That’s right, I have 2 fantastic blog ideas. Unfortunately this is not one of them. Instead I wanted to write a little bit about my recent experiences.
I got a voicemail on Sunday evening letting me know that my landlord needs his apartment back. I have until October 15th to find a new apartment. This is actually a good turn of events because I wanted to get out of my place anyway. I’m getting kind of fed up with having a roommate that isn’t a good friend…or a friend at all, and my place is a bit dumpy.
Inevitably when finding an apartment in New York one turns to Craiglist, the most useful useless internet tool on the planet. I found my last apartment on there and it has worked out in not working out. I figured I’d give it another go because I was so fortunate and so frustrated the first time around1.
When you look for an apartment in New York, there are often times broker’s fees. For those of you who have the luxury of finding apartments without brokers let me explain how it works: YOU find the apartment on craigslist, YOU meet the broker near the place, the broker shows up, shows you the place, and expects you to immediately take it so he can make his obscenely high fee – usually 13% of a year’s worth of rent. When the apartment turns out to be a piece of garbage, the conversation goes something like this:
Broker: So, what do you think2?
Andy: Well, it’s alright, but not what I’m looking for. It’s a little smaller than I wanted, its pretty dark, the ceilings are pretty low, not enough closet space, and the rent is too high for what it is and the area its in.
Broker: Are you kidding me?! Do you know how hard it is to find what you want in this city? This is a great deal! How many other apartments do you know of for this kind of money in the city? It’s fantastic amazing! Good luck finding something better. You will fail. I hate you now! I hate you for not taking this place immediately! You are stupid! You will never find a place to live! How long have you lived here?! How much is your rent now?
Andy: No, Yes, not it’s not, quite a few, no it isn’t, thanks, no I won’t, I hate you too, I don’t care, I know you are but what am I? Yes I will, about a year, I’m not telling, you’d cry.
Andy: I’m gonna leave now…right after I pee on your shoes.
Broker: (sighs) This always happens to me.
And that’s pretty much how it goes. You show up, hate the place, and then they get mad at you. The funniest thing to do is to tell them its too expensive. One time this guy said to me: “$25003! Isn’t that a great price?” to which I responded: “No, it isn’t.” He was furious and actually stormed out. I couldn’t stop laughing.
1If you’ve used Craigslist at all, this paragraph should make perfect sense to you.
2This exactly what they have said to me everytime – “what do you think?” What they mean is, “I half-assed my job and am fully expecting you to take this place now.”
3This was for a 1 bdrm that I was going to live in with a friend of mine – we were going to put a wall up which costs like another $800. The broker new this. Granted the location was great, 25th and Park, but it wasn’t THAT nice of a place.
To me, every New York broker always seems to be a creepy combination of a used car salesman, lawyer, and pick-pocket. I especially love how after they’ve taken a ridiculous amount of your money for doing nothing, they hand you a business card and tell you to let all your friends know about how much they helped you.
I find them genuine and charming.
How can we do better?
The “I know you are but what am I” thing had me in stiches.
Craig – thanks for stopping by! I’ll send you an email.
Ryan – Glad you enjoyed it. I must’ve had pee wee’s big adventure on the brain.