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Old 03-29-2007, 11:01 PM
Location: Jersey City
6,271 posts, read 15,508,321 times
Reputation: 5164


Originally Posted by maxbeckmann View Post
I'm a little late to the thread, but wanted to advise: Search in Craigslist's "by-owner" section only. It takes some patience but you'll save yourself a lot of headache. $1700 really should get you a good-sized place in some of Manhattan's more "up-and-coming" neighborhoods (When I first moved here, I got a place through a no-fee broker in the Sugar Hill area of Harlem, lived there for 3 years and paid about $1200 for a very spacious, pretty 1-bedroom with neat pre-war details. On the downside, it was really noisy, there wasn't much to do in the neighborhood, and my apartment was bordered on two sides by peeping toms). $1700 will also get you a closet-sized studio in neighborhoods like the LES, Hell's Kitchen, maybe Gramercy. It just depends on what's most important to you -- at that price, you can get a nice-sized apartment, or you can get a trendy/fun neighborhood. But not both.

Also, don't underestimate the joy of roommates! And don't totally rule out the outer boroughs, I've been in Brooklyn for the past year and it's awesome.
Max, thanks for that advice. I still have a few months before my current lease expires, so I'm still exploring all of my options. Since I started this thread I've done more research in Manhattan and BK/Qns. I've seen a lot of things that I like, and although Nick probably wouldn't believe it, there are lots of very nice 1-BR apartments in many parts of Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and inner Queens for under $1700!!

I've had roommates for years, which has almost always worked out just fine, but I'm anxious to spread my wings a little bit and live alone if I can swing it. To me location is more important than how swanky or spacious the apartment itself is. I work very long hours and spend little time at home.

I've used craigslist a lot but I've heard people talk about how you'll find only "the more expensive stuff" and that if you dig deeper into less popular and I imagine less easily accessible sources you'll usually find better deals. I'll look into more things such as rent direct as it gets closer to moving time.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:14 PM
4 posts, read 11,836 times
Reputation: 12
Yeah... I don't know what's wrong with Nick. Maybe he'll lighten up now that it's Friday! I've been doing my own apartment search, looking for a place with my boyfriend, and we just found a floor-thru in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, by-owner for only $1600/month, that has an extra bedroom AND takes dogs. (It's a cute neighborhood, too.) I stand by my assertion that nice, relatively inexpensive apartments are plentiful outside of the 14th-96th street Manhattan proper.

I like Craigslist because it's easy to search for postings from landlords, but woofenstein has a good point about the newspaper. One of my friends got a great place in the East Village from an ad in the Voice. Also, if any of your friends have great apartments, you can ask them to put you in touch with their landlords or management companies. It's a good way of connecting with a reliable broker (because a lot of them really are scumbags), and at best it can sometimes allow you to skip the broker's fee by dealing directly with building owners.

One last bit of advice for Craigslist: sometimes a great, by-owner apartment is hiding behind a really badly-written posting, so don't be put off if the description is only a sentence long or full of typos. Building owners aren't always great ad-writers. Good luck finding your place! I'm so jealous of people who can live alone in NYC -- that's the one thing I've never been able to afford
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:51 PM
Location: Jersey City
6,271 posts, read 15,508,321 times
Reputation: 5164
Max, for having only two posts, you're a good source of info. Have a rep boost.

Let me know how you like Greenpoint. I've visited once and it seems like a charming neighborhood, definitely less ostentatious than Williamsburg.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:40 PM
10 posts, read 118,716 times
Reputation: 13
Can someone throw out some names of good brokers in Manhattan? There are so many and I feel like the ones most advertised may be the biggest scammers...anyone want to recommend one?? (looking to spend about 3500 on a two bedroom and get a roommate)
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Old 10-22-2007, 05:34 AM
Location: Bronx, NY
1,526 posts, read 5,059,531 times
Reputation: 299
Good advice here on how to avoid big broker's fees...like everything worthwhile in life, takes extra effort and a willingness to go the road less traveled.


I assume your commuting expense will be less, and you wont' need a car (please don't tell me you plan to keep one here. That would be madness).

If you can consider other boroughs, you will get more bang for your buck, and many areas have a lot of Manhattan amenities and are out and out gorgeous. More brownstones with private homeowners who may be more interested in how you present yourself than how big your bankroll is. If you know anyone who knows anyone, don't be shy. Let everyone know you're looking.

If you're willing to pay sky high rents, payhing a broker's fee should not make or break you. If it does, then you're gonna have a rough time anyway.

Be frugal in any way you can. Make your own coffee or get it from the carts rather than Starbucks; buy food on sale; even frozen dinners are cheaper than McDonald's. Go to happy hours or art openings which often offer free food and drinks. Take advantage of any perks/freebies at your job. Most museums have a free day; some are "suggested donation" (give em a dollar). Off Broadway is often better by far than Broadway at a fraction of the cost. Free concerts and events all over the place.

If you have the means, consider a coop in the outer boroughs, now or in future. Try to save up some bucks either way. Eventually your rental situation will become untenable in all probability with increases etc. And costs are lower outside of Manhattan for everything.
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