Photo via Pixabay
January is a busy month for renters across the U.S., described by one broker as the “oasis month” in an otherwise dead stretch between October and the spring. People make big life-changing decisions at the New Year, which often means moving – plus there’s the backlog of renters who put off sorting their living situation over the holiday season who are all entering the market at once in the first week of January.
New York’s rental market is estimated to be worth over $700 million in rent and over $44 million in deposits in January alone. With so much money changing hands, it means renters are an attractive target for scammers and fraudsters. Thankfully, rental fraud is rare, but a little knowledge goes a long way. So if you’re entering the rental market after the holidays, here are three things you can do to keep yourself (and your money) safe.
Whether you’ve just been offered a dream job in Austin or decided to ditch New York City for a farmhouse in New Paltz, if you have a lease, you have problem. Leases are generally a good thing: They give tenants the right to stay in an apartment on a year to year or even bi-annual basis. If you need to vacate early, however, a lease can quickly start to feel like vice grip on your future. Fortunately, tenants, at least those living in rental buildings, do have some legal ways to opt out early. This guide outlines the ins and outs of lease breaking, how to find a qualified tenant, and what to do if you are currently renting in a condominium or co-op where lease breaking is a far more complex process.
Everything you need to know, right here
“Vintage” furniture and decor is no stranger to young, urban professionals, with the proliferation of markets like Brooklyn Flea and do-good stores like Housing Works. But rarely do fine antiques enter the equation, often being tossed aside for their higher price points. But the antiques market has undergone a major shift in recent years, and no one has been more privy to it than Ben Macklowe, the second-generation president of the Macklowe Gallery who describes collecting as “the intersection of passion, taste and happenstance.”
After standing as a fixture on Madison Avenue for nearly 50 years, gaining international recognition for its collection of French Art Nouveau furniture and objects, Tiffany lamps and glassware, and antique and estate jewelry, the gallery recently relocated to a 6,000-square-foot space on 57th Street and Park Avenue, which, according to Ben is “thanks to our existing clients and a new generation of passionate collectors.” For this new generation, Ben believes the time is ripe to start collecting. Antiques are sustainable by nature, they lend themselves to cultural exploration, and, because of a generational shift, are more affordable than ever.
Ahead, we break down the top-three reasons to start an antique collection.
For traditionalists who relish the ritual of bringing home the perfect evergreen, the idea of any man-made alternative has little appeal. But just as many tree-seekers are happy to anchor their December decor with a Christmas tree that doesn’t shed and doesn’t need to be sent to the curb when the season’s over. The options are as varied as the reasons we love them: Some literally take up no space, perfect for tiny apartments. Others are perfectly modern, rustic, retro or Nordic to reflect the style of their owners. Below are 15 fun, festive, sustainable and re-usable alternatives to pine and fir.
deck the halls, this way
Image via Pexels
With the sun setting earlier each night and the temperature quickly dropping, it’s time to make the seasonal swap from sandals to boots and from air conditioning to heating. To prepare for the city’s coldest months, New York City renters should know the basic laws of heating an apartment, as well as the best products and decor to supplement a less-than-adequate system. Ahead, follow 6sqft’s heating guide to keeping things toasty all winter long.
More this way
Image: Dov Harrington / flickr CC
Living in a college residence might be fun for a year or two, but most college-age kids eventually want to move out. And who can blame them? After all, who wants to show ID to a security guard every time they arrive home, share a room with a stranger, or eat in a cafeteria night after night? In many smaller college towns, sending your kid first and last month’s rent is more than enough to get them out of residence and into their first apartment. In New York City, it’s a bit more complicated.
In most cases, parents need to be directly involved in the housing search and rental process and prepared to come up with a substantial deposit, which can meet or even exceed the money needed to purchase a starter home in many U.S. cities. In order to rent an apartment in New York City, renters typically must come up with first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, and a broker’s fee (the fee is either one month’s rent or anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the first year’s rent). Also, as a rule, owners and management companies require lease holders to have an established credit history, to make more than 40 times the monthly rent on an annual basis, or to have a guarantor who exceeds these criteria.
This 6sqft guide outlines everything parents need to know before going on the market to rent an apartment for a college-age child, including advice on where to find listings and how to decode them.
the full scoop here
Photo via Wiki Commons
Affordable housing is one of the hottest topics in the real estate market these days. It all started with Mayor de Blasio’s plan to preserve or build 200,000 affordable units over the next ten years, which has resulted in a slew of new lotteries for below-market rate apartments, putting his goal ahead of schedule. And let’s not forget the expiration of the controversial 421-a tax abatement, which provides incentives to developers when they reserve at least 20 percent of a building’s units for low- and moderate-income tenants. But despite the buzz-worthy roll affordable housing has been on, many are still left wondering what exactly it is.
Everything you need to know about affordable housing
Lead image © Daxiao Productions – Fotolio
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, now that the city is in high renting season, we’ve researched the best resources for finding a no-fee apartment.
More than half of New Yorkers spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent. Tack on a broker’s fee that could be as high as 15 percent of an apartment’s annual rent, and that burden becomes even worse. Thankfully, there are more and more resources popping up to find no-fee rentals. Aside from the go-to listing aggregators, there’s now roommate-share options, lease break sites, artist-centric search engines, and good old fashioned networking. 6sqft has put together our 12 favorite options, along with the basics of each so you can figure out what will work best for you and how to prioritize your search.
Check out the full list here
Photo via New York Law School/Flickr
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, Corcoran realtor Alison McQueen shares her personal guide for first-time homebuyers in NYC.
Many first-time homebuyers in NYC are doubtful they’ll find a great place within their budget, but every single client I’ve worked with has closed on a home, and they say buying was one of the best decisions they ever made. To make this dream a reality, you’ll want a clear understanding of your finances and how much you’d like to spend; the top five things you want in a home; and a sense of your preferred neighborhoods based on potential commute, area amenities; and ideal budget. Sound overwhelming? That’s where a team of professionals comes in, including a real estate agent, real estate attorney, and home inspector. The best way to enter the purchase process is as an informed consumer, as you’ll have an easier time targeting and getting what you want. To make the process a bit easier, I’ve put together a handy list of the key things to consider when embarking on the purchase path in New York City.
All the tricks of the trade
Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. Previously, 6sqft rounded up a list of 10 nearly indestructible plants that are ideal for apartment dwellers with black thumbs. Now, we’re taking a look at plants that are powerhouses when it comes to cleaning indoor air.
Outdoor air quality is a concern for all, but few of us consider the airborne pollutants that have infiltrated our homes. Toxins from carpet, paint, upholstery and cleaning products are just a handful of modern-day products that can degrade indoor air quality, and studies have shown too much exposure to these manmade elements can cause lung and respiratory issues over the long run. Luckily, there are a number of houseplants that moonlight as efficient purifiers. Ahead you’ll find 15 of the best air-purifying plants suited for apartment living, according to Dr. B.C. Wolverton, a scientist who worked with NASA to develop a breathable environment for long-term lunar habitation.
15 plants to help keep indoor air its purest