Monday, August 9, 2010

Home sweet home? Not if NYC can help it

Why is it so hard to find apartments in NYC? Well, I have a few ideas. Welcome to the top 5 reasons finding a place to live sucks.

1. Broker=Liar
I think first and foremost is that the word broker seems to be synonymous with liar. Did they list a 3 bedroom? Certainly. Does that imply that there are actually 3 bedrooms? And a living room? Not on your life. It actually might be a loft. Did you make at appointment at 12pm? Don’t plan on being back to within your lunch hour. Did they say it was $3595 a month? Well, they meant $3800, oh, and even though it was listed as no-fee. Surprise! There is one.

Brokers bend the truth, outright lie, and use bait and switch techniques to get you to see an apartment then have that apartment not exist, but another more expensive or less alluring one nearby up their sleeve to show you. I’m not really sure what they think this technique works, all that happens is a big waste of time for everyone involved. I’m sick of it. Can we get some ethics in this industry? People?

2. You can only start looking the month you want to move.
Which means that it is super stressful because you know that in 30 days or less when your lease is up, you become homeless if you don’t lock one of these bad boys down, ASAP. Welcome to devoting your entire life to hunting for listings and going to see places that there is a 90% chance will be a total mess. It is like a full time job. Other cities seem to have places available to rent a couple months in advance, I’m not sure why we can’t do that too.

3. Leases end on the 31st and Start on the 1st
This is what I don’t get. If my lease starts on September first of 2009, why can’t it end on September first of 2010? Instead, management companies seem to finagle it so that you have to either move in early to your next place, or make everyone else mad by squatting in your apartment for an extra day until your new lease starts. Why can’t leases just start the day you see the apartment? It would avoid the whole crush of everyone moving on certain days that makes it difficult to secure movers, and the elevator of your new building.

4. High pressure tactics
Brokers and real estate management companies capitalize on the stress they know you are feeling. They try to pressure you to sign immediately since the apartment may be gone a half hour later when they show it to someone else. Do you like it? Do you want to commit to spending the next year of your life there? Can you decide in the next five minutes?

And last but not lease. I mean least.

5. The ridiculous paperwork
Is it really necessary to make 40x the monthly rent? Well, for 90% of places yes. And if you need a guarantor (read: can pressure your parents into cosigning with you to get that awesome place) it’s 80x the annual rent. I mean really? Do most people have that kind of money? Then while you fill out the paperwork, prepare to fear that your identity may be stolen as they require bank statements, tax returns and verification from your employer in addition to a credit check, and yes. You have to give it all (and possibly your first born) to the sketchy guy who was not on time to meet you and lied about the apartment. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, how about you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, you just brought me back to when Ross and I got our apartment in harlem. HELLISH. Our broker was horrible, lied, and told us there were no fees (there were). The whole last minute thing is SO stressful (am I going to be homeless if i don't find something?!). We had to have my Dad co-sign, which meant he basically had to sign his life away / spend 2 hours on the phone with the stupid broker. ugh. God speed!


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