- Decide What You Can Afford and What You’re Willing to Tradeoff
- Figure out if You Need a Guarantor
- Know Your Credit Report
- Prepare Your Application Package
- Use your RDNY.com Account All Through the Day
- Charm the Landlord and Make An Appointment to See the Apartment
- Meet the Landlord and Inspect the Apartment
- Complete an Application, Get Accepted, Sign the Lease
- Congratulations on Your New Home!
Step 1: Decide What You Can Afford and What You’re Willing to Tradeoff
What can you afford?
As a rule of thumb, Manhattan area landlords require a renter’s salary to be at least 40 times the monthly rent. If your salary is $40,000, then you should be looking for an apartment in the $1000 range ($40,000 divided by 40 = $1,000). If your salary is too low to show that you can pay the rent on your own, a landlord will accept you with a guarantor. A guarantor must show that he/she can pay for your rent as well as maintain his/her own household, so landlords usually require that a guarantor’s salary be 75 times your monthly rent in addition to your contribution.
Outside of Manhattan, landlords look for a salary that’s 25 or 30 times the monthly rent and they accept a guarantor who has an income that is 50 times the monthly rent.
What are your apartment parameters?
You already identified your three main apartment parameters when you became a member of RDNY.com: maximum rent, apartment size and location. Now you need to decide which one of these is your “non-negotiable” need. You’ll have more choices the more flexible you can be about the parameters.
What the Golden Triangle tells us is:
If your have a fixed maximum price you can pay (and who doesn’t), then you will need to adjust your size or location to find an apartment.
If you must have a certain sized apartment, then you must be willing to pay the price or change location.
If you must have a certain location, then you will have to compromise on size or price.
In other words, if your budget isn’t unlimited, you will have to make some compromises, and you can only compromise on three things, size, price, and location.
Only you can decide which combination is most important to you. If you’re looking with a roommate, be sure to discuss your “non-negotiable” requirements before you start your search. Your RDNY.com membership can be adjusted throughout your search to reflect any change in your requirements. You can also set up multiple search profiles to enable you to look, for example, for a studio apartment for yourself and a two-bedroom to share with a roommate. The key to success is to be flexible with all the areas outside your “non-negotiable” item.