Photo via Flickr cc
If you’ve ever applied for affordable housing in New York City, you’ll know that it is all about the area median income, or the AMI. If you make too little or too much, you won’t qualify at all for affordable housing. Even if you do qualify, however, your AMI will impact your likelihood of actually acquiring a unit since most buildings have more units available in some AMI bands than others. For most New Yorkers, this is one of the most confusing aspects of affordable housing, so we’ve broken it down, from how AMI is calculated and what the current NYC parameters are to the many controversies surrounding the guidelines.
Everything you need to know
Photo © 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, we’ve put together the top five reasons it makes sense to move in the winter.
Until the end of WWII, moving day in New York City was May 1. Today, many people continue to move on this date and in the four months following, but if you’re a renter looking for great value, more options, and lower stress, the very best move dates fall in the winter months. In this article, we outline why a winter move makes sense and how to prepare for one.
The top five reasons you should move in the winter
Image: Wikimedia Commons
As long as Fido’s not a ferret, of course. You may not know this, but you could be able to keep a pet in a “no pets” apartment–legally. New York City’s Pet Law, established in 1983, may actually override your landlord’s kibosh on your kitty or pup, as long as certain criteria are met. Your pet can’t be one of the many, many critters on the city’s “banned” list, which includes the aforementioned ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, most snakes, hedgehogs, and squirrels.
So how can I keep Fluffy in my no-pets condo?
Image via Flickr CC
If you’ve ever applied for affordable housing in New York City, you already know that the process can feel more like an IRS audit than a typical housing application. While owners and management companies are empowered to ask for a lot of paperwork, to qualify for an affordable housing unit, you’ll need to do more than provide recent pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. You’ll need to share several years of financial, housing, and employment information, and if the developer doesn’t think you’ve provided enough evidence to quality, they can always ask for more evidence as the selection process unfolds. Fortunately, as of July 1st, the process of applying for affordable housing and the baseline credit criteria needed to qualify just got a bit easier for applicants.
Everything you need to know
Photo via Pixabay
Currently sleeping on a mattress with no box spring? Worse yet, a blow-up mattress? Is your night table a repurposed milk crate and are your bookshelves fashioned out of salvaged bricks and found lumber? Although all these features can be surprisingly charming when paired with the right accessories, there comes a time in one’s life when one wants or needs a bit more. But even if you opt to go full-on Ikea, the cost of furnishing a small one-bedroom from the ground up will likely cost well over $3,000 and that is only if you opt for a discount Bråthult over Vallentuna sofa.
For anyone faced with the challenge of furnishing an entire apartment—either for the first time or because you’re only in NYC for a limited amount of time—there is now a solution: “fast interiors.” Rather than buy, you can now rent your furniture for three months or for several years. While the rise of furniture rentals may sound unusual, in fact, it is an obvious extension of the sharing economy that has been growing, especially in highly populated urban areas, for the past decade. An underlying tenant of the sharing economy is that renting often makes more sense the owning. But does it? Ahead, we explore how and where to rent furniture and the relative short- and long-term benefits of renting over buying.
A guide to furniture rentals
Photo via CityRealty
Foreign nationals from around the world are recruited to work in New York City, but when they arrive, they often realize that not everyone is eager to welcome them with open arms nor open doors. Indeed, while many employers from banks and tech companies to museums and universities are eager to recruit top global talent, most of the city’s rental management companies would prefer to rent to a pack of college students than a fully employed foreign national with a six-figure income.
So, what is an adult with a great credit history, full-time job, and in many cases, a family to do when they arrive in New York City? While foreign nationals likely can’t change the perception that renting to foreigners is a bad idea, there are a few ways to troubleshoot the housing market in New York City whether you were born in Toronto, Paris, or Tokyo.
Everything you need to know, here
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
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