Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yes, you can get an apartment without a broker

BFF M's boyfriend just made the move from Long Island into the city (well, Roosevelt Island), did pretty much everything wrong yet still managed to find a great place and not pay a broker's fee. A is my new hero.

He hadn't really saved any money for security/broker's fee. Wrong! He started looking during the summer. Wrong! He didn't really pick a price range. Wrong!

Here's how his apartment search went: he saw a sign for The Octagon somewhere, called them up, walked through their model and then signed a lease. Voila! No broker. No extra months of security deposits. No friggin way.

BFF M sent me pictures and the place looks nice enough. The list of amenities is enough to make your jaw drop but I don't want to sound like a shill. Of course, it wouldn't be perfect for someone like me or M -- it's not in Manhattan. You have to take the F train into the city; it's the line that is buried about 10 stories below ground I think. They're closing the Roosevelt Island tram in the fall for renovations. To drive to Manhattan, you have to first take the Triboro to Queens and then come back over to Manhattan.

But all in all A got a really sweet deal. It helps that he's a doctor -- no one really asks doctors for credit checks or extra months of security -- and his price range was $6000 a year higher than mine.

It brings up some excellent points for apartment searching though. You can skip the whole broker money rape by looking up building management companies directly or searching sites that list legitimate no-fee NYC apartment rentals. Pay attention to building ads around the city and visit their websites to get details.

The fee escape seems to be easier for renters looking in NYC the second time around. Here's hoping I have the same good luck in my next apartment search.

No comments: