Naked Apartments: Search apartments for rent in New York City

Basement apartment unit with kitchen and hardwood floorsAnyone who’s lived outside of Manhattan knows the deal: there are dozens of basement dwellings up for rent any day of the week in the five boroughs. Known as ADUs (accessory dwelling units), they’re nearly all based out of row houses and condos in outer boroughs, particularly in low-rent neighborhoods. You won’t be able to find them on all the major sites, however, because these spaces are, and always have been, illegal.  Even with all the standard requirements — two exits, windows, proper ventilation, running hot water, etc — these units are illegal because they are more than 50% below ground.

If you’ve ever lived in your parents’ basement, it’s not hard to see why the city has outlawed these dwellings for decades. Most landlords don’t bother keeping their basements furnished or in any state of repair, and they don’t have to because basement renters won’t complain. They’re caught in the catch-22 of NYC apartment rentals: they can’t report irresponsible landlords, and they won’t report them because basements are so cheap.

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Anyone who has ever embarked on the search for their perfect New York City apartment can tell you, it’s not easy. It can be extremely frustrating and, at times, you may even feel hopelessly discouraged. But, before you experience some long-awaited relief on move-in day, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the stress caused by New York real estate.

Close up of frustrated girl's face with hands outstretched in exasperation

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Apartment Genie Holding Lamp

We all wish brokers are apartment genies. You tell them what you want, and they make it so – in exchange for a giant fee. However, that’s not always the case. We’ve all heard horror stories of bait and switches, deposit thieves and greedy management companies. I have lived through all of these things and survived.

My roommate and I just spent the last month looking for a two bedroom apartment in Williamsburg for no more than $2,000 a month. Over the weeks, we amassed the numbers of dozens of brokers and even grew to know them personally. But as each one of them learned our requirements, their reactions ranged from telling us we will never ever find that — “not even in Bushwick!” — to outright laughing in our faces.

So where am I now? An adorable $1,900 two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Williamsburg. Here are three tips to help you also find your perfect apartment. [Read more →]

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Categories: Renter Tips

“There are those gems of apartments we see and just know it’s the one. Location. Check. Price is right. Check. Apartment is big AND has character. Check.”

And then it just slips right through your fingers.

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Showings on Demand

July 11th, 2013 : Joe Charat

Showings on Demand

A First in Real Estate

Through the years our business has adapted to the realities of the NYC rental market, using technology to simplify how renters find their next home. We’ve innovated in an industry badly in need of it. And we’re incredibly proud of our many accomplishments:

We were the first to sort listings not by date added, not by who was willing to pay for top placement, but instead by our “Quality Score”. Prioritizing renters, not revenues.

We were the first to let renters remain anonymous when inquiring about a listing. Defending renters’ privacy.

We were the first to combine duplicate listings, to easily compare the different descriptions, photos, and agents who advertise the listing. Saving renters’ time.

We were the first to check licensing credentials of all agents, and to verify that landlords are, in fact, landlords. Safeguarding our renters.

We were the first to put into place a comprehensive verification system, to avoid dealing with listings that are no longer available. Protecting renters’ sanity.

And today we’re the first in the nation to create a true on-demand service in real estate. So our renters land the best apartments, before anyone else.

Today we unveil Showings on Demand. See a listing you like, tell us when you want to see it, and we’ll find an agent to show it.

The best apartments in the city are rented in less than 24 hours. Now you can see them before they’re gone.

We make this possible through incredible, first-of-its-kind technology, and by leveraging our rental network – thousands of agents, landlords and management companies throughout the boroughs, who all pay to advertise on Naked Apartments. Those real estate pros have downtime. Economists call it underutilized capacity. They want to be showing properties, not responding to emails, or hoping their phones ring. They want to meet renters in-person, show them their inventory, and help those renters find their next home. Now they can.

Happy hunting.

Showings on Demand in the News

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What would you do if your rent shot up? Would you stick around and take the hit or would you look for a new place?

We interviewed NYC renters that are experiencing or have experienced rent increases and asked them how they plan to proceed.

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Why Are You Apartment Hunting? We asked New York City renters to tell us the main reason why they are for searching for a new place. I want a nicer apartment:  21 percent. I am looking for my first place: 41%. My landlord raised my rent: 11%. I want to live closer to work: 15%. I want to live in a better neighborhood: 12%. Naked Apartments

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Sometimes New York City can feel like the most expensive place in the world. We at Naked Apartments wanted to find out if this was actually the case. We took a look at some of the most expensive cities around the world in order to see how their costs of living and renting compare to NYC.

Renting Around the World We looked at some of the most expensive cities in the world to see how their costs of living and renting compare to New York City.  New York Tokyo Hong Kong Moscow Average Monthly Rent Two Bedroom Upfront Costs of Renting Reikin, sometimes referred to as key money, is a mandatory upfront payment similar to a security deposit. However, it is considered a gift to the landlord, so the renter does not get it back Security Deposit 1-2 Month’s Rent Broker’s Fee Public Transportation Price of one single-ride ticket on city metro or tram. $1.00 Cost of Goods Fast-food meal Gallon of gas Cup of coffee Data Sources: 2012 Mercer Cost of Living Report, CNBC, Forbes Naked Apartments

 

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For Kristen Buccholz and Ashley Savage, this was the second apartment hunt within the year and this time they had a system. They knew what they were looking for in a rental agent, what they needed in an apartment, and had their expectations in line with what they could afford. But even with their act together, it wasn’t long before they had seen dozens of listings, extended their current lease another month, and lost out on ideal apartments. In the end, their diligence paid off and their story offers an opinion or two on what kind of agents make the sale.

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With data from our 2+ million NYC renters, we at Naked Apartments have learned a lot about them, their habits and desires.

What follows is a portrait drawn from their registration data (contact info, desired apartment, move and roommate details, income, etc.) as well as their search history and survey results. [Read more →]

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