Book Review: NYC Rental Bible

When I was asked to review the new ebook, NYC Rental Bible, it felt like a familiar assignment; I’m well acquainted with informational booklets. This is because, at every stage of my life, my father has given me a book on how to do that which I am about to do: a book on how to study, how to drive a car, how to write a college essay, how to manage money, how to purchase a condo, and so forth. I think, on some level, these gifts make us both feel a little better: he feels more confident in my future decisions, while I, despite my grumbling, usually read the book, since I know that it’ll provide an overview of the issues at hand, it’s usually eminently browse-able, and it just might help me avoid an embarrassing beginner’s mistake.

And so this is how I approached NYC Rental Bible: A Compilation of Real Estate Secrets from Top NYC Brokers. It should give a good outline of the process of finding a rental in NYC, and a few insights to a total novice. And, since New York real estate is a universe unto its own, if you want a general I’m-in-any-city-looking-for-an-apartment advice, you shouldn’t expect to get it here. Instead, the NYC Rental Bible would be focused exclusively on the specifics of New York City apartment hunting.

….Except that one of the first things I noticed is that the book ignores one of the most common ways that twenty-somethings find apartments in New York, which is via a “share.” A “share” simply means you’re a person looking to move into a two-, three-, or four-bedroom apartment, but you don’t have roommates to move in with you – you’d rather move into an already established place, taking one individual’s spot, while the other present renters stay and you become their new roommate. Trying to navigate this fascinating, woolly world is a wonder unto itself …  and it’s also one of the cheapest, easiest ways to find a place in New York. But, because brokers have a vested interest in you not doing this, since it provides them with no commission, it’s not even mentioned the NYC Rental Bible, which was a little disappointing, though somewhat understandable.

Another telling error: in the breakdown of different apartment configurations common in New York City, the much-hated railroad apartment is conspicuously absent. How could this be?  However, in terms of misses, the book’s glossary takes the cake. Usually a glossary is a prime reason to purchase a how-to, reference-type book when starting something new, since it lets you quickly and easily study-up on jargon. However, if you buy NYC Rental Bible for the glossary, the joke’s on you: the “glossary” only has three entries. Yes, that’s right: three. They are: “exclusive listing,” “limited listing,” and “open listing”. … And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your glossary!

Regardless, I was ready to tepidly recommend this pamphlet-like ebook to neophytes to the New York City rental world. I figured, why not drop three or four dollars – or maybe even eight or ten – to get some rudimentary, sometimes-good information before you start your NYC apartment hunt? …But then I went to the book’s webpage and saw the actual asking amount: $39.00!  “Holy s@*t!” I thought, “You could go to a Death Cab for Cutie concert at that price!” Which, ultimately, is what I recommend you do: save your money for something enjoyable. Instead, check out our FREE rental ad-speak translator to get started with your NYC rental hunt.

Author My First Apartment
Alex

Posted by

Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

Leave a Comment