Monday, February 04, 2008

We're On the Move

So, it looks like K and I will be moving come June. We love our neighborhood (and indeed, our apartment), and the rent increase on our lease renewal packet was quite reasonable, but I think we're both in favor of finding a one-bedroom and bidding our roommate farewell.

I, naturally, look at this as an opportunity to lower our rent. We figure the very top of our range is $1,500/month ($750 each, a rent increase of about $130 over what we'd pay in our place next year), but after some time spent browsing Craigslist, I think we can find something for $1250 or below. We're going to start looking in our current neighborhood (East Harlem) and then expand our search to Central Harlem, Washington Heights/Inwood, Prospect Heights, Bushwick, and Bed/Stuy. We're looking for a one-bedroom with a good kitchen. Current dealbreakers include carpeting, walk-ups above four floors, the J/M/Z and G trains, and broker's fees. On the wishlist: hardwood floors, light, closeness to trains, a dishwasher, and renting directly from the owner.

Cheaper is better, not just because duh, but also because in the event that I move out to go to grad school far away, it would be great for K if he could keep the apartment (assuming he's making a little more money then than he is now).

We found our current apartment through a broker and while I was still on the West Coast, and many organizational and financial mistakes were made. Parceling out the security deposit and whatnot is going to be a bitch, but I'm fully prepared to pay a little "stupid tax" and move on with things. Because I was on the West Coast when K and our roommate found this apartment, I've never apartment-hunted in New York, and it's both an exciting challenge and a terrifying obstacle. We do have the benefit of some time, a free place to crash if the whole thing blows up in our faces (that would be my parents' place), and a high level of familiarity with the city, transportation, and neighborhoods we're interested in. So it's English Major And Her Boyfriend Versus the New York Rental Market. Let's see who comes out with fewer bruises.


Little Miss Moneybags said...

You can totally find a one-bedroom for less than $1250 in those neighborhoods. Have you also considered Astoria?

Good luck with the move, the upfront costs are astounding but I just keep telling myself it's just money.

Anonymous said...

Good luck! I'm going to be in the market for a one-bedroom in East Harlem later on this year too, so I'll be interested to hear more about your search. I'm sure you'll find someplace great!

English Major said...

Little Miss Moneybags, we're not super-keen on Astoria, but we are sort of considering Jackson Heights and Sunnyside (the latter more seriously than the former).

Little Miss Moneybags said...

Sunnyside is nice as well (I saw a HUGE one bedroom apartment there for $1400 last week). I'm not terribly familiar with Jackson Heights.

I found that I liked Astoria less than I expected in some ways, but I think the lower Astoria area is going to be more to my liking.

sfordinarygirl said...

My sister is moving to Astoria in the spring and the prices for a one bedroom are definitely less tahn 1250. Astoria's an up and coming neighborhood with lots of interesting bars and clubs. Some friends of mine subletted there, various parts of Harlem and Queens and found Astoria to be the better of the three.

Jackson Heights seems kind of suburban, unless it's changed the last few years dramatically? My grandma has a place there and during my last visit, I didn't find much to be excited about.

What about Morningside area?

Good luck in your search! My sister's sublet in midtown ends in the spring and she's not thrilled exactly to be moving but we're not always given the best choices.

HC said...

Good luck! I will be curious to see how this all falls out.

michelle said...

I live in lower Astoria on the R/V/G lines and we pay $1450 for a two-bedroom - we found this place in 2 days through an ad in the Village Voice. Sunnyside is kind of..suburban? It's really different from Jackson Heights, which is more colorful and boisterous. I know that a lot of people find apartments on Craiglist, but I liked using the VV ads, where I was able to make a phone call and get a sense of the landlord/broker right away. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I pay around $1000 for a 2 bedroom in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge off of the N train. Tons of light. I'm starting to see many more young professional types around.

No broker fees, I deal directly with the owner.

I'd love to live in the South Slope, but can't stomach the rent increase, the apartment hunting, and the broker finagling.