A guide to apartment hunting in Brooklyn

Looking for an apartment in Brooklyn may be a daunting task, however, if you prepare adequately, you will find the apartment to suit your needs. You may find the right one, but later find out that there are extra fees attached, and this makes it exceed your budget. You will find many great apartments here, available at prices to suit all budgets.

Below are a few tips you may want to consider.

Tips for finding the right apartment

1. Decide how much you would like to spend and try to stick to that amount. The housing market in Brooklyn is extremely competitive and you need to move fast. However, try not to waver on the budget you decide on. Make a list of all your expenses then look at your income and realistically set an amount aside for your apartment fees. Most NYC landlords require your gross annual income to be 40 times your monthly rent.

2. You also need to consider the weather and choose a time in the year when it would be good to move. Summertime is considered peak time and winter is considered off-peak, the rentals are thus cheaper in winter.

3. Realistically sit down and make a list of all the stuff you simply must have in your new home, the non-negotiables. Think about future plans, like if you would like to get a pet, you would need to look for a pet-friendly apartment.

4. Be sure to include the person you will be co-living with, unless you plan to live alone. Having a roommate will lessen the burden on you and you will be able to get an apartment using both incomes.

5. You should prepare all relevant documents early as this usually takes lots of time during the process. If you don’t have your documents prepared early, you could just miss out on the apartment you really want.

6. Research the landlords and brokers as there are many fraudulent people operating with property. Reviews from other people will give you an idea about the person you will be dealing with.

7. Take someone with you when you are going to view the place. Often a fresh pair of eyes is very helpful, especially for spotting the stud you may have overlooked in the apartment. Psychologists say that this is a good way to help people make good decisions as being alone may cause the individual to make rash decisions.

8. It is important to check for the appliances you need and if a smoke detector is present. This will be a huge help to you and save you the hassle of buying appliances that you need.
Cell reception is very important so ensure that the area has good reception.

9.Find out if utilities are included so that you know whether the rental will be higher than the price given to you.

10. Take measurements and pictures of the place to compare it to other offers available. Later on, you can compare the places you have visited and decide on the one you like.

11. You should look for rent stabilised apartments, these apartments are protected against massive price increases. It may still go up but not that substantially. Rent stabilised apartments also ensure that the tenant has the chance to renew their lease.

12. Spend time in the neighbourhood you want to move to. You can choose a co-living space so that you don’t have to spend lots while testing out the area. This will ensure that you are happy with the area you plan to move to.

13. Ask the landlord whether you will be able to make changes like drilling holes on the wall to hang frames, painting or adding wallpaper. You can’t just assume that it is okay if you haven’t received the go-ahead from your landlord.

14. Always read the lease agreement thoroughly and ensure that there are no grey matters. Ask as many questions as you want.

Documents you need when leasing an apartment

To save the time of looking for these documents after you have found an apartment, here is a list of what you will need. Have them ready beforehand:

  • A copy of recent payslips
  • Your tax returns for the past 24 months
  • Drivers license or passport copy (colour)
  • An up-to-date credit report
  • List of references (both personal and professional)

Brooklyn is a smart choice

Brooklyn is a good choice whether it is just for yourself or your entire family. It is rich with culture and home to many different people from around the world.


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