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Tips to Make Moving Less Stressful in New York City

August 28, 2012 | Apartment Hunting, Moving Tips

Rent.com surveyed renters in the five NYC boroughs about their renting and moving habits in order to better understand the attitudes of New Yorkers toward hunting for the perfect apartment. We know it can be a stressful time for renters, but wanted to understand the hardest parts about searching for a new pad in the city.

Headache City

When asked what is the biggest challenge when apartment hunting in NYC, 38 percent of renters responded that they do not want to pay a broker’s fee on principal. Other challenges include that apartments are always too old or too small (25 percent), apartment hunting is a full-time job (18 percent), making decisions on the spot because apartments rent so quickly (17
percent), and finding a roommate who is not crazy to split rent (two percent).

Young renters in particular get stressed about making apartment-related decisions. Twenty-six percent of renters aged 18-24 responded that making a decision on the spot is the biggest challenge of apartment hunting, as compared to 18 percent of renters 25-34, 16 percent of renters 35-44, and 15 percent of renters 45-64.

Apartment Search Tools

When beginning an apartment search, younger renters rely more on the help of friends and family (49 percent of renters 18-24), as compared to their more experienced renter counterparts (36 percent of renters 25-34). This could be due to the fact that millennials rely more on social ties and influence than older generations. However, it could also be that these first time renters have been living at home longer and have not been exposed to apartment search resources like Rent.com

We know that apartment hunting can be overwhelming, especially for younger renters. With that in mind, here are some tips for first time renters to make moving less stressful:

Stick to Your Budget Using Online Tools

Begin your search online at a site such as Rent.com, which provides access to millions of rentals nationwide. The site also can narrow down to specific areas such as ManhattanBrooklynQueens,  Staten Island and the Bronx in NYC.

Going online makes it easy to get detailed information about properties across different NYC neighborhoods including: pricing, photos, floor plans and move-in specials. Having this information up front will help you find a neighborhood you can afford and refine your search for an apartment that meets your needs and keeps you on budget!

Visit & Inspect Your Best Apartment Options

After you’ve narrowed your online search down to some good potential candidates, contact those properties to schedule in-person appointments. Be prepared to give each prospective apartment a thorough review. It’s easy to get lured in initially when a place looks great on the surface but, it’s important to also inspect all potential rentals through three lenses: function, safety and comfort:

  • Function: Do the windows open, do the faucets have clear running water and good pressure, do the appliances work, is there any visible damage anywhere?
  • Safety: Are the locks in good condition on the front door and windows? Does the property provide ample lighting in hallways and public spaces? Are the security doors for the property in good working order?
  • Comfort: Will this apartment fit all your furniture and belongings? Does it get enough light? Is it quiet enough? Is there a laundry room?

Before You Sign the Lease, Conduct a Walk-Through 

Once you have verbally agreed to sign a lease on a new place, make sure to conduct a walk-through of the apartment with the landlord to check for any pre-existing damage before you sign on the dotted line. By documenting such damage, you are protecting yourself from potential charges that you may incur for damage that you are not responsible for. If the landlord offers to fix or replace anything before you move in as part of your new lease, make sure it’s noted in the agreement as well before you sign.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted among 1,002 renters living in New York City. The interviews were conducted online by RedShift Research in April 2012 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total populations aged 18 and older in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. The margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level is, plus or minus, 3.1 percentage points.

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