Scoring an apartment in the Upper West Side….

212_west_104th_street_buildingSuccess at last!  We started the quest for an apartment in Manhattan 8 days ago in New York and managed to rent one today with the help of our relatives in New York willing to walk the listings with a great broker–Jenny Nokeo. Jenny was best thing about the whole experience. She was one of three Brokers we had contact with at AC Lawrence\Coldwell Banker–supposedly the largest rental Broker in NYC. She was assigned to show us apartments. The others handled collecting money and the contacting of landlords and I was not happy with the footdragging in those processes. Jenny on the other hand, didn’t evade any questions about the shady real estate practices that go on in New York and she went to bat for us with the landlords. She kept us informed and was available till late at night answering questions and concerns we had when we had trouble getting straight answers from the main office. In addition, when we left New York without a signed lease and no leads, Jenny continued to keep us updated with new listing which seemed to change and pop up daily. SHe has the ability to really understand what your expectations and concerns are and she stayed right on target, not showing us places out of our target area and price range to manipulate the deal. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think we would have found a place AFTER we left New York. She continued to search for us after we left and Facetimed the walkthroughs realtime and gave us the information we needed to make the hard decisions. It’s amazing how landlords can legally change the rent from the listing at will.  In addition to the floating rent phenomena which peaks when students are looking for upper west side rentals,  you need a bankroll of $300 for an application fee\credit check per app and one months rent to show you are interested.  In addition you risk losing it all if they accept your bid  and you back out afterwords.  It takes on the average 2 to 4 days to get an answer from a landlord which takes you off the market .  The apartment we scored, literally popped up in the listings 24 hours before we actually saw it.  We booked a viewing with the landlord the hour it was posted and when my sister in law arrived to see it a day later,  there were already 4 parties looking at it.   I think we were lucky to have been accepted to rent it.   I’m glad that’s over.   To finalize the deal,  we need to send certified checks to the landlord, sign a lease with a Notary and then forward the documents to Mia’s Roommate’s parents.  All in all, we saw 7 apartments,  bid on two and scored one on the 7th day.   The neighborhood on Broadway near 107 is very nice.  There are some great Restaurants and lots of small stores putting you within steps of organic groceries, sushi grade AHI,  hardware and furniture stores.  The one line (Subway) is 165 steps from the door and will get you almost anywhere  the action is within minutes.   The Columbia Professional School campus at the 168 is spectacular. IMG_2986A very modern facility surrounded by the Columbia Medical, Dental, Nursing schools as well as the Institute of Human Nutrition.   Well probably end up mailing everything there and moving in in late August.

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