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NYC rental brokers

NYC rental brokers

Old Dec 26th 2021, 7:08 am
  #1  
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Default NYC rental brokers

Hi all,
My husband and I recently got our L1/L2 visas and will be moving to NYC next year.
We’ll be visiting in January to check out different areas to live and would like to contact some rental brokers.
Do any of you have any personal recommendations for brokers you've used? We’re currently thinking upper west & east sides, and park slope & surrounds in Brooklyn.
Alternatively do you know how to find a good broker in NYC? It’s something that was recommended to me in a previous thread but I have no idea how you find a good one.
Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 27th 2021, 3:04 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: NYC rental brokers

Originally Posted by london lou View Post
Hi all,
My husband and I recently got our L1/L2 visas and will be moving to NYC next year.
We’ll be visiting in January to check out different areas to live and would like to contact some rental brokers.
Do any of you have any personal recommendations for brokers you've used? We’re currently thinking upper west & east sides, and park slope & surrounds in Brooklyn.
Alternatively do you know how to find a good broker in NYC? It’s something that was recommended to me in a previous thread but I have no idea how you find a good one.
Thanks in advance!
I made the move 11 years ago to NYC on an L1. Things may have changed since then. My biggest issue (despite my employer offering a guarantee letter, they all wanted a person as guarantor not a company) was actually “lack of credit” over here, they would not take my UK one. The first place I wanted to take wanted 1 years rent upfront, which I was fine with, but would not provide me their financials (they would then be the credit risk not me). I ended up finding a company with multiple apartments that let them directly and paid 4 months upfront for a 3 month let including the deposit. I was then able to keep extending and ended up renting that place for nearly 2 year until I brought an apt (at the time it worked out cheaper to buy than rent). This was the place I rented from: New York Apartment For Rent, NY Rentals | Nofeerentals.com I ended up with a wing 2 bed 2nd floor prewar walk up for $1,650.

At the time I researched some services like this:
https://www.insurent.com to deal with my lack of credit.

You are a much higher risk because the landlord knows that if the L1 is terminated they have to leave the US within weeks. On the upside that makes it more likely they won’t have to go through the whole eviction process.

As the renter you don’t really need a broker, some places are “no fee” so your broker won’t get paid unless you pay them, and places that have a broker you have a better chance of being “picked” if the listing broker gets to keep the whole fee and not split it with another broker. As a side note unlike for sales and most other places in the US it’s is the renter not landlord who mostly pays the fee in NYC (that did change for a little while during CV19 apparently). Usually 1 months rent (8.33%), but it can go up to 10-15%.

The place you need to look is: https://streeteasy.com/
You can look now to get an idea of areas and pricing but you need to be on the ground, units can go in days. So unless you are signing the lease on your trip (I assume you want even have your social security numbers yet) you will really only be getting an idea of the areas.

Is your budget for rent realistic? Have you looked online yet?

Last edited by tht; Dec 27th 2021 at 3:13 pm.
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Old Dec 27th 2021, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: NYC rental brokers

Where will you be working? Often it can be quicker to commute from Jersey or Brooklyn/Queens than some parts of Manhattan. I'd avoid a broker if at all possible, no-fee is the way to go. All of the places you mention are more or less the most desirable parts of NYC, what will you be earning?

How many people will you be? Just 2? Fortunately for you L2 holders such as your spouse will be able to work straight away due to the recent changes. You may want to consider where they might be working too.
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Old Dec 28th 2021, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: NYC rental brokers

Originally Posted by tht View Post
I made the move 11 years ago to NYC on an L1. Things may have changed since then. My biggest issue (despite my employer offering a guarantee letter, they all wanted a person as guarantor not a company) was actually “lack of credit” over here, they would not take my UK one.
Thanks. We're aware that lack of credit history there will be an issue. We took out an Amex card a while ago to help with this, but any other tips welcome!
We're likely to be in a temporary place (airbnb type arrangement) for the first couple of months until we're in a better position to take out a lease.

Originally Posted by tht View Post
As the renter you don’t really need a broker, some places are “no fee” so your broker won’t get paid unless you pay them, and places that have a broker you have a better chance of being “picked” if the listing broker gets to keep the whole fee and not split it with another broker. As a side note unlike for sales and most other places in the US it’s is the renter not landlord who mostly pays the fee in NYC (that did change for a little while during CV19 apparently). Usually 1 months rent (8.33%), but it can go up to 10-15%.
We're aware we don't need a broker and there may be some disadvantages, but given the large areas we're looking at and our lack of familiarity with the neighbourhoods it feels like it will be a good investment and save a lot of time and effort.

Originally Posted by postbox134 View Post
Where will you be working? Often it can be quicker to commute from Jersey or Brooklyn/Queens than some parts of Manhattan. I'd avoid a broker if at all possible, no-fee is the way to go. All of the places you mention are more or less the most desirable parts of NYC, what will you be earning?
Yes the commute is a factor (for my husband - I wasn't clear in my first post but he's the L1 holder and working down in the Financial District) but schools and green space are the primary driver of location as we have a young child. My husband will be earning $220k plus bonus. Does that sort of salary range sound sufficient to fund a rental budget of $5k-6k as we have calculated? Is $5-6k sufficient for a reasonable 2-bed apartment in those areas? Should we recalibrate our expectations?

If anyone else has any brokers to recommend I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Old Dec 28th 2021, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: NYC rental brokers

I had an HSBC Premier account in the UK as was able to open a US account day 1 and get checks, and get a debit and credit card a few days later without a SSN. Hsbc seems to be pulling out of the US, so that may not be an option. Checks are still a thing here and may be needed for a rental. Search the other thread here on building credit. I was able to get mine to the point of buying an apt about 2 years after I landed.

What age is your child? If school age and you are not planning on private school that will be the main factor on location… public schools are tied to your address, check schools on here: https://www.greatschools.org/

The property prices, tax and hence rental costs are often driven by schools. This may be an issue with a temporary rental… as you may have to move schools.

You mentioned very different areas… Brooklyn and UES are a very different vibe, so you may want to think about the kind of people you want to make friends with…. There are moms groups on FB where you can get a sense of that…

I just let out my place in Brooklyn with my NY broker, he explicitly told me he was doing it as a favor, he only really does sales, and only listed mine in n the hope that I will sell it one day and he will get the listing. You may want to check out some areas before you sign with a broker, if you choose to use one I would look for ones that specializes in the neighborhood you want to live in. If you want one to make an effort I would tell them you plan to buy in a year or 2, that may motivate them to work hard with the prospect of a sale down the line.

To give you a sense of the process, I had mine repainted and the floors refinished, once it was ready my broker did a preview and I got my first well qualified application before the open house and then 7 more within 1 day. I had a signed lease within 4 days of listing. Each applicant had to pay a fee for credit and criminal / bankruptcy check. I use a platform called Avail.co so the fee was only about $60 for each applicant, many condo and coops will have much higher fees, $3-400 and even if your qualified you could be competing with others if it’s a desirable property.
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