As many frequent readers of My First Apartment can attest to – I don’t have a very high opinion of the New York Times’ rental section. Their articles are myopic and outdated and the tone tends to more closely resemble that of an Upper East Side doyenne than a breaking news reporter.
I still have that view (oh, yes), but I can appreciate a helpful, informative story when I see one – for instance their recent article “How to be a Brainy Renter.”
The most helpful takeaway is a major brokerage firm’s assessment of the rental market. We’ve been receiving quite a few questions about the state of the market, and not tracking rentals, I haven’t been able to answer fully. It felt like things were tightening up again but there were still a few deals to be had and limited haggling to be done – an instinct that the brokerage firm validates, saying that rents are up 20% since April.
Why? Consider this: NYC optimism knows no bounds for bright young things. It gets regenerated with each graduating class of college seniors. Yes, many mid-20 somethings chose to leave between 2008-2010 and members of graduating classes may not have moved here in droves like they used to. But, a heck of a lot of them still did. And still do. And still will year after year after year.
Which is one of the main reasons its often best financially to look for an apartment in off-season (Oct-April). But, should you need a place now, apparently there are a few more websites determined to get you that good deal such as Rent-Direct.com and JumpPost.com – which offers incentives to renters moving out to post about their open apartments early($500 if someone rents through JumpPost.com).
But, the best deal finder remains pretty low tech – all ya need are a good pair of walking shoes. While many larger apt buildings use brokers, many small –medium size buildings don’t. They use everything from Craigslist to sign posts in windows. So, do look online – but get outside too and get the good deals before they’re gone!