Getting ripped off in NYC

Fellow Monkeys,

I've never been to NYC (besides interviews) and I'm having a hard time trying to find apartments for my upcoming FT IBD gig. I understand brokers are the best way to go, but I'm afraid of getting ripped off (considering I live on the other side of the country and have NEVER lived in a city). Few questions I have are:

1) Did you visit the city / tour apartments and neighborhoods before you moved into your new apartment?
2) If so, how long did you stay in the city and where did you stay in the city?
3) Is living in for e.g. LES a good idea for an Analyst working in midtown?
4) What about living in Fidi?
5) When you guys go out to drink (once in a blue moon, I assume), do you guys take the subway back home or cab? I grew up in a not-so-safe neighborhood and night time commute has always been of concern to me.

My gig starts in July, and I'm looking to move in early July. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Incoming IBD Analyst

Comments (81)

Mar 21, 2014

Murray Hill or Kips Bay.

Take a cab or walk back.

Find a roommate to help with the costs.

Manhattan is uber safe.

Mar 21, 2014

Thank you for the input @"TNA"

Mar 22, 2014

What he said.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 21, 2014

Unless it's just for a summer, don't live in Murray Hill. Horrible. You'll be much happier in LES

Mar 21, 2014

1. Second apartment I looked at, signed that day. Worthwhile apartments are gone in hours, be fully ready with paperwork and cash when you begin looking.

2. Was subletting for a month in the meantime, ditched on that after I moved my stuff in.

3. LES is fine for midtown. If you are in one of the banks on/near 6th avenue, west side is arguably better as you can take the B, D, F, M straight shot up. It takes me 12 minutes door to door on an average day to go from west village to midtown.

Honestly anywhere midtown and down is SUPER easy for commuting back and forth from midtown. UES and UWS is when it gets a little tougher.

4. FiDi is a bad decision if you are working in midtown AND new to the city. You will not be able to experience the city AT ALL. Pick a neighorhood, not a sky scraper hood.

5. The subway is super safe in Manhattan, especially anywhere downtown. You are just as likely to have something bad happen in a cab if not more.

Hope that helps...

Mar 21, 2014

@"yeahright" Thank you for the detailed input.

Any website suggestions for finding sublets? I have no friends or family in NYC..matter of fact anywhere in the North East.

Mar 21, 2014

Craigslist / Streeteasy are the only two sites you truly need. I had no friends/family either and it worked fine.

Toughest part is broker fee versus no broker fee because unfortunately the good apartments are 95% of the time through a broker with a fee. I plunged in and paid it the first time around and would probably do so again but it is not always worth it.

Mar 21, 2014

[quote=yeahright]

1. Second apartment I looked at, signed that day. Worthwhile apartments are gone in hours, be fully ready with paperwork and cash when you begin looking.

I'll be moving to NYC around June/July as well so thanks for your insight. Just a question on paperwork and cash. What should I be preparing in terms of paperwork? And how much cash should I have on hand? A couple month worth of rent or first month rent as deposit?

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

Mar 21, 2014

If you have a guarantor you typically need their tax returns and if you don't use one, you will need your tax returns and proof of employment. For my apartment it was 2 months rent broker fee, 1 month rent security deposit (no broker fee apartments typically have a 2 month rent security deposit) and first month's rent. So if it's a $1500 apartment --> $6000ish. It might seem crazy but it's reality. If you are moving in with roommates or into an apartment with an existing renter it is usually a bit easier.

Mar 25, 2014

Are you looking for a roommate @"Ezio Auditore"

Mar 21, 2014

Safety isn't an issue. I've fallen asleep on subways home and ended up in the Bronx; so far no incidents.

Mar 21, 2014
Anihilist:

Safety isn't an issue. I've fallen asleep on subways home and ended up in the Bronx; so far no incidents.

That's what you think...

    • 1
Mar 25, 2014

Found a broker through Craigslist...sucks to pay the broker fee, but its the easiest way to do it if you aren't in the area and trying to do it from another state

Mar 25, 2014

Go to www.rockrosenyc.com and look there. They have no fee apartments. Great buildings with gyms, doormen, etc.

    • 1
Mar 21, 2014

How is Murray Hill horrible? It is a feeding frenzy.

Mar 26, 2014

Man, why'd they have to take down the adult services? I was making like 3k/month selling my body.

Mar 26, 2014

you should start looking for rentals 4-6 weeks prior to your move-in date.

looking for a rental a year in advance? what apartments do you think are currently on the market for june 2011?

Mar 21, 2014

Sorry to hijack, but what if you're working downtown on Wall Street/FiDi area? Best places to live to minimize commute and cost (secondary concern) but still not live in a dead area like FiDi itself?

dollas

Mar 21, 2014

I work and live in FiDi and personally think the convenience is great. Wake up, can be at work in 10 mins. Can go home during free time and run some errands or go home late at night while waiting for books to print or comments. Plus the value you get in FiDi is better than most other places in the city.

That being said, other analysts who don't live in FiDi often live in the LES and sometimes Murray Hill.

Mar 26, 2014

Are you serious? Do you know how many threads are already dedicated to this shit?

Mar 26, 2014

C'mon dunston, of course I do, but since things change rather rapidly, I was hoping to bring forward some new insight, thinking that a lot of people coming to the city this summer may also be interested in some new thoughts and ideas. So rather than just bumping an old thread, I figured I would start a new one. Sorry if that offends you...

Mar 21, 2014

Check out this new startup I came across, looks promising.

https://www.zenly.com/

Mar 26, 2014

On the contrary, many apartments are available particularly in the better buildings during the summer months and beyond, people leave for the summer to go to the hamptons.

Mar 26, 2014

it's too early most apartments will be gone by the time June comes...Even if you find one you like and offer to sign early for a June/July move in, chances are the management company won't let you do that, because they can just find someone else to begin renting it for the next 2 months. Rule of thumb of is start looking at MOST a month before you want to move in...

Mar 21, 2014

Others have answered your direct questions so I'll raise a couple of important issues (that I think others have raised as well):

1) Have your finances ready. A broker fee can run you 15% of a year's rent, 1 mo security deposit and first month rent. Additionally you need your income to be 40x monthly rent, and some places will be picky about accepting your bonus as compensation (especially if you are new to the firm, some places require 2 years worth of history). Some places (condos not apartments) also have board fees (~$1500) so keep all of these things in mind.

2) Most good units go quickly. Start getting an idea of where you want to live, but you really can't secure anything until ~30 days before move in, so keep that in mind if you plan on visiting.

3) Manhattan is safe.

Mar 26, 2014

Couchsurf / airbnb / hostels ... worst case scenario you pay a shit load of money for a hotel in Queens/Brooklyn

Mar 26, 2014

Go directly through a building's management office rather than using a broker who charges rediculous fees for doing nothing. Zillow etc. is not worth crap in the city either since: 1) half of the listings are 'fake'/misrepresented and 2) by the time you call, it's gone. Consider living across the river in NJ (Jersey city, Hoboken), you get more for your money (more space, nicer buildings) and you don't have to pay city taxes!

Mar 26, 2014

Deleted

Mar 26, 2014

I just relocated to NYC from LA in January. I used airbnb for four months until I bought a place. Would recommend.

Mar 26, 2014

Airbnb or hostel. Not being from NYC area you'll never luck into the perfect place day #1, so find temporary digs and get to know the area.

Had a friend find Brickunderground site useful.

Mar 26, 2014

Airbnb is the way to go. Ideally, try using Airbnbs in a few different neighborhoods, so you can get a feel for various areas of the city. That will help you greatly in your apartment search. Check out my response on the NYC apartment thread, it will be helpful for you.

Mar 26, 2014

Thanks all! These are great suggestions. I'll check out the NYC apartment thread as well

Mar 26, 2014

Agree with LCandB, by going to the management offices directly you can avoid some of the misinformation that you find on listing sites. Revaluate has a map with a pretty comprehensive list of what is out there.

Finding an apartment that way though does take a lot of time and patience. And if you do not have a lot of both, I would not discourage you from going with an agent. A lot of people are bitter about paying 15% and claim that agents do not provide value, but I disagree strongly. With an agent, you are likely to spend one or maybe two days viewing apartments (which is fun) and you're done.

Mar 22, 2014

Find something at 11 Ave or Ave B that is on the same cross-street as your office and far away from any subway lines. You have a huge comparative advantage for renting there- and walking to work- over others. Manhattan rents are always a ripoff, but according to my friend at RentHop, every avenue block past 9 or Lexington gets you $50-100/month off the rent, assuming you're not right on the river.

Speaking of, Rent Hop actually has the most Manhattan apartment listings out of all of the rental-finding startups out there, including a number of exclusives. Zenly, Zumper, NakedApartments are all great sites with fairly good national coverage and good interfaces, but RentHop has the best coverage for Manhattan/NYC. It was started by two Wall Street quants four years ago and it's gotten to the level where they're doing this full-time.

Craigslist's interface really does suck. You need a map, you need photos, and you need a better filtering mechanism than just price and # bedrooms. A number of websites are now doing that, and they each have their strengths and weaknesses on coverage.

Mar 26, 2014

I'm in the same situation right now. However, all the "non-fee" places we've found have higher rent by like 200/month... in the grand scheme of things it might be cheaper to use a broker, especially if you're going to stay in the same place a second year.

Mar 26, 2014
TwoFloors:

I'm in the same situation right now. However, all the "non-fee" places we've found have higher rent by like 200/month... in the grand scheme of things it might be cheaper to use a broker, especially if you're going to stay in the same place a second year.

i'm gonna PM you.

You give me a gift? BAM Thank you note! You invite me somewhere? POW RSVP! You do me a favor? WHAM Favor returned! Do not test my politeness.

Mar 26, 2014

I need a place only for summer, what are some other places to look other than Craigslist?

Mar 26, 2014

200 a bunch is pretty good

Mar 26, 2014

Same situation as well. Fortunately, I have til the end of July to figure it out.

Mar 26, 2014

I mentioned this in another thread, but if you have the opportunity to go a few days early (stay with a friend) and set up some appointments to check out the places, Craigslist can work out really well, and there are some great places/deals to be had.

Mar 26, 2014

Craigslist. Its a painful process, but if your subletting only for a few months and can't get student housing, thats your best bet. (I had to go through it)

Mar 26, 2014

$200 a month = $2400 per year which isn't too bad. Anyone recommend going out like a month before and checking out 4-5 places at once and then signing on the spot? A week before seems like short notice and risky.

I've noticed it's harder to get names of specific buildings without a broker, but I'm always wary of people charging to do something that I can do for myself.

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

Mar 26, 2014
rickyross:

$200 a month = $2400 per year which isn't too bad. Anyone recommend going out like a month before and checking out 4-5 places at once and then signing on the spot? A week before seems like short notice and risky.

I've noticed it's harder to get names of specific buildings without a broker, but I'm always wary of people charging to do something that I can do for myself.

I plan on visiting about 2-3 weeks before my move in date. And about the building yeah they don't give the names, but I believe most of those listing are BS anyways because Ive actually found the names of a lot of the building they post pics of, and the rents listed by the actual company are much higher than what the brokers advertise.

I believe the pics are just to lure you in.

You give me a gift? BAM Thank you note! You invite me somewhere? POW RSVP! You do me a favor? WHAM Favor returned! Do not test my politeness.

Mar 26, 2014

Most larger buildings, especially ones with doormen, will all but require you to use a broker. Even if it's a no-fee broker, the rent will just be higher. This kind of thing can be avoided if you know someone moving out of an apartment and can just arrange to take over their rent, but honestly it's kind of random for this type of thing to happen. Use Craiglist, StreetEasy, or other websites like that to find stuff. The problem is, most buildings use brokers because it's way less work for them in finding tenants, showing them apartments, etc. And, of course, the tenant is the one paying the broker's salary, so the building gets the same money regardless.

Most of my friends really tried to avoid using brokers, but almost all of them ended up having to use them because they didn't really have any other options.

Also - think twice before you move to Midtown. It's convenient for getting to work, but it's one of the least interesting neighborhoods to live in. You won't think this matters when you're moving in, but every single person I know that is moving apartments is moving downtown, usually south of Union Square.

Mar 26, 2014

I think living in the financial district is really underrated. The rent is cheap because the neighborhood doesn't have the amenities or the "cool factor" that others do. It takes me less than 5 minutes to walk to work (obviously not so if you don't work downtown) and while my friends are paying for cabs home from the upper west side back to the East Villiage I can just hop on the 2/3 (or almost any subway for that matter) and be home in the same amount of time for $2.25. It's dead quiet on weekends but that can be a positive or negative depending on how you look at it.

I wouldn't want to spend all my time here but if you have friends in other parts of the city where you can go party then I would definitely consider it.

Mar 26, 2014

FiDi was my original place of interest, but I kept hearing mixed things.

Alot of young people in FiDi though?

You give me a gift? BAM Thank you note! You invite me somewhere? POW RSVP! You do me a favor? WHAM Favor returned! Do not test my politeness.

Mar 26, 2014

I'd give out advice but most of you are non NY'ers?

You already have stupid misconceptions as it is.

Mar 26, 2014
analystonsmack:

I'd give out advice but most of you are non NY'ers?

You already have stupid misconceptions as it is.

I'm a New Yorker and would love to hear your advice.

Mar 26, 2014
analystonsmack:

I'd give out advice but most of you are non NY'ers?

You already have stupid misconceptions as it is.

So you won't give advice to Non-NY'ers and people in NY don't need your advice?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 26, 2014

FiDi could be good, I don't know much about it. In my opinion, SoHo/West Village/Greenwich Village are probably the most desirable places, although as a result these are some of the more expensive places. You could probably live in the outskirts of these areas and get a better deal for rent. A lot of people live in Tribeca, especially if they work downtown. Commuting to Midtown from Tribeca would be pretty rough, wouldn't recommend it unless your roommates really want to live there and you can get an awesome place.

Mar 22, 2014

I recently had to find a place sight unseen for a new job. As has been said before, apartments turn over quickly: the better values might stay on the market for a day or two.

No fee apartments exist, but those listings are often scams. Since you will likely only be in the city looking at apartments for a day or two (if at all), I'd recommend the broker route. Use a reputable agency (Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, even Citihabitats). Document everything, in case there is some dispute down the line.

A lot of brokers (particularly the lower end ones) will 'fish' for clients with too-good-to-be-true listings. Oh, a doorman building in Tribeca for $1800 per month? It either doesn't exist, or is buried deep in the financial district.

Coops are generally cheaper, but the approval process can take 2-3 months. The boards will often want to interview you in person.

I'll recommend doorman buildings: otherwise, you will need to get packages delivered to your office.

Also, be aware you will need some cash for this move: expect a 12% - 15% broker's fee, a security deposit (1 month's rent), and your 1st month's rent upon signing.

Depending on your lifestyle and job, it may or may not be worth living in a more trendy area. I don't tend to go out much, so paying a premium for a Soho / Tribeca apartment didn't make sense to me. Being able to walk to work is also something you should think about. Personally, I used Douglas Elliman, and got a decent studio in the Sutton area.

Mar 23, 2014
Mar 23, 2014

Good apartments are usually gone same day...always come prepared and ready to pull the trigger.

I've never used anything but StreetEasy...occasionally browsed through NY Bits.

Mar 23, 2014

@"TNA" @"Anihilist" @"yeahright" @"West Coast rainmaker" @"IlliniProgrammer" - Thank you all for the input.

Considering the costs of moving into NYC are so high (~$6000 + flight/drive to NYC) do you guys have any suggestions as to how I could come up with this amount of money? I don't receive my signing bonus until my first paycheck, and the folks aren't financial stable to provide me with $...

Looks like I'm in some trouble...lol

Mar 23, 2014

If your family can't help with the money, try asking some friends who might be more liquid. I generally don't recommend borrowing money from friends, but this is closer to working capital than a real loan. You have a signing bonus on the way, so you're guaranteed to be able to pay them back. Kick a couple hundred their way for the help.

This may actually be a good time to use credit cards. Again, while I would never recommend holding a balance on a credit card, using cards for working capital isn't a terrible idea if you can pay it off quickly.

I would recommend a bank loan, but good luck getting one. Even with an IBD job and a signing bonus on the way, you may very well have trouble getting one.

Mar 23, 2014

Hotel until you get paid? That's a tough one.

Mar 24, 2014

Can you reach out to HR about getting an advance on your signing bonus? I was under the impression that (initially anyways) the purpose of a signing bonus was for the use of getting an apartment, clothing, supplies, etc.

Mar 23, 2014

Imo, get some roommates and live with someone in the near term. Or live in NJ or something.

Maybe get a small loan from the bank.

Mar 23, 2014

Check out UES / UWS if you are in Manhattan. I live in UES on 2nd Ave, I live within two blocks of probably 12 restaurants and 4 bars.

Mar 23, 2014

Depending on where you work, you could consider living in Jersey City (I know, I know...) but the commute isn't long and the rent should be QUITE a bit lower. Other than that, safety isn't an issue virtually anywhere in Manhattan, so you should really look based on cost and, most important commute (i.e. subway lines which run North-South).

Though I am not a broker, I currently work in the RE field in the area so if you have an specific question feel free to PM me.

Mar 23, 2014
Shogun:

Depending on where you work, you could consider living in Jersey City (I know, I know...) but the commute isn't long and the rent should be QUITE a bit lower. Other than that, safety isn't an issue virtually anywhere in Manhattan, so you should really look based on cost and, most important commute (i.e. subway lines which run North-South).

Though I am not a broker, I currently work in the RE field in the area so if you have an specific question feel free to PM me.

Jersey City works if your schedule is less than 100 hours/week. After midnight the PATH starts running on a 30 minute interval, but the exact times that the trains come remain unpredictable.

You can black car it, but I'm not sure you can get away with that every night. And the book rate for a taxi ride to Jersey City is $45 + tip + $12 toll.

Mar 23, 2014

Those are definitely important factors to consider.

Mar 23, 2014

Jersey City lol. Just a get a roommate or two and stay in Windsor Court for like $1500 per person or some chit like that.

Mar 23, 2014
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Mar 24, 2014
Mar 25, 2014