When people go apartment hunting in New York City, they often complain about the difficulty in finding something that suits their tastes. For starters, the apartments are pricey. Also, there are strict income requirements for renters. This means you may not be permitted legally to lease your preferred type of apartment based on your income level. If you are a first-time renter, renting in NYC can be a difficult process. It's great that this article offers you 5 apartment hunting tips to help you get a lease for a great apartment in no time!

5 Apartment Hunting Tips For Renting In NYC

1. Use a guarantor.

This apartment hunting tip is perhaps the most important of all. Many NYC landlords say your annual salary must be at least 40-50 times greater than your monthly rent. If your rent is $3000, which is the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, this means you have to earn $120,000 a year.

But what if you are a freelancer without a regular paycheck or someone with no prior work history? What about an international student? You won't be able to get an apartment without using a guarantor.

Who is a guarantor, and how do I get one?

Basically, a guarantor agrees to pay your rent if you default on rental payments. Most landlords will require that a guarantor earn 75-80 times the monthly rent and stays in the tri-state region.

While you can use a personal guarantor (a relative or someone you are familiar with), you can also opt for an institutional guarantor to stand in for you.

2. Start your apartment hunt early.

In a fast-paced city like NYC, apartments do not stay listed for so long. So one of the most crucial apartment hunting tips is to start your search early. Giving yourself plenty of time to do your due diligence also helps you avoid rental scams.

Where do you start?

Your budget is the first thing to set. As much as you may want to start apartment hunting for your dream home, it will be all in vain if it's out of your budget. Decide your price point based on your paycheck, and then you can start searching for apartments in that range.

Sometimes, this may mean you have to live in a particular area. NYC is a big city and apartments' median costs vary from borough to borough.

Next, you will want to research the neighborhood. Does it fit your taste? Are there suitable resources in the area? If you can't find an apartment to meet your needs, then it may mean you need to raise your budget slightly.

3. Consider living with a roommate

If you do not mind living with a roommate, then our next apartment hunting advice would be that you consider having a roomie. Of course, you will still need to find an apartment that isn’t against having one. However, the prospect of being able to split the cost of the room makes it worth it. Especially if paying alone will drain you.

How do I find a roommate?

Finding a roommate has never been easier. Sometimes, even brokers can help you find them! There are plenty of websites and apps to find roommates at the touch of a button.

4. Be careful of scams.

Unfortunately, rental scams do still happen. So this is a safety tip for first-time renters; if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be wary of scammers and take steps to avoid them.

Do your due diligence before making any payments. Always ask to see the apartment. Ensure that the person you are talking to is the landlord or property manager. Pay attention during inspections, and avoid making cash deposits.

5. Use the rental market to your advantage.

This is a real pro apartment hunting tip; study the rental market and use that information to your benefit.

As it stands, the pandemic has affected the NYC rental market. This means that compared to the past, first-time renters can get better deals. Take advantage of the market! An increase in vacancy rate means that your landlord may be willing to concede on some things just so their unit does not remain vacant.

Market conditions vary by season. If you can, avoid renting apartments during holiday seasons, when prices can be spiked.

These apartment hunting tips will help you take on The Big Apple like a pro!