Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why does it have to be so complicated?

So, E and I have been looking at apartments. We love where we currently are, and would like to stay, but also wanted to see what is out there.

Today we saw a place that is nearby (so same neighborhood that we like) and costs less per month. It has more livable space, including a real second bedroom (rather than a flex 2 which we have now, where we'd put up a wall for the baby's room).

So we'd have a little more room, pay less per month, and be where we like. Those are the pros. Oh, and being on the 31st floor with a lovely view of the city is a pro too. So is the dedicated play ground.

The biggest con is the lack of a washer dryer in the apartment, something that frankly most NYC apartments don't have and we're lucky to have one right now. So we'd eat up about half of the rent savings sending out most of the laundry (we'd use the building's laundry for some stuff but let's face it, we've done the apartment without a washer dryer and despite our best intentions, we never really used the building's laundry).

But here's what brought us to a full stop.

Before the realtor could/would call the leasing office to talk about pricing (we want to try to negotiate given that it's a renter's market), he said we needed to provide an "in earnest" fee of $1K, run credit checks on both of us for $75 ea, pay slips, letters of employment, and proof that we earn 45 times (annually) the cost of monthly rent. WTF? Why so complicated?

We had been ready to at least submit an application, to see if they'd negotiate the price. But we took a break for lunch and to unlock our credit reports, and when we called to see what we'd need to bring and he started to list all these things...

Well, it might have been my headache (all the walking around we did and I didn't stay nearly as hydrated as I should have), but little bells went off. Stop rushing, I thought to myself. And then I said it to E. When we called to postpone our application appointment, on the grounds that we need time to gather up the documents and get a money order (they only accept cash or money orders and it is after all Sunday), the guy was like, well, we can just skip the documentation for now, and instead of $1K, we can do $500.

Doesn't that sound skeevy to you? This guy is from a real and well known real estate office, so it's not like he's looking to con us. But why do we need to put ANY $ down just to see if they're willing to negotiate?

I miss renting in places like Montgomery or Colorado Springs where all you had to worry about was a deposit.


  1. Something just sounds fishy there. You're just wanting to RENT the place, and actually, you're just TALKING about prices, too. Just asking and finding out what's doable and whatnot. So, there shouldn't be ANY money up front for that. Sure, maybe prove your income, that you can make your payments, but beyond that, I think it's just messed up and I'm like you. Little bells. Just like a thing we had about selling the car the other day (I'll tell you later). Little bells then, too. Take your time, and if I were you, I wouldn't deal with someone like that, who's OBVIOUSLY not trying to HELP you and has your BEST interest in mind.

  2. Yikes. Renting here is so easy. They just run your social through a credit check and it's a yes or no answer right then and there.

    By the way, I would KILL for a washer/dryer INSIDE our apartment. I may make that a demand in our next move.

  3. Call me a conservative if you will, but it's all thanks to lovely things like rent control and zoning that we have these problems here in NYC. The housing market may have collapsed, but thank goodness we (most of the country, that is) live in a free-enough society that we can do that to ourselves. Cheap rent, yessirree...


I'd love to know what you think: