Reader Mail: Apartment Hunting

From the inbox today, we have a reader who is looking for some tips on how to snag a good deal for a respectable apartment in Hoboken. Other than scouring the net or getting lucky, is there any worthwhile advice you can offer them? What to avoid?

“Hi Hoboken 411,

My roommate and I are young, responsible, respectful professionals and we would like to up-grade our living situation, currently a run-down, potentially condemnable house in downtown Hoboken. Do you or the readers have any advice on finding an affordable, decent, no-fee apartment?

Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated!”

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13 Comments on "Reader Mail: Apartment Hunting"

MileSquareGuy
Member
MileSquareGuy

Finding a rental in Hoboken, as is the case in so many other areas, can be difficult and time-consuming. There is no comprehensive repository for rental listings like there is for properties that are for sale i.e. MLS. This fragmented and de-centralized aspect of the rental market means you have to do the legwork yourself. I would estimate that the Realtor community only touches about 25% of rentals in town with the lion share of rentals being filled privately or through on-site leasing offices at rental buildings. Generally speaking, you will not find 2 BR rentals below $1800 with Realtors. These opportunities are so scarce that they fly off the shelf very quickly. If your price range is above $2000, you might have luck with agencies. Be prepared to provide your contact information to each and every agency you go to. Real estate commissions are negotiable in NJ; don’t be afraid to bargain especially if you have your cash ready and have a good credit score,most agencies pull credit as part of their s.o.p. However, tenants are more numerous than listings, so agents can always hold out for a full fee. The Hoboken Reporter and Current get published on Thursday and Sunday. Grab one immediately on those days, and start circling and calling.

zxcv
Member
zxcv

I meant $1,625…

zxcv
Member
zxcv

I agree that it is best to get over the no-fee obsession. It might seem like there is no reason to pay someone a fee, but at least when you call these brokers, they are motivated to show you places.

I’ve had zero luck with “no-fee” places – the people were impossible to get in touch with, would never return my calls, etc. But if you’re dealing with a broker, they will genuinely bust their ass for their cut.

If you just take the monthly rent and add the fee divided by 12, you can rationalize it as the true rent. EX: rent is $1,500 per month, fee is $1,500. True monthly rent for the first year is $1,650.

You MIGHT get lucky and find a no-fee place, but my attempts at doing that got nowhere.

shoegirl
Member
shoegirl

I love my realtor. We use Mark from Riverside realty. We have used him for the last 6 years and, I reccomond him to everyone. He is readily available if there is an issue with the apt that needs to be fixed. I called him when my maintance man was out of town and I had ants. He sent someone over that day. You will have to pay a fee but, it’s worth it. Good Luck!

jc1305us
Member
jc1305us

Be patient and go through a realtor. I went through one and we waited till we found the right place for great rent and a huge space in a fantastic location. we did get lucky, but patience pays.

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