Friday, January 7, 2011

How do you find an apartment in the East Village these days?

A reader and East Village resident is looking for another apartment in the neighborhood... and she's tired of Craigslist and its scams ... So how do you find an apartment here these days?

The last time I looked for an apartment, I walked over to the Voice offices on a Tuesday night to get an early copy of that week's paper... so, uh, I'm a little out of it... Anyone have any legit suggestions? (I also mentioned StreetEasy...)


Anonymous said...

urbansherpa is a good site for broker free deals, it's what I used to find my place a year and a half ago or sadly, using a broker. in this economy you can negotiate a lower commission fee with certain brokers (my friend is one and does this all the time).

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

People ask this a lot and while there are some additional resources, Craigslist can't be beat. Sure you have to wade through fake pictures and scams, but the sheer volume of apartments on Craigslist (un?)fortunately makes it the best place to find an apartment.

Bowery Boogie said...

walking the streets and noting the for rent signs and respective phone numbers. there's alot of shit out there not posted on craigslist.

Stedman said...

I don't recommend Craigslist. It's too much work to go through the good, bad, and ugly on there.

My suggestion would be to talk to supers outside buildings when you see them doing work and ask if they know of any openings. A lot of supers are in charge of multiple buildings in the hood. Supers can be motivated to help you because many building management companies pay them bonuses for finding tenants. This is how it's done in my building.

Anonymous said...

its so hard! we are thinking of moving to carroll gardens and there is absolutely nothing! This time of year is crappy, going to start looking when it gets warmer

esquared said...

i was about to ask this too. i was also going through the ad section in nypress. i refus to go through a broker.

Dan LD said...

I found my current apartment by calling the management company of my old one and asking if they had anything similar in the neighborhood. They did, and I ended up getting what I guess you would call a deal in this neighborhood. The real bright side was that was no broker fee.

Anonymous said...

Chachatron and the Magic Jim said...

blue glass said...

it used to be that the staff at the voice gave their friends any great-looking listings. people stood on line for the voice to be handed out on tuesday night.
craig's list has been a disappointment to me for many things. too many sharks and jokers there. but it does have the largest listing.
supers love tips, so beware that sometimes they take the money and have nothing to offer "NOW". tipping is for a well-done job.
i think the best way is to ask all your friends and sort of friends, anyone you know. that's how i found my two apartments a long time ago, and i looked for an apartment almost every day after work for nearly a year. it's worse now.
i wish you good luck.

Anonymous said...

I rent out a room in my apartment to students for three or four months at a time, and I always advertise on Craigslist. I know there are some weirdos on Craigslist, but there are also normal people like me. If I were looking for a place, I would respond to ads that had the most information and also gave you a sense of the person writing the ad. Also, never pay money upfront. I always tell my roommates, they can pay me the day they move their stuff in. If someone can't wait for the money, it's probably a scam. Craigslist is work (and let me tell you, it is just as much work for me to wade through the respondents, some of whom are weirdos), but it really is a great option. Honestly, looking for an apartment is always hard, whether you're dealing with a real estate agent, a building manager or combing through ads online or in newspapers. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Craigslist is great, but I also have a broker to recommend:

Issik Illouz
The Search Realty

He helped us find our current apartment, which we love, and I've been recommending him ever since and he's helped a lot of my friends find places. Specializes in ABC

Anonymous said...

Just apply at 2 Cooper Square and be done with it. It's just like a real like nice like kind of like luxury building, which is kind of hard like in this area. It's not like ... there's not like a lot of them, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Brokers are bottom-feeding pond scum. Their incentives are not aligned with yours: you want the best apartment for the least amount of money. Brokers want to put you into the most expensive apartment you'll be willing to accept.

By maintaining an oligopoly over apartment rentals, flooding public sources with fake information and running bait-and-switch scams on people looking for "no-fee" apartments, brokers make it near impossible to compete and keep the apartment real estate market locked down.

So, do us all a service and don't support the bottom feeding broker industry (they are already spamming these comments). It can be very hard to find a good apartment without a broker, but it's not impossible. You'll save a good chunk of money, and you'll contribute to putting those unnecessary greedy fucks out of a job.

Are there honest brokers out there? Sure. You can find them living alongside the unicorns and wood nymphs in Tompkins Square Park.

Rob Stevenson said...

Hello Everyone.
my name is Rob Stevenson. I'm a profession Real Estate Broker. broker. I've lived and work in the EV for 18yrs and fully understand the frustrations that people are having. It's true that craigslist is full of scams and deceptions, fake ads and switch & bait properties - and In truth anyone can find an apartment on their own - but not many people actually have the time or patience to do it. It takes alot out of you this time of the year to trudge around the EV in the snow & ice and sift through the countless number of dishonest on-line ads. If you chose a broker make sure he/she lives in the neighborhood, is knowledgeable, trust-worthy and reliable. Brokers have product knowledge and save you valuable time - In my case I provide rental reports and am an advisor to local press on EV Property - and that;s about it! Just my two cents!!
Rob Stevenson / Broker with The Real Estate Group NY

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob --

Do you charge a flat rate for your time? Our company's lawyer costs $250/hr, not 15% of our yearly operating costs.

Seems like if we're the customer, and apartment finding services are the product, then paying for your time directly would make a helluva lot more sense and would remove your incentive to get your customers into the most expensive apartment possible.

Anonymous said...

Tower Brokerage is utter crap. I rented an apt. through them many years ago and the process was more or less ok -- I was relatively new to NY then and didn't know how to find a place without a broker -- but then somehow they ended up becoming the mgmt. company for my building and they were the WORST. Seriously the worst management company I have ever had.

I agree with the recommendations to walk around, look for signs regarding available apts., and talk to supers. That is how I found my present place. As a plus, you'll really get a feel for your prospective block(s) that way -- what it's like at various times of the day, etc.

Vivienne said...

Looking for an apartment in the East Village and the Lower East Side was a nightmare when I initially moved down to the Lower East Side. The brokers were completely useless (RDNY is a totally scam!)(Grace at 123 Rent NYC or whatever it's called was the most unstable lunatic I ever had the displeasure of dealing with), many hours were spent going to 'open houses' (that experience alone is one I could probably write a few short stories about) and there are no shortage of crazy owners. So many of the places I looked at in the East Village were marketed for NYU students blatantly.

In the end, the apartment I found was found via a totally random, not very well worded ad on Craigslist which I normally would have ignored but I was so desperate at that point that I figured what the hell. It ended up being not only a great deal but since it was through the owners I avoided a broker's fee.

This little series on Curbed (as open to ridicule as it may be) is a great example of what it's like:

I don't envy anyone currently looking down here for an apartment.I apologize for the rampant use of parentheses. I am only just now working on my first cup of coffee of the day.

Anonymous said...

Call the phone #'s on the buildings, and try to go through the mgmt company.

bd said...

I moved into a new place in the EV a week ago (post blizzard, good times finding parking for the moving truck). My search started way back in late October just to get a general feel of what was available. I relied on well-defined craigslist searches* and

Both of them allow you to grab RSS feeds for whichever search you can craft (no-fee, FSBO, price range, keywords, etc). I took those RSS feeds and dropped them in google reader so that I'd know when anything was updated. SE also has email alerts and an iphone app to make this even easier. With the iphone app you can even check for rentals around you as you're walking around.

Sure it's a little work up front, but it's extremely easy to do a daily check (or morning/noon/night) when it's set up.

Ultimately streeteasy led to my no fee apartment.

Disclaimer: I do not work for SE, just had success using it. It's got a ton of additional useful data as well, such as:
- rental history
- how long the listings been on the market
- price changes
- other listings in the building, current and former
- floorplans (sometimes)

*I'd tell you how to search CL but then the scammers/spammers/bait-and-switchers might see this and change their techniques to exploit. I just don't want to carry that burden.

Anonymous said...

I know an awesome dude. No bullshit. His number is 480-227-5381 or . he can get you a no fee place and works by referral only. Tell him Alice Chewsif sent you

Jill said...

I've noticed recently that every conversation I've overheard on the street is about real estate.

Anonymous said...

there will be a lot of new to LET on the row this spring parkview's and pets allowed

Marty Wombacher said...

Practice, practice, practice?