Monday, July 16, 2007

You can't spell broker without...

...Broke! My curiosity got the best of me - I HAD to see what the brokers had to offer. It started on Friday, when I spotted a $1650 studio in Gramercy. Just a peek wouldn't hurt, right? But the broker sniffed me out, asking if I made 40 times the rent (hmm, well my budget is $1650/month in New York City, so what do YOU think?). When I was honest, she told me she had to talk to the management company and that was the end of Ardor Real Estate. I really hope the good karma comes my way soon.

All weekend I checked Craigslist, and it seems like a lot of stuff in my range is becoming available. It's making me antsy. This morning when I got into work Best Apartments had listed a $1550/mo 1-bedroom in Chelsea - holy shit! I called immediately, about 4 hours after the listing had been posted. But again, since I'm not in a rush yet, when the asked me when I wanted to view it, I said after work. Big mistake, because of course by the time I trudged my tired ass all the way from Flatiron to Best Apts' Upper West Side offices at 6:30 PM, the apartment was gone. Or maybe it never existed. Brokers are hard to read, and the bait and switch is prevalent.

I'll give the broker credit on one thing - I initially refused to sign the disclaimer saying that I understood that broker's fees are typically 15% of the annual rent, etc. because I wanted to negotiate. She told me in response that broker's fees are always negotiable and no one can legally say otherwise. Cool. Too bad she followed it up with the usual broker dissuasion - I'll never find a doorman in my budget (conceivable), I'll never find an elevator (inconceivable), I may have to pay an extra 2 months security (if I could afford an extra $3400 up front, why wouldn't I just raise my monthly budget??!?). Blargh. All this topped by the fact that the apartment I actually wanted to see was gone. But of course, there IS an apartment for $50 more a month in the same building. The broker's broker-in-training told me she'd call me back with a time to view tonight - it's after 10 Connecticut time, not sure what time that is in NYC.

I get it, I'm not a priority. I won't let the brokers get me down. I have friends who pay under $1500/month for decent apartments, and friends who pay under $1700/month for nice ones. I know they are out there (and rent-stabilized!). And I have the friends who pay $3500/mo for a beautiful place, but they are a couple and I am a single. Marriage of convenience, anyone? Actually, scratch that. I don't want any more roommates.

No comments: