July 31, 2009
It’s a jungle out there. If you don’t know the ins-and-outs you could put money down on an apartment, show up to move in and find yourself with 4 other people who also put money down on the same space all waiting for a phoney broker who has since left town. This did not happen to us. But this has happened for real to others.
After messing around with Craigslist, waiting outside apartments for a broker who doesn’t show up, or who gets there and shows you an apartment that doesn’t look like the photo online, or who tells you they don’t have the keys to that apartment but do have other keys, I finally walked into a realtor’s office on 13th and Fifth Ave, threw my hands up and begged someone to show me a nice apartment for my student son. My NY Realtor friends are annoyed with me for not coming to them in the first place- but I thought they wouldn’t want to bother with my low budget for Micah’s first NYC apartment. Well, my low-budget grew and grew, the more places I saw. Teeny, tiny, have to slide in side-ways to get to the toilet in miniscule bathrooms, dirty, strange and dark hallways, weird configurations of chopped up spaces. I couldn’t bear it and upped the ante. Along with upping came the broker and the commission and the one month FREE rent, nice trade. It has not been the best experience financially, but we found a great studio right near school. We’ll save on the monthly subway pass, he’ll cook for himself, I’ll send care packages. And that will have to be that.
Now for those of you who are out there shopping. Here is a good site with helpful info about the do’s and don’ts of apartment shopping in NYC.