Getting an apartment in NYC is a little different than in other parts of the country. However, one thing remains the same: what looks perfect for someone else may not work for you. This is why your best bet, when you research new apartments, is to check it out yourself. From the morning rush to nightlife, parking to play, you will be able to make the right decision on an apartment if you take the time to investigate each finalist in person.
Know what you can afford to pay in rent
New York City is expensive. One bedroom apartments in New York rent for $2945 a month on average (a 2.61% increase from last year), while two bedroom apartment rents average $3777 (a 4.66% increase from last year).
Figure out how much of your income you will be willing to spend on rent and go from there. If you're a young professional and new to the city, consider living with roommates to cut costs. If you're a family, research the average rent prices in different neighborhoods of the city and find one that will best suit your financial needs.
The Overall Scene
Most people go to see an apartment during regular business hours. This is a useful but usually insufficient practice. During the day, you can see plenty of daylight. However, it does not give you a lot of information about what your neighbors do when they get home from work or what the neighborhood is like at night. Once you have a short list of apartments in the running, you might spend some time visiting each of them at different times of the day. You could also take a walk around the block and get a sense for the time the daytime shops close up and the nightlife begins.
Restaurants and Shopping
With that short list, you could also start shopping in the area. This is an excellent opportunity for you to imagine what life will be like for you in that particular neighborhood. You know that the area will probably have plenty of choices for dining, shopping and entertainment. However, this is only meaningful if the neighborhood is full of shops you want to patronize. Go shopping in the nearest grocery store, or try out a restaurant or bar that seems appealing to you. Consider other shops you might need, including a dry cleaner, salon or even a local clinic for medical care. The goal is that you will have a couple of places in mind that you know will work well for your needs.
Whether you have a car or rely on public transit, transportation is always a big factor in the benefits of one particular apartment. If you own a car, you want to know what kind of facilities the building has for parking. Given the premium for parking in Manhattan, that question should also include a discussion of parking fees. People who do not own cars, and many who do, want to have public transit easily accessible. Building staff members should be able to direct you to the closest stations for subway or bus.
Features and Amenities
Once you have scoped out the area, you can also consider the various amenities in the apartment itself, as well as the building. Many luxury apartments will offer plush appointments, including:
- granite countertops
- hardwood floors
- spacious floor plans
- ...and more
You may need to compare the features of the building itself to make a final decision. Laundry facilities in-house are a wonderful convenience, as are fitness centers, restaurants, concierge services and a 24-hour doorman. Do not hesitate to ask to visit these facilities, and ask about open hours, busy times and general availability.
It can be difficult to make a choice from a handful of great apartments. When you try out your life in your potential new home and the neighborhood, you get a better feel for the best selection for you.