Your Questions: How soon should I start looking for a new apartment?
I always advise my clients to begin apartment hunting about a month before their lease expires. The NYC rental market is like no other in the country. It’s a high turn over market with a vacancy rate that hovers around 1%.
Starting too early will not always give you the advantage you are looking for. Here some of the reasons why:
- Landlords are constantly changing prices and concessions based on vacancy rates. Since they usually receive notice from their existing tenants 30-45 days prior to the move out date, prices may vary from one month to another.
- Landlords will usually require that the lease start date be within 20-30 days from when the application was submitted. This means that looking too early can result in having to pay double rent or risk losing the apartment you really want. However, some clients enjoy looking super early and don’t mind paying a little extra for an apartment they love.
- Apartment hunting isn’t as time consuming as many clients expect it to be. Working with a broker saves you from having to read through hundreds of listings – we work with you to narrow it down to only the apartments that meet your criteria. If you are looking in a specific area it may only take three hours to view a number of apartments. Many clients will find the apartment they’re looking for in a weekend.
I hope that covers the issue. We welcome your comments and feel free to let us know your real estate questions.