Category Archives: New York Real Estate

Tips for Helping a Client Moving to NYC for the First Time

New York

While relocating to New York City can be an exciting experience for a client, most first-timers will need a crash course on what to expect from NYC real estate. As we know, when it comes to renting and buying, the New York real estate market is a lot more competitive and cutthroat than it is in other metropolitan areas. To help clients who are making a move to the Big Apple without living there prior, here are a few things that they’ll need to be aware of.

Upfront and Additional Costs

Whether your client decides to rent or buy, they’ll be paying more than just a deposit or down payment on their new home. If your client is renting, landlords will expect them to pay the first month, last month, and a one-month security deposit when signing a lease. For example, if an apartment is $4,000/month, your client will need to pay $12,000 on the day of agreement before getting their keys. Make sure clients are aware that a broker can also charge a fee of around 15% to renters and will get a commission of around 6% on a sale.

Buying in NYC often requires a hefty down payment or an all-cash offer. At a minimum, your client could be putting as much as 25% down. Your client will also have to pay monthly maintenance fees on top of mortgage payments and real estate taxes, which can feel like paying rent on a property that you own.

Whether your client is buying or renting in NYC, you can be sure that they'll have additional moving costs.

Whether your client is buying or renting in NYC, you can be sure that they’ll have additional moving costs.

Importance of Hiring an Experienced Moving Company

Another important cost to consider is hiring a moving company that’s knowledgeable in building and parking regulations. We generally refer our clients to Imperial Moving & Storage, a Chelsea-based company with over 20 years of experience in Manhattan relocations. In New York, most buildings will restrict the hours (and even the use of an elevator) when a person can move in, so it’s handy to have movers who know what they’re doing. It’s also a good idea to hire a company that understands the nuances of moving into cramped buildings and tight parking spots. While these services usually charge a lot of money and expect to be tipped, their experience is well worth the expense.

Picking the Right Neighborhood

Many can attest that it’s tricky trying determine which neighborhood is best for your client. While price is obviously one of the driving factors, here are a few other essential considerations:

Transportation

How convenient is the neighborhood to the MTA subways and bus routes? Is there parking available in the building or on the street? In the city’s outer boroughs, there are many one or two family housing options with private driveways. In Manhattan, your client would need to pay for onsite parking if (and only if) there is space available.

Make sure that your client knows where all public transportation options are located in their neighborhood.

Make sure that your client knows where all public transportation options are located in their neighborhood.

Groceries

Are there local shops for basic needs nearby, such as groceries and sundries? Are there delivery options if there aren’t any in the area? Check and see if there are any stores or big box companies, such as Whole Foods, in the neighborhood. You can also recommend services such as Fresh Direct or Instacart, which are grocery delivery services available throughout most of the city.

Schools

If your client has children, do some research on the public and private schools in the area. Educational opportunities could seal the deal when picking out a neighborhood, and it’s best to explain how the private school system works with filling out applications and potential long waiting lists.

Safety

Since first-timers may be relying on you to guide them in the right direction, make sure to do your homework to ensure that your client feels confident about their neighborhood’s safety. While much of Manhattan is a safe place to live, there are still areas in transition, such as East Harlem, that need to be checked up on. The outer boroughs have a mix of communities to choose from with plenty of diversity, and to see crime statistics by neighborhood, try reading through this online resource.

Moving to New York may be one of the biggest decisions your clients ever make. They are trusting you to guide them in navigating the choppy waters of NYC real estate, so make sure you are informed and ready to help.

Trendiest Neighborhoods in NYC’s Outer Boroughs

relocating-new-york-city

As one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, New York City is getting far too pricey for many of its residents. Manhattan real estate prices have skyrocketed with the rise of foreign investments in the market, and most people simply can’t afford to pay their raised rent and grocery bills at the same time. Over recent decades the sky-high Manhattan prices have driven many people to move to the outer boroughs where there are better deals on larger living spaces. If your clients are looking to relocate out of Manhattan, here are some of the trendiest neighborhoods in the NYC area you should be familiar with:

Brooklyn

While prices have risen in Brooklyn’s revitalized neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and Greenpoint, there are still hidden gems with reasonably-priced apartments available in this NYC borough. Gowanus was once a gritty industrial center that is now becoming a hot spot for residential conversions of industrial buildings. The neighborhood has attracted artists and musicians for the past few years because of its many loft-like spaces that accommodate workspace. With the opening of Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods store, Gowanus is quickly becoming a more residential and affordable place to live. It’s also conveniently located near the N, R, and F subway lines, as well as the beautiful Prospect Park.

The snow-covered Flushing Meadows Park is a quiet place in the dead of winter, but transforms into a lively neighborhood hangout during the warm summer months.

The snow-covered Flushing Meadows Park is a quiet place in the dead of winter, but transforms into a lively neighborhood hangout during the warm summer months.

Bronx

Much of the Bronx has a bad reputation for being unsafe, but there are some family-friendly neighborhoods in the North Bronx area that provide relatively affordable housing with parks, good schools, and cultural attractions close by. Riverdale is a family-oriented community with an intimate neighborhood vibe. If you can afford it, there’s high-end housing available that overlooks the Hudson River, but the most affordable options are closer to Manhattan College and Van Cortland Park. The park is a peaceful space with walking trails, baseball fields, and a golf course, and the surrounding neighborhood provides plenty of low-key shopping venues and restaurants. Riverdale also caters to families and students with its relaxed and safe atmosphere and is reachable by the No. 1 subway and by Metro-North trains.

Queens

Located on the East River in Queens, Astoria is the perfect neighborhood to venture out to if you still can’t afford the nearby hot spots to live in. With proximity to the G subway, you’ll still be close enough to enjoy the Brooklyn hipster scene in the surrounding neighborhoods, while also having relatively easy access to and from Astoria with the N, W, R, and M subway stops. Astoria is a diverse neighborhood with great ethnic restaurants and bistros and offers large housing spaces without breaking the bank.

Staten Island is the most suburban of all the NYC boroughs and offers convenient transportation to Manhattan via the Staten Island Ferry.

Staten Island is the most suburban of all the NYC boroughs and offers convenient transportation to Manhattan via the Staten Island Ferry.

Staten Island

St. George is the most lively, creative, and convenient neighborhood located on Staten Island. While the rest of the island has a more subdued, suburban environment, St. George feels like a small town with many apartments, eateries, and activities, making it a choice place to live in NYC. The St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project even boasts a retail outlet center and an observation wheel located on the NYC harbor. St. George is also home to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, making it an ideal location for going to and from Manhattan. While the trip is roughly 30-minutes long, it’s very affordable, and you can’t beat the stunning views of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty.