Top 7 Lessons Learned for Renters in 2010
- It’s no longer a renter’s market: With so many stories from friends and co-workers of the phenomenal deals grabbed in the previous year, it came as quite a blow for many tenants looking to make a switch in 2010. Landlords negotiated less and concessions diminished.
- Inventory talks: Inventory was quite slim throughout the year, despite talks of shadow condo inventory filling up rental demand. Good apartments flew off the shelves within a week of hitting the market, with time-sensitive renters feeling the pressure of having to quickly find other options and foregoing their dreams of negotiating to the bone.
- Luxury costs, baby: Many potential buyers, looking for the quality and lifestyle that usually comes with owning, had many places from which to choose, but for a pretty penny. Luxury rental developments seemed to pop up in every which neighborhood, at price-points that made many skeptics balk. Yet, lo and behold, with a few strategic concessions here and there, they filled up quite nicely, thank you very much.
- Easy shares are a thing of the past: At least the walls between roommates are, as an old law prohibiting easy-to-put-up walls became heavily enforced. Convertible two and three bedrooms lost their power of attraction to many who now would rely on bookshelves and curtains to create the iota of privacy that would insult most in other cities.
- Bed bugs don’t discriminate: Those little vampires seemed to be showing their fangs just about everywhere in the city this year, from Bloomie’s to high-end apartments. Landlords, co-op boards and owners, alike, were quite hush-hush about their encounters with bed-bugs due to their potential to suck away at apartment values … until a new law kicked into effect mandating their disclosure.
- You CAN avoid Craigslist scams: With apartment hunting having now become an official sport of New Yorkers far and wide, it only makes sense that scammers flooded Craigslist with faux apartments to capitalize on this interest. Savvy renters quickly learned the ways to spot them and avoid the bait and switch tactics that lead so many to give up using a broker altogether.
- Count your blessings: If you happen to have signed a lease in 2008 or 2009 for an apartment you love, thank your lucky stars. Your base rent is likely lower than its equivalent for a new tenant. While this may not be rocket science, it does buck the trend we’ve seen over the last few years of rents being the same or lower year on year.