How to Find an Apartment in Brooklyn

It’s hard to find an affordable apartment in Brooklyn, and also in a good neighborhood. It’s hard to find a place that’s big enough but is also near a train. You will face a lot of challenges. You have to know what you’re willing to sacrifice and what is non-negotiable for you.

Apartment-hunting in Brooklyn
How to Find an Apartment in Brooklyn

Apartment-hunting in Brooklyn can be stressful for any renter. While the process may feel like survival, with these few tips, you’ll be one step closer to finding a great place to live. So, we bring you some tips for your question: How to find an apartment in Brooklyn?

How far in advance to look for apartment?

Start your search at least a month before your move. You want to find cheap apartments in NYC? Or,  no fee apartments by owner? Anything is possible only if you first get to know NYC and you know how to investigate. If you can,  get to know Brooklyn, gather information during apartment hunt.

How to find an apartment in NYC from out of state?

Also, surf best websites for finding apartments in NYC to get a feel for what people are offering for apartments in each borough and neighborhood. This is the best way to investigate if you can’t visit Brooklyn. It is extremely important to get as much information as possible. Either through friends or the Internet if you are looking to find an apartment in NYC from out of state.

Spend time in the neighborhood

Is this the ideal neighborhood I’d want to live in? Am I only taking it because I’m tired of searching? Does it feel like you could live here? What is the street like at 7 a.m. when you need to leave for work? Does it feel safe if you’re coming home at 10 p.m.? What are the best Brooklyn neighborhoods to move to with kids? Make sure you answer all these questions honestly before you say “yes” and put down the deposit.

Be sure to check that you’re not more than a 10-minute walk to the nearest subway and that the neighborhood is safe by searching the New York Police Department website for crime statistics. Other things to consider include the number of local restaurants, grocery stores or bodegas, laundry services and drugstores to make sure the neighborhood you’re considering provides the convenience you’ll need.

What are the best Brooklyn neighborhoods to move to with kids?
Spend time in the Brooklyn neighborhood

In New York City real estate, there is no time for tomorrow

If you see an apartment that you’re interested in, e-mail or call them immediately. Don’t wait an hour. Don’t wait until you get off work. Most importantly, you have to be ready to sign a lease after looking at a prospective apartment, like, 20 minutes after you see it. Why? Because someone else will take it if you don’t. There is no “let me think about it and call you tomorrow.”

Decide on your budget

A typical budget for home rent or mortgage should be equal to 25% of your monthly income. However, in New York, this percentage is often higher, at times reaching 50%. Out of the five boroughs, Staten Island  have the best cost of living. However, the Staten Island Railroad does not serve the entire island. Thus, Brooklyn is a good alternative. So, be smart with your budget. You should know much money will you spend for rent in certain neighborhood. Ask yourself: Is this apartment worth its price? Always make sure that you are paying at least market price.

Most New York City landlords require a resident earn approximately 30 to 50 times the monthly rent. If you don’t, you’ll be required to have a guarantor or cosigner whose salary is 80 times the monthly rent. Other ways to address lack of credit and salary include paying more upfront — either a year’s rent or the first and last month’s rent and two months’ security.

Get your paperwork in order before you see the place

Renters who are unfamiliar with the New York City rental landscape don’t know how quickly rental inventory is snatched up by eager city dwellers. With such a competitive market and quick rental turnover, being organized and having your paperwork ready to go before you look is a necessity.

Consider bringing along a copy of your most recent paystubs, your co-signer’s contact information, tax returns from the past two years, a color copy  of your driver’s license and/or passport. Don’t forget a list of personal and professional references, and a current credit report in order to get a leg up on the competition. When you find an apartment, you’ll need a certified check for the first month’s rent and the amount of one month’s rent for a security deposit.

Get your paperwork in order before you see the apartment
Be organized and having your paperwork ready

Beware of bedbugs

You don’t want to think at night about bedbugs. Research the building for any recent bedbug registrations before sealing the deal. If bedbugs have been detected and the building isn’t dealing with the issue – it may be a problem, and you should take precaution before signing a lease.

Beware of scams

With the demand for rental units as high as it is in New York, it’s no surprise that you’ll run into a scam or two along the way. Does the deal seem too good to be true? Look out for words such as “cozy,” “charming” or “unique.” They could translate to shoe-box sized apartments, old and outdated features, or bizarre layouts that makes fitting furniture impossible.

Another term to be aware of is “converted,” which means an additional bedroom has been created using a fake or temporary wall. So a converted two bedroom means you’re actually renting a one bedroom apartment that has been rigged with walls that weren’t there originally.

you can find the right apartment -- without ever paying a broker fee
Good luck on your Brooklyn apartment hunt

Wait until after the summer rush is over — if you can

Prices are higher in the summer, so waiting until post-Thanksgiving sometimes helps. Generally apartment seekers can find lower rents if they are moving in the winter months. But, you also should know, there aren’t as many available apartments in the winter months as there generally are in the summer/spring seasons.

Don’t forget renter’s insurance

Once you have finally found your new home and signed the lease, be sure to get a renter’s insurance policy to protect your new place. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 60 percent of renters do not have renter’s insurance. Even though the average policy is only about $15 to $30 a month. It is a small price for covering potential damages to your belongings.

Finding apartments is very much about fate. If you don’t get an apartment, or if someone else beats you to putting down the deposit, do not despair. Simply put, it just wasn’t meant to be. There are dozens of other apartments waiting for you. Perhaps, they are even better than the one you thought was “the” apartment. But if you play your game right, plan out your strategy, and the stars are aligned in your favor, you can find the right apartment — without ever paying a broker fee! Good luck on your hunt!