Apartment Comparison: Finding Your Dream Apartment in NYC

Posted by: TheGuarantors on January 18, 2022

Thinking of moving into a new apartment can be fun, but getting your dream NYC rental apartment needs in-depth research and proper planning. With various apartment options available to fill vacancies and find quality tenants, how can you decide on your lease option? Well, a thorough apartment comparison is all you need.

However, the process of filtering and narrowing down your options can be intimidating as different apartments vary in features, both for better and for worse. So, determining your priorities is crucial to your apartment hunt. Besides using online apartment comparison tools and exploring apartment comparison charts, we have compiled a list of the steps you should take before signing your next lease.

Step 1: Find out your total payment for the apartment

Payment for your NYC apartment

In this competitive New York City housing market, you need to be flexible and learn how to budget for your apartment to score a great deal. Consider calculating upfront costs and additional expenses, including:

Apartment fees

According to a new study by online platform Zumper, a medium one-bedroom rental apartment in NYC costs $3,188 per month (an increase of nearly 30% from the previous year) and a four-bedroom apartment averaged $4,664 per month (up approximately 22% from the last year). Knowing how much you expect to pay will help you avoid sticker shock when you start your search.

Security deposit

Usually, you need to pay one month’s rent before moving into an apartment. The limit for security deposits may vary based on different state laws. So, make sure to check the security deposit limit during your apartment rental comparison. Also, check out this research on what to consider before paying a security deposit.

Application fees

By NYC rent law, landlords cannot charge more than a $20 application fee for a leased property. The fee can be waived if a tenant submits a copy of background and credit checks conducted within the last 30 days.

Utility bills

Are utilities included in your rent? If not, how much will they cost? You can use apartment comparison tools to estimate the price of your utilities including electricity, heat, and water bills.

Parking cost

This additional price entirely depends on if you have a car. Paying the apartment rental parking fee means you get a legal permit to use a parking space. So, you must check if the apartment comes with parking. And if not, does the apartment offer parking for a fee or will you have to find it in a different lot. And if that's so, how far is the lot away from the apartment?

Pet deposit fee

Moving with a furry friend or planning to adopt a pet in the near future? In both situations, you need to filter by pet-friendly options during apartment comparison. You may analyze apartment comparison charts online with pet-friendly options to ease the search and understand more about the pet deposit fee you likely need to pay monthly or as an additional fee on top of the security deposit at the beginning of your lease.

Pet deposit fee

Step 2: Determine essential amenities 

Not all apartments that you tour will offer you a place with all amenities. Some rented properties come with just basic lights and fixtures. While what's considered essential amenities depends on your individual needs, there are certain basic in-unit and community amenities that a renter must never compromise on, including:

  • Windows & blinds
  • Heating
  • Security cameras

Besides these, you need to determine what amenities are essential for you. This apartment amenities guide for first-time renters will help you explore a few luxury amenities ranging from recreational (gym, pool, playground) to pet (pet washing stations, parks), and tech-friendly (Wi-Fi, USB ports, temperature control).

Step 3: Nail down which floors you'd prefer to live on

Are you comfortable living on the ground floor or prefer the top floor? Floor numbers are critical for apartment rental comparison as they help you get important details on rooms, windows, doors, dimensions, etc. For instance, the top floor often gives the best view whereas the bottom floor is more convenient for pets and families as it offers easier access to the outside.

Step 4: Pick the neighborhood

The best part of living in NYC is the diversity of its neighborhoods. This city has something to accommodate every lifestyle and personality. Do you prefer living close to your workplace or to nightlife and restaurants? Location can be a major factor in your apartment rental comparison depending on what you value. So, spend some time exploring the area to get a true sense of the neighborhood. And remember to check out the neighborhood at night to identify how noisy it is.

Pick your neighborhood in NYC

Step 5: Safety

Have you considered safety features in your apartment comparison checklist? List the safety features you can't compromise on. Some of the in-apartment and community safety features you can check include security cameras, door locks, smoke detectors, front desk staff, fire extinguishers, gated access, outdoor lights, and emergency exits.

Get your dream apartment with lease guarantee

While NYC is a great place to live, the tenants here have to deal with unique challenges like the 40x Rule, where the tenant’s gross income needs to be 40 times the monthly rent. Thus, a thorough apartment comparison can help you get an ideal living space without breaking a lease too early and ending up being blacklisted.

After you have found your dream apartment, reach out to TheGuarantors to get a lease guarantee. TheGuarantors allows you to rent your dream apartment in your dream neighborhood by offering co-signing services for leases. Enroll with us now!