Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stories from the front lines of renting: Recent Yale grads get a deal on an apartment in the LES

From The LES Free Press, written by students in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism:

The apartment is tiny. None of its three bedrooms holds a bed bigger than a twin. But it’s renovated, clean, and it’s in the middle of the fast-moving Lower East Side – the perfect place for three newly-minted Yale graduates to make their first mark on the city. Apartment hunters Andrew Cedotal, Allison Guy and Danielle La Rocco are on the fence, however. For almost $3,300 a month, they expect more space.

“It’s a great apartment, but it’s a little smaller than we’re looking for,” La Rocco says to the agent showing the place.

What happens next is something that would have been unheard of even a year ago, but that real estate experts say is becoming more common: the agent offers to broker a better deal if the three will take the apartment today. Within minutes, the trio has reduced their rent by a few hundred dollars a month, and La Rocco is dispatched to get a money order while the other two fill out applications. The deal is done.

Do episodes like this mean Manhattan’s notoriously bullish rental market is softening? Daniel Baum, a broker who runs the Real Estate Group, an industry organization that puts out an analysis of Manhattan rental prices each month, says yes.


Anonymous said...

If these landlords are like most of them down here, it means that 1.-the previous rent stabilized tenants were harassed out of the apt and the legal rent is supposed to be less than half that price and/or 2.- the landlords jacked up their original asking price by a few hundred dollars so it would look like a great "deal' when they offered to knock that amount off the rent. The other factor is these dumb rich kids who think they're being really "tough negotiators'.

Jill said...

New people are still moving in to the teensy apartments in my building going for over $3000, and renovations continue to even more apartments that were previous rent stabilized in my building. I can hear the construction workers as I type. If I wanted to live in a dorm I'd go back to college.