A Crash Course on New York City Apartment Hunting | ExpatWoman.com

A Crash Course on New York City Apartment Hunting

Are you planning to move to New York? Here’s a quick guide on apartment hunting in the Big Apple.

Posted on

31 October 2017

Last updated on 19 January 2020
A Crash Course on New York City Apartment Hunting
New York City is both terrifying and an amazing city. With over 3,000 clothing stores and 24,000 restaurants in Manhattan alone, it can offer far more than you will ever need. As one the fourth-largest nations in the world, no wonder more and more people decide to relocate to the USA every day.  
Prepare to face expensive accommodation and rental costs in and around New York. Despite the actual prices varying between regions, property taxes are generally very high. It is likely that you’ll find yourself paying double the rent, for half the space you’d get elsewhere. Before you visit a property in person, we suggest taking advantage of the Google Street View tool, to check out the condition of the building, area and discover if there are any dealbreakers close by to save valuable time. Similarly, if you find an apartment you love, snatch up the opportunity to visit it quick!

Consider factors outside the box

You’ve found the perfect apartment, in the wrong location. You can avoid the devastation by looking at areas you feel are suitable to your needs. For example, consider the distance between your potential new apartment to the subway. If it’s more than a 10-minute walk away, is there an alternative mode of travel close by?

Descriptions can be misleading

No matter how much we want to believe listing descriptions are true, sadly they’re not always accurate. Just because an apartment is described as ‘luxurious’ or ‘spacious’ doesn’t mean it is. Words such as ‘energy efficient’ and ‘state-of-the-art’ can suggest there is a lack of.

Prohibited pets

If you are looking to move into your shiny new pad with your beloved pet, think again. Most rental buildings, cooperatives and condos prohibit pets or have rules regarding the weight and breed of dog that can live with you.

You might also be interested in...

Money can’t buy everything

Just because you can afford your dream apartment, doesn’t mean you’ll be eligible to rent it. Many New York landlords require that the potential tenant earns between 40 and 50 times the monthly rent on an annual basis. If you don’t, you’ll need to have a parent or close relative to agree to pay your rent if you are unable to or if you choose to not pay it.
If your guarantor lives overseas, you may be qualified to pay for a guarantor service instead. Despite their income and occupation requirements being less strict, you’ll still need to have a good credit score rating.

Broker’s fees in NYC

Sellers must pay a broker’s fee that is often at least 6%, which is equally divided into two between the buyer’s broker and the seller’s broker. Although this means that as a buyer you won’t have to pay a fee, the fee is added to the seller’s asking price instead.
There’s no getting away from these additional fees if you decide to rent either. Renters are required to pay broker fees too. Although there are many rental options without brokers fees, these properties tend to be a little worn down or in poor shape. Usually, you can expect to pay at least 15% of the yearly rent as their fee, but it usually depends on how fast you are prepared to move.

Remind yourself of the carrying costs

A lot of renters and buyers get caught out by the carrying costs. Remember that buying a home in a cooperative in New York is not like buying a house. You will be required to pay the fee related to maintaining your building each month, just like how you’d pay rent. As well as your monthly mortgage fees, you’ll have the maintenance fee on top too. Keep in mind that these fees increase year on year. 
If you are moving to New York and you need some help, discover what Santa Fe Relocation can do for you. Contact us today. 
Santa Fe Relocation
Sponsored by
Santa Fe Relocation
Santa Fe Relocation is a global mobility company specializing in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services. Our core competence is providing services that assist you and your family in relocating and settling in a new country.

Office 1201, Onyx Tower 1, The Greens, Dubai