Saturday, May 12, 2007

Five ways I've looked for apartment sales (or why I hope to laugh at this list in a year)

  1. Corcoran. I've used this site to send me out reminders for apartments since I was looking in 1999 (as a dot-commer). The sellers are charged a 6% fees by the realtor. 6% of 450k = $27k. OMG! What a racket!
  2. Halstead. They're on a nearby corner (79th & Amsterdam) with a tricked-out cell-phone-controllable LCD array in the windows. It is very visible though.
  3. Foxtons. 3% commissions, but I've had nothing but problems using their site. Maybe they should raise it to 4% and hire a webmaster.
  4. NYC's HPD Site. Affordable housing programs here are sometimes too good to believe. Most are not in the areas that I want to live, but they're a steal for someone with less nabe' loyalty.
  5. Obits. Okay, I haven't done that yet, but I can't say I'd rule it out. I've been thinking about my grandparents’ old house in Queens. It was sold shortly after my grandpa died, and I'm sure it was way under-market. It's sad when I think about strangers living there, but it's what had to be done given the circumstances.

Buying from a seller directly has got to be the way to go, though not without it's share of stress. I can't imagine paying $25k to someone to show my house. Especially when the money is going towards LCD displays and corporate corner real rent. Sure, it would raise the chance of a sale, but what a sick amount of overhead to be a part of.

If I get an apartment by any of the first three means listed, I’ll be very surprised. I'd love to know what experience with Craigslist or a more community-centered sales method. Word of mouth, Classifieds... I'm sure this is something where doing some legwork of your own, and having an open timetable will make all the difference in the world.

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