Author Topic: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.  (Read 1866 times)

Offline C11106

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Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« on: April 26, 2010, 08:38:34 PM »
I'm thinking of moving to Manhattan when my lease is up in September (I love my apt and the food in Queens, but it's really quite lonely, as my friends are all in Manhattan).  I've just switched jobs, and have a few questions about what I would qualify for, and I hope someone knows the answer:

1.  My 2009 W-2 will show my old salary (about $10K less), but I can prove my current income via paystubs and my offer letter.  Is this acceptable, or does the 40x rule apply to your prior year W-2 income?  I just went from one job to the other (no gaps in employment) if this helps.

2.  My offer letter states a bonus amount, to be paid in February 2011, and so this would add to my yearly income.  Since it hasn't been paid yet, I have no proof of this income via W-2s or paystubs, but I can show my offer letter that states this.  Would I be able to apply this as my yearly income for the 40x rule?

3.  I'd really prefer to live alone.  Is it possible to find a large studio or 1 BR in the $1800 range, anywhere in Manhattan (far east or west ok, but Harlem/Wash heights, etc. is not).  If I find a roommate, is it possible to get an apartment with 2 full bathrooms for $3600-$3800?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  And if anyone knows (or is) a real estate agent who thinks they could help, please let me know.

Offline Mike V

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 08:07:47 AM »
I'm also considering a move to Manhattan where I lived for many years prior to moving to Jackson Heights.  I just did a search using the NY Times Rental Real Estate using a range of $1800 to $1900.  I was amazed at the selection and in prime areas (ex: 600SF Studio on 87th & 3rd Ave).  It listed 142 pages (10 per page) or 1420 results and many are one  bedrooms. Once you see something you like call the Rental Agent along side the listing. The Agent will be able to answer you questions regarding being eligible.  Rental prices have come down in Manhattan but I read that they're beginning to creep up.  Considering all that's available in your price range you can live alone.  I'm sure many of the units are Condo Rentals which you should avoid.  You want Rent Stabilized. 

Offline saltine warrior

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 08:41:12 AM »
I am a real estate agent in Manhattan and Astoria and things have been much more relaxed in regards to what landlords are looking for regarding financials.  While 40x the salary is the standard, right now a good credit rating can more than make up for making less than 40x the rent.  Some landlords will also accept an extra months security if they are a bit uneasy regarding the qualifications.
Of course some landlords won't budge on the requirements but a good real estate agent will save you time and money while working with you and the landlords. 
Something to think about.  This time of year apartments start to move fast and the landlords are ready for the busy season.  While rents have been holding at a lower price the landlords will have more people to choose from and may start to be stricter with the requirements.
The $1800-$1900 price range will get you a great studio or even a 1 bedroom in Manhattan.  Craigslist can be a job in itself.  If you can afford a real estate agent it is worth it.  They are more likely to find you a better apt at a cheaper price while doing all the hard work for you.
Let me know if you have any questions and good luck!

Offline C11106

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 10:07:39 PM »
Thanks for the advice!  I plan to start looking in July/August for Sept 1 move in, as my lease is up at the end of August.  My credit is good, and I could provide landlord references for the past 7 years.  I could afford an agent, and I plan to use one, since I think many of the apartments advertised on Craiglist are too good to be true and don't really exist.  I learned this when I first moved to NYC almost 3 years ago and I wasted a LOT of time chasing around apartments that didn't exist, and one place I went (I'm pretty sure it was Manhattan Apts., which has many apts advertised on Craigslist) where they wouldn't even talk to me about the apt. until I filled out a sheet detailing all of my financial information.

Offline NYC Native

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 10:33:11 PM »
C11106 ..If your credit is good and your job letter and reference checks out most landlords will be OK with you. The mega landlords will NOT be OK with it since they are very automated and do not have time to look closer at your situation. Most landlords will run a landlord / tenant history check and if it comes back clear you will be fine. Please note that you will likely have to pay a 2ND deposit as Saltine W stated and while having a broker is not necessary they will likely get you the "inside edition". There are plenty of landlords in the city already paying the broker fees as well so when you are ready - take a look at the NY Times, backpage and craigslist. Don't make phone calls prematurely but if you feel compelled to make a few phone calls make sure you start with when you are planing to move and give them the facts about what you mention here. While Mike v mentioned 'rent stabilized' - don't get your hopes up with those since most will not be and you will hit the $2k note real quickly anyway soon after you rent it and then that will automatically destabilize the unit under the current laws.

If you give only bit and pieces of info to the broker / agent they will simply write you off and not take you seriously. That agent may have been able to get you your dream apartment. On another note...the East Village has tons of stuff right now and you will be able to find plenty of units under $2000 for 1 bedroom.  I do relocation for 2 firms in Texas and believe me...EASY!!!


Go o d   L u c k   a n d   Q u e e n s   w i l l   m i s s   Y o u !!

http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/nfa/mnh?query=east+village&bedrooms=
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 10:38:55 PM by NYC Native »
Time is running out!

Offline Mike V

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 08:13:03 AM »
NYC Native:  Question regarding decontrolling rent stabilized apartments.  Once an apartment reaches $2,000 can it be decontrolled regardless of a renter's income?  I haven't kept up with rent stabilization laws but at one time decontrolling applied only to those who earned over $150,000 a year (or a couple with a combined income of $150,000).  So if C11106 rents an apartment for $1800 a month it becomes destabilzied once it reaches $2,000 even if C11108 is making $90,000 a year.  Thanks for your reply.





Offline NYC Native

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 10:48:10 AM »
Many buildings take advantage of the 421a and J-51 tax exemption programs thus they must follow guidelines set forth by the DHCR.   A landlord petitions DHCR to deregulate an occupied unit once the rent hits $2,000 OR because the tenant is making $175,000 yearly (They have to earn this much for at least 2 years)  Therefore even if the rent is less than $2000 per month the Landlord can apply for destabilization.  There is a whole process but it is done on a regular basis by landlords all over NY.  The tenant must be diligent if he is to challenge the petition because they have only 60 days to answer the DHCR notices.

In a stabilized unit that happens to be in a building which a Coop or a Condo it will automatically become deregulated once the tenant vacates the premises.  So, that's what your initial point was and to a large degree you are correct.  My point really comes out of the fact that most rentals which are no longer regulated will produce "fair market" and in many cases are not much different than rent stabilized units in the Manhattan.  There are many crafty ways to increase the rents in rent stabilized apartments.  If I purchase a small building in Manhattan the 1st thing I would do is grab the lowest paying 'rent stabilized" unit and tell DHCR that either I or a member of my family will be moving into the unit. All I have to do is prove it in court that either I or my son or my mom will be moving in.  Unless I cannot prove my need in court the "rent stabilized" tenant will be given 90 or 120 days and they have to move.  Obviously it is easier said than done but it is being done. 

Now, another way landlords quickly increase rents is buy claiming allowances under the rent regulation Reform Act which today stand at 20% for vacated units and there are tons of other ways to increase like when major capital improvements are undertaken as well as financial hardship to landlord.  A landlord will raise the legal rent to $2,000 or more and the apartment is deregulated. Once the unit is deregulated he can less money if he wanted to and raise it again when he feels the market warrants it. 
Time is running out!

Offline C11106

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Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 07:33:41 PM »
Thanks--this is making me feel a lot better.  Many of my friends were telling me it would be nearly impossible to live alone in Manhattan for under $2K, but they are not real estate agents and have no real knowledge. 

I'm glad to hear that there are legit ads on craigslist.  I want to move on September 1st and would like to start looking as early as possible.  Am I correct in assuming that it will not be easy to find anything before mid-July (for Sept 1st move-in)?

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Questions regarding qualifying for an apt.
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 07:33:41 PM »