2006-09-21 18:18 - General
I've been at 194 Gelston Avenue for 3 years now (well, in 9 days). It's a pretty decent apartment. It was $890 when I moved in. It's rent stabilized as are many buildings in NYC. That means that the amount the rent can be raised is controlled, set at a particular amount each year usually in the range of three to four percent. So, if I were to renew for another year, it would cost $1,003 per month. I figured I could do better.
I watched craigslist for a while, since I wanted to stay in the same neighborhood, and being online it's easy to search them for just the right thing. I was, of course, hoping for a "by owner" place but it's a sellers market, and they (almost) all rely on brokers. The brokers charge fees, but they have the market cornered. I didn't find anything looking easy, so I started calling brokers. I got shown one rather icky place, and the other I would have seen was locked. Being Sunday, we couldn't get hold of the super.
I saw it the next day after work, and it was nice. It's got wall to wall carpeting, built in A/C unit, dishwasher in the kitchen, lots of cupboards, and a half wall with a table surface on it, the tub in the bathroom has glass doors instead of needing a curtain. And for storage, a walk in closet. It's a studio, but about the same size as my current living room and bedroom combined. Things seem to fit, but I could make it even better with a loft bed.
Like I said, I wanted to stay in the same neighborhood, and I did. The new place is under a mile away, and only barely further from the subway. It's also directly across the street from a park, with a view of the Verrazano Bridge, except my unit is on the back not the front. I even walked over and stalked the parking lot my windows will be facing for a bit Tuesday night, and it was nice and quiet, as opposed to the incessant crying and shouting and noise in my current place.
The broker's fee was 15% of the annual rent, running just shy of $1,400, which truly sucks. I've managed to console myself by knowing that I'm saving more than that just in the first year, but it still hurt to hand over all that cash. But, I just got back from signing the lease a half hour ago, so it's final, and things are looking up overall!