find someone who is moving out before their lease is up.
Another way to save money is to move into a place that is already furnished or to buy all of the furniture from the previous renter, provided you are moving in straight after they move out. A furnished apartment will likely be more expensive to rent, but with a little research, you will find that the cost of buying and transporting new or even used furniture can be immense. If you are lucky enough to buy the previous renter's furniture—perhaps you are taking over a contract—they will likely take down the price of the furniture (as you will be doing them somewhat of a favor by taking it off of their hands), and you won't have to puzzle over how to get new furniture to your apartment (and up three flights of stairs). Contact professionals, such as those from Sunworld Group Inc., to further information.